At the Center
Capturing the lively discussions, presentations, and other events that make up the daily activities of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.
The following postings have been filtered by category Bioethics
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Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011 5:00 PM
May a pharmacist refuse to fill a prescription to which the pharmacist has a moral objection? Such cases of conscience have become more common in the health care setting and raise fundamental questions about the obligations of health care workers and the rights of patients.
The Spark of Conscience Inflames Debate is a daylong conference Thursday, Nov. 3, featuring top experts in this area from the United States and Canada. The conference, sponsored by the Ethics Center, the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education, and the SCU Philosophy Department, will be held in the Wiegand Room of the Arts and Science Building at SCU, 8:45 a.m. - 5:15 p.m. The event is free.
Tuesday, Jun. 28, 2011 12:33 PM
Sarah Ludwig has been appointed as the 2011-2012 Honzel Fellow in Health Care Ethics. Ludwig, a senior chemistry major and public health science minor, hopes to become a physician. She participated in the Center's Health Care Ethics Internship, which allows students to shadow health care providers at local hospitals and observe ethical issues as they arise in day-to-day medical care. As the Honzel Fellow, she will mentor next year's interns.
The Honzel Fellowship is made possible by a gift from the Honzel Family Foundation, which also provides major support to the broader Center focus on health care ethics and biotechnology.
Wednesday, May. 4, 2011 3:55 PM
"Imagine a village ravaged by pneumonia and far from the nearest clinic. A couple in the village has lost one child to the disease when they are approached by a pharmaceutical company representative asking them to enroll their newborn in a trial for a new pneumonia vaccine"
SCU student Brenda Everling considers the challenges such a couple might confront in understanding key elements of the trial, such as the use of placebos in this Evolving Vaccine Trials: Adaptive Informed Consent in the Global Context, which she presented at the 2011 National Undergraduate Bioethics Conference at Duke University.
Friday, Apr. 29, 2011 2:03 PM
A new case in the Center's ongoing Culturally Competent Care project examines an unproductive encounter between a Latino family and a therapist. Pablo, a 15-year-old, is already enmeshed in the juvenile justice system when he is referred to a therapist for poor concentration, irritability, and oppositional conduct. Pablo's relationship with his mother is one area of misunderstanding. Reflection on the case is offered by SCU Psychology Professor Thomas Plante.
Tuesday, Apr. 19, 2011 11:31 AM
From an ethical point of view, can the cost of a treatment figure into medical decision making? Does this put a dollar figure on the value of human life? Center Bioethics Director Margaret R. McLean leads a discussion with the Center's Emerging Issues group about whether, as individuals or as a society, we can take into account the financial burdens of medical care when we decide decide to accept or forego treatment.
Monday, Feb. 28, 2011 4:13 PM
SCU students are invited to apply for the Ethics Center's Health Care Ethics Internship Program, a yearlong program that brings the students into hospital and hospice settings where they learn firsthand about ethical dilemmas in the medical field.
Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011 1:00 PM
How should we relate to unearthly environments and new life forms? Center Bioethics Director Margaret R. McLean takes on that question in a point-counterpoint format on "Life as We Don't Know It" in the most recent edition of Consider Magazine.
She offers these guidelines for exercising cosmic concern:
1. Cosmos preservation insists that we value other worlds and life forms for their own sake, apart from our curiosity, interest, or profit.
2. Cosmos conservation mandates care for the universe’s resources, environments, and life forms, including consideration of our impact on extraterrestrial life and evolution.
3. Cosmos sustainability cautions us to refrain from irreversible harm, raising the question of what would constitute “harm” to Mars and other celestial bodies and to life as we don’t know it. At a minimum, we must guard against “forward contamination,” the introduction of terrestrial microbes to other worlds, and “backward contamination,” bringing extraterrestrial microbes back home.
4. Cosmos stewardship holds us accountable for our actions, compelling us to consider how our actions affect others—both human and not— including how we affect our vast surroundings and the future. From research in subatomic space, we have learned that mere observation can change the characteristics of what is observed. Are we obligated to leave certain areas of the cosmos unseen, uninvestigated, or untouched by human hands or rover probes?
5. Respect for the extraterrestrial other invites a deep concern for the intrinsic value of the cosmos and the life within it, not only “charismatic fauna” such as extraterrestrial life but also microbes and non–carbon-based life.
Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011 2:51 PM
What if you could tweak your telomeres -- the tips of your chromosomes -- and slow the onset of disease and advancing age?
The ethical and social significance of telomeres will be the subject of a panel discussion Jan. 12, at noon, in the Arts & Sciences Building on the Santa Clara University campus. Panelists will be:
-- Professor Leilani Miller, SCU Biology
-- Professor Lawrence Nelson, SCU Philosophy
-- Professor Frederick Parrella, SCU Religious Studies
Co-sponsored by the SCU Center for Science, Technology, and Society and the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. This event is being held in association with SCU's Health and Science Horizons and the DeNardo Lectureship
, which this year will feature Elizabeth Blackburn.
Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010 2:36 PM
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a virulent and contagious skin infection, presents problems for high school and college athletics departments. Not only must they institute prevention and management programs to deal with the medical problem, but they must also handle the ethical issues raised by the disease.
"Is This a Spider Bite?" is a case study of a fictional college program that must cope with a MRSA outbreak. Written by Sports Ethics Fellow Jack Penner, the case draws on a conference, "Thinking Ethically About MRSA," that was held at the Center in October. The fellowship and conference were supported by Denise and John York and the 49ers Foundation.
Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010 2:07 PM
From personalized medicine and race to the creation of super-babies through germ-line enhancement, SCU biology students raised some of the most pressing issues in biotech ethics at a poster session today on the Santa Clara campus.
Faculty and students made the rounds of posters, where research groups talked through their findings on topics such as savior siblings (where a child is conceived in order to be a potential bone marrow or cord blood donor for a sick brother or sister); new ethical quandaries raised by induced pluripotent stem cells; and preimplantation genetic diagnosis.
Sponsored by the Ethics Center and the Center for Science, Technology, and Society, the poster session is the culminating project for an interdisciplinary class taught by Biology Professor Leilani Miller and Center Bioethics Director Margaret R. McLean.