Machine Learning and Medical Education: Impending Conflicts in Robotic Surgery

  Guest Post by Nathan Hodson Research in robotics promises to revolutionize surgery. The Da Vinci system has already brought the first fruits of the revolution into the operating theater through remote controlled laparoscopic (or “keyhole”) surgery. New developments are going further, augmenting the human surgeon and moving toward a future with fully autonomous robotic […]

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Does Female Genital Mutilation Have Health Benefits? The Problem with Medicalizing Morality

By Brian D. Earp (@briandavidearp) * Please note: this piece was originally published in Quillette Magazine.     Four members of the Dawoodi Bohra sect of Islam living in Detroit, Michigan have recently been indicted on charges of female genital mutilation (FGM). This is the first time the US government has prosecuted an “FGM” case since a federal law was passed in […]

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How Different are Female, Male and Intersex Genital Cutting?

By Brian D. Earp  (@briandavidearp), with Rebecca Steinfeld, Goldsmiths, University of London  Three members of the Dawoodi Bohra sect of Islam were recently indicted on charges of “female genital mutilation” (FGM) in the US state of Michigan. In Norway, meanwhile, one of the major political parties has backed a measure to ban childhood male circumcision. Fearing that objections to […]

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Treatment of Premature Ejaculation: Alleviating Sexual Dysfunction, Disease Mongering, or Both?

by Brian D. Earp / (@briandavidearp) An interesting new paper, “Distress, Disease, Desire: Perspectives on the Medicalization of Premature Ejaculation,” has just been published online at the Journal of Medical Ethics. According to the authors, Ylva Söderfeldt, Adam Droppe, and Tim Ohnhäuser, their aim is to “question the very concept of premature ejaculation and ask whether it […]

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How to Keep HIV Cure-Related Trials Ethical: The Benefit/Risk Ratio Challenge

Guest Post by Nir Eyal Re: Special Issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics on the ethics and challenges of an HIV cure For most patients with HIV who have access to antiretroviral treatment and use it properly, that treatment works well. But the holy grail of HIV research remains finding a cure. Sometimes that […]

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Sex and Other Sins: Public Morality, Public Health, and Funding PrEP

Guest Post by Nathan Emmerich In the UK, a recent high-court decision[1] has reignited the debate about whether or not Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) should be provided to those who are deemed to be at high-risk of contracting HIV.[2] Despite the fact that NHS England is now appealing,[3] it was a fairly innocuous decision: having suggested […]

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A World Without Bioethicists? On Sally Phillip’s “A World Without Down’s”

Guest Post by Nathan Emmerich, Queen’s University Belfast On Wednesday night, BBC2 broadcast a documentary entitled ‘A World Without Down’s Syndrome?’ Even if you did not see the programme itself, you may have heard about it on the radio, read some of the commentary published over the past week, or spotted it on Twitter under the […]

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In Praise of Ambivalence: “Young” Feminism, Gender Identity, and Free Speech

By Brian D. Earp (@briandavidearp) * Note: this article was first published online at Quillette magazine. Introduction Alice Dreger, the historian of science, sex researcher, activist, and author of a much-discussed book of last year, has recently called attention to the loss of ambivalence as an acceptable attitude in contemporary politics and beyond. “Once upon a time,” she writes, “we […]

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Special “Editor’s Choice” Issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics Now Online

by Brian D. Earp / (@briandavidearp) On behalf of the Journal of Medical Ethics, I am excited to announce the publication of a special “Editor’s Choice” issue, now online at the journal website. In a rare turn for the journal, the entire issue made up of “Editor’s Choice” papers, with invited (peer-reviewed) papers from both up-and-coming and established […]

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Special Obligations: What Can Physicians Learn from Parenting?

Guest post by Jon Tilburt and Baruch Brody Editor’s note: this post introduces a recent paper by the authors now in press at the Journal of Medical Ethics: “Doubly distributing special obligations: what professional practice can learn from parenting“ Gaps between our ideals and our behavior are common. Sometimes what we say we believe and what we actually practice […]

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