Surrogacy, Obstetric Risk and the Kardashian Wests

  Guest post by Nathan Hodson Kim Kardashian West and her husband Kanye West announced the birth of their third child, named Chicago, last month. Chicago West was born via surrogate. All the significant events of Kardashian West’s life have been documented season by season on Keeping Up With The Kardashians and naturally her surrogacy […]

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The Real Problem With Human Head Transplantation

Guest Post: Michael S. Dauber, MA * Note: this article is being cross-posted at the Practical Ethics blog.  In 2015, Sergio Canavero announced that he would perform a therapeutic head transplant procedure on a human subject by December 2017. Since then, he has recruited the assistance of surgeon Xiaoping Ren and switched from Valery Spiridonov to an […]

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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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Pain After Cancer: A New Model for Pain Psychology?

Guest Post by Lauren Heathcote What if every headache, every slight twinge in your back, was potentially life threatening? What if you couldn’t tell a brain tumour from coffee-withdrawal? These can be constant, niggling worries for many people who have survived cancer, and we think their experiences can tell us something important about pain. If […]

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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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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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