The Signs and Story of One in Four

By: Ashley Barton, Student at Wake Forest University School of Law

Photo by Sarah White

Anna swore she would never do it. A proclamation she made when she was fourteen-years-old, sitting in her health class, watching a movie titled “Addiction” on a wheeled-out television stand. Anna’s eyes glossed over the images on the screen, thinking to herself, how could someone do this to themselves? It was easy to judge the teens that appeared on the screen—all from low-income and broken households, clothed in all black, smoking cigarettes on stoops and alleyways—when Anna knew that her life looked nothing like that. That will never be me peeled from her lips with ease. At only fourteen, Anna knew the difference between right and wrong, and addiction strongly fit in the “wrong” box, locked and hidden from sight. Continue reading “The Signs and Story of One in Four”

Without End

By: Dustin Hillsley, Associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Photo by Rennett Stowe


The great absurdity of life was that by the time you had the knowledge and wisdom to appreciate it you were already losing it.  What was it people said?  When you’re born, you’re already dying.  But I think knowledge and wisdom were different; unlike knowledge, wisdom didn’t come from the accumulated experience of a long life.  Wisdom came from that sense of impending doom, the feeling that your time was running out.  It came from watching others take over where you left off, after your limbs lost their youthful vigor and your mind its clarity of thought.  It came from giving up your stake in the world.  It came from mortality itself.

Continue reading “Without End”

Wind, Rain, or Nothing at All

By: Erin E. McKee, Decedent Care Education Coordinator with Novant Health

Photo by Niels Kliim

The tree was fixing to fall, and he knew it.  He knew it before the headlights swiped the last stand of hickory by the unmarked drive.  Not by sight, but by feeling – the weight of it, the force of wet bark half-becoming earth.  It was a feeling that caught in his throat as he strained the sedan into washed-out ruts of the drive to daddy’s place.  The seatbelt cut a track across his gut.  He was tired of the car.  Continue reading “Wind, Rain, or Nothing at All”

A Platonic Dialogue: Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

By: John Van Swearingen, Student at Wake Forest University School of Law

John Van Swearingen is featured in our Author Spotlight section. You can read his interview about his piece here.

Let us assume that Plato and Socrates were alive today, and they sat down together after an enlightening Bioethics class to discuss the topic of the day one-on-one. Ever the obstinate instructor, Socrates has committed himself to challenging Plato’s thoughts every step of the way…

Continue reading “A Platonic Dialogue: Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis”

H.R. 1313 Undermines Health Privacy Protections

By: Hailey Cleek, JD/MA Bioethics Student at Wake Forest University

Sponsored by Rep. Virginia Foxx [R-NC-5], H.R. 1313, titled “Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act”, allows employers to offer health insurance premium rebates to workers who take part in company wellness programs that may include submitting to “health risk assessments” through genetic testing. While H.R. 1313 does not require employees to enroll in such programs, it has received strong criticism by organizations such as the American Society of Human Genetics, American Academy of Pediatrics, AARP, and National Council on Disability due to its potential penalties for refusing genetic testing.

Continue reading “H.R. 1313 Undermines Health Privacy Protections”

The Post-Modern Prometheus

By: Perrin B. Fourmy, Associate at Bell Nunnally & Martin LLP

Photo by Chevalie R.

“Dr. Thompson, it’s all over.”

A man with a badge and a walkie talkie was explaining to the lab coats and suits that they could come back inside.  It was just another false alarm.  Dr. Thompson had gotten used to these, but sometimes work had to be scrapped and started again because of the delays.  These interruptions were even more troublesome for researchers, but in recent months, his specific responsibilities had shifted more towards management.  He enjoyed his work less since leaving the lab, but that was the price he paid for success.  One of the prices, at least.

Continue reading “The Post-Modern Prometheus”


By: Mark J. Vaders, Counsel at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP

Photo by DVIDS

Louis Wooten hadn’t always been a jealous man.  He reflected on that fact as he sat, watching the steady trickle of foot traffic flowing through Jefferson Park.  It was a gorgeous May morning, the first after an abnormally chilly spring, and the locals were out in force.  One of the joggers huffed toward him, her lithe feet pounding a steady cadence in the crushed pea gravel.  Louis watched her as she passed, admiring how each step slid fluidly into the next.  Envy gnawed at him tentatively, but he pushed it away.  He wasn’t going to feel sorry for himself today.  He was here to make a decision, and he needed to clear his head. Continue reading “Jilted”

A Day in the Trades

By: Jacob B. Hansen, Associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Photo by Jacob Trbovich

The following takes place in 2685, nearly five centuries after the Third Great War. Terms that may not be familiar to all readers are set in bold the first time they appear and are annotated in the Glossary which follows the story.

“Do I hear three-million? Three-million to number 63, do I hear three point five? Three point five to 86, do I hear four-million? Four-million to our man on the phone, do I hear four point five?”

“Eight-million,” says number 63, a stocky black man with a wispy mustache and graying hair. Continue reading “A Day in the Trades”