Better Babies: A Commentary on Modern Eugenics with the History of Virginia

Paco, Abiad.JPGBy: Paco Abiad, B.A. Global Public Health student at University of Virginia

I could feel it again – my mother’s gaze examining me as we sat at the coffee table. I had just updated her on my current medical status: my ongoing battle against the deadly duo of severe allergies and ever present eczema. I often joke of my unfortunate circumstances, but the one person who will never take my health lightly is my mom. She finally broke the awkward silence between us: “You know I’m so hard on you about your health because I feel guilty, right? I see you suffering and I feel responsible because I gave you bad genes.Continue reading “Better Babies: A Commentary on Modern Eugenics with the History of Virginia”

Environmental Federalism and the Protection and Preservation of Florida’s Coral Reefs

By: Charlee Fox, federal judicial clerk for the United States Court of Appeals

This commentary is an excerpt of a longer paper written for an environmental law course. 

Ten percent of the world’s coral reefs, including those found in Florida, have been destroyed beyond restoration.[1] It was estimated in 2000 that thirty percent of the world’s reefs were in critical condition.[2] Causes of corral reef depletion include: pollution, over-fishing and over-exploitation of resources, destructive fishing practices (e.g. dynamite fishing), dredging and shoreline modification (e.g. coastal development), vessel groundings and anchoring, disease outbreaks, and global climate change causing effects such as bleaching and mortality.[3] The coral reefs are protected by both state and federal regulations. Thus, it is relevant to analyze whether state regulations or environmental federalism have a greater impact on the conservation and protection of the United States coral reefs. Continue reading “Environmental Federalism and the Protection and Preservation of Florida’s Coral Reefs”

Cross-Cultural Bioethics: Ethical Foundations in a Globalizing World

By: Will Naso, B.A. student at Davidson College and Vann Fellow at Mayo Clinic

As the advent of new technologies shrinks the world, cross-cultural interaction is guaranteed in modern society. Within the world of medicine, physicians are becoming more globally aware, whether through the growing medical tourism industry, the popularity of international education, or the mixing of cultures due to increased global migration [1, 2]. What does this mean for the development of a globalized bioethics? As bioethical research has evolved, the flow of knowledge has steadily moved from developed nations to developing, or more basically, from the ‘West’ to the ‘East [2]. Continue reading “Cross-Cultural Bioethics: Ethical Foundations in a Globalizing World”

Categorizing Christian Perspectives on Capital Punishment

By: Hannah Sikes, M.Div student at Princeton Theological Seminary

The debate on capital punishment reaches across religious, political, and social barriers. In the secular sphere, both advocates for capital punishment and abolitionists fiercely argue over the legitimacy and the practicality of state employment of the death penalty.

Continue reading “Categorizing Christian Perspectives on Capital Punishment”

Should Pediatricians Disclose Sensitive Information About Minors’ Health To Their Parents?

By: Adam Hunter, MD student at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

In the American medical system, full moral status is assigned to competent adults. Beauchamp and Childress’s ethical principles of beneficence, non-maleficence, justice, and respect for autonomy define how competent patients should be treated (1). A case illustration helps to demonstrate the principles at conflict in disclosing sensitive information of minors. Continue reading “Should Pediatricians Disclose Sensitive Information About Minors’ Health To Their Parents?”

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”