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?”

Without License

By: Alysia Yi, Graduate of Wake Forest University School of Law

Alysia Yi is featured in our Author Spotlight section. You can read her interview about this piece here.

Photo by John Hammond

Part I. The Way It Was

1958, Seoul, South Korea

A woman lay on her bed, silently staring at the ceiling of a tiny master bedroom. She’s wearing a dress, her legs open and stretched out, immobile. Blood stains the old white sheets from the waist down. She looks at least ten years older than her young age of twenty-five, a kind of hard aging that has befallen those who’ve lived through war. The kind of aging that did not draw attention in a country thoroughly afflicted with grief. A single tear falls down her face as she stares blankly into space, her stoicism gratefully masking her sorrow of yet another loved one lost. There was no war to blame for this one though. Continue reading “Without License”

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”