On the Allure of Cheating

Recently, my 15-year-old son and a group of his friends went out together for dinner and a movie. The movie they chose to see was an R-rated comedy, a fact that only struck them when they approached the ticket office and realized they would not be allowed to see the movie. Not to be deterred, […]

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Stephen Hawking on Aid in Dying

World-famous physicist, Stephen Hawking, is now advocating in favor of physician-assisted death, in the video shown here. I am both very glad that he is still alive, so many years after developing his illness, and that he is advocating for those people who circumstances and suffering leads them to request assistance in ending their lives. […]

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Congratulations to the MacLean Center

The University of Chicago Medicine’s MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, where I trained in the early 90s, has been awarded the prestigious Cornerstone Award from the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities for “outstanding contributions from an institution that has helped shape the direction of the fields of bioethics and/or medical humanities.” To learn […]

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Is There a Difference Between Suicide and Ending One's Life?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines suicide as: “Death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with any intent to die as a result of the behavior .” The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as: “the act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally especially by a person of years of discretion and of […]

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A Debate on Death with Dignity

The below post is a response to my article Death With Dignity Should Not Be Equated With Physician Assisted Suicide by Kathryn L. Tucker, JD. My own thoughts on her response are here. In a Forbes.com oped, “Death With Dignity Should Not Be Equated With Physician Assisted Suicide, Duke University physician Peter Ubel writes: “I think it is wrong-headed to […]

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What's Wrong with Gay Boy Scout Leaders?

According to the New York Times, the Boy Scouts of America on Friday proposed ending its ban on openly gay scouts but continue to bar gay adults from serving as leaders. This policy is wrongheaded, regardless of whether you think homosexuality is right or wrong. By pushing gay men further into the back of the closet, […]

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Should Your Doctor Pray With You?

“I can fix this.” The neurosurgeon was nothing if not confident. “The cyst is pushing on your spinal cord. If it continues to expand, it will damage your nerves and you may lose the ability to walk. But I can remove the cyst, and cure you.” The patient was a business school professor, a man […]

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Should Doctors Give Medical Advice to Strangers over Email?

Recently I received an email from someone I have never met, who asked me the following: “Could you refer me to any current study results on Arimidex (Anastrozole)? My oncologist is not helpful. My oncotype dx said I have 9% chance of recurrence and with Arimidex for 5 years that is reduced to 4.5 %. […]

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What the World Got Wrong About Lance Armstrong and Oscar Pistorius

Lance Armstrong cheated and bullied. These are not shocking revelations. Oscar Pistorius had a history of altercations with his girlfriend and is now accused of murder. More shocking, by far, but hardly the first athlete to be accused of such wrong doing. Should we be so thoroughly shocked to find out the Armstrong and Pistorius […]

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