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In Vitro Gametogenesis (IVG): Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) in Development

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In vitro gametogenesis (IVG) research has been growing in countries like Japan, US, and China after the development of stem cell research and other scientific advancements as well as because of the perception of infertility as a domestic and international

In vitro gametogenesis (IVG) research has been growing in countries like Japan, US, and China after the development of stem cell research and other scientific advancements as well as because of the perception of infertility as a domestic and international problem. IVG research’s progress has been deliberated internationally, with discussion of questions, challenges, and possibilities that have arisen and may arise in the future as the technology is adopted by different countries. The first section introduces the meaning of IVG, explains the importance of review by scientists and citizens for IVG, and describes a rise in infertility reported in multiple developed countries that could be addressed by IVG. The second section discusses IVG’s applications and implications using 5 ethical categories articulated by Obama’s Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues: Public Beneficence, Responsible Stewardship, Intellectual Freedom and Responsibility, Democratic Deliberation, and Justice and Fairness. These five ethical principles were intended for analysis of emerging technologies, and IVG is an emerging technology with possible integration into clinical settings. Among the principles, it seemed that a major weak point of inquiry concerns LGBT+ and disability inclusion, especially of gender dysphoric and transgender people who may experience higher rates of infertility and have a harder time conceiving due to a mix of discrimination, gender dysphoria, and infertility due to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) treatment or gender/sex reassignment surgeries (GRSs/SRSs) that may impair or remove reproductive body parts. A number of other ethical considerations arise about this technology.

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Date Created
2019-05

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Psychological, Ecological, and Ethical Dimensions of Bottlenose Dolphin Captivity

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Bottlenose dolphins, or Tursiops truncates, have captured the attention of humans for centuries leading people to keep them in captivity. However, people's love and an increase in knowledge for these creatures have sparked many ethical debates on whether dolphins should

Bottlenose dolphins, or Tursiops truncates, have captured the attention of humans for centuries leading people to keep them in captivity. However, people's love and an increase in knowledge for these creatures have sparked many ethical debates on whether dolphins should be kept in captivity. In this paper, I discuss the different dimensions of bottlenose dolphin captivity focusing on the physiological, psychological, ecological and ethical concerns raised when comparing captive to wild bottlenose dolphins. In an analysis of the scientific literature, I found that captive bottlenose dolphins experience negative physical and psychological effects, including a shorter life span and a decrease in brain size. They also engage in more risky and harmful behaviors. Preexisting brain structures in bottlenose dolphins indicate enhanced emotional processing possibly leading to a more difficult life in captivity. Furthermore, modeling of bottlenose dolphin social networks have found that removal of dolphins from existing populations have negative repercussions for ecological communities, particularly effecting present and future pods due to their complex social systems called fission fusion societies. Furthermore, removal can have a deleterious effect on the environment due to their role as top predators. Available data suggest that bottlenose dolphins should be classified as non-human persons due to their cognitive abilities such as self-awareness, intentionality, creativity, and symbolic communication. This moral classification demands significant human duties and responsibilities to protect these cetaceans. Due to their similarities to humans, these results suggest that keeping bottlenose dolphins in captivity is ethically questionable and perhaps unjustifiable as captivity violates their basic rights.

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2017-05

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An Ethical Evaluation of the Boarding of Psychiatric Patients in the Emergency Department

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My thesis project, "An Ethical Evaluation of the Practice of Psychiatric Patient Boarding in the Emergency Department" sets out to address a relatively nameless problem in the healthcare system in the United States. This problem is the boarding of psychiatric

My thesis project, "An Ethical Evaluation of the Practice of Psychiatric Patient Boarding in the Emergency Department" sets out to address a relatively nameless problem in the healthcare system in the United States. This problem is the boarding of psychiatric patients in emergency departments nationwide. What is psychiatric patient boarding? This term refers to the increasingly common practice of care provided to psychiatric patients upon arrival at an emergency department. When inpatient psychiatric beds or services are not available, "boarding" is performed by simply storing mentally ill patients in hallways or other emergency room areas while they wait for the availability of psychiatric treatment, which may take hours, or in more extreme cases has been cited to last for days at a time (Alakeson et. al, 2010). While any individual can expect to wait a prolonged period of time for medical care in the increasingly overcrowded emergency departments, the psychiatric patient experience is astonishingly unique. A psychiatric patient presenting, or arriving, at the ED in crisis can often times find him or herself not only waiting hours to be admitted and assessed as a medical patient would, but with a limited and ever attenuating supply of psychiatric treatment rooms and services, these patients will often times be harbored in an ED room designed for short-term medical treatment without care until psychiatric services become available. Patients can be left waiting for days for an in-patient vacancy; all the while not receiving true psychiatric treatment and in some cases being held against their will in a chaotic environment far from conducive for treatment of a mental health ailment. In this analysis, I will discuss and review aspects of psychiatric patient boarding from various literature, such as why boarding occurs from a hospital and historical standpoint, negative implications of boarding for psychiatric and medical patients, and the burden placed on the hospital when practicing psychiatric boarding. To learn further on the topic, I will share the results from 14 semi-structured, qualitative interviews performed with ED healthcare professionals, being physicians, charge nurses, nursing staff, and certified nursing assistants or patient safety advocates. This portion of my investigation is designed to offer a perspective that the literature cannot, being a first hand outlook on psychiatric boarding from those working on the front line, focusing on topics of all aspects, such as causation, consequences for all involved parties, and proposed solutions.

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Date Created
2017-05

Consent: A Novella on Medical Ethics

Description

Human subject research is a sensitive ethical topic in today's society, and with good cause. The history of human subject research is full of tragedy and wrongdoing, which is what has led to the firm restrictions we presently have. At

Human subject research is a sensitive ethical topic in today's society, and with good cause. The history of human subject research is full of tragedy and wrongdoing, which is what has led to the firm restrictions we presently have. At the same time, we also acknowledge the value behind human subject research and the information science can obtain from such endeavors. This project analyzes this conundrum through a narrative describing a group of scientists who choose to ignore some of the laws and regulations concerning human subject research in order to pursue neurological based research for a "greater good." In the novella, the scientists end up harming several people while performing their illegal research, but are able to obtain successful results. However, the group is eventually caught, and end up having to face the consequences of their actions. The situations and interactions the story presents are meant to juxtapose both sides of the human subject research ethical argument in a unique way in order to allow the reader to critically think through the argument themselves and form their own opinions on the matter.

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Date Created
2015-05

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The Ethics of Keeping Large Felids in Zoos

Description

This thesis aims to address the ethics of keeping the big cats, such as lions, tigers, and leopards, in zoos. It is a practice that has generated some controversy in light of scientific studies reporting stress among wide-ranging animals in

This thesis aims to address the ethics of keeping the big cats, such as lions, tigers, and leopards, in zoos. It is a practice that has generated some controversy in light of scientific studies reporting stress among wide-ranging animals in captive enclosures, as well as in the context of wider discussions in animal welfare and conservation ethics in zoos. A driving question for this project, therefore, was "What are the arguments for and against keeping large felids in zoos/captivity?" This thesis examines the historical and current ethical approaches to evaluating the ethics of maintaining big cats in zoos. Due to many of the big cat species listed as endangered species on the IUCN redlist, the species-centered approach to zoo ethics is becoming the common viewpoint, and, as a result, zoos are deemed ethical because of their contribution to ex situ conservation practices. Further, the ethical arguments against zoos are minimized when the zoos provide suitable and appropriate enclosures for their large felids. Of course, not all zoos are created equal; the ethics of zoos need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but in general, it is ethical to maintain big cats in zoos.

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Date Created
2014-05

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Examination of the Ethical Responsibility of Veterinarians Regarding Cases of Animal Abuse and Neglect

Description

Attitudes toward animal welfare have been evolving in our society as we have developed from early agricultural roots to an increasingly urban and technologically advanced community. However, despite the growing societal appreciation and care for animals in our homes and

Attitudes toward animal welfare have been evolving in our society as we have developed from early agricultural roots to an increasingly urban and technologically advanced community. However, despite the growing societal appreciation and care for animals in our homes and backyards, veterinarians are still faced with cases of abuse and neglect. Although it may seem obvious for veterinarians, as animal welfare advocates, to confront this dilemma each time they are faced with it, that is not always the case. In order to assess the responsibilities of veterinarians in regard to neglect and abuse, an extensive literature review and analysis was performed and practicing veterinarians were interviewed to determine their attitudes regarding the responsibility to report suspected cases of animal neglect and abuse. Specifically, these interviews focused on such topics as the educational background of the practitioners, how empathy impacts their perception of animal welfare, their relationship with law enforcement agencies, and related questions. The study demonstrated that the most prominent factor in a veterinarian's understanding of violations of animal welfare stems from their educational background. Therefore, it is recommended that veterinary medicine programs alter their curricula to emphasize animal welfare training and the obligation of veterinarians to report suspected cases of neglect and abuse.

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Date Created
2013-12

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Whistleblowing in Biomedical Research and Medicine: An Analysis of Ethical Expectations and Dilemmas

Description

In biomedical research institutions and medical institutions alike, whistleblowing, or the reporting of misconduct, has been severely retaliated against. Whistleblowers report misconduct by adhering to institutional whistleblowing policies, and do so in order to maintain ethical practice within their institution;

In biomedical research institutions and medical institutions alike, whistleblowing, or the reporting of misconduct, has been severely retaliated against. Whistleblowers report misconduct by adhering to institutional whistleblowing policies, and do so in order to maintain ethical practice within their institution; it is important to note that by taking this ethical action, whistleblowers are aiming to protect the future of biomedical research and medicine. Despite these intentions, whistleblowing has developed a negative stigma due to the misconception that whistleblowers have self-proclaimed authority and are unable to function as part of a team. The retaliation against whistleblowers has been connected to psychological and professional fallout for the whistleblower, and it has been found that many whistleblowers suffer as a direct result of a lack of institutional support. The problems with whistleblowing culture demonstrate issues surrounding how ethics are maintained in institutions, who ethics policies apply to, and who has authority. The retaliation seen against whistleblowers outlines inherent institutional failures, and highlights the need for institutional change in order to both promote ethical practice and protect the whistleblowers who adhere to ethics policies. This thesis discusses such failures in detail, and outlines several broad solutions in order to combat this issue.

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Date Created
2019-05

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THE ETHICAL AND ECONOMICAL IMPLICATIONS OF HUMAN GENETIC ENGINEERING

Description

When an individual is conceived there is a metaphorical roll of the dice. A game of chance is played with their genetics to which they cannot consent. Unlucky players could have inherited mild conditions such as chronic allergies to terrible

When an individual is conceived there is a metaphorical roll of the dice. A game of chance is played with their genetics to which they cannot consent. Unlucky players could have inherited mild conditions such as chronic allergies to terrible diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis or Tay-Sachs. Controlling the genetics of an individual through the use of gene editing technology could be the key to ending this cycle of genetic diseases. Once detrimental diseases are now being cured through direct applications of genetic engineering. Even as we see the uses of genetic engineering technologies change the world, the more “sci-fi” applications have yet to be fully realized or explored. Editing hereditary genes before birth may have the ability to eliminate diseases from entire genetic lines, reduce the possibility for certain cancers and diseases, and perhaps even modify phenotypes in humans to create enhanced humans. Although this scientific field shows promise, it does have its reservations. Like any other scientific field, its ability to benefit humanity depends on its use.

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Date Created
2020-05

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Reproductive Cloning and the Perception of Individuality

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Reproductive cloning is the duplication of genetic material to reproduce a living organism. The sheep Dolly was the first adult mammal to be cloned and her birth unveiled a multitude of questions about the potential for cloning humans and how

Reproductive cloning is the duplication of genetic material to reproduce a living organism. The sheep Dolly was the first adult mammal to be cloned and her birth unveiled a multitude of questions about the potential for cloning humans and how that might threaten human individuality. Given those questions, my project delves into how reproductive cloning relates to the idea of individuality across three subgroups: humans, utility animals such as those used for research or agriculture, and pets.

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Date Created
2013-05

The Bioethics of Telemedicine in the United States during COVID-19

Description

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine usage in America has experienced extreme peaks as a method of maintaining social distancing for medical staff and patients. While there have been numerous significant positive effects from increasing this practice, there

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine usage in America has experienced extreme peaks as a method of maintaining social distancing for medical staff and patients. While there have been numerous significant positive effects from increasing this practice, there are also significant risks to be explored. Patients and physicians have been navigating new technology, new protocols, and new dynamics at a high rate. Doctors using telemedicine are required to rely more heavily on their judgment with less data than usual to support their hypotheses. This results in a wide variety of potential complications that can be detrimental to patients and physicians alike. Though negative outcomes are not nearly the majority, it is clear that for telemedicine to function at its fullest capacity, the limitations of its technology must be defined and communicated. A survey was distributed to physicians currently practicing telemedicine to understand more about the usage increase in telemedicine and the incidence rates of telemedicine-related complications. The results showed that although the impact of telemedicine has been largely positive, there certainly are risks that must be considered and prepared for. Thus, it is the responsibility of healthcare systems to ensure that their policies are current and appropriate in proportion to their usage of telemedicine to better protect and prepare patients and doctors for this new frontier of medicine.

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2022-05