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Personalized Medicine and the Concept of Empowerment

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With advances in biotechnology, personalized medicine has become an ever-expanding field. Even with so much growth, the critics equally match the proponents of personalized medicine. The source of their disagreement is rooted in the concept of empowerment. This analysis utilizes

With advances in biotechnology, personalized medicine has become an ever-expanding field. Even with so much growth, the critics equally match the proponents of personalized medicine. The source of their disagreement is rooted in the concept of empowerment. This analysis utilizes the personal genomics company 23andMe and their relationship with the Federal Food and Drug Administration to illustrate varying views of empowerment. Specifically, the case study focuses on the ability to provide direct-to-consumer health reports to patients independent of physicians. In doing this, larger issues of what is at stake in personalized medicine are uncovered. These include but are not limited to: who determines what individuals get empowered and what information is determined good versus bad.

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2015-05

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Morality of the Past: How Two Committees Judged Past Human Subject Experiments

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In 1996, President Clinton ordered the formation of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments (ACHRE), which undertook to evaluate the morality of a myriad of secret and publicized radiation experiments ranging from 1944 to 1974. The goal of this

In 1996, President Clinton ordered the formation of the Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments (ACHRE), which undertook to evaluate the morality of a myriad of secret and publicized radiation experiments ranging from 1944 to 1974. The goal of this thesis is to analyze the ways in which that committee formed moral evaluations and the extent to which its strategies related to a broader historical and philosophical discourse. Here I attempt to describe two specific techniques of simplification the committee deploys in order to make a retrospective moral analysis possible. Although the techniques comprise specific problems, frameworks, subjective perspectives, and conceptual links, their unifying principle is the field of choices the techniques produce. In the first technique I outline, I argue that by focusing on the problem of historical relativism, the committee gains a platform through which it would be granted flexibility in making a distinction between moral wrongdoing and blameworthiness. In the second technique of simplification I outline, I argue that the committee's incorporation of a principle to reduce uncertainty as an ethical aim allow it to establish new ways to reconcile scientific aims with moral responsibility. In addition to describing the structure of these techniques, I also demonstrate how they relate to the specific experiments the analysts aim to evaluate, using both the ACHRE experiments as well as the Nuremberg Trial experiments as my examples. My hope is not to show why a given committee made a particular moral evaluation, or to say whether a decision was right or wrong, but rather to illustrate how certain techniques open up a field of choices that allow moral analysts to form retrospective moral judgments.

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2015-05

The Utilization and an Evaluation of Health Services Provided by the Flying Samaritans at the Laguna de San Ignacio Clinic in Baja California Sur, Mexico

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The Flying Samaritans is a group of volunteers who provide health care on a monthly basis at the Laguna de San Ignacio Clinic in Baja California Sur, Mexico. The purpose of this study was to gather demographic information about the

The Flying Samaritans is a group of volunteers who provide health care on a monthly basis at the Laguna de San Ignacio Clinic in Baja California Sur, Mexico. The purpose of this study was to gather demographic information about the patients at the clinic as well as to determine why the patients need to use a free clinic, how they use other health care facilities that are available to them, how well they take care of themselves in terms of exercise, nutrition, and care of chronic disease, and how the Flying Samaritans can improve their care for this population. This information was gathered using an extensive patient survey as well as through interviews with both patients and health care providers at this clinic. Based on the data gathered, it was determined that some health problems present in the population could be prevented with education about daily health and dental care. The Flying Samaritans could implement some forms of patient education in order to minimize chronic health problems and to continue to improve the overall health of this population. The data also demonstrated that the patients rely heavily on the Flying Samaritans services, as the town in very isolated and does not offer any other medical or dental facilities. The Flying Samaritans are essential to the well-being of this town and provide services that the patients may not otherwise receive.

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2016-12