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Talking About Vaccines

Doctor wearing scrubs

When your child is due for vaccinations, print out the list of ethical alternative vaccines and discuss them with your healthcare provider. In my experience, the vaccines that are usually given are unethical, but the office typically stocks, or can readily order, the ethical alternative for your child. Read Article

Moral Culpability in Vaccination

Sunset over a mountain range

In 2005, the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith was for clarification on whether or not Catholics could, in the course of practicing their faith, use the vaccinations for which there were no ethical alternatives.Read Article

Alternatives & Bioethical Analysis

Test tubes in a labratory

Thankfully, there are readily available ethical alternatives to most of the 21 vaccines that are derived from aborted cell lines. These alternative vaccines are morally and ethically licit.Read Article

The Source of Too Many Vaccines

Surgical tools lined up on a tray

To say that a vaccine was derived from an aborted cell line sounds both clinical and perhaps even a bit benign. What does it mean and why should it be concerning?Read Article

Vaccine Sources & Ingredients

Beakers on a lab table

I’m fortunate enough to be both a patient and to be able to see the inner workings of the world of medicine. It’s precisely because of my vantage point that I’m able to have a better understanding of these complex issues and, in turn, help you to work through these ethical concerns.Read Article

Risks in Medicine

Mist rises above a forest

The most common answer in medicine is, “It depends.” I’m often frustrated when Alison gives me that answer, but it’s for good reason. The human body is the most complex organism ever created and the potential for disorder is certain. Like a fingerprint, every body is different and so two patients receiving the exact same treatment may experience two opposite outcomes. Read Article

Vaccination and Parental Autonomy

A mother holds her son

Parents of young children are routinely faced with ethical decision making in the course of routine medical care, and the ethics of vaccination are a contentious topic right now. Every major medical organization in the United States recommends the vaccination of children, but there are many parents who object to vaccinations.
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The Right to Another Person

A child plays on a toy mat

Americans reject the notion that a person has a right to another person. This is most clearly illustrated in our morally correct judgement against slavery. Ironically, despite this rejection, there are many other areas of human activity that we accept as normal that rely exclusively on that right.Read Article

Patient Assistance Programs

Pill bottle with pills coming out

Since the 2000s, pharmaceutical companies have developed patient assistance programs to help cover the cost of some of the industry’s drugs. Since the 2000s, pharmaceutical companies have developed patient assistance programs to help cover the cost of some of the industry’s drugs.Read Article


Rocks on a beach at sunrise

Does reversibility negate bioethical violation? The human reproductive system is unique as it is the only system that requires a complimentary body to complete its function. All other systems are closed, and self-supporting. The great challenge of the human person is mastering and respecting one’s own reproductive powers.Read Article

On Ireland

Supporters of Repeal the 8th hold a celebration party in Ireland

The election results from Ireland last month were heartbreaking. More than that, they were disconcerting. Irish voters went to the polls to repeal a constitutional ban on abortion. The jubilant pictures from the watch parties were difficult to stomach. Is abortion really something to celebrate? Read Article


Team rowers on the water a sunset

When we face challenging diagnoses, it can be hard to judge between artificially prolonging life and justly extending our life by overcoming illness. It’s good to apply a test of ordinary versus extraordinary means to a treatment, but there’s a secondary standard that may crystallize the right path forward. That standard is one of proportionality.Read Article

Parental Rights Crisis

Child holds parents' hands

In the United States, when a married couple has a child, there is a solid legal framework that grants joint custody and agency to the mother and father. This is a reasonable assumption on the part of the law. There is a coming crisis in the realm of medical powers of attorney and it relates to the sharp increase over the past half-century of births to non-married parents.Read Article

Religion & Bioethics

Church facade in a public sqaure

We’re all at fault for our polarized culture. In public and private debate, we retreat with haste to ad hominem attacks and identity politics, arguing against a point (or a person) instead of strongly advocating for our own view. One of most effective tactics is to claim that the opposing party is attempting to impose their religious beliefs on another. That argument is disingenuous on its face, because in all debate, one party hopes to apply their worldview on the other.Read Article

Why Conscience Rights

Semi-private hospital room with beds and equiptment

The importance of conscience rights cannot be understated. The independence and autonomy of clinicians is a principal benefit to the patient. By accepting and respecting the clinician’s medical decision making, we can have justified true belief that they will act in their patient’s best interests.Read Article

Tie Goes to the Runner

Baseball players on the field

My brother absolutely loves baseball. As long as I can remember, he’s followed the sport with great enthusiasm, memorizing stats and following the Atlanta Braves through their entire season. There’s a great rule in baseball that helps umpires make the most difficult calls: tie goes to the runner.Read Article