Bioethics


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This colour-enhanced frontal view of the head, neck and shoulders confirms brain death by absence of blood flow to the brain. Photo by Living Art Enterprises, LLC/SPL

Essay/
Bioethics
Neither person nor cadaver

The body is warm, but the brain has gone dark: why the notion of brain death provokes the thorniest of medical dilemmas

Sharon Kaufman

Photo by Christopher Capozziello from his book The Distance Between Us, exploring the life of his brother Nick, their differences, and the anger and shame of being the healthy twin. Nick has cerebral palsy.

Essay/
Human rights and justice
Is crip the new queer?

Disability activists who look to queer theory for their politics end up limiting their real transgressive potential

Rahila Gupta

Coloured X-rays of sections through the head of a patient showing the electrodes (light lines) of a deep brain stimulator (DBS) implanted in the brain. Photo by Zephyr/Science Photo Library

Essay/
Neuroscience
Deep brain stimulation

DBS is an incredibly promising intervention for intractable neurological and psychiatric illness. What are the risks?

Jonathan Pugh

Lizzie #1. Photo © 2009 KevinHoran.com from the series Chattel

Essay/
Animals and humans
Eating someone

Farmed animals have personalities, smarts, even a sense of agency. Why then do we saddle them with lives of utter despair?

Lori Marino

Photo by Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg via Getty

Essay/
Illness and disease
Chronic

For big pharma, the perfect patient is wealthy, permanently ill and a daily pill-popper. Will medicine ever recover?

Clayton Dalton

The Provincial Training School in Red Deer, Alberta, opened in October 1923 and was designated to be a residential institution for the training of people deemed ‘mentally defective’. Photo courtesy eugencisarchove.ca

Essay/
Bioethics
Eugenics never went away

Thought eugenics died with the Nazis? Think again: the eugenic programme of sterilising the ‘unfit’ continues even today

Robert A Wilson

Cris Cristofaro holds his dog Dino as his beloved pet is sedated during an in-home euthanasia on 9 May 2012 in New York City. Photo by John Moore/Getty

Essay/
Ageing and death
Die like a dog

Pet dogs often have a peaceful death that forestalls protracted suffering and pain. Why can’t we do the same for humans?

Joseph Pierre

Deer roadkill on the highway in Texas. Photo by Bob Anderson/Getty
Essay/
The environment
Snarge

Our insatiable desire for acceleration exacts a mortal toll on the animal world. It’s time for humans to slow right down

Gary Kroll

A Sister of Charity at the New York Foundling Hospital in 1943. Photo by Nina Leen/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty

Essay/
Anthropology
Infanticide

There is nothing so horrific as child murder, yet it’s ubiquitous in human history. What drives a parent to kill a baby?

Sandra Newman

Limousin sow, Dordogne de Neuvialle (two years old), and her piglet. Photo by Yann Arthus-Bertrand/Getty
Essay/
Bioethics
The pig on your plate

That pigs are smart and sensitive is not in doubt. How can we justify continuing to kill them for food?

Barbara J King

Jessica Thalia Cruz Menezes, who is eight months pregnant, at home in Recife, Brazil, 13 March 2016. The Zika virus has been rampant in the Recife region. Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post/Getty

Essay/
Bioethics
Which lives matter most?

Thinking about children who are not yet born confronts us with the question of our ethical obligations to future people

Dominic Wilkinson & Keyur Doolabh

Photo by shaunl/Getty Images

Essay/
Bioethics
Intersex rights

Children born with in-between sex development are subject to surgeries that many believe violate their human rights

Alice Dreger