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Medical Ethics
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TEDTalks [electronic resource]: Alice Dreger, Is Anatomy Destiny?

Is the line between being male and being female blurrier than we think? What are we to make of the fact that humans differ from chimpanzees by only a few nucleotides? At what point do we decide a fetus has "the right to life," and that someone existing on life-sustaining technology has the right to die? In this TEDTalk Dr. Alice Dreger questions the categories that are often used to define individuals - with an emphasis on intersexuality - and considers how those definitions play out in terms of civil and social rights. Dreger is a professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University in Chicago.

TEDTalks [electronic resource]: Dave deBronkart, Meet e-Patient Dave

When Dave deBronkart learned he had a rare and possibly terminal cancer, he turned to a group of fellow patients online, and found the medical treatment that saved his life. In this TEDTalk, deBronkart calls on all patients to talk with one another, be familiar with their own health data, and improve medical care better one e-patient at a time. deBronkart is now actively engaged in opening health care information directly to patients on an unprecedented level, thus creating a new dynamic in how such information is delivered, accessed, and used by those who need it most.

Toddlers Through Teens [electronic resource]: Age-Specific Care

With each passing month and year, a child's health care needs get more and more complex. But it is possible to address them using close observation, sensitivity, and a proactive approach. This program guides beginning health care workers through the factors involved in toddler, child, and teen medical care. In addition to overviews of how children learn boundaries, develop autonomy, and form relationships, the video encourages trainees to build a knowledge base in the following topics: motor skills, car seat use and safety, potty training, muscle development, socializing, attention span, and participation in school activities. Dealing with teen issues such as privacy, self-consciousness, peer pressure, puberty, sexuality, and substance abuse is included.

Sports Junkies: Series 3 [electronic resource]

In this episode, Dr. John Marsden tests claims that caffeine improves stamina by about five percent and asks why it is not on the banned list for the Athens Olympics. Dr. Marsden also meets people with different attitudes about the use of drugs and supplements in competitive sports. For example, Chris has been taking steroids to help build his muscles for so long that he's seen both the good and bad effects. A hockey team experiments to see if creatine can produce an athlete's body without hard work. Mark Richardson, 400-meter sprinter and Olympic silver medalist, tells how he convinced the sport's authorities that his positive test result for the banned steroid nandrolone came from dietary supplements.

Subtle Boundary Dilemmas [electronic resource]: Ethical Decision Making for Helping Professionals

Dramatic scenarios trigger discussion about ethical issues encountered by professionals. The scenarios help professionals focus on the context of situations that determine boundaries, set limits, and provide approaches to ethical decision making.

Choosing Children [electronic resource]: Selection - a Child Against All Odds

This first episode explores genetic selection, IVF medicine's most advanced technology. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD, lets scientists read the genetic makeup of a tiny embryo, allowing people to choose if it should be given a chance at life. PGD is a contentious technology heavily regulated in the UK; it is sometimes accused of creating "designer babies" and, in the case of sex selection, is likely to be the focus of legislation to ban it. The technology was invented by Professor Robert Winston, and, in this program, he meets people using it in ways he never intended.

Ice Babies [electronic resource]

Freezing embryos gives people a chance to have children even though they may be faced with a catastrophic illness. This episode introduces Hilary Spanswick, who is in fear for her life because of breast cancer, which signals the end of her hopes of motherhood. There's one option: freezing embryos. It's a risk, as the fertility drugs could encourage her cancer. If it works, it will be her only chance of having a baby. Frozen embryos, however, can lead to problems. Natallie Evans, for example, froze six embryos with her partner, but when they split up, he demanded that the embryos be destroyed. Professor Robert Winston meets Natallie to explore the question of who should own the ice babies.

Make Me a Dad [electronic resource]

Some of the most exciting treatments that IVF medicine has developed are designed to help the one in ten British men who suffer fertility problems. This episode introduces an advanced form of IVF called intracytoplasmic sperm injection, which might allow fertility specialists to create a baby using sluggish sperm that wouldn't stand a chance during natural conception, or even in conventional IVF. Cystic fibrosis, the most common genetic illness in the U.K., eliminates sperm from ejaculate. However, thanks to an incredible operation called surgical sperm removal, it's now possible to take sperm from the testes. It's a painful and invasive operation, but it in some cases it may be the only hope of producing a genetic child.

Cheating Time [electronic resource]

The age and quality of a woman's eggs plays the most important role in determining her chances of having a baby. This episode features 41-year-old Suzanne, a happily married woman desperate to start a family. She is pinning her hopes on an IVF technique called assisted hatching, which she hopes will help her aging eggs give her the baby she longs for. The program also asks how old is too old to become a mother. Professor Robert Winston travels to Romania for an extraordinary encounter with the world's oldest mother, 68-year-old Adriana Illiescu, and her two-year-old child.

The Gift of Life [electronic resource]

In this episode, Bonny, who has been infertile for 17 years, pins her hopes for a baby on a pioneering treatment: the transplantation of someone else's working ovary into her own body. The donor can only be her identical twin, Crystal. If the operation is successful, it will pose a difficult question: will any resulting children be Bonny's, or Crystal's? Until 2005, eggs or sperm could be donated anonymously, so donor-conceived children could never trace their biological parents. Professor Robert Winston asks a man born from donated sperm how it feels to know that he will never find his father, and the encounter leads to a moving revelation about Winston's own childhood.

The Doctor Who Makes People Walk Again [electronic resource]

In 2005, thousands of people from all over the western world made a medical pilgrimage to a remote hospital in China, where Dr. Huang Hongyun claims to be able to restore human functions that other doctors said were lost forever. His procedure is arguably the most controversial and pioneering on the planet: the injection of olfactory cells taken from aborted fetuses into the patients' brains or spines. This powerful documentary tells the story of one such British patient and his family as they embark on an extraordinary journey into the unknown.

Lessons in Compassion [electronic resource]: Teaching Bedside Manner

In a dehumanizing era of managed care and healthcare delivery systems, the demand for a warm and caring bedside manner has grown sharply. In response, Harvard Medical School developed a course called Living with Life-Threatening Illnesses that is devoted to training future doctors to be more compassionate by pairing each participant with a uniquely qualified teacher: a patient with a potentially fatal condition. This ABC News program focuses on the poignant partnership between a 63-year-old man with lung cancer and a first-year medical student. In coping with the emotional issues surrounding his cancer, they learn volumes about each other-and themselves.
2009; 2001

Desperate Business [electronic resource]: Human Organs for Sale

For someone in desperate need of a kidney transplant, a willing donor holds the key to life. And for someone desperately poor, the opportunity to sell one of their kidneys could mean their family's survival. Though such transactions are illegal, many people, including some doctors and medical professionals, feel that they are justified. In this ABC News program, correspondent Gillian Findlay tracks the ghoulish trade from Israel through Turkey to Moldova. Interviews with patients, doctors, and donors reveal a covert world of desperation and greed. The report also raises the question: do people really want a world in which the sale of human organs is legal?
2009; 2002

Who Gets to Know? [electronic resource]: Genetics and Privacy

When it comes to genetic testing, how much should a patient be told? If the news is bad, who else should the patient inform? And could-or should-such privileged information be made available to employers, insurance companies, and others? This Fred Friendly Seminar moderated by Harvard Law School's Arthur Miller offers a compelling discourse on the far-reaching ethical, social, legal, and economic implications of genetic testing. Panelists include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer; Nancy Wexler, president of the Hereditary Disease Foundation; Cynthia McFadden, ABC News senior legal correspondent; Nadine Strossen, president of the ACLU; and Representative Louise McIntosh Slaughter (D-NY), sponsor of the Genetic Non-discrimination in Health Insurance and Employment Act.
2006; 2003

Making Better Babies [electronic resource]: Genetics and Reproduction

How far should people be allowed to go in trying to have better babies? And whose definition of "better" should prevail? This Fred Friendly Seminar moderated by Dateline NBC correspondent John Hockenberry considers the ethical dilemmas facing individuals and society that grow out of prenatal testing and genetic options that may be available in the future - such as cloning. Panelists include Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute; ABC journalist Meredith Vieira; Princeton University's Lee Silver, author of Remaking Eden: How Genetic Engineering and Cloning Will Transform the American Family; Commissioner Paul Miller of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; Adrienne Asch, Henry R. Luce Professor in Biology, Ethics, and the Politics of Huma [...]
2006; 2003

Genes on Trial [electronic resource]: Genetics, Behavior, and the Law

Could genetic research stigmatize people who carry a "bad" gene? Could their behavior actually be determined by that gene? If so, then just how free is free will? Moderated by Harvard Law School's Charles Ogletree, this Fred Friendly Seminar scrutinizes social, ethical, and legal issues involving genetic research into undesirable traits such as addiction to alcohol by exploring the relationship between the genetic basis for addiction and the limits of personal responsibility. Panelists include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer; journalist Gwen Ifill, managing editor of Washington Week in Review; high-profile attorney Johnnie Cochran, Jr.; Alan McGowan, president of The Gene Media Forum; Patricia King, Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law, Medicine, Ethics, and Public Policy at [...]
2006; 2003

Rebuilding the Brain [electronic resource]: Adult Brain Stem Cells

The ethical debate over embryonic stem cell use may have been rendered moot by pioneering research being conducted at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Australia, where Dr. Perry Bartlett and his team have isolated stem cells within the human brain. In this program, Dr. Bartlett discusses in detail the different types of stem cells, what research is being done with them, and how their use will have a future benefit in rebuilding neural tissue and restoring brain function in people with impact injuries, strokes, tumors, or brain disease. The program makes a good primer for understanding these promising but controversial cells.
2006; 2002

Xenotransplantation [electronic resource]: International Debate

A gripping plea for public debate, this program offers a dynamic cross-section of views on xenotransplantation and the ethical questions it is raising. Bioethicists, researchers, academics, medical professionals, and others from institutions and companies such as Harvard Medical School, the University of Oxford, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PPL Therapeutics, and Immerge BioTherapeutics shed light on a number of pivotal issues. Among them are the safety of animal-to-human transplants, transgenic manipulation to prevent hyperacute rejection, the societal need for biosecurity versus the personal right to privacy, and the ramifications of cross-species modification. A concise history of allotransplantation is also included.
2006; 2002

Living Donor Organ Transplants [electronic resource]

For patients in need of an organ, the wait, not the surgery, is often the more life-threatening factor. After a concise overview of cadaveric organ transplants, this program shifts its focus to living donor organ transplants. Three liver transplant case studies-young mother to baby daughter, adult daughter to elderly mother, and adult son to elderly father-spotlight pioneering surgeon Nancy Ascher and other transplant specialists in action. Close-ups of actual surgery provide a fascinating look at the procedure that is revolutionizing the science of organ transplantation. The use of immunosuppressants to curb organ rejection is also addressed.
2005; 2001

Newshour Medical Ethics and Issues Anthology [electronic resource]

A respected source of balanced, first-rate journalism, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer raises urgent and challenging questions whenever it covers the healthcare field. This anthology of NewsHour segments confronts ethical dilemmas and complex issues in medicine today. Through in-depth reporting and interviews with doctors, nurses, patients, and other experts, the anthology examines case studies, scientific breakthroughs, and connections between corporate and public policy.