Ethics Articles & Resources


Reckoning with Anti-Black Racism in Bioethics

December 21, 2021: "The field of bioethics has a moral responsibility to respond to the continued racial and health inequities confronting Black, Indigenous, and other people of color. Along with several colleagues, we formed an antiracism task force to interrogate that moral responsibility, assess what bioethics has done so far, explore what bioethics can and should do, and bear witness to the longstanding health and health care injustices, including those exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic...Here, we briefly describe key takeaways from this session, and we encourage readers to listen to the recorded session for more details."

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Should the FDA Have Approved the New Alzheimer’s Drug? Should Patients Take It?

July 23, 2021: A Hastings Conversations Webinar: The Food and Drug Administration’s accelerated approval of a new Alzheimer’s drug has created a firestorm of praise and outrage. Dissenters include the FDA’s own advisory committee members, who in November 2020 unanimously recommended against approving the drug, Aduhelm, because it showed no convincing evidence of efficacy, leading three committee members to resign in protest after the approval. Numerous scientists, clinicians, bioethicists, and policymakers have serious concerns about the drug’s efficacy, its side effects, and possible negative social, scientific and financial consequences of its approval. The Alzheimer’s Association hailed it as “a new era in Alzheimer’s treatment and research.”

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The Great Leap Backward (The Hastings Center)

July 21, 2021: The government and many residents of the state of Texas like to brag about their love of personal freedom and individual choice. That is why it is so strange and morally repugnant that the state has turned for guidance on how to manage reproductive decisions to the Chinese Communist Party of the Mao Zedong era. (A Bioethics Forum Essay by Arthur Caplan, PhD)

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Dr. Mildred Solomon on Disability Rights and Bioethics

March 18, 2021: INCLUDED The Disability Equity Podcast

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Filing Suit for 'Wrongful Life'

January 22, 2021: The New York Times

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Coronavirus Mutation Panic

December 22, 2020: The Hastings Center


Black Women Can’t Breathe

September 17, 2020: The Hastings Center


Fair Compensation for Rare Vaccine Harms

September 9, 2020: The Hastings Center


The Way We Ration Ventilators Is Biased

April 15, 2020: The New York Times


On Being an Elder in a Pandemic

April 13, 2020: The Hastings Center


The Price of Going Back to Work Too Soon

April 6, 2020: The Hastings Center


Triage Is the Moral Choice in an Emergency

April 1, 2020: Wall Street Journal


It’s Time to Talk About Death

March 27, 2020: The New York Times


When Doctors Help a Patient Die

May 13, 2015: The New York Times


Overruling My Father

April 8, 2015: The New York Times


Cost of Treatment May Influence Doctors

April 17, 2014: The New York Times


When Doctors Need to Lie

February 22, 2014: The New York Times Sunday Review


Ignoring the Science on Mammograms

November 28, 2012: The New York Times


Waste in the Health Care System

September 10, 2012: The New York Times


Overtreatment Is Taking a Harmful Toll

August 27, 2012: The New York Times


Testing What We Think We Know

August 19, 2012: The New York Times


The Trouble with "Doctor Knows Best"

June 4, 2012: The New York Times


Let's (Not) Get Physicals

June 2, 2012: The New York Times


When Less Treatment Is More

March 29, 2012: New York Times


Selected Rural Health Care Ethics Bibliography

General Health Care Ethics

  • American College of Physicians. Ethics manual: 4th ed. Annals of Internal Medicine 1998;128 (7): 576-594.
  • Lo, B. 2008. Resolving Ethical Dilemmas: A Guide for Clinicians. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • Singer PA, Viens AM, eds. The Cambridge Textbook of Bioethics. New York, NY:
    Cambridge University Press; 2008.

Ethics Committees

  • Aulisio, M., R. Arnold, and S. Youngner. Health care ethics consultation: nature, goals, and competencies.” Annals of Internal Medicine 2000;133 (1): 59-69.
  • Post, L., Blustein, J. and N. Dubler. Handbook for Health Care Ethics Committees. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press 2006.

Rural Health Care Ethics

  • Bushy A. When you client lives in a rural area. Part I: rural health care delivery issues. Issues Ment Health Nurs 1994;15:253-66.
  • Cook AF, Hoas H, Joyner JC. No secrets on main street. Am J Nurs 2001;101:67,69-71.
  • Cook AF, Hoas H, Guttmannova K. Bioethics activities in rural hospitals. Camb Q
    Healthc Ethics 2000;9(2):230-238.
  • Cook A, Hoas H. Are healthcare ethics committees necessary in rural hospitals? HEC
    Forum. Jun 1999;11(2):134-139.
  • Cook AF, Hoas H. Where the rubber hits the road: implications for organizational and
    clinical ethics in rural health care settings. HEC Forum 2000;12(4):331-340.
  • Cook AF,Hoas H. Voices from the margins: a context for developing bioethics-related
    resources in rural areas. Am J Bioeth 2001;1(4), W12.
  • Cook A F, Hoas H. Re-framing the question: what do we really want to know about rural
    healthcare ethics? Am J Bioeth 2006;6(2):51-53.
  • Cook AF, Hoas H. Ethics and rural healthcare: what really happens? What might help?
    Am J Bioeth. Apr 2008;8(4):52-56.
  • Klugman CM, Dalinis PM, eds. Ethical Issues in Rural Health Care. Baltimore, MD:
    Johns Hopkins University Press; 2008.
  • Nelson WA. Addressing rural ethics issues. The characteristics of rural health care settings pose unique ethical challenges. Healthc Exec 2004;19:36-7.
  • Nelson WA. Ethics programs in small rural hospitals. Ethics committees are essential all healthcare facilities, not just large ones. Healthc Exec. 2007;22(6):30, 32-33.
  • Nelson W, Pomerantz A, Howard K, Bushy A. A proposed rural healthcare ethics agenda. J Med Ethics. 2007;33(3):136-139.
  • Nelson WA, Schmidek JM. Rural healthcare ethics. In: Singer PA, Viens AM, (eds). The Cambridge textbook of bioethics. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press; 2008:289-298.
  • Nelson WA. Rural health care ethics: an overview. In Klugman C, (ed). Rural Ethics Reader. Baltimore: The Hopkins Press. 2008.
  • Nelson WA, (ed). Handbook for Rural Health Care Ethics: A Practical Guide for
    Professionals. Hanover, NH: Dartmouth College; 2009 (
  • Nelson WA, Greene MA, West, A. Rural health care ethics: no longer the forgotten
    quarter. Camb Q Healthc Ethics 2010;19(4):510-517.
  • Purtilo RB, Sorrell J. The ethical dilemmas of a rural phycisian. Hastings Cent Rep
  • Purtilo RB. Rural health care: the forgotten quarter of medical ethics. Second Opin
  • Rurtilo RB. The ethical life of rural health care professionals In: Nelson WA, ed.
    Handbook for Rural Health Care Ethics: A Practical Guide For Professionals. Lebanon,
    NH: University Press of New England; 43-59.
  • Roberts LW, Battaglia J, Epstein RS. Frontier ethics: mental health care needs and ethical dilemmas in rural communities. Psychiatr Serv 1999;50:497-503.
  • Roberts LW, Battaglia J, Smithpeter M, et al. An office on main street: health care dilemmas in small communities. Hastings Cent Rep 1999;29:28-37.