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Gaps (and Gasps!) in Medical-Ethical Reasoning: From Ethical Theory to Medical Practice

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Air date: Thursday, October 29, 2009, 2:30:00 PM
Time displayed is Eastern Time, Washington DC Local
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Category: Medicine: Mind the Gap
Runtime: 01:27:33
Description: Good healthcare practice and policy cannot be developed on the basis of scientific evidence alone. Also essential are value-laden or “moral” judgments which, for example, prioritize some endpoints over others (e.g., quality of life over quantity of life), and sanction some means of achieving those endpoints but prohibit others (e.g., Is informed consent always necessary? May harm be caused to some in order to prevent greater harm to others?).

This presentation will first demonstrate how the methods that contemporary ethical theorists use to develop, test and apply moral judgments are similar to the methods that medical scientists use to develop, test and apply their evidence. It will then examine several flaws, cognitive biases, and under-appreciated distinctions within medical-ethical reasoning (each of which has a sibling in scientific reasoning) that give rise to gaps between ethical theory and medical practice. Throughout the discussion, preference will be given to medical-ethical issues involving the prevention of harm, including cancer prevention, public health, and pandemic planning.

About Heidi Malm, Ph.D.

Heidi Malm is Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University Chicago. Her areas of specialization include ethical theory, bioethics and the philosophy of law. Her academic research focuses on ethical issues involving autonomy and the prevention of harm, with a current focus on issues within the field of preventive medicine and law. She has published on the topics of killing vs. letting die, legal paternalism, medical screening, bad Samaritan laws and the duty to aid, consent and the law on rape, and surrogate motherhood, and her articles have appeared in a variety of high-profile journals including Ethics, The Hastings Center Report, Law and Philosophy, American Journal of Bioethics and Philosophy & Public Affairs. A recent article Dr. Malm co-authored, Ethics, Pandemics, and the Duty to Treat, appeared in the American Journal of Bioethics (2008), received much fanfare and is frequently cited. The article addresses the very timely topic of the healthcare workers' duty to treat in times of pandemics; matters of interest to academicians and practitioners in medicine, law, philosophy, public health, and government.

Dr. Malm also works on issues related to ethics and preventive medicine, in particular, ethical issues related to medical screening for diseases such as cancer, as well as the furthering of evidence-based medicine. She has served as the bioethicist on several committees for the National Institutes of Health and has been an invited speaker at numerous schools of medicine and public health, including Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Northwestern.

Medicine: Mind the Gap
Bridging the Gap Between Evidence and Practice
An NIH Seminar Series

Bridging the gap between evidence and practice
The Medicine: Mind the Gap series will explore a wide range of issues at the intersection of research, evidence, and clinical practice—especially areas in which conventional wisdom may lead us astray. From the role of advocacy organizations in medical research and policy, to off-label drug use, to the effectiveness of continuing medical education, the seminar series will aim to engage the NIH community in thought-provoking discussions to challenge what we think we know and to think critically about our role in today’s research environment.

Presented by the NIH Consensus Development Program
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NLM Title: Gaps (and gasps!) in medical-ethical reasoning : from ethical theory to medical practice [electronic resource] / Heidi Malm.
Author: Malm, Heidi.
National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
Publisher:
Abstract: (CIT): Good healthcare practice and policy cannot be developed on the basis of scientific evidence alone. Also essential are value-laden or "moral" judgments which, for example, prioritize some endpoints over others (e.g., quality of life over quantity of life), and sanction some means of achieving those endpoints but prohibit others (e.g., Is informed consent always necessary? May harm be caused to some in order to prevent greater harm to others?). This presentation will first demonstrate how the methods that contemporary ethical theorists use to develop, test and apply moral judgments are similar to the methods that medical scientists use to develop, test and apply their evidence. It will then examine several flaws, cognitive biases, and under-appreciated distinctions within medical-ethical reasoning (each of which has a sibling in scientific reasoning) that give rise to gaps between ethical theory and medical practice. Throughout the discussion, preference will be given to medical-ethical issues involving the prevention of harm, including cancer prevention, public health, and pandemic planning. About Heidi Malm, Ph.D. Heidi Malm is Professor of Philosophy at Loyola University Chicago. Her areas of specialization include ethical theory, bioethics and the philosophy of law. Her academic research focuses on ethical issues involving autonomy and the prevention of harm, with a current focus on issues within the field of preventive medicine and law. She has published on the topics of killing vs. letting die, legal paternalism, medical screening, bad Samaritan laws and the duty to aid, consent and the law on rape, and surrogate motherhood, and her articles have appeared in a variety of high-profile journals including Ethics, The Hastings Center Report, Law and Philosophy, American Journal of Bioethics and Philosophy & Public Affairs. A recent article Dr. Malm co-authored, Ethics, Pandemics, and the Duty to Treat, appeared in the American Journal of Bioethics (2008), received much fanfare and is frequently cited. The article addresses the very timely topic of the healthcare workers' duty to treat in times of pandemics; matters of interest to academicians and practitioners in medicine, law, philosophy, public health, and government. Dr. Malm also works on issues related to ethics and preventive medicine, in particular, ethical issues related to medical screening for diseases such as cancer, as well as the furthering of evidence-based medicine. She has served as the bioethicist on several committees for the National Institutes of Health and has been an invited speaker at numerous schools of medicine and public health, including Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Northwestern. Medicine: Mind the Gap Bridging the Gap Between Evidence and Practice An NIH Seminar Series Bridging the gap between evidence and practice The Medicine: Mind the Gap series will explore a wide range of issues at the intersection of research, evidence, and clinical practice--especially areas in which conventional wisdom may lead us astray. From the role of advocacy organizations in medical research and policy, to off-label drug use, to the effectiveness of continuing medical education, the seminar series will aim to engage the NIH community in thought-provoking discussions to challenge what we think we know and to think critically about our role in today"s research environment. Presented by the NIH Consensus Development Program.
Subjects: Ethical Theory
Ethics, Medical
Publication Types: Lectures
Webcasts
Download: To download this event, select one of the available bitrates:
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NLM Classification: W 50
NLM ID: 101519011
CIT Live ID: 7675
Permanent link: http://videocast.nih.gov/launch.asp?15402

 

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