Medical Ethics 2020 - Resources

Ethical Challenges of Emerging and Established Medical Technologies

Annual Medical Ethics Conference – 2020

The following resources are made available to conference / course participants who wish to pursue topics further or who were not able to attend all the sessions of interest.  Note that these resources are made available in connection with this continuing education course and for personal use only. All copyright restrictions apply.

Frankenswine and the Suffering Un-dead:  A Bioethical Look at Restoring Function in Post-mortem Pig Brains     
Stephen R. Latham, JD, PhD
Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics
Yale University


  1. Farahany NA, Greely HT, Giattino CM.  (2019).  Part-Revived Pig Brains Raise Ethical QuandariesNature, 568, 299-302.
  2. Shaer M.  (2019, July 2).  Scientists Are Giving Dead Brains New Life – What Could Go Wrong?  The New York Times Magazine, retrieved on-line.
  3. Greely HT, Grady C, Ramos KM, et al.  (2018).  Neuroethics Guiding Principles for the NIH BRAIN InitiativeThe Journal of Neuroscience, 38(50), 10568-10588.  DOI:  10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2077-18.2018

Ethics and Artificial Intelligence in Medicine: Beyond the Hype
Alex John London, PhD
Clara L. West Professor of Ethics and Philosophy
Director of the Center for Ethics and Policy
Carnegie Mellon University


  1. London AJ.  (2019).  Artificial Intelligence and Black-Box Medical Decisions: Accuracy versus ExplainabilityHastings Center Report, 49(1), 15-21.   DOI:  10.1002/hast.973.
  2. London AJ.  (2018).  Groundhog Day for Medical Artificial IntelligenceThe Hastings Center Report, 48(3), inside back cover.  DOI: 10.1002/hast.842.

Dilemmas and Disparities: Dialysis Decision-making Among Seriously Ill Patients with Kidney Disease
Nwamaka D. Eneanya, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology
University of Pennsylvania


  1. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.  (2019, July 10).  HHS Launches President Trump’s ‘Advancing American Kidney Health’ Initiative, retrieved on-line.
  2. Kolata G.  (2019, December 11).  More Americans Are Dying at Home Than in HospitalsThe New York Times, retrieved on-line.
  3. Wong SPY, McFarland LV, Liu C, et al.  (2019).  Care Practices for Patients with Advanced Kidney Disease Who Forgo Maintenance DialysisJAMA Internal Medicine, 179(3), 305-313.  DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.6197.

Electronic Health Records: Ethical Perspectives from Primary Care
Jonathan Arnold, MD, MSE, MS
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine
University of Pittsburgh


  1. Moerenhout T, Fischer GS, Saelaert M, et al.  (2020).  Primary Care Physicians’ Perspectives on the Ethical Impact of the Electronic Medical Record.  Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 33(1), 106-117.   DOI: 10.3122/jabfm.2020.01.190154.
  2. Moerenhout T, Fischer GS, Devisch I.  (2019, September 17).  The Elephant in the Room: A Postphenomenological View on the Electronic Health Record and its Impact on the Clinical Encounter.  Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy, e-published.  DOI: 10.1007/s11019-019-09923-5.
  3. Gawande A.  (2018, November 12).  Why Doctors Hate Their Computers.  The New Yorker, retrieved on-line.

Personalized Medicine in Cancer Care: Benefits, Burdens, and Ethical Implications
Marci Lee Nilsen, PhD, RN
Assistant Professor
Department of Acute and Tertiary Care, School of Nursing
Department of Otolaryngology, School of Medicine
University of Pittsburgh


  1. Cramer JD, Burtness B, Ferris RL.  (2019).  Immunotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer: Recent Advances and Future Directions. Oral Oncology, 99, retrieved on-line.   DOI: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2019.104460.
  2. Cohen EEW, LaMonte SJ, Erb NL, et al.  (2016).  American Cancer Society Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Care Guideline. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 66, 203-239.  DOI: 10.3322/caac.21343.
  3. El-Alti L, Sandman L, Munthe C.  (2019).  Person Centered Care and Personalized Medicine: Irreconcilable Opposites or Potential Companions?  Health Care Analysis, 27, 45–59.  DOI: 10.1007/s10728-017-0347-5.

Prediction and Prudence: Ethical Issues in Predicting Surgical Outcomes to Inform Decision Making
Daniel E. Hall, MD, MDiv, MHSc, FACS
Associate Professor of Surgery, Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine
University of Pittsburgh


  1. Hall DE, Arya S, Schmid KK, et al.  (2016, November 30).  Association of Frailty Screening Initiative with Postoperative Survival at 30, 180, and 365 DaysJAMA Surgery, retrieved on-line.   DOI: 10.100/jamasurg.2016.4219.
  2. Shinall MC, Arya S, Youk A, et al. (2019, November 13).  Association of Preoperative Patient Frailty and Operative Stress with Postoperative MortalityJAMA Surgery, retrieved on-line.   DOI: 10.100/jamasurg.2019.4620.
  3. Feinstein AR. (2003).  Appraising the Success of Caring. In L. Cluff & R. Binstock (Eds.), The Lost Art of Caring: A Challenge to Health Professionals, Families, Communities, and Society (pp. 201–18). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
  4. Haas DA, Makhni EC, Schwab JH, Halamka JD.  (2019, November 13).  3 Myths About Machine Learning in Health Care.  Harvard Business Review.

Social Media, Privacy, and Suicide Prevention
Jamie Zelazny, PhD, MPH, RN**
Assistant Professor of Nursing and Psychiatry
School of Nursing, Health and Community Systems


  1. Coppersmith G, Leary R, Crutchley P, Fine A.  (2018).  Natural Language Processing of Social Media as Screening for Suicide RiskBiomedical Informatics Insights, 10, 1-11.  DOI: 10.1177/11782226187292860.
  2. Fisher CE, Applebaum PS.  (2017).  Beyond Googling: The Ethics of Using Patients’ Electronic Footprints in Psychiatric PracticeHarvard Review of Psychiatry, 25(4), 170-179.   DOI: 10.1097/HRP.0000000000000145.

Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant (HSCT) in Sickle Cell Disease: Patients’ and Providers’ Ethical Concerns
Laura M. De Castro, MD, MHSc
Associate Professor of Medicine
Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Oncology
University of Pittsburgh


  1. Nickel RS, Kamani NR.  (2017).  Ethical Challenges in Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation for Sickle Cell DiseaseAmerican Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, 24, 219-227.  DOI: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2017.08.034.
  2. Nickel RS, Hendrickson JE, Haight AE.  (2014).  The Ethics of a Proposed Study of Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant for Children with “Less Severe” Sickle Cell DiseaseBlood, 124(6), 861-866.   DOI: 10.1182/blood-2014-05-575209.
  3. Leonard A, Tisdale J, Abraham A.  (2020).  Curative Options for Sickle Cell Disease: Haploidentical Stem Cell Transplantation or Gene Therapy?  British Journal of Hematology, retrieved on-line.   DOI: 10.1111/bjh.16437.

The Clinical Ethics Implications of Care Robots
Valarie Blake, JD, MA
Associate Professor of Law
West Virginia University


  1. Foster, M.  (2018, March 27).   Aging Japan: Robots May Have Role in Future of Elder CareReuters, retrieved on-line.
  2. Sharkey A, Sharkey N.  (2012).  Granny and the Robots: Ethical Issues in Robot Care for the ElderlyEthics and Information Technology, 14, 27-40.  DOI:  10.1007/s10676-010-9234-6.

The Future Imperfect: Machine Learning and Ethical Issues in the Prediction of Violence
Jack Rozel, MD, MSL
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Adjunct Professor of Law
University of Pittsburgh


  1. Berk RA, Sorenson SB.  (2019).   Algorithmic Approach to Forecasting Rare Violent Events. Criminology & Public Policy, 19, 213-233.
  2. Gerke S, Yeung S, Cohen IG.  (2020).   Ethical and Legal Aspects of Ambient Intelligence in Hospitals. JAMA, 323(7), 601–602.  DOI:  10.1001/jama.2019.21699.
  3. Lin Z, Jung J, Goel S. Skeem J.  (2020).  The Limits of Human Predictions of Recidivism.  Science Advances, 6, published on-line.  DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz0652.

The Perils and Promise of the “Right to Try” Unproven Medical Treatments
Greer Donley, JD
Assistant Professor of Law
University of Pittsburgh


  1. Zettler PJ, Greely HT.  (2014).  The Strange Allure of State “Right-to-Try” Laws.  JAMA Internal Medicine, 174(12), 1885–1886.  DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.5767.
  2. Sterman J, Brauer A.  (2019, July 1).  Right to Try was Supposed to Help Terminal Patients. Here's why experts say it didn't workSinclair Broadcast Group, retrieved on-line.
  3. Pope, TM.  (2018, August 10).  Why Oncologists Should Decline to Participate in the Right to Try ActThe ASCO Post, retrieved on-line.

Precision Medicine: What’s in It for All of Us? What are the Ethical Challenges?
Michael J. Deem, PhD
Assistant Professor
School of Nursing and
Center for Healthcare Ethics
Duquesne University


  1. Gyngell C, Newson AJ, Wilkinson D, et al.  (2018).  Rapid Challenges: Ethics and Genomic Neonatal Intensive Care. Pediatrics, 19 (Suppl 1), 143, S14-S21.   DOI: 10.1542/peds.2018-1099D.
  2. Garrett JR, Lantos JD, Biesecker LG, et al.  (2019).  Rethinking the “Open Future” Argument Against Predictive Genetic Testing of ChildrenGenetics in Medicine, 21(10), 2190-2198.  DOI: 10.1038/s41436-019-0483-4.
  3. Parker LS.  (2020).  Ethical Issues in Precision Medicine.  (unpublished manuscript)
  4. Tabor HK, Stock J, Brazg T, et al.  (2012).  Informed Consent for Whole Genome Sequencing: A Qualitative Analysis of Participant Expectations and Perceptions of Risks, Benefits, and HarmsAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics, Part A, 158A, 1310-1319.