Health care in the United States is a big problem for the poor — not only because they often can’t afford it. Sometimes it just isn’t there. This is especially true in rural areas, which have a hard time attracting doctors. In rural Alabama, a Catholic nun has found a calling as a doctor, one of only three serving 14,000 people. More
Many scientists say the most promise for curing various diseases is to clone human embryos to cure the sick. Therapeutic cloning is sharply controversial because it destroys the original human embryo. Reverend William Abernethy suffers from Parkinson's disease and is one of the many hoping to receive medical help through the therapeutic cloning process.
“There are a lot of medicines out there that have never been tested on children so it leaves the doctors high and dry in a legal quagmire, using them without FDA approval because they have evidence above 12, above 18, but not for younger children,” says pediatrician and researcher Dr. Richard Schwartz. More
Should a pastor offer people any counseling on sex other than to maintain abstinence outside of marriage? Does saying anything about safe sex seem to condone behavior the Bible forbids? It’s a real issue in the deep South, especially in black churches, and especially regarding women. More
When a person has a religious experience, what happens within the brain? What kind of changes take place? In one experiment, brain scans examine the parts of the brain that are activated during prayer. In another, mystical and religious experiences are simulated by using bursts of electrical impulses. These experiments have created no small amount of controversy. More
A new report from the Institute of Medicine, which advises the government on health policy, calls on the U.S. to do far more than is now being done to relieve the suffering of dying children and their families. Doctors and families face a dilemma in trying to choose between painful treatment that is unlikely to work and palliative care to make possible a so-called “good death.” More
Researches are hopeful that mapping the human genome will lead to a revolution in biomedicine, but scientists and ethicists worry about the moral questions the new knowledge could raise.
To keep up with the skyrocketing demand for life-saving organ donations, Pennsylvania officials are trying an innovative and controversial program to offer financial incentives to organ donors. But it has already raised several ethical concerns about what could happen once money is attached to something that’s always been an altruistic act. More