A Forgotten Crown of Glory: The Elderly and COVID-19

The nursing home where I worked this past summer was fortunate. The long-term care facility shielded its residents from the chaos of the pandemic unfolding outside and managed to avoid any positive COVID-19 cases among its residents and staff for the summer. Of course, this came at a cost. Visitors were barred, activities were canceled, and residents were largely made to stay in their rooms. Even though residents received the same medical care as before—physicians still inspected wounds and nurses continued to pass medications—their mental health and overall wellbeing noticeably diminished. No longer able to enjoy bingo or attend religious services, they sat in their rooms watching TV, becoming more confused by the day.

Other nursing homes have encountered greater medically-related difficulties. By October of 2020, nearly 50% of COVID-19 deaths occur in nursing homes, with Britain losing approximately 5% of its nursing home population to the virus. During those early months of the pandemic in the US, residents and employees of nursing homes accounted for 35% of COVID deaths in the country.  The elderly in general were afflicted by the disease at a disproportionate rate, and this knowledge caused many to shelter in their homes uncertain about when they might be able to leave.

Climate Change Related Health Hazards and the Academic Responsibility of Evangelical Bioethicists

This article will explore the academic responsibility of Evangelical bioethicists to address climate change related health hazards. First, it will provide evidence-based data on climate change related health hazards, which disproportionately affect the poor and vulnerable worldwide, and as such are a form of environmental racism. Second, it will look at responses to climate change. So-called “climate change deniers” in the United States—the majority of which are Evangelical—will be addressed and the argument will be put forth that, regardless of the causes of climate change, climate change bioethics is part of the Christian tradition of healing and justice. Focusing on climate health hazards builds consensus across partisan and denominational lines by addressing the result—not the cause—of climate change. Third, the article will confront the academic responsibility of Evangelical bioethicists in addressing climate change related health hazards using the paradigm of H. Richard Niebuhr’s homo dialectus. It will, fourth, offer public theology and biblical scholarship as ways to engage this matter of moral significance. The conclusion will urge Evangelical bioethicists to develop a framework, such as Evangelical environmental bioethics, to effectively address climate change health hazards.

A New Chapter for Ethics & Medicine

Ethics & Medicine will enter a new era of publication with the next issue, 36:3.
Founded almost four decades ago in Edinburgh, Scotland, by Nigel M. de S. Cameron, the
journal is one of the longest running journals in the field. It has been my honor and
privilege to edit the journal for more than half of its existence. Both Nigel and I have
benefited in innumerable ways from our association with the members of the Editorial
Advisory Board and regular contributors to the journal. For those individuals, and
their enormous contributions, we are most grateful.

The new editor, I am happy to report, is the formidable Michael J. Sleasman,
PhD, Associate Professor of Bioethics and the Director of Bioethics Degree Program
at Trinity Graduate School, Trinity International University in Chicago, Illinois.

Ethics & Medicine: Volume 36:2 Summer 2020

  • Table of Contents
  • “EDITORIAL: A New Chapter for Ethics & Medicine,” by C. Ben Mitchell, PhD [Open Access]
  • “GRAY MATTERS: The Ethics of Naming Epidemics” by William P. Cheshire, Jr. MD
  • “CLINICAL ETHICS DILEMMA: Daring to Discharge” by Robert D. Orr, MD, CM and Ferdinand D. Yates Jr., MD, MA (Bioethics)
  • “NaProTechnology : A Medical Embodiment of the Catholic Perspective on an Infertile Couple’s Right to Family Planning” by Sister Renee Mirkes, OSF, PHD
  • “Ethical Considerations for Offering Non-Invasive Prenatal Tests Within a Public Healthcare System : A Rule Utilitarian Perspective” by Jeffrey Yuk-Chiu Yip, RN(HK), MNSC, PGCERT; Zoe Wai-King Tsui, RN(HK), RM(HK), MSC (Healthcare), PGCERT(NICU), PRCC(PICU)
  • “Overlooked Costs of Legalizing Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia” by Arthur J. Dyck, PhD

Ethics & Medicine: Volume 36:1 Spring 2020

  • Table of Contents
  • “EDITORIAL: Medicine: Contract or Covenant?” by C. Ben Mitchell, PhD
  • “GUEST COMMENTARY: “The Dignity of Human Life: Sketching Out an ‘Equal Worth’ Approach,” by Helen Watt, PhD
  • “POLICY ANALYSIS: “‘Complex Family Planning’ and the Assault on Conscience,” by Patrick Marmion, MD, MPH, FACPM
  • “GREY MATTERS: Cerebral Organoids and the Threshold of Consciousness,” by William P. Cheshire, Jr., MD
  • “CLINICAL ETHICS DILEMMA: Daring to Deploy a DNA Directive, ” by Robert D. Orr, MD, CM, and Ferdinand D. Yates Jr., MD, MA (Bioethics)
  • “The Pain Principle: An Ethical Approach to End-of-Life Decisions,” by Carlo V. Bellieni, MD
  • “Clinical Science after Flexner’s 1910 Report on Medical Education: A Research Ethos Inhabited by Racial Prejudice, Colonial Attitudes, and Eugenic Theory,” by Gregory W. Rutecki, MD

Ethics & Medicine: Volume 35:3 Fall 2019

  • Table of Contents
  • “EDITORIAL: When Self Determination Runs Amok” by C. Ben Mitchell, PhD
  • “GREY MATTERS: Lifting the Impenetrable Veil: Ethical Implications of Neural Vision Decoding,” by William P. Cheshire, Jr., MD
  • “CLINICAL ETHICS DILEMMA: The Art of Informed Consent, ” by Jay Hollman, MD, MA, and Ferdinand D. Yates Jr., MD, MA
  • “Professional Objections and Healthcare: More than a Case of Conscience,” by Michael Pruski, PhD, MA, AFHEA, MRSB
  • “Social Freezing: Analysis of an Ethical Dilemma,” by Justo Aznar, MD, PhD, and Julio Tudela Cuenca, Pharm, PhD
  • “Addiction as Degradation of Life,” by Ondřej Beran, PhD

Ethics & Medicine: Volume 35:2 Summer 2019

  • Table of Contents
  • “EDITORIAL: The Promise of Palliation” by C. Ben Mitchell, PhD
  • “GREY MATTERS: Machine Intelligence as Interpreter: Ethical Implications of Neural Speech Decoding,” by William P. Cheshire, Jr., MD
  • “CLINICAL ETHICS DILEMMA: Surgery in Those Who Cannot Give Consent, ” by Jay Hollman, MD, MA, and Ferdinand D. Yates Jr., MD, MA
  • “GUEST COMMENTARY: Robots, Jobs, and Leisure: Being Human in the Face of Technological Disruption,” by Jacob Shatzer, MDiv, PhD
  • “GUEST COMMENTARY: Synthetic Human Entities with Embryo-Like Features (SHEEFs) and the Incarnation,” by Todd Daly, PhD
  • “Heart Poisoning: Medicine Unlike Any Other,” by Jacek Hawiger, MD, PhD, MA(Hon), MD(Hon)
  • “Healthcare, Religious Obligations, and Caring for the Poor,” Dennis L. Sansom, PhD

Ethics & Medicine: Volume 35:1 Spring 2019

  • Table of Contents
  • “EDITORIAL: Sound and Fury” by C. Ben Mitchell, PhD
  • “GREY MATTERS: Æquanimitas Perfecta,” by William P. Cheshire, Jr., MD
  • “CLINICAL ETHICS DILEMMA: A Pharmacist’s Dilemma, ” by Jessica A. Ward; Douglas C. Anderson, PharmD; Dennis M. Sullivan, MD, MA;  Ferdinand D. Yates., MD, MA
  • “The Case for Marijuana Prohibition,” by Timothy Hsiao, MA
  • “An Exploration of How Ethics Informs Health Care Practice,” by Michael Concannon, PhD; Warren Gillibrand, PhD; Pat Jones, MS
  • “Will Shorter Informed Consent forms with Visual Aids Improve Understanding of the Document in Adult and Elderly Populations of Clinical Trials?” by Agata Bloswick, MSC; Hab. Agnieszka Skowron
  • “The Current State of Medical Error in South Korea,” James Yeongiun Park, MS