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Insert Comma • A Portfolio of Leigh E. Rich
Categories: Ethics, Law, Philosophy, Utrinque Paratus | Comments Off on Undermining Communicative Action in the Medical Encounter

Informed Consent, Compelled Speech, and Promises to Pay Leigh E. Rich Abstract Book chapter for the edited volume The Twenty-First Century and Its Discontents examining legal and bioethical issues of informed consent, using examples from medical television dramas, philosopher Jürgen Habermas’ work on communicative action, and physician compelled speech laws. Ideally, informed consent is achieved […]

Categories: Ethics, Feminism, Health, History, Law, Media, Philosophy, Politics, Television, Utrinque Paratus | Comments Off on “Men Against Fire”

The bureaucratization of dehumanization is nothing new. Examples can be found in many eras and places and during both wartime and peace. Modern warfare, however, has meant innovations in the techniques of killing as well as the “framing” of those being killed, whether accomplished by separating the act through distance or technology or training soldiers (and the public) to “see” the enemy differently. The U.K. anthology series Black Mirror revisits this question in an episode titled “Men Against Fire,” a direct reference to S.L.A. Marshall’s controversial 1947 book of the same name, Men Against Fire: The Problem of Battle Command. Marshall observed the battlefield as a lonely and traumatic place and portrayed this isolation—and an individual’s moral upbringing—for soldiers’ hesitancy to fire on an enemy, even when ordered or in danger of losing their own lives. What was needed, according to Marshall, were “well-trained foot soldiers” freed from such burdens. While bureaucratic techniques that dehumanize or obscure the Other can be particularly “useful” in war, they are perhaps more insidious beyond the bounds of war. Primary examples include Jim Crow and eugenics, with reverberations of both still felt today. Examining the Black Mirror episode, not in relation to war or Marshall but when men are not “against fire,” sheds light on why health disparities and other inequities persist and the need for movements like Black Lives Matter or new waves of feminism. In civil society, the “problem of battle command” has been understood by certain policymakers and powerbrokers as a hesitancy to limit safety nets (“entitlements”) or reproductive and civil freedoms of the “undeserving” in the name of protecting the financial and corporeal health of the social body. Viewing “Men Against Fire” through examples such as eugenic thinking reveals how discriminatory rhetoric against poor, minority, and other stigmatized populations has lingered during peacetime through the twentieth and into the twenty-first century. Unlike Marshall’s conclusion, the answer to ending such policies and practices is rooted not in overcoming a sense of morality but engaging in it.

Categories: Ethics, Feminism, Film, Law, Science, Utrinque Paratus | Comments Off on ‘Eggsploitation’

Oocyte (egg) donation is riddled with issues that have few, if any, solutions By Leigh E. Rich In one sense, so-called “third-party reproduction” that uses gametes contributed by anonymous (or known) “donors” is no longer novel (Murphy 2009; Sargent 2007; Sauer 2001; Mastroianni 2001), but the highly profitable IVF industry (now sometimes called “ART” for “artificial reproductive techniques”) is still in […]

Categories: Editorials, Ethics, Health, Law, Science, Utrinque Paratus | Comments Off on Rethinking the body and its boundaries

Editorial for the 9(1) issue of the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry By Leigh E. Rich, Michael A. Ashby, and Pierre-Olivier Méthot Until recently, the idea that the nature of the body is a contested matter may have seemed to many people, whether inside or beyond the ivory tower, as but another sign of the silliness […]