New in the Hastings Center Report 52, no. 2

New in the Hastings Center Report: Architecture as medical intervention, industry salespeople in the OR, unconsented intimate medical exams, and more in the latest issue.

The Bioethics of Built Space: Health Care Architecture as a Medical InterventionDiana C. Anderson, Stowe Locke Teti, William J. Hercules, and David A. Deemer

Decisions made in health care architecture have profound effects on patients, families, and staff. Drawing on research in medicine, neuroscience, and psychology, design is being used increasingly often to alter specific behaviors, mediate interpersonal interactions, and affect patient outcomes. There is evidence, for example, that in some ICU designs, certain rooms correlate to better outcomes, giving rise to questions about equity and fairness. Given the effects the built environment has in health care, it should in some instances be considered akin to a medical intervention, subject to ethical scrutiny and involving protections for those affected. The article discusses ethical questions and makes recommendations.

Industry Technicians Embedded in Clinical Teams: Impacts on Medical Knowledge
Mark Howard and Katrina Hutchison

Advances in implantable medical devices have increased the role for medical device industry representatives in training for and support during surgical procedures and follow-up care. The effect of these changes on the organization of medical knowledge and the sharing of information remains largely unexplored. This article finds that having device salespeople working side by side with medical teams undermines “[knowledge-sharing] practices that put the good of the patient first.”

Policy and Politics: New Findings on Unconsented Intimate Exams Suggest Racial Bias and Gender ParityLori Bruce, Ivar R. Hannikainen, and Brian D. Earp

Testimony from hundreds of medical students and numerous physicians and scholars suggests that unconsented intimate exams (UIEs) are unlikely to be rare, isolated incidents. However, much is unknown about the frequency of these exams and the circumstances in which they take place. We conducted the first national survey on UIEs. Data from this survey suggest that UIEs may occur under a broader range of circumstances than addressed by most law and policy. Nearly the same percentage of males and females responded that they had received a UIE within the past five years. The survey results also showed evidence of racial disparity. Additional research is needed to understand the nature of UIEs. 

Also in this issue:

Handle with Care: The WHO Report on Human Genome Editing, by I. Glenn Cohen, Jacob S. Sherkow, and Eli Y. Adashi

Perspective: Earning Mistrust through Fake Compromises and Broken Promises, by Ana S. Iltis

See the Table of Contents.

Published with the March-April 2022 Hastings Center Report:

Special Report: A Critical Moment in Bioethics: Reckoning with Anti-Black Racism through Intergenerational Dialogue

For more information, contact

Susan Gilbert

Director of Communications

The Hastings Center

845-424-4040 x244

gilberts@thehastingscenter.org.

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