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Since its emergence in the 1970s, the field of bioethics has grown in terms of size, scope and importance. In addition to becoming a staple in newspaper headlines and talk show topics, bioethics now has a prominent place in academia, at the beside, and among health policy makers.
The U.S. Supreme Court has moved from deciding in 1973 that in the absence of a compelling state interest, the Constitution requires deference to medical judgment, to deciding in 2007 that Congress can restrict medical treatment decisions for purely symbolic reasons.
More than forty-five million Americans lack health insurance, which has resulted in a relatively poor level of health for the U.S. population when compared to other industrialized countries.
The United States faces a significant problem. Too many people have little or no access to doctors, either because they have no health insurance and cannot pay or because, in both poor sections of and rural areas, there simply are no doctors.
The simple passage of time has not delivered clear guidance on the most effective structures, methods, and models for implementing clinical ethics processes within hospital settings. Rather, the implementation of these programs remains ad hoc and lacks consistency in methods.
New reports have highly publicized research in which stem cells are created without destroying embryos. Yet taking embryos out of the equation does not necessarily equal research that is consistent with respect for human rights.
Medical technology has progressed at a breathtaking rate leaving many patients confused about medical care and treatment options. Poor health literacy is a drain on the U.S. health care system.
The shortage of transplant organs in the United States continues to grow despite multifaceted attempts to increase the supply. In response, people on the formal waiting lists are pursuing alternative means of obtaining life-saving organs.
Our Human Rights Hero reports on child prisoners in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and other "war on terror" prisons.
As a physician who also works in bioethics, Dr. Miles has dedicated his career to taking heroic stands on issues of ethics and human rights, whether addressing the needs of refugees in Southeast Asia, protecting the rights of residents of nursing homes in the United States, or exposing the abuse of detainees interrogated in Iraq and Afghanistan.