A Moral Question: Dementia, Spouses, And “Close Friends”

A Moral Question: Dementia, Spouses, and “Close Friends”

Spouses of Alzheimer’s disease patients often struggle with depression while caregiving and are desperate for support. Some have started new relationships while their loved one is still alive but no longer recognizes them. Acceptance of such infidelity is highly individual. Experts and a woman involved in such a relationship discuss how it can benefit even the incapacitated spouse, as long as families find it acceptable.

19-50 Segment 1: Bridging The Vax/Anti-Vax Divide

Bridging The Vax/Anti-Vax Divide

The debate over vaccination isn’t as civil as it once was, and leaves little room for common ground or even discussion. Pro-vaccine advocates often point to science showing safety and effectiveness, but as a noted medical humanities researcher explains, values common among anti-vaccine advocates lead them to reject this science, and both sides need to understand where the disconnect comes from.

19-43 Segment 1: Climate Change = Less Nutritious Foods

Climate Change = Less Nutritious Foods

Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are making crops grow bigger & faster. However, researchers have found that these crops contain significantly lower levels of protein, iron, zinc, and other important nutrients, potentially endangering nutrition for hundreds of millions of people. Experts explain the effect will get worse as CO2 levels continue to rise, and what might be done to combat the problem.

Genetic Testing and Family Secrets

The availability of consumer DNA tests and databases has allowed long-hidden family secrets to be revealed, including mistaken paternity and unknown siblings. It has also taken the anonymity away from some cases of sperm donation. Two experts discuss the ethics of overturning this promised secrecy and the impact that the revelation of secrets can have on entire families.

When Law Enforcement and Trauma Care Collide

Many patients arrive in the emergency room as a result of violence or car crashes—events in which police have an investigative interest. Sometimes, police needs clash with trauma care, and priorities are hashed out case by case. Experts discuss which priorities come first and when, and the procedures needed to smooth out sometimes contentious interaction.

When Does Genetic Engineering Go Too Far?

Advancements in genetic science are often clouded in ethical controversy. Often, scientists are accused of “playing God.” Experts discuss a new platform where scientists and public can debate it, and from which education can be disseminated.

Xenotransplantation—Organ From Other Species

After attempts to use non-human primates as a source of scarce organs for transplant, doctors have turned to pigs for a variety of reasons. They’re now making great progress against the largest hurdle—rejection. One of the world’s foremost xenotransplantation experts discusses how the process might work and what the future might look like for millions of potential organ and tissue recipients.

18-32 Segment 1: Addiction, Relapse and Criminalization

After criminal convictions, many people with substance use disorder are placed on probation with the condition they remain completely drug free. They are often jailed when they relapse, setting back recovery and removing them from treatment that helps keep them clean. Is that fair, when relapse is a common symptom of their disease (and many others)?

Copyright: sherryyates / 123RF Stock Photo

18-14 Segment 2: The Vaccine Race and Ethics

An expert discusses the controversial history of vaccines, and the balance of need and ethics in science and medicine.