All posts by craigklugman

Craig Klugman is a bioethicist who teaches, lectures, writes, innovates and inspires

My blogs this week

The Price for Eternal Youth is $1 Million and Dumping Ethics

A disease is an infection or a malfunction of a biological system. Aging is a normal part of human life. Being older may not be culturally popular or valued, but that hardly makes it a disease which must be cured.

The Consumer Electronic Show and The Ethics of Consumer Digital Health

Such tracking, charting, and rating also leads to an increase in “norming”. This is the idea that rather than helping people, we are encouraging people to act more like statistical norms.”

BioethicsTV (January 13-16, 2020)

“Andrews mentions that they cannot reveal any secrets to the husband, but they can tell him other things: “There have been some complications and we need to perform additional surgeries” When the spouse asks what complications, Andrews tells him that he can’t say anything more to protect the patient’s confidentiality. Essentially, Andrews is prompting the husband to ask Carrie to share her past in the hopes that he can convince Carrie to take anesthesia and pain meds. She still refuses.

Did Andrews cross the line in his “sorry, not sorry” routine by even suggesting there was something hidden? Andrews takes the letter of the law—do not share information—while violating its spirit— “I can’t talk about it”. Providing benefit to the patient is not an acceptable exemption to confidentiality.”

New media coverage

Recent media interviews:

Knowles, Francine. (2019, December 30). Talk To Your Family Now About Advance Care Directives. Chicago Tribune Daily Southtown.

“When people fail to take care of these matters, “you are pretty much leaving the decisions up to people who may not know what you want,” said Craig Klugman, a professor in the Health Sciences at DePaul University, who teaches courses in bioethics, medical humanities and death and dying. In the absence of a medical power of attorney you “could be opening your family up to fights over who makes decisions,” he said. “I’ve seen in the hospital families torn apart because people have different ideas about what the parent would have wanted or the aunt would have wanted.””

Hu, Jane C. (2019, December 9). How Do We Know When Research Participants Truly Give Consent? Future Tense. Slate.

“Such a system may also end up continuing science’s legacy of Western paternalism. “Requiring a rule of assurance and submitting copies of the consent documents might be culturally elitist—it places the Western standard of autonomy above all other ways of thinking of people—placing the individual over the group,” says Craig Klugman, a professor of bioethics at DePaul University. Not every community privileges individual consent in the way Westerners do. Klugman points out that some people may seek permission from a parent, spouse, or village elder.”

North, Bonnie (2019, December 2). A Slippery Slope: Medicine, Technology & Bioethics. Lake Effect. WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio.

Pandika, Melissa (2019, October 13). Young blood may hold the weapons for targeting age-related diseases. Chemical and Engineering News 97(40).

“Treatments that deliver individual factors targeting specific conditions may feel more palatable than dystopian scenarios of forced blood donation by the young, but they still raise thorny ethical questions. Most likely only the wealthy would have access to these factors, which are not likely to be covered by insurance or Medicare and Medicaid, says Craig M. Klugman, a bioethicist at DePaul University. This, in turn, could result in a healthier, longer-lived wealthy class and shorter-lived middle- and lower-income classes. Klugman also notes that improving the lives of the majority by devoting resources to their basic needs—which we can already do—“outweighs the science fiction dreams of a few.””


Upcoming Talks

  • Arts in Health Care. Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Texas. February 19, 2020.
  • Improv in Medicine. Texas Tech School of Medicine. Lubbock, Texas. February 20-21.
  • Health Humanities Consortium Annual Meeting, Nashville, TN. March 26-28.

Craig Klugman, Ph.D. is a professor of bioethics and health humanities at DePaul University where he co-directs the Bioethics & Society minor program. Dr. Klugman also serves on the ethics committee at Northwestern University Hospital. He is the author of over 450 articles, book chapters, OpEds, and blog posts on such topics as bioethics, digital medicine, professionalism, end-of-life issues, public health ethics, research ethics, education, health/medical humanities, ethics of execution, and health policy. He is the blog editor and frequent writer for as well as creator of the BioethicsTV column. Dr. Klugman is the editor of several books including Research Methods in the Health Humanities (Oxford 2019), Medical Ethics (Gale Cengage 2016), and Ethical Issues in Rural Health (Hopkins 2013; 2008). He is the executive producer of the award winning film Advance Directives and has developed programs for using art and improvisational theater to teach health students. He  frequently gives talks to universities, medical and nursing groups, companies, and community organizations as well as consults with hospitals, pharmaceutical and tech companies. Dr. Klugman has been interviewed for The New York Times, LA Times, ABC News, HBO Vice, New Republic, National Geographic, Men’s Health, and NPR. Besides numerous academic journals, his writing has appeared in Pacific Standard Magazine, Huffington Post, LifeMattersMedia, Chicago Tribune, Medium, Cato Unbound, The Hill, San Francisco Chronicle and the Houston Chronicle.