Sufficient Scruples

Bioethics, healthcare policy, and related issues.

May 3, 2011

Ask the Ethicist: Can a Non-Spousal Partner Claim Survivor Benefits?

by @ 2:48 PM. Filed under Ask the Ethicist, Disability Issues, General, Provider Roles

Here’s a post submitted to “Ask the Ethicist” by Christopher:

I am gay and for 20 years, I have had a best friend and mentor who is also gay. Besides regular friendship, I have taken care of him when he’s sick, staying at his house, getting him to the doctor. But we do not live together. There has never been a sexual component to the friendship.

He is getting ready to retire. As part of his retirement package, he can designate a domestic partner to receive a payment of over $150,000 a year after his death. He has asked me if I want to do the paperwork to be his domestic partner. As I said, we do not and have never had a sexual relationship. I do not live with him. Is creating this arrangement unethical?

Thanks, Christopher, for your question. It’s an interesting situation; let’s see what readers have to say about it.

My response is below in comments. Readers: feel free to join the discussion!

(And feel free to post your own questions to “Ask the Ethicist” – see link in top right-hand sidebar!)

April 30, 2008

New Feature: “Ask the Ethicist”

by @ 9:10 PM. Filed under Ask the Ethicist, General, Meta

[For some reason I can’t stop writing that as “Ass teh Ethicist”, which may be appropriate.]

I’ve decided to create a mechanism for reader input to the blog. I note the popularity of “open threads” on other blogs, but wanted something a little different here. I’ve also been worrying about the consistent lack of feedback or commentary on blog posts.

I know this blog is fairly low-traffic, but I also know that a good percentage of visitors are people who are knowledgeable about these issues and really interested in them. I don’t know why y’all don’t comment more. I’ve been telling myself that it’s because my posts are so thorough and comprehensive that there is just nothing more to say on any of the issues, but, I suppose, it’s possible that might not really be the answer. Another thought is that my posts may be generally interesting to readers, but not quite on-target enough to make them want to respond.

So, fine. Be that way. From now on you can do the work yourselves.

If there’s a topic you wish had been addressed here but hasn’t, or a question you’d like input on, or if you just have an opinion you want to get off your chest about something related to bioethics, you can now create your own posts and discussion topics on this blog.

Go to the top of the right-hand sidebar, in the section labeled “Ask the Ethicist!”. (See it up there? To the right – all the way near the side of your screen. Up at the top – below the words “Sufficient Scruples” but above all those lists of features and links. Got it?) Click anywhere in that box and it will take you to a permanent page with an open comments section. Use the comments section to post anything you like – a question, a proposed discussion topic, an argument on which you’d like feedback, or just an opinion. I will move that comment to the main page as a blog post, credited to you. In essence, you can be a blogger at “Sufficient Scruples”! Your comment will appear as a new post at the top of this page (so be sure it’s worded the way you want). Give your name or handle, and your e-mail or Web address if you like, so you get credit. I will give my response to your post, and other readers can then join in in the comments section. You can be sure, then, that this blog will always have something of interest to you on it – if it doesn’t, you have only yourself to blame!

So, welcome, to all my fellow bloggers! Let a thousand blog posts bloom!

NB: Your post will not appear immediately. I will have to create the new blog post from your text; it should usually take less than 24 hours. I reserve the right to delete posts that are offensive or trolls.

[This post will be back-dated for one month to keep the announcement at the top of the page. See below for other recent posts. 4/15/2008]

April 17, 2008

Ask the Ethicist: Animal Testing

by @ 7:57 PM. Filed under Ask the Ethicist, Autonomy, Biotechnology, General, Healthcare Politics, Medical Science, Personhood, Research Issues, Theory

tgirsch of Lean Left (and my own blogfather!) writes:

I’m interested in the issues surrounding animal testing. I’m certainly not a member of the PETA crowd or anything, but at the same time, I’d certainly think we should keep such testing to a minimum, using it only where it’s necessary, useful, and relevant. But I honestly don’t know what all the issues are.





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