As one of the most groundbreaking sitcoms of all time, The Golden Girls introduced a range of bioethical issues on the show regarding medicine, the human body and women’s health.
In this TEDx Talk, Dr. Elizabeth Yuko, a Fordham University Center for Ethics Education fellow and adjunct professor, discusses how influential Golden Girls was, and still is, as a lens for the study of bioethics and its principles using examples from the show’s most notable episodes.
Dr. Elizabeth Yuko is also the Health Editor at SheKnows Media, a women’s lifestyle digital media company operating SheKnows.com. BlogHer.com. HelloFlo.com and STYLECASTER.com. Please visit her website and Twitter page for more information.
The penultimate episode of AMC’s Mad Men provided an all-too-familiar portrayal of the paternalistic nature of medicine via the handling of Betty Draper-Francis’s diagnosis of lung cancer. While the episode takes place in 1970 and there has since been a gradual shift to a more patient-centered approach in medicine, it offers a glimpse into power imbalances in medical care that still can occur today.
When Betty’s new classmates bring her to the emergency room, the first words out of the doctor’s mouth are “Mrs. Francis, is it possible to get your husband down here?” Betty assumes it is for the purpose of driving her home, but the doctor assures her that it is, in fact, for the purpose of explaining her condition to her husband, Henry, either prior to or at the same time he discloses the diagnosis to Betty.
Talukdar is a member of the fourth cohort of RETI fellows, and was the 2014 recipient of the Fordham University Center for Ethics Education / Santander Universities International Scholarship, which covers the cost of his travel to Fordham for two consecutive summer training institutes, as well as the cost of his mentored research project (MRP). His MRP examines voluntariness of consent to research involving women participating at a clinic-based HIV intervention trial in Kolkata, India.
Clinical psychologists can face ethical dilemmas on a daily basis as a result of the nature of their work: clients revealing confidential and sensitive information during each session. Questions such as how to ethically terminate therapy and avoid “abandoning” a client, or how best to ethically address religious and spiritual issues in psychotherapy involving LGBT clients arise regularly in practice.