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EKU’s first Bioethics Bowl was hosted by the Dept. of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies on Oct. 26. The Bioethics Bowl is a debate-style team competition focusing on ethical issues in the practice of medicine and/or biomedical research. The Dept. of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies hopes to send a team from among the winners of the EKU Bioethics Bowl to represent Eastern Kentucky University in the National Bioethics Bowl at Northeastern University in Boston in April 2020.

Four questions were debated at the first Bowl on Oct. 26.

1. Should alcoholics get liver transplants?

2. Is the Affordable Care Act just?

3. Should medical research in developing countries be held to the same standard as medical research in medical research in the U.S.?

4. Is all medical enhancement cheating?

Four teams competed in the bowl for a total of two rounds of debate. The Bowl was open to all EKU undergraduate students from any program of study.

Teams Compete in the Bioethics BowlMembers of the team winning first place include: Kyle Casson, a Biomedical Sciences Pre-Veterinarian major from Independence, Kentucky; John Nelson, a Biology and Exercise and Sports Science major from Summer Hill, Kentucky; and, Alexandria Williams, a Biomedical Sciences Pre-Medical major from Clay City, Kentucky. Second place team members were: Emma Peña, a Biomedical Sciences major from Elizabethtown, Kentucky; Samantha Radomski, a Biomedical Sciences major from Murray, Kentucky; and Danae Stewart, a Music Education major from Lexington, Kentucky.

Also competing were Steven Collins, Charlie Hutson, Kennedy Nguyen, Joshua Crabtree, Robert Engelman, Jacob Harney, and Aaron Rice. Dr. Matthew Pianalto from the Department of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies, and Dr. Bill Staddon from the Department of Biology at EKU served as judges for the EKU Bioethics Bowl; and, Dr. Patrick Costello from the Department of Mathematics and Statistics served as the official scorekeeper.

Dr. Laura Newhart, Dept. of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies served as moderator. “The Bioethics Bowl is a great opportunity for students to enhance their ability to think critically about ethical issues in medicine and biomedical research and to hone their argumentative and public speaking skills. All of the students competing in the EKU Bioethics Bowl this year deserve recognition for their participation.”

The Dept. of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies at EKU offers an 18-19 credit hour minor in Applied Ethics, which is designed to complement any major or program on campus. For more information visit