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Author Archive: Arthur Caplan

05/27/2016

Rio Olympics Later:­ For the Good of Both Public Health and Sport

by Arthur Caplan, Ph.D.

It is imperative that an open, transparent discussion of the risks of holding the Olympics as planned in Brazil occur as soon as possible.  Not general assurances from WHO but a frank discussion among independent experts—if Rio is going to happen the world deserves a full discussion of why and at what potential risks and liabilities.

For more information, click through http://rioolympicslater.org/. The text of this letter and link have been added below.


Thanks to Anis-Instituto de Bioética for this art, and please visit their Zika documentary and pages

To sign this letter, please send an email to zikaletter@gmail.comwith your title (dr, prof, etc), department and institutions.

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This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Politics, Public Health, Sports Ethics. Posted by Arthur Caplan. Bookmark the permalink.

05/04/2016

Methodological Miasma not mental dystrophy plagues drug trials

by Arthur Caplan, Ph.D. and Bruce Levin, Ph.D.

The Wall Street Journal and many other media outlets chose to beat on the FDA for its recent decision to deny approval of eteplirsen, a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy being developed by Sarepta Therapeutics.

Actually it was the FDA’s scientific advisors not the FDA who concluded that there wasn’t sufficient evidence the drug was effective.

Still the WSJ sneered that “Here’s the gist of FDA’s objection: 12 patients are too few, and thus we don’t know if the drug helps boys walk longer or if the results are skewed. FDA prefers large trials that inject half of patients with a placebo.…

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This entry was posted in Clinical Trials & Studies, Featured Posts, Media and tagged , , . Posted by Arthur Caplan. Bookmark the permalink.

10/02/2015

Helming the bioethics ship of state

by Arthur Caplan, Ph.D.

10/2/15   The President issued an executive order extending the term of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (PCSBI) through September, 2017 https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/09/30/executive-order-continuance-or-reestablishment-certain-federal-advisory

This is a very interesting announcement since the last day Barack Obama will be the President of the United States is January 20, 2017.   Astute observers will note that the Commission will be advising a new President for nine months, perhaps longer. While there has been a good deal of speculation about who that next President will be, there has, sadly, been far from adequate attention paid to who the next leaders of the commission would be under a new President.…

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This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Politics. Posted by Arthur Caplan. Bookmark the permalink.

09/17/2015

Science anyone?

by Arthur Caplan, Ph.D.

Plenty of pundits are analyzing the Wednesday night GOP debate in terms of who won and who lost. They are missing the point. There was a huge loser in the back and forth among the contenders—the public health of the American people. Why?–the resurrection in the debate of the heinous canard that vaccination causes autism.

Donald Trump led the assault on the health of our children by proclaiming that “”We’ve had so many instances … a child went to have the vaccine, got very, very sick, and now is autistic.” Really? Donald produce your evidence or get your racist, misogynist, birther, comb-over tushy out of the race.

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This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Politics, Science and tagged , , . Posted by Arthur Caplan. Bookmark the permalink.

09/10/2015

Ashley Madison & Using Stolen Data

by Arthur L Caplan, PhD and Charles Seife, MS

This past August, the public was treated to gigabytes of data stolen from the Ashley Madison website, including detailed records on millions of people who had registered for their service. Their service, of course, is a dating site meant to facilitate extra-marital affairs. The message isn’t subtle, as anyone who’s got their upbeat jingle — “I’m looking for someone other than my wife!” — stuck in his head can attest. The Toronto-based Ashley Madison isn’t the only hookup site that’s been attacked by hackers. A few months earlier, Adult FriendFinder suffered a massive data breach, with hackers publishing details of 4 million subscribers on the Web.…

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This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Privacy, Research Ethics, Science and tagged , , . Posted by Arthur Caplan. Bookmark the permalink.

07/18/2015

Is Donald Trump entertaining?

by Arthur Caplan, Ph.D.

Is Donald Trump entertaining? Many in the media seem to think so. Coverage of Trump is intense. The Huffington Post, trying to marginalize him and his candidacy, has decided to confine coverage of his Presidential campaign to their entertainment section. But Trump is no joke. Treating him as such is inexcusable.

Promoting racism should never get a pass. Bioethicists familiar with the ways in which racism has fueled totalitarian politics and prejudice in medicine know this all too well. When one of the leading candidates for President in a major political party spews bigotry and hate as key themes of his campaign serious attention must be paid, and serious condemnation proffered.…

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This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Media, Politics and tagged , . Posted by Arthur Caplan. Bookmark the permalink.

06/22/2015

At Long Last: FDA Changes the Law for Hemochromatosis

by Arthur Caplan, Ph.D.

Summer in the U.S. is known for many things—time at the beach, picnics, baseball, thunderstorms, vacations and ice cream. Sadly, it is also known by hospitals as the season when blood is in short supply. Schools and businesses close making blood drives harder. Frequent donors go away leaving blood and blood products in their communities in short supply. That is why a recent hard-fought breakthrough as to who can donate blood deserves much more attention and recognition than it has received which, if Google is to be believed, to date has been exactly nothing.

Hemochromatosis is a genetic disease that causes the human body to absorb too much iron from food.…

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This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Health Regulation & Law, Public Health and tagged , , . Posted by Arthur Caplan. Bookmark the permalink.

02/20/2015

What should docs do with parents who don’t vaccinate?

by Jenna Lillemoe, B.A.
by Arthur Caplan , Ph.D.

This year has marked the largest measles outbreak in decades with over 102 cases documented since December. This outbreak is a product of the anti-vaccination trend that has dramatically decreased vaccination compliance rates in children. Parents no longer follow the guidance of their pediatricians or believe the scientific evidence that vaccinations work without adverse effects. Pediatricians and family medicine physicians are then tasked with caring for these unvaccinated children. Because there is no set policy of how to manage caring for non-vaccinated children, we were interested in attempting to critically analyze how physicians manage non-vaccinated children.…

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This entry was posted in Cultural, Featured Posts, Pediatrics, Public Health and tagged . Posted by Arthur Caplan. Bookmark the permalink.

10/27/2014

Ebola: where is the rock concert benefit?

by Arthur Caplan, PhD and Nir Eyal, D.Phil

Ebola’s toll is rising exponentially. Millions of lives are at risk in West Africa, and panic is starting to take its toll in the rest of the world.

Normally in a crisis like this our best charitable impulses pour forth. Especially among musicians, Hollywood and artists. So why aren’t fund-raising drives taking place? Where are the rock concerts, fashion shows, triathlons we saw for famines and for AIDS? Why the extreme paucity of small private donations?

Some may think donations won’t help. Of course they would.

Donations could buy protective equipment and disinfectant for health personnel and for home care givers.…

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This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Public Health and tagged . Posted by Arthur Caplan. Bookmark the permalink.

08/18/2014

The raging Ebola epidemic in West Africa—will the key lessons be learned?

by Arthur Caplan, Ph.D.

Ebola, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) is out of control in West Africa.  The disease, which is transmitted by contact with contaminated blood or body fluids, or by close contact with a dead body infected with the virus, has killed more than 1100 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria.  The number of dead is most likely higher since people were dying in rural villages without being counted. At least another 1000 persons are infected.  The world faces the worst outbreak of this horrific disease since 280 people died when the Ebola first appeared in humans near the Ebola river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976.  …

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This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Health Disparities, Public Health and tagged , , . Posted by Arthur Caplan. Bookmark the permalink.