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Author Archive: Craig Klugman

04/25/2017

Why I Marched

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

This past Saturday, I donned by pink knitted brain hat and joined 40,000 other scientists and allies in Chicago’s Grant Park. This unprecedented gathering was to make a statement that science is important and should be publicly supported. The march was a protest against proposed budget cuts for the EPA, NIH, CDC as well as the dismissal of scientific facts by elected officials. The March was not partisan but it was political, sending a message that federal support for science should be unwavering.

To see so many people out to support science was exciting. I saw creative costumes such as an 8-foot long, articulated dinosaur skeleton, bees, and a plush microbe.…

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

04/24/2017

BioethicsTV: Henrietta Lacks and “Mary Kills People”

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

This past weekend was a bioethics bonanza when it came to cable television. First, HBO premiered its film version of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, seven years after the book’s original publication. Clocking in at a bit over an hour-and-a-half, the film version flows at a very slow pace. One feels the long hours spent driving on back roads through rural areas. The film centers on Deborah, Lacks’ daughter, played by Oprah Winfrey. Like the book, the focus is mainly on the relationship that develops between Deborah and journalist Rebecca Skloot (played by Rose Byrne).…

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04/17/2017

A Bioethics View of Executions in Arkansas

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

This week the state of Arkansas had planned to execute 8 death-row inmates in 4, back-to-back killings using lethal injection over 10 days. The last execution in Arkansas was 12 years ago, so why the sudden rush? As part of the three-drug cocktail used by this state, their supply of midazolam—an anesthetic—is about to expire. If they do not use the drug by the expiration date, then they can’t use it and the company that makes the drug will not sell it to the state for this purpose.

Arkansas had planned to use a combination of 3 drugs in the execution, midazolam (an anesthetic), vecuronium bromide (a paralytic), potassium chloride (to stop the heart).…

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This entry was posted in Ethics, Featured Posts, Health Regulation & Law, Justice, Social Justice and tagged , . Posted by Craig Klugman. Bookmark the permalink.

04/05/2017

Internet Privacy and Health Portals: Why I Won’t Be Contacting My Doctor Online

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Part of the Affordable Care Act was an effort to increase efficiency in sharing and storing health data through electronic health records. The idea was that patients could see their health information and communication more easily with a physician through an online portal that they could access at home. This requires you to send and receive some private health information over the internet. How you get to the internet and log onto the portal is through your Internet Service Provider (ISP). By federal regulation, your ISP has not been permitted to collect or sell your information to anyone.…

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This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Health Disparities, Health Regulation & Law, Politics, Privacy and tagged , . Posted by Craig Klugman. Bookmark the permalink.

03/31/2017

BioethicsTV: Aggressive Treatment Chosen for Patients at the End of Life

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

This week’s Thursday night medical TV was all about end of life decision-making and delved into the questions of how much aggressive treatment is too much, what happens when physicians lose clinical distance, and who makes decisions for patients.

On Chicago Med (Season 2, Episode 18), a patient with Alzheimer’s is admitted to the ED with a fever and chills. She has pneumonia and has for several days, only being sent to the hospital that day by her long-term care facility. The patient is Dr. Bella Rowen, Halstead’s former mentor and administrator Goodwin’s former colleague (from her nursing days).…

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03/29/2017

The ACA Survived, Do We Have the Political Will to Make It Better?

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The Republican-backed American Health Care Act was withdrawn before a vote on Friday when it appeared to lack the support needed to pass. The result is that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) remains the law of the land according to Paul Ryan. Both Ryan and Trump stated that health care is now on the backburner and they have moved on to other items like tax reform. The problem though, is that the ACA is showing its age and needs some work. With little political will, these needed changes will not happen.

Let’s remember that neither the ACA nor the ACHA are about access to care.…

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This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Health Policy & Insurance, Politics and tagged , , . Posted by Craig Klugman. Bookmark the permalink.

03/22/2017

Texas Considers Letting Doctors Lie to Patients

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The Texas Senate just passed a new bill (SB 25) that would shield doctors from a lawsuit if a baby is born with a disability even if the doctor knew of the concern and chose not to tell the parents. Opponents of the bill say that it permits doctors to lie to their patients if the doctor believes that knowledge might lead the woman to choose an abortion. The Houston Chronicle reports the bill’s aim is to “chip away at abortion rights.”

The Texas law does not go as far as a 2015 Arizona law that mandated physicians lie to patients by telling them that an abortion can be reversed.…

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03/17/2017

Ethics of the Trump Budget: The Social Contract is Dead

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

President Trump released his blueprint for a 2018 federal budget. From an ethical standpoint, the President seems to operates from a Hobbesian standpoint—life is nasty, brutish and short. However, unlike Hobbes who believed that we came together to protect ourselves from this reality, the new budget seems to encourage this idea. The new budget makes deep cuts to all social and scientific programs while boosting the military. In Hobbesian terms, Trumps’ social contract is all about bullying outsiders while leaving insiders in a state of hopeless diffidence.

Since World War II, the United States has invested heavily in science and technology, developing transportation, and building a better world (and winning wars).…

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03/07/2017

The Ethics of the New GOP Health Plan – Violating Justice & Solidarity

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Whatever one may think of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it began with noble intentions. The ACA was built on a philosophy of providing more people not only with access to health insurance but also with assistance to pay for it. The goal was not to derive a right to health care for all Americans, but rather to provide a level playing field for all people to purchase health insurance. Toward that aim, the ACA made some tough calls—requiring insurance for everyone so that the payments of the young and healthy would subsidize the needs of the ill whose ranks in the insurance pools were likely to grow.…

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03/03/2017

Talking to the Media

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

On Chicago Med this week (Season 2; Episode 15), Dr. Rose is trying to save the life of a window-washer whose platform breaks and he plunges 33 stories. Dr. Rose is getting coffee from a cart, outside the hospital when the media ask him for news of the window-washer. The administrator has told him that all media requests are to go through her. However, he holds an impromptu press conference talking about the patient and how hopeful he is for survival. The administrator witnesses this spectacle and dresses him down. Working with the media can be an important part of working in health care, providing an opportunity to educate the public on important health conditions and issues.…

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This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Media and tagged . Posted by Craig Klugman. Bookmark the permalink.