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Author Archive: Craig Klugman

07/10/2014

Time to Divorce Health Insurance & Employment

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In my last blog, I talked about ideologically-backed corporate control of health care choices as a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision. That piece has led to several conversations this past week, many of which have revolved around the question of how to fix the problem of employer theology limiting or curtailing choices, because nearly half of all people in the U.S. have health insurance through their employer.

The result of these conversations is a consensus that there are two health policy moves that can be made: Changing a law and changing a system.…

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07/01/2014

Enter the Corporate Congress: SCOTUS & FACEBOOK

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

PART 1: SCOTUS
One of the facts that hiring managers are taught is that you can never ask a potential employee about their religion (among other protected areas) unless the candidate brings it up. But after this week, any job candidate would be wise to ask their potential employer about his/her/its (in the case of corporations) religious beliefs.

Who one works for is increasingly determining not only what health care coverage you have but also what laws you have to follow and what legal protections you have. If an employer is a “closely held company” (a term that is not defined, but NPR estimates describes 90% of all companies), then they can legally discriminate against women’s reproductive health care.…

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06/27/2014

Fact vs. Fiction: Judge Upholds Barring Unvaccinated Children from Public Schools

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Vaccination is one of the great success stories of public health. People who receive vaccinations against disease are far less likely to contract that disease. In 1900, 30.4% of all deaths from infectious disease were to children under the age of 5 and the top three causes of death were pneumonia, tuberculosis and diarrhea-enteritis. By 2010, the only infectious disease in the top ten list was influenza and pneumonia at 9th place. In 2012, 91.4% of adolescents are immunized for measles, mumps & rubella, 92.8% for Hep B, and many others. By the end of the 20th century, only 1.4% of deaths in children under age 5 were from infectious disease.…

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06/18/2014

Health by the numbers

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

How are you? How are you feeling? These used to be straightforward greetings with simple answers. “I’m fine.” I’m doing well.” “I had been feeling ill but am much better now.” Or even “I keep struggling with diet and exercise.”

However, in the age of accountability, our society has become less comfortable with fuzzy statements and prefers to quantify everything possible, irrespective of whether it’s meaningful. The same question today may elicit responses of “My cholesterol is at 265.” “My sugar is at 210.” “BP is 96 over 75.” Or even “I can’t talk right now, I still have 4,000 steps to go.”

Health has moved from describing a state of being to listing a collection of numbers.…

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

06/10/2014

Tragedy in Research History: The Children of Ireland

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

For many people, the film Philomena was an introduction to a history of Irish babies being taken from their unwed mothers and adopted to “good” Catholic families in other countries. I put “good” in quotes because often what qualified a couple was the ability to pay. In the last week, news has come out of Ireland of a mass grave holding the remains of 796 infants buried in a septic tank on the grounds of a former “mother and baby” home in Galway. These children died over a 36 year period of infectious diseases.

As if that news was not shocking enough, British newspapers have now reported findings from a historian at Cork University, Michael Dwyer, who has found evidence of illegal vaccine trials conducted on children in these care homes.…

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06/06/2014

Getting An Earful

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In the book (and film) Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, dinosaur DNA from in insects that bit the dinosaurs and are now preserved in amber. Scientists are then able to extract the dinosaur DNA and using West African bullfrog DNA to fill in the blanks in the genome, they recreate many dinosaurs in a park. The book and film were works of science fiction adventure since the dinosaurs go out of control. The story is a warning about the hubris of playing with DNA and bringing back the past.

While Jurassic Park hasn’t been built yet, a new art exhibit in Germany features a display of the most famous ear in history, that of Vincent Van Gogh.…

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05/29/2014

Trigger Warning: This Post May Ask You To Think

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Unless you spend time looking at news and blogs on academia, you may have missed the most recent debate over the use of “Trigger Warnings” in college courses. These are notices in a syllabus that a class in general or a session in particular will be dealing with material that some individuals may find disturbing or that may trigger them to re-experience a past trauma.  Such warnings alert readers that they might find a posting to cause a negative reaction. The term originated on blogs describing sexual violence where a note would inform readers that the post contained graphic descriptions of sexual assault that may trigger anxiety or other post-traumatic stress syndrome-like (PTSD) symptoms.…

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

05/22/2014

Frozen Embryos: A Modern Fairy Tale

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Girl meets boy. Girl and boy fall in love (or at least into like and lust). Girl receives cancer diagnosis. Girl and boy make some frozen embryos. Girl goes into remission. Girl and boy break up via text message. Girl wants to gestate the embryos. Boy does not want to be a father.

The above story is the series of events that led to a courtroom in Illinois earlier this month. Dr. Karla Dunston is the woman who as a result of her cancer treatment cannot have a child other than with the frozen embryos. The father is Jacob Szafranski, a nurse, paramedic & firefighter.…

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This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Reproductive Medicine. Posted by Craig Klugman. Bookmark the permalink.

05/14/2014

A cup a day keeps the doctor ethical

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Last week I attended the second annual meeting of the Academy for Professionalism in Medicine. This group of scholars is trying to define professionalism and examine how to effectively bring ethics and humanities into medical school classrooms and residency programs. A new study, however, suggests that we should forget about poetry, principles, values, and reflection. All we really need is coffee.

Researchers at the Universities of Arizona, North Carolina and Washington examined the effects of caffeine on sleep-deprived subjects when confronted with social pressure to deceive another person. In the experiment, subjects were kept awake for 24 hours.…

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This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Health Care, Philosophy & Ethics and tagged . Posted by Craig Klugman. Bookmark the permalink.

05/09/2014

Why vampires stay young

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In the world of fantasy, the vampire is known for its immortality. In most incarnations, the vampire lives forever in a youthful state by feeding on the blood of humans. Now it turns out that science may have proven that the blood of the young keeps you young.

At least, if you’re a mouse. Three papers published in the last week (two in Science and one in Nature Medicine) showed that giving blood from young mice to older mice reduced many of the signs of aging.

In the studies, flaps of tissue from two genetically identical mice (one young and one old) are sewn together.…

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