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Author Archive: Craig Klugman

About Craig Klugman


by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In the 2011 film, In Time, people are implanted with a digital clock that tells them how long they will live. When the clock reaches 00:00, the person dies. The clock activates when they turn 25, though additional time can be purchased to extend their life. The film explores social disparity and how people behave as they know their life is ending.

Imagine if there was a clock or a test that could predict when a person would die. Would people live their lives any differently? Would medical care be withheld from them at a certain stage?…

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by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

According to the British Library, “Cabinets of curiosities, also known as ‘wonder rooms’, were small collections of extraordinary objects which, like today’s museums, attempted to categorise and tell stories about the wonders and oddities of the natural world.”  Two television shows open the cabinet to give the world a glimpse of medical oddities—the unusual cases that are hard to diagnose. Diagnosis  landed on Netflix and extends Dr. Lisa Sanders longstanding New York Times “Diagnosis” column  (she was also technical consultant for the television show House MD). The second show is on TNT/TBS, Chasing the Cure, and features longtime anchor Ann Curry.…

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by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In the 2019 BBC/HBO fictional near-future mini-series Years and Years, people deemed by a totalitarian U.K. government as undesirable—including immigrants and political dissidents—are placed into concentration camps. As Vivienne Rook, populist and fascist Prime Minister, says in response to overcrowding in the camps, “They simply let nature take its course. The camps were crowded, pestilent, and rife with disease. On the one hand that was regrettable. On the other hand, fitting. Because a natural selection process took place, and the population of the camps controlled itself. You might call it neglect, you might call it efficient”.…

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by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Have you ever lied on your curriculum vitae? Maybe you fudged a job title to sound more impressive (e.g, “research associate” rather than “intern”)? Or moved a date to cover a gap in your work history? Perhaps you are among those who completely made up a position or even a degree. From exaggerationsto adjustments to all out fabrication, it seems that Americans make up their work history far more often than we think.

In a 2017 study of employers and hiring, 85% of the responding companies reported having received applications with faked claims of experience, degrees, and accomplishments.…

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by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

“I’ve always wanted to try and ensure that, even before having a child and hoping to have children…Two, maximum! But I’ve always thought: this place is borrowed. And, surely, being as intelligent as we all are, or as evolved as we all are supposed to be, we should be able to leave something better behind for the next generation.– Prince Harry, HRH Duke of Sussex, British Vogue (September 2019)

Recently I read The Uninhabitable Earth by writer David Wallace-Wells, an exploration of the climatic and environmental challenges facing humanity and the entire planet. The message is grim—we are in big trouble regarding the long-term sustainability of complex life on Earth.…

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by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

After age 40, the risk of developing a cataract increases. By 75 years of age in the U.S.,half of whites, 53 percent of blacks and 61 percent of Latinx develop cataracts. Although rarer, children (under age 15) can also develop cataracts that results in blindness and other visual impairment. In infants, a cataract can effect brain development. Cataracts affect 0.0103% of children worldwide, which comes out to 191,000 cases annually.

Three years ago, Naturepublished a groundbreaking studythat used the eyes own stem cells to regenerate a lens rather than relying on an artificial lens replacement.…

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by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The Democratic Presidential Candidate Debates in Detroit this week often seemed less about differentiating between the candidates and more like the party trying to figure out its platform. Whereas the first set of debates focused a great deal on the new guard versus the old, this one focused on universal health care versus a public option in a health insurance marketplace. On the progressive left stood Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Andrew Yang, and Bill de Blasio who want a universal health plan they call Medicare for All. This plan would remove deductibles, copays, and premiums but it would require higher taxes (some in the debate took issue with the idea of taxes even if it overall saves money).…

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by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The film, “The Farewell” claims to be a movie “based on an actual lie”. Billi is a first generation Chinese-American twenty-something artist living in New York near her parents. After not being awarded a Guggenheim fellowship (a fact she hides from her family), she learns that her parents are heading back to China to visit her grandmother (Nai nai) who has been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and has a three-month life expectancy. The catch is that Nai nai does not know about her health situation and the family has decided not to tell her.…

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by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

One of the cornerstones of modern bioethics, at least in the area of death and dying, is the notion of autonomy, that people are able to make decisions about medical care at the end of life. One way that they can exercise autonomy is by completing advance directives—directives to physicians and families (i.e. living wills), powers of attorney for health care, and POLSTs. A new federal bill proposed by 3 Republicans (Cramer, Daines, and Blackburn) in the Senate might cut off federal funding for most hospitals that followed patient orders to withdraw and withhold medical care for the purposes of allowing a patient to die:

No funds appropriated by Congress for the purpose of paying (directly or indirectly, in whole or in part) for the provision of health care services shall be paid to any entity, unless the entity certifies to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (referred to in this Act as the “Secretary”) that the entity respects all human life and patient rights by ensuring that any health care practitioner employed by, or utilizing the facilities or resources of, such entity.

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by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Last week, Amazon announced a new partnership with the UK’s National Health Service(NHS). In this arrangement, when patients ask their Alexa personal digital assistant health questions, the answers will come from the NHS’s website. Instead of scrolling through pages of web results that include some good sources and some not-so-good-sources, people in the UK will find their answers coming from the nation’s health care provider.

The project could be an important step in helping people with access needs. For individuals living with limited mobility, low vision, or who are simply not comfortable with technology, being able to ask for and receive accurate health information with their voice may open a world of knowledge that was harder to access before.…

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