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Author Archive: Craig Klugman

About Craig Klugman


by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In a lawsuit this week, a judge in Cook County (IL) ruled against a suburban that wanted to force the county “to share the addresses of coronavirus patients”. The judge justified the ruling by explaining concerns about keeping privacy and preventing discrimination. The EMS system feels this information is necessary so that “first responders can take adequate precautions”. Hearing about this debate stirred memories of similar debates 35 years ago over whether the names and addresses of HIV positive patients should be publicized. At one point, I recall proposals to put up the names of people with the virus on billboards (though I could not find any historic documents to support this memory).…

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by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Ventilators.

In the last few months, the public airwaves, social media, and the internet have been buzzing about having enough ventilators to support COVID-19 patients. Bioethicists and physicians have worked alongside administrators and elected officials to craft hospital and regional allocation policies in case there are not enough ventilators going around. These plans have been criticized for being ageist, ableist, and unfair.…

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by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In a news item reported in Rolling Stone, NPR, and The Houston Chronicle, the medical director of a coastal Texas nursing home used his political connections to get enough hydroxychloroquine to begin his own “observational” trials—minus a control group, minus informed consent, minus informing anyone. The rehab facility holds 135 residents and 42% (56) of them were COVID positive, as well as an additional 31 staff members. Robin Armstrong, physician and medical director called the Lt. governor whom he knows from the Texas Republicans and asked for some of the drug that Trump has touted.…

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by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

On March 31, the U.S. Department of Justice put in an order for $60,000 worth of hydroxychloroquine, a drug that Trump has been pushing as a treatment for COVID-19 (to clarify, it is unproven and has never worked on any other coronavirus). On March 26, the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs purchased $40,000 of the same drug.  Sandoz and Bayer donated 30 million doses to the National Stockpile to be given to COVID-19 patients who were not enrolled in clinical trials of the drug.

Trump’s efforts to be a spokesperson for this drug have baffled many and seem to be based on an early study done in France.…

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by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

A regular flurry of articles demonstrate the high cost that health care providers pay for their work during the time of COVID: Health care workers are being infected with COVID after caring for patients. In New York City, the current epicenter, doctors are being “redeployed” meaning assigned to work in areas outside of their specialty doing procedures they may not have done since med school or may never have done. Some of the most dangerous specialties right now are pulmonology, respiratory therapy, and anesthesia where you basically are getting close to people’s mouths while performing procedures that dislodge the rich fluids in which COVID thrives.  …

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“Exploring ethical issues in TV medical dramas”

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The Resident (Seasons 3; Episode 18): Maintaining the Dead; The Resident (Season 3; Episode 19): Lies, Coverups, Crossing Boundaries; Chicago Med (Season 5; Episode 17): Required Criminal Reporting; Chicago Med (Season 5; Episode 18):Advance Directives and Alzheimer’s; Innovation v. Best Care; Jealousy or Abuse

The Resident (Seasons 3; Episode 18): Maintaining the Dead

Dawn Long is a former patient from early this season who reappears. She had the Mother of All Surgeries that left her in a persistent vegetative says and has been in and out of Chastain for treatment and stabilization.…

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by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Dale is a 45-year-old woman who lives in Southern California. She has been a patient of Kaiser- Permanente to treat her chronic illness, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). She takes hydroxychloroquine (brand name Plaquenil) which is the safest and most effective drug to control her disease. The drug helps control flare ups of her lupus, a situation that could cause serious illness and even death.

Dale provided Buzzfeednews with a copy of a message she received from Kaiser that informed her that her prescription would no longer be renewed. The message says that she should not contact her doctor for a refill, that even with a prescription they would not give a refill, and she should not request an exemption from this policy.…

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by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

One of the most powerful tools that epidemiologists have for containing an outbreak is contact tracing—finding out all of the people with whom an infected person has had contact during the period when they were potentially shedding the virus. The identified individuals will then be placed under isolation and observed for symptoms. This method has been used in this outbreak when public health authorities recommend isolation for people who have been near someone who is infected or have traveled from a region with a high number of cases. The idea is that by creating a cordon around people who were infected and potentially infected, they cannot spread the infection further: The outbreak is contained.…

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by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Doctors in Italy have run out of beds. They have run out of ventilators. They are now having to decide who may live and who will likely die. For many, utilitarianism has helped making decisions—maximizing likeliness to survive and remaining years of life. The U.S. may not be far behind in having to make these tough choices.

Some hospitals in harder hit regions like New York City and Seattle are already finding themselves stretched thin. They have had to expand their surge capacity (the ability to meet the expanded needs of a growing patient population beyond normal operations) by increasing beds in each room, putting gurneys in hallways, and setting tents.…

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by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

“Exploring ethical issues in TV medical dramas”

The Good Doctor (Season 3; Episode 17): Lying for Good; The Resident (Season 3; Episode 17): Operating impaired when there is no option; New Amsterdam (Season 2; Episode 16):Research Misconduct; Two Wrongs Do Not Make a Right; Grey’s Anatomy (Season 16; Episode 17): VIP Justice

The Good Doctor (Season 3; Episode 17): Lying for Good

An adult leader of an outdoor for troubled youth is pricked by a cactus and comes down with an infection that causes heart damage. On top of that, during surgery a loss of oxygen compromises his kidneys to survive, he needs a new kidney but given his heart problems and a history of drug use and hepatitis B, he is an unlikely candidate.…

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