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Author Archive: denasdavis

About denasdavis

03/24/2018

Sign up to be a research subject

A special issue of IRB: Ethics & Human Research (March-April 2018) is all about “Listening to the Voices of Research Participants.”  The main argument for making participants into something more like true “partners,” is that experienced research subjects have a lot to teach researchers.  Rebecca Dresser points out that many developments in political science and … Continue reading Sign up to be a research subject

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03/13/2018

Being Poor is a Full-time Job

A new article in The Hastings Center Report, by Nir Eyal, Paul Romain, and Christopher Robertson, asks whether it is ethical to ration healthcare by inconvenience and red tape?  In other words, given that all societies must ration health care in one way or another, is it ever ethical to push people away from an … Continue reading Being Poor is a Full-time Job

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09/18/2017

Longer life with dementia? No thanks!

An article this week, from The European Heart Journal, reports that cholinesterase inhibitors, commonly used to treat some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, also lower the rate of heart attacks and other causes of death.   As the researchers explained, “for every 100,000 people with Alzheimer’s disease, there would be 180 fewer heart attacks – 295 … Continue reading Longer life with dementia? No thanks!

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04/25/2017

Could we be marsupials?

Four scientists have just announced, in Nature Communications, that they have successfully created an artificial womb in which “extremely premature” lambs were nurtured for four weeks, enough to make them ready to meet the world.  The goal is to advance this technology until it is available for very premature (23-26 week) human infants.  At present, … Continue reading Could we be marsupials?

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03/24/2017

Neil Gorsuch, Aid in Dying, and Roe v. Wade

In the absence of any “paper trail” that would give clues to Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s views on abortion, many commentators have turned to his book, The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, based on his doctoral dissertation at Oxford, where he worked with natural law theorist John Finnis.  Ronald M. Green notes with … Continue reading Neil Gorsuch, Aid in Dying, and Roe v. Wade

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03/20/2017

This is a GREAT day to have a cardiac arrest!!!

I thought that headline would get your attention.  Okay, so actually, yesterday would have been an even better time to have a cardiac event, but today’s still good.  March 17-19, the American College of Cardiology was meeting in Washington, DC.  Lots of top cardiologists were away from their hospitals and not seeing patients.  Today I […]

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02/20/2017

“Docs v. Glocks”: Gag rule lifted

The American Academy of Pediatrics, the AMA, and the American Academy of Family Physicians all encourage their members to ask parents about firearms, in the same spirit as they ask about automobile restraints, swimming pools, and other factors that relate to the health of their patients.  If parents report that there are firearms in the […]

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10/15/2016

Suicidal “ideation”???

I Have you ever seen the word “ideation” except when paired with “suicidal”?  I’m hungry right now–am I experiencing hamburger ideation?  When I want sex am I experiencing erotic ideation?  Nope.  “Suicidal ideation” is term used by health care professionals to undermine the possibility that rational people can think about committing suicide and that those […]

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10/11/2016

Yes, You Were Misinformed

I love Joyce Wadler’s occasional columns for the New York Times. Under the general heading, “I Was Misinformed,” she comments with great wit on the various aspects of growing old.  But this week, she made a basic error that set me thinking.  Upset after visiting her mother, who has dementia, she calls her friend Harry: […]

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08/04/2016

Book review: “Inside the O’Briens”

Lisa Genova is a novelist I would love to meet. She is a Harvard-trained neuroscientist, but she probably doesn’t spend much time in the lab these days. In   2007 she wrote Still Alice, which became a best seller and, as they say, a major motion picture. Still Alice portrayed a vibrant, brilliant professional woman facing […]

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