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Author Archive: denasdavis

About denasdavis

10/11/2020 The Plug
The Plug is a brief video created by Marije de Haas. De Haas and her collaborators call this “design fiction.” The context is European, where euthanasia is legal in some countries, but where advance directives for euthanasia in the case of dementia are rarely honored. The idea is that the plug is kind of a … Continue reading The Plug

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Yeah, I know I said in an earlier post that we spend way too much time obsessing about ventilator triage–something that has never happened in America so far–and not enough time obsessing about why our health care system is so broken. Nonetheless, with my friend Felicia Nimue Ackerman, a philosopher at Brown University, I made … Continue reading Should Age be a Criterion for Triage during the Pandemic?

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For three years during the 1960s, I worked for various organizations, all of us trying to end the War in Vietnam.  At one point, I was employed by the Fifth Avenue Peace Parade Committee, while my boyfriend worked for the Student Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam (affectionately known as “The Mobe”).  Both of … Continue reading Coronavirus Contact Tracing

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06/28/2020 Running to Tarshish
The New York Times corroborated something I have long thought to be true: no one who has suffered from the novel coronavirus in America has been denied a respirator due to scarcity.  That being said, why has so much energy and rhetoric been spent on the topic of ventilator triage?  Ventilator scarcity and the looming … Continue reading Running to Tarshish

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  We are all obsessed with ventilators.  The Covid-19 pandemic has created an extraordinary focus on the availability of ventilators.  Ventilators seem to feature in every one of New York State Governor Cuomo’s daily briefings.  The Governor of California kindly shipped some ventilators to New York, but faced backlash among some of his own constituents, … Continue reading No ventilator, not for me!

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Some NYC ultra-Orthodox yeshivas provide little or no secular education to their boys, who leave school illiterate in English and with third-grade math skills.  They have never heard of the American Revolution, written an essay, or entered a science fair.  They cannot pass the GED and are virtually unemployable outside of their community.  Some of … Continue reading Other Stuff: A child’s right to an education

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In “Avoiding Deep Dementia,” an essay in the September/October 2018 issue of the Hastings Center Report, legal scholar Norman Cantor explains why he has an advance directive that calls  for voluntary stopping of eating and drinking as a means of ending his life if he develops dementia and reaches a particular state of decline. Cantor’s essay and three … Continue reading Avoiding Dementia, Causing Moral Distress

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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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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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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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