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Author Archive: Susan Gilbert

About Susan Gilbert

Is it unrealistic to believe that phone apps for digital Covid contact tracing can be designed and regulated in ways that prevent the information they collect from being misused? It's worth remembering surveillance of Vietnam War protesters and Martin Luther King Jr.

The post Before We Turn to Digital Contract Tracing for Covid, Remember Surveillance in the Sixties appeared first on The Hastings Center.

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With some reluctance, I’ve come to the sad realization the COVID-19 pandemic has been a stress test for bioethics, a field of study that intersects medicine, law, the humanities and the social sciences. As both a physician and medical ethicist, I arrived at this conclusion after spending months at what was once the epicenter of the pandemic: New York City. I was overseeing a 24/7 bioethics consultation service.

The post Covid-19 Makes Clear that Bioethics Must Confront Health Disparities appeared first on The Hastings Center.

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In his recent JAMA article, Donald Berwick eloquently describes what he termed the “moral determinants of health,” by which he meant a strong sense of social solidarity in which people in the United States would “depend on each other for securing the basic circumstances of healthy lives,” reflecting a “moral law within.” Berwick’s work should serve as a call to action for bioethicists and clinical ethicists to consider what they can do to be forces of broad moral change in their institutions.

The post Ethicists as a Force for Institutional Change and Policies to Promote Equality appeared first on The Hastings Center.

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Several states, including Ohio, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, Iowa, and Oklahoma, declared abortion a nonessential service at some point during the pandemic, meaning that it was effectively banned until the crisis passed. Supporters of the policies maintain that abortion is an elective procedure whose medical resources are better off used in the fight against the pandemic. But abortion opponents have been taking advantage of the current circumstances to limit abortion access.

The post Using the Pandemic as an Excuse to Limit Abortion appeared first on The Hastings Center.

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Before there was the Covid-19 pandemic, there was Pandemic. This tabletop game, in which players collaborate to fight disease outbreaks, debuted in 2007. Expansions feature weaponized pathogens, historic pandemics, zoonotic diseases, and vaccine development races. Game mechanics modelled on pandemic vectors provide multiple narratives: battle, quest, detection, discovery. There is satisfaction in playing “against” disease–and winning. Real pandemic is not as tidy as a game. But can games support understanding about the societal challenges we now face? Yes.

The post Social-Change Games Can Help Us Understand the Public Health Choices We Face appeared first on The Hastings Center.

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The Covid-19 pandemic is unlikely to end until there is a safe, effective, and widely distributed vaccine. How soon can researchers achieve this goal? The answer largely depends on which strategies researchers are willing to adopt. One potential strategy is to conduct human challenge studies, in which researchers give an experimental vaccine to healthy volunteers and then test—or “challenge”—the vaccine by purposely exposing volunteers to the virus. Although a growing number of voices are calling on researchers to employ this strategy, the proposal is generating a heated debate about the ethics of such research.

The post Accepting the Challenge: Covid Vaccine Challenge Trials Can Be Ethically Justified appeared first on The Hastings Center.

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The United States leads the world in coronavirus cases and deaths. Although many people have called out the inadequacies of our health care system, Covid-19 has exposed the most significant shortcomings. The need for change can no longer be ignored. Here are three lessons from this pandemic that should be leveraged for change.

The post Cracks in the System: Lessons Learned from the Covid-19 Pandemic appeared first on The Hastings Center.

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The United States leads the world in coronavirus cases and deaths. Although many people have called out the inadequacies of our health care system, Covid-19 has exposed the most significant shortcomings. The need for change can no longer be ignored. Here are three lessons from this pandemic that should be leveraged for change.

The post Cracks in the System: Lessons Learned from the Covid-19 Pandemic appeared first on The Hastings Center.

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Growing isolation, financial challenges and disease burden during the Covid-19 pandemic threaten to worsen the mental health needs of the entire U.S. population. These challenges are heightened among immigrants with untreated chronic mental health conditions as they experience added psychological distress owing to harsh immigration policies and worsening structural barriers to health during the pandemic.

The post “If the virus doesn’t kill us, the stress and anxiety will.” Immigrants during Covid appeared first on The Hastings Center.

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Covid-19 is a matter of public and global health ethics, and the pandemic is currently accelerating cooperation within and contributions from these fields. A meeting on June 27, hosted by the European Union and Global Citizen, is the latest example another global pledging event on June 27, will include governments and large institutions, as well as individuals and communities worldwide.

The post Bringing Ethics into the Global Coronavirus Response appeared first on The Hastings Center.

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