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11/24/2014

Stop Unwanted Medical Treatment

Healthcare providers regularly ignore end-of-life wishes or give patients insufficient information to make medical decisions.  Check out Compassion & Choices campaign to stop unwanted medical treatment. 

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , . Posted by Thaddeus Mason Pope. Bookmark the permalink.

11/24/2014

The Importance of the Collective Afterlife for Human Values: The Collective Afterlife and the “Afterlife Conjecture”

by J.S. Blumenthal-Barby, Ph.D.

In his new book, Death and the Afterlife (comprised of his two Tanner Lectures on Human Values), philosopher Samuel Scheffler argues that the assumption of a “collective afterlife” (i.e., the assumption that humanity lives on here on earth after our own individual deaths) plays an essential role in us valuing much of what we do. He argues, provocatively, that if a collective afterlife did not exist we would cease to value much of what we do (his “afterlife conjecture”). This includes our valuing research in science, technology and medicine; social and political activism; building or reforming social or cultural institutions; improving the physical infrastructure of society; protecting the environment; and procreation.…

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This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Philosophy & Ethics. Posted by Jennifer Blumenthal-Barby. Bookmark the permalink.

11/23/2014

Deregulation and Free Markets for Stem Cell Products

<p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;"><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">Paolo Bianco and colleague Douglas Sipp wrote a very provocative and interesting piece recently published in the journal</span><em style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">Nature</em><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;"> (</span><a style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;" href="http://www.nature.com/news/regulation-sell-help-not-hope-1.15409">http://www.nature.com/news/regulation-sell-help-not-hope-1.15409</a><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">)discussing a movement to permit stem cell medicines, among others, to be sold in the market without the requirement to show much safety and efficacy data permitting the market to determine safety and effectiveness of compounds. Here, patients would basically pay to obtain products and also be research subjects. Certain powerful groups are calling for the deregulation of clinical medicine as a business model to bring innovative products to the marketplace. But before I begin explaining what Bianco and Sipp discuss, we need to cover the current system of regulatory oversight of medical products.</span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;"><strong style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px; color: #34405b; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;">The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers a Master of Science in Bioethics, a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics, and Graduate Certificates in Clinical Ethics and Clinical Ethics Consultation. For more information on AMBI's online graduate programs, please visit our <a style="color: #000099; text-decoration: underline;" href="http://www.amc.edu/Academic/bioethics/index.cfm">website</a>.</strong></p>

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , , , . Posted by Hayley Dittus-Doria. Bookmark the permalink.

11/22/2014

Mary Welch Charged with Medical Child Abuse for Obtaining Unnecessary Treatment

A 50-page arrest warrant for Mary Anna Welch accuses her of deceiving doctors into performing needless invasive surgeries on her son, Duke.  She's charged with child endangerment.  (NBC News; ABC News)

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , . Posted by Thaddeus Mason Pope. Bookmark the permalink.

11/21/2014

Brain in a Jar – Sufficient Reason to Keep Me Alive

I share this treatment preference expressed by Atul Gawande at a recent Oregon Public Broadcasting book event. "If I'm a brain in jar and I have some sort of sensory devices hooked up to me that allow me to speak, to think, to hear, to talk and to con...

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , . Posted by Thaddeus Mason Pope. Bookmark the permalink.

11/21/2014

Bioethics Exam

In keeping with the evaluation-obsessed spirit of the time, here is a little bioethics test. No multiple-choice fill-in-the-bubbles here, no simple true/false; but bioethics usually isn’t so simple, is it? So it’s OK if you don’t have a No. 2 pencil, you can still take today’s exam! _______________________ 1. The patient-physician relationship depends on trust, and close observation, and appreciating subtleties, and giving one’s full attention... // Read More »

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11/21/2014

The Bioethics Commission’s Neuro Double-Header

Since President Obama’s April 2013 launch of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) has worked to ensure that ethics is an integral part of the conversation when discussing neuroscience. This past week, the Bioethics Commission was busy discussing its work at […]

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , , , , . Posted by Alannah Kittle. Bookmark the permalink.

11/21/2014

Time To Stop Paying For Pepsi With Food Stamps

The food stamp program helps over 40 million Americans pay for groceries. Unlike other forms of economic assistance, this program, called SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), only pays for food, thereby constraining how recipients make use of the aid. … Continue reading

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11/21/2014

Doused Counties: Banning Tobacco Sales in Massachusetts

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The small city of Westminster, Massachusetts is voting on whether to become the first town in the nation to ban sales of tobacco products, e-cigarettes, and bubblegum-shaped smoking implements within its limits. Many cities already have bans on selling tobacco to minors, smoking bars, businesses, offices, and even in public. The drugstore giant CVS has banned sales of tobacco products from its stores. But this is the first time that a city is making the sale of tobacco and e-cigarettes illegal.

The reasons for the smoking ban are simple. In this town of 7,400, there has been concern that tobacco companies use marketing to create new smokers.…

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This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Public Health and tagged , . Posted by Craig Klugman. Bookmark the permalink.

11/21/2014

Resident physicians as the key to Do Not Resuscitate orders

At last month’s ASCO Palliative Care conference in Boston, one of the presentations was a survey, done by resident physicians (doctors 1-3 years out of medical school, doing hospital-based, post graduate training) at Tufts Medical Center.  The topic: what their fellow residents thought about conducting conversations with patients about Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders. Some background:  most of the time, these conversations would arise in... // Read More »

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , , , . Posted by Jon Holmlund. Bookmark the permalink.