Tag: policy

Blog Posts (42)

February 26, 2015

When Doctors Discriminate

by Sean Philpott-Jones, Director of the Center for Bioethics and Clinical Leadership Most of you have probably never heard of Jami and Krista Contreras, a Michigan couple and the proud parents of a six-month-old girl named Bay. Shortly after Bay was born, the Contrerases began interviewing pediatricians, looking for one who practiced holistic medicine. After […]
February 19, 2015

The Carter v. Canada Conundrum: Next Steps for Implementing Physician Aid-in-Dying in Canada

by Sally Bean and Maxwell Smith (Bioethics Program Alum, 2010) We applaud the February 6, 2015 Supreme Court of Canada’s (SCC) unanimous ruling in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), 2015 SCC 5. The Court found the criminal prohibition of assisted death to be in violation of section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which […]
February 12, 2015

How to Die in Canada

by Sean Philpott-Jones, Director of the Center for Bioethics and Clinical Leadership Last week, our neighbors to the north took a huge step towards legalizing physician aid-in-dying. On Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously struck down that country’s ban on the practice, suspending two sections of the Criminal Code that outlawed assisted suicide and […]
January 17, 2015

Can Safety, Freedom And Rationing Co-Exist For The Elderly?

by Susan Mathews, Bioethics Program Alumna (2014) In a recent op-ed article, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, former Special Advisor for Health Policy to the Obama Administration, stated that he did not want to live beyond the age of 75. At that point, his productive life would be over and he become a burden rather than a benefit to […]
January 15, 2015

(Golden) Global Change and LGBT Rights

by Sean Philpott-Jones, Director of the Center for Bioethics and Clinical Leadership I make it a tradition to watch televised awards shows like the Oscars, Emmys, and Grammys. This is not because I particularly care about the entertainment industry, but primarily because I enjoy providing a running commentary of snarky comments about the various nominee’s […]
January 3, 2015

A Cold Day’s Concern About a Warming Planet

by Sean Philpott-Jones, Director of the Center for Bioethics and Clinical Leadership My husband and I usually spend both Thanksgiving and Christmas at my in-laws’ house in Western New York, located about 30 minutes outside of Buffalo. This year was no exception. What was different this year was the unusual weather. The Thanksgiving holiday was […]
December 16, 2014

Does A Just Society Use the “R” Word?

by Susan Mathews, Bioethics Program Alumna (2014) Healthcare spending in the U.S. is expected to grow by more than 5 percent annually over the next ten years. Should that prediction hold true, by 2023 health care spending will account for a fifth of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). Unfortunately, this level of spending is not sustainable […]
December 4, 2014

Protecting Transgender Students

by Sean Philpott-Jones, Director of the Center for Bioethics and Clinical Leadership Two nights ago, the Shenendehowa Board of Education voted 4 to 2 in favor of a new policy designed to protect the rights and safety of transgender students. High school students in the district will now be allowed to use bathrooms and locker […]
November 26, 2014

Striking the Balance Between Population Guidelines and Patient Primacy

by Susan Mathews, Bioethics Program Alumna (2014) Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among North American women. Although routine mammography decreases the risk of death by about 15 percent, research on the effectiveness of wide-scale screening programs shows that 2,500 people would need to be screened to prevent one cancer death among women […]
October 23, 2014

Fear and Loathing in Liberia

by Sean Philpott-Jones, Director of the Center for Bioethics and Clinical Leadership Two weeks ago, I wrote a commentary decrying the current hysteria in the US over Ebola. It was ironic, I argued, that so many people were demanding the federal government take immediate steps to address the perceived threat of Ebola while simultaneously ignoring […]

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Published Articles (6)

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 10 Issue 5 - May 2010

Stem Cell Tourism and Doctors' Duties to Minors?A View From Canada

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 10 Issue 3 - Mar 2010

Response to Open Peer Commentaries on ?Trans Fat Bans and Human Freedom?

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 10 Issue 3 - Mar 2010

Trans Fat Bans and Human Freedom

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 7 Issue 6 - Jun 2007

Public Health, Public Trust and Lobbying

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 6 Issue 2 - Mar 2006

ELSI Priorities for Brain Imaging

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 4 Issue 1 - Jan 2004

Will Lower Drug Prices Jeopardize Drug Research? A Policy Fact Sheet

News (38)

September 20, 2012 8:42 pm

N.C. Woman With Stage 4 Cancer Fights Foreclosure (ABC News)

When Kirk Davis of Mount Holly, N.C., describes his wife’s cancer and subsequent treatment, he never says it was “her” diagnosis or chemo. He says “we were diagnosed with breast cancer” on June 2, 2008.  The diagnosis, which was followed by medical bills and both having to take pay cuts, led to the Davis’ struggle to save their home from a scheduled foreclosure in December.  Cindi Davis, 50, had to resign from her job as a school teacher to go on long-term disability. She said she has stage four cancer, now that it has spread to her lymph nodes, lungs and liver.


September 5, 2012 7:57 pm

Do Current Organ Transplant Policies Restrict Potential Donors? (Huffington Post)

A friend of mine, a transplant surgeon, was emotionally recounting a recent experience. A young woman with organ failure desperately needed a transplant, but none was available, and she was sinking rapidly. She, her family, and the medical team expected that she would be dead before the morning, and she had already said her goodbyes. The team was in despair, knowing that they could have saved her if only the means had been available. Then, suddenly, news came that a donor had been found. Everyone rushed into action, and by the next day joy was unconfined.  That story had a happy ending, but its purpose was to emphasize the thousands of similar stories that end in tragedy. Innumerable people experience firsthand the misery of failing organs, and their doctors suffer the intense distress of knowing they have the skills to save them but not the organs themselves.

September 5, 2012 7:41 pm

Former Harvard professor Marc Hauser fabricated, manipulated data, US says (Boston.com)

Marc Hauser, a prolific scientist and popular psychology professor who last summer resigned from Harvard University, had fabricated data, manipulated results in multiple experiments, and described how studies were conducted in factually incorrect ways, according to the findings of a federal research oversight agency posted online Wednesday.  The report provides the greatest insight yet into the problems that triggered a three-year internal university investigation that concluded in 2010 that Hauser, a star professor and public intellectual, had committed eight instances of scientific misconduct. The document, which will be published in the Federal Register Thursday, found six cases in which Hauser engaged in research misconduct in work supported by the National Institutes of Health. One paper was retracted and two were corrected, and other problems were found in unpublished work.

August 12, 2012 6:39 pm

More voices raising questions about consumer gene testing (Silicon Beat)

The Mercury News editorial page had a great column today from three experts on genetic testing that provides the medical perspective on why a physician should be involved in the direct-to-consumer genetic testing process. They argue that these are indeed medical tests, despite industry arguments otherwise. And the results are complex.

August 8, 2012 3:31 pm

Bioethicist: Families, stop thwarting organ donors (NBC News (blog))

Despite the great demand, very few Americans donate their organs when they die. But the reason for that may not be what you’d think — it’s your relatives.  That’s what David Shaw, honorary lecturer at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, thinks the real problem is. In an article published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal, he writes that one of the biggest reasons more people don’t wind up donating is veto by their family.

July 24, 2012 9:15 am

Ban on pharma meals for physicians overturned (American Medical News)

In May, the Massachusetts Medical Society adopted policy supporting a change in the state’s gift ban so long as the modification conformed to guidelines from the ACCME and the American Medical Association. The AMA Code of Medical Ethics says it is OK for physicians to accept gifts worth $100 or less from industry so long as they benefit patients.

July 10, 2012 4:32 pm

An Organ 'Donor' Revolution (The Wall Street Journal)

With all eyes fixed on the Supreme Court’s recent health-care decision, a life-saving development swooped in under the radar: It is now legal to compensate bone-marrow donors. This represents a triumph for the 2,000-3,000 people with cancer and blood diseases who die each year while awaiting a marrow transplant.

July 9, 2012 9:20 pm

Lesbians allowed to donate blood in China (Examiner.com)

In a reversal of government health policy, the People’s Republic of China now allows lesbians to donate blood, the United Nations reported Sunday.  “The ban still applies to men who are sexually active with other men, but celibate homosexuals are permitted to give blood, CNN reported.

June 28, 2012 9:44 am

Let grandma have sex! (Salon)

A new article published in the Journal of Medical Ethics takes nursing homes to task because elderly patients’ “sexual expression” is often “overlooked, ignored or even discouraged.” The authors of the Australian paper argue, “The formation of relationships, physical intimacy and the expression of sexuality are a basic human right and a normal and healthy part of aging,” and caregivers should respects patients’ “decisions about their sexuality, intimacy and physical relationships.”

May 15, 2012 10:40 am

Unintended Consequence for Dialysis Patients as Drug Rule Changes (New York Times)

A shift last year by the federal government in how it pays for drugs to treat dialysis patients may have had an unintended and potentially dire consequence, according to new research: a significant jump in blood transfusions for patients who now may not be getting enough of the medications. The findings are seen by some experts as a stark illustration of how the government’s reimbursement policies can drive the practice of medicine.

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