Hot Topics: Health Care

Blog Posts (634)

April 17, 2014

Blowing Up Bioethics: A Response to Atrium’s Bad Girls and Head Nurses

Rachelle Barina, MTS and Devan Stahl, MDiv

Northwestern Medical Humanities and Bioethics Program recently published its 2014 issue of Atrium, titled “Bad Girls.” In the issue, William Peace writes an article about “Head Nurses,” which is accompanied by an overtly sexual image (see page 20).…

April 17, 2014

Manslaughter conviction for ‘negligent breastfeeding’ puts other mums at risk

(The Guardian) A genetic defect may be the real culprit in the case of a woman taking painkillers whose baby died of a morphine overdose. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA On Thursday last week, a South Carolina jury convicted Stephanie Greene, a 39-year old nurse, of killing her six-week-old daughter by administering a morphine overdose in her breast […]
April 17, 2014

New Educational Primers to Accompany Anticipate and Communicate

As part of its ongoing effort to support bioethics education, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) has developed and posted to Bioethics.gov a new primer to inform institutional review boards (IRBs) and their members on the ethical management of incidental and secondary findings. The Bioethics Commission designed the IRB Primer to aid IRB […]
April 16, 2014

Bias, Bias, Bias (Part I)

<p class="MsoNoSpacing">One of my areas of research focus in bioethics is known as the responsible conduct of research (RCR) (a.k.a. research integrity). Research on research integrity covers a range of different norms and practices including authorship and publication ethics, research misconduct (fabrication, falsification and plagiarism), responsible mentorship, peer review, and RCR education among others. I have written on several of these topics in our AMBI blogs.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">One of the topics I am interested in chatting about today is bias in the academic setting, but even more generally in the workplace. Much about research methodology aims to reduce or eliminate bias. For example, the experimental scientific method attempts to reduce bias by having proper controls, blinding researchers, and employing statistics so that we don’t over interpret our findings. Sociologists and other qualitative researchers may declare their biases when reporting research so the reader knows where the researcher is coming from. The entire concept of declaring conflicts of interest also aim to permit others to know what potential interest(s) the researcher may have which could bias their results. Moreover, the peer review process, which academia heavily relies on, aims to reduce bias in research. Peer review is not only used in the context of evaluating research, it also evaluates academic scholars for jobs, committee memberships, awards and scholarships, and other entitlements. <a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/08/21/1302997110.full.pdf+html">One recent study</a>done by Drs. Daniele Fanelli and John Ioannidis showed the overestimation of effect sizes in behavioral research. Here the researchers performed a meta-analysis of meta-analyses (cleverly called meta meta-analysis) and found that researchers working in the behavioral, but not biomedical, sciences tended to exaggerate effects that were not supported by the data. Most interestingly, this exaggerated effect was heightened if the research had one or more US authors. While this sort of bias in the reporting of research may at first glance seem relatively benign, it actually has significant consequences because other researchers build on the results of previously published work and accumulatively, our social policies and clinical practices are based on evidence collected from such studies. Yet bias can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes in the academic and research context, some of which I think hits more personally to individual researchers.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong style="color: #34405b; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 20px;">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="text-decoration: underline; color: #000099;" href="/Academic/bioethics/index.cfm">website</a>.</strong></p>
April 16, 2014

Bias, Bias, Bias (Part I)

<p class="MsoNoSpacing">One of my areas of research focus in bioethics is known as the responsible conduct of research (RCR) (a.k.a. research integrity). Research on research integrity covers a range of different norms and practices including authorship and publication ethics, research misconduct (fabrication, falsification and plagiarism), responsible mentorship, peer review, and RCR education among others. I have written on several of these topics in our AMBI blogs.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">One of the topics I am interested in chatting about today is bias in the academic setting, but even more generally in the workplace. Much about research methodology aims to reduce or eliminate bias. For example, the experimental scientific method attempts to reduce bias by having proper controls, blinding researchers, and employing statistics so that we don’t over interpret our findings. Sociologists and other qualitative researchers may declare their biases when reporting research so the reader knows where the researcher is coming from. The entire concept of declaring conflicts of interest also aim to permit others to know what potential interest(s) the researcher may have which could bias their results. Moreover, the peer review process, which academia heavily relies on, aims to reduce bias in research. Peer review is not only used in the context of evaluating research, it also evaluates academic scholars for jobs, committee memberships, awards and scholarships, and other entitlements. <a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/08/21/1302997110.full.pdf+html">One recent study</a>done by Drs. Daniele Fanelli and John Ioannidis showed the overestimation of effect sizes in behavioral research. Here the researchers performed a meta-analysis of meta-analyses (cleverly called meta meta-analysis) and found that researchers working in the behavioral, but not biomedical, sciences tended to exaggerate effects that were not supported by the data. Most interestingly, this exaggerated effect was heightened if the research had one or more US authors. While this sort of bias in the reporting of research may at first glance seem relatively benign, it actually has significant consequences because other researchers build on the results of previously published work and accumulatively, our social policies and clinical practices are based on evidence collected from such studies. Yet bias can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes in the academic and research context, some of which I think hits more personally to individual researchers.</p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong style="color: #34405b; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 20px;">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="text-decoration: underline; color: #000099;" href="/Academic/bioethics/index.cfm">website</a>.</strong></p>
April 16, 2014

Have I Officially Become an Economist Now?

In a recent Huffington Post article, I was described as a Duke University economist. I’m sure the economic community would like to make very clear that I am not one of its members. The same goes for most communities, as … Continue reading
April 16, 2014

7th Annual National Healthcare Decisions Day

IT’S HERE!  Today is the 7th Annual National Healthcare Decisions Day! 

ACTIVITIES/RESOURCES:  Even if you have your own resources, please also direct patients, residents, clients, and the public to the resources at: http://www.nhdd.org  There are free resources that people can care with loved ones throughout the country.

FREE WEBINAR TODAY: at 3:00pm eastern, please join me, Ellen Goodman and others for an NHDD webinar.  Register at:http://theconversationproject.org/

LEAD BY EXAMPLE: As always, please encourage others by your example.  Here’s a simple message you can send/post to your family and friends tomorrow:

Today is National Healthcare Decisions Day.  I have had a talk about advance care planning with my loved ones.  Have you?  Free information, forms, tools, and an incredible video are at: www.nhdd.org  Do it today.

SPREAD THE WORD FURTHER: Please share NHDD information with your members/contacts/colleagues by forwarding this email or a link to www.nhdd.org or NHDD on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn 

JOIN US:  If you are receiving this email second-hand (or have not previously confirmed participation), please let us know who you are by completing the short participant confirmation here:  http://www.nhdd.org/join/

DON’T FORGET THE REST OF THE YEAR:  NHDD is our rallying day, but advance care planning is important throughout the year.  Continue to use the NHDD resources and always be on the lookout for activities to make NHDD even better.   

April 16, 2014

Patient Modesty: Volume 65

And the discussion continues.  From Paul writing to Volume 64:I wonder what women in general, as well as female nurses ,female techs, and other female providers would think if the gender numbers were reversed?Imagine you go in for a routine exam w...
April 15, 2014

Look How Much Medicare Spends after Patients Leave the Hospital

As readers of this blog know, Medicare costs loom large in our nation’s future. If we do not find a way to control Medicare spending, it’s hard to imagine any way to remain a solvent nation. As we continue to … Continue reading
April 15, 2014

International Conference on End of Life: Law, Ethics, Policy and Practice - ABSTRACT DEADLINE

From August 13-15  2014, the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia will be hosting the International Conference on End of Life: Law, Ethics, Policy and Practice.  The call for abstracts closes Wednesday, April 30.








ICEL 2014 will provide a global forum at which health law scholars, bioethicists, legal and health practitioners, and health law and bioethics institutions can meet to discuss and present on law, ethics, policy and practice relating to the end of life. Abstracts on the conference’s four sub-themes are particularly welcome:
  • Withholding and withdrawal of potentially life-sustaining treatment (e.g. advance care planning, futile treatment)
  • Palliative care and terminal sedation
  • Euthanasia and assisted suicide
  • Determination of death and organ and tissue donation

Here are some highlights:
  • Debate on ethics of euthanasia and assisted suicide -- Professor Peter Singer, Princeton University & Assistant Professor Charles Camosy, Fordham University
  • How we die -- Dr Peter Saul, John Hunter Hospital & Professor Michael Ashby, Royal Hobart Hospital and Southern Tasmania Health Organisation (THO)
  • Withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment -- Professor Jocelyn Downie, Dalhousie University
  • Panel sessions: Comparative flash points in end of life law, ethics and policy
  • Terminal sedation -- Professor Shelia McLean, Glasgow University
  • Determination of death -- Dr Dale Gardiner, Nottingham University Hospitals
  • Assisted death practice: Research from around the world

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Published Articles (14)

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 14 Issue 2 - Feb 2014

Ethical Review of Health Systems Research in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Conceptual Exploration Adnan A. Hyder, Abbas Rattani, Carleigh Krubiner, Abdulgafoor M. Bachani & Nhan T. Tran

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 14 Issue 2 - Feb 2014

Connecting Health Systems Research Ethics to a Broader Health Equity Agenda Bridget Pratt

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 13 Issue 9 - Sep 2013

An Ethical Analysis of Mandatory Influenza Vaccination of Health Care Personnel: Implementing Fairly and Balancing Benefits and Burdens Armand H. Matheny Antommaria

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 13 Issue 9 - Sep 2013

Vaccine Mandates Are Justifiable Because We Are All in This Together John D. Lantos and Mary Anne Jackson

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 13 Issue 8 - Aug 2013

Treating Patients as Persons: A Capabilities Approach to Support Delivery of Person-Centered Care Vikki A. Entwistle & Ian S. Watt

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 13 Issue 8 - Aug 2013

Justice Between Age Groups: An Objection to the Prudential Lifespan Approach Nancy S. Jecker

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 13 Issue 8 - Aug 2013

Global Aging and the Allocation of Health Care Across the Life Span Norman Daniels

AJOB Primary Research: Volume 4 Issue 2 - Apr 2013

Using the Best Interests Standard to Generate Actual Duties Loretta M. Kopelman

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 12 Issue 12 - Dec 2012

The Morality of Saved Lives Rajaie Batniji & Paul H. Wise

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 12 Issue 12 - Dec 2012

Global Health Justice and Governance Jennifer Prah Ruger

News (1960)

March 25, 2014 2:53 pm

Marijuana pills and sprays ease MS symptoms

There is no cure for the condition, and therapies have proven difficult, as many have serious side effects. But now, relief may come in the form of a medical marijuana pill.

March 5, 2014 3:04 pm

Planned Parenthood, Tucson gynecologist, fighting tighter regulations on abortion drugs

Planned Parenthood and a Tucson gynecologist are asking a federal judge to block new rules that will sharply restrict ability to perform abortions using drugs instead of surgery.

March 3, 2014 4:08 pm

Women Still Left Out of Medical Research: Report

Two decades after the passage of a landmark law mandating that women be represented in government-funded medical research, a new report reveals that the world of science is still ignoring women’s unique health issues far more than it should.

February 28, 2014 4:00 pm

Nurse Education, Workload Impact Patient Post-Op Mortality

Nurse staffing and education are associated with in-hospital mortality after common surgical procedures, according to a study published online Feb. 26 in The Lancet.

February 21, 2014 2:37 pm

$5B initiative proposed for stem cell research

Supporters of California’s multibillion-dollar stem cell program plan to ask for $5 billion more to bring the fruits of research to patients.

February 20, 2014 5:45 pm

Insured patients are often not transferred for better care, study finds

Patients with insurance may not be transferred to specialized trauma centers as quickly as those without, a Stanford study has found.

February 12, 2014 4:02 pm

Vast Study Casts Doubts on Value of Mammograms

One of the largest and most meticulous studies of mammography ever done, involving 90,000 women and lasting a quarter-century, has added powerful new doubts about the value of the screening test for women of any age.

February 11, 2014 7:38 pm

Did AOL CEO Tim Armstrong Violate HIPAA?

Tim Armstrong has already acknowledged (and apologized) for his sizable gaffe last week, but is he also guilty of violating healthcare’s privacy law known as HIPAA?

February 10, 2014 6:44 pm

Teen Pregnancy Rates Much Higher for Girls With Serious Mental Illness: Study

Teenage girls diagnosed with major mental illness are much more likely to give birth, suggesting such girls should become a special target for anti-pregnancy efforts.

February 5, 2014 6:30 pm

New rule allows patients to get test results directly from labs, without doctors’ clearance

Patients may obtain their test results directly from the laboratory that produced them, without having to go through their doctors.

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