Hot Topics: Health Care

Blog Posts (2776)

February 9, 2016

In Texas, A Hospital Ethics Panel - Not the Patient or Family - Decides Whether to End Care

A new story in the Houston Press covers the operation of dispute resolution procedures in the Texas Advance Directives Act. I cover this in more detail in a forthcoming long article in 16(1) QUT Law Review.
February 8, 2016

Living, Dying, and the Problem with Hope

In this 20-minute TEDx talk Dr. Leslie Blackhall, Head of Palliative Care at the University of Virginia, identifies misplaced "hope" as a key cause of non-beneficial medical interventions.   Blackhall argues that accepting dying as a part of life...
February 8, 2016

The CDC’s Graphic on Women and Alcohol is Flawed: Why That Matters

Elizabeth Dietz
February 8, 2016

Beware of Large Pizza Slices!

Pizza is pizza, and a full stomach is a full stomach. But when restaurants slice pizza into smaller pieces, you are probably likely to consume less pizza: The post Beware of Large Pizza Slices! appeared first on
February 7, 2016

"That Dragon, Cancer" - A Journey of Hope in the Shadow of Death [EOL in Art 199]

“That Dragon, Cancer” is a new video game about Joel Green, a terminally ill 5-year-old, and his parents.  It sounds more (meaningfully) sad than fun.  For example, the game withholds some control from the player as an attempt to convey feelings of helplessness and despair. 

“That Dragon, Cancer” mixes animation and magical realism to convey the Greens’ emotional state during Joel’s illness. There is one dragon, but much of the game consists of re-enactments of mundanities like phone messages and hospital visits.  Water fills a room as a doctor says there are no more treatments for Joel’s cancer.   (HT: NYT)

February 6, 2016

Room for Death [EOL in Art 198]

A new study in Social Science and Medicine, researchers report on data from a project teaming artists and craftspeople together to create prototypes of space for difficult conversations in end-of-life settings.  These prototypes were presented in...
February 6, 2016

Bioethics and the Super Bowl (or, from the sublime to the ridiculous)

What, you ask after reading today’s title, could the Super Bowl possibly have to do with Bioethics? Maybe you thought it would be about concussions or some such concern. Well, in honor of the upcoming minor sports event this weekend, and with tongue firmly in cheek, I present the following: A study in this month’s Journal of American Health Economics found that in areas that... // Read More »
February 5, 2016

“This is the first time I’ve been asked that question.” Hillary Clinton on PAD

Nancy Berlinger
February 5, 2016

Stingy Insurance + Low Income = Bad Combination

The Commonwealth Fund recently circulated information on the widespread difficulty many Americans have paying for their medical care, even when they have insurance. Burdened by high co-pays and high coinsurance rates, these out-of-pocket expenses are putting people on the financial … Continue reading

The post Stingy Insurance + Low Income = Bad Combination appeared first on

February 5, 2016

CANHR v. Chapman - Final Judgment on 1418.8 IDT Process

In June 2015, the Alameda Superior Court issued an Order striking down much of California Health & Safety Code 1418.8.   This section outlines the IDT process that long-term care facilities have long used to make medical decisions for incapac...

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Published Articles (22)

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 16 Issue 1 - Jan 2016

Professional Judgment and Justice: Equal Respect for the Professional Judgment of Critical-Care Physicians David Magnus & Norm Rizk

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 10 - Oct 2015

Do Patients Want to Participate in Decisions About Their Own Medical Care? John D. Lantos

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 4 - Apr 2015

Ideology and Microbiology: Ebola, Science, and Deliberative Democracy Joseph J. Fins

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 2 - Feb 2015

Collectivizing Rescue Obligations in Bioethics Jeremy R. Garrett

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 2 - Feb 2015

Rethinking the Rescue Paradigm Kayhan Parsi

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 14 Issue 9 - Sep 2014

Addressing Dual Agency: Getting Specific About the Expectations of Professionalism Jon C. Tilburt

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 14 Issue 7 - Jul 2014

The Principle of Equivalence Reconsidered: Assessing the Relevance of the Principle of Equivalence in Prison Medicine Fabrice Jotterand & Tenzin Wangmo

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 14 Issue 6 - Jun 2014

Patient and Citizen Participation in Health: The Need for Improved Ethical Support Laura Williamson

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

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News (1999)

January 20, 2016 6:29 pm

Breast cancer screening recommendations clarify science but muddy political waters

The experts who sparked a passionate debate over the value of mammograms as a tool to screen for breast cancer are doubling down on the recommendations that earned them the ire of cancer groups, women’s groups and a large contingent in Congress.

January 7, 2016 6:31 pm

Does cancer screening save lives? Unclear, researchers say

Bigger studies are needed to tell whether cancer screening really saves lives, according to a new analysis.

November 24, 2015 2:27 pm

U.S. appeals court rules against Wisconsin abortion doctor law

A Wisconsin law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital is unconstitutional, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Monday, addressing a topic the U.S. Supreme Court is considering during its current term.

October 28, 2015 6:19 pm

Personal Care Products With Parabens May Be Dangerous, Even At Low Levels; What To Look For On Labels

Every morning after waking up, when a person showers and shampoos their hair, lotions their body, dons sunscreen, or moisturizes their face, they expose themselves to dozens of controversial, possibly harmful chemicals. Called parabens, a team of researchers from the University of California Berkeley recently discovered these chemicals may be more dangerous at low doses than previously thought.

October 22, 2015 1:33 pm

Even doctors and nurses don’t always have healthy lifestyles

Even doctors and nurses don’t always follow the healthy lifestyle choices they recommend for patients to reduce the risk of medical problems like obesity, heart disease and diabetes, a U.S. study suggests.

October 14, 2015 5:42 pm

Michigan Catholic hospital failed to help woman with brain tumor: complaint

The American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday accused a Catholic hospital in Michigan of failing to provide appropriate care by refusing on religious grounds to allow a pregnant woman with a brain tumor to be sterilized.

October 12, 2015 3:52 pm

Exclusive - Transatlantic divide: how U.S. pays three times more for drugs

U.S. prices for the world’s 20 top-selling medicines are, on average, three times higher than in Britain, according to an analysis carried out for Reuters.

October 8, 2015 2:23 pm

Perceived discrimination linked to smoking and poor diet

Feeling like the target of discrimination may increase a person’s odds of harmful behaviors like smoking, eating fatty foods and getting less sleep, a study of African-Americans suggests.

October 7, 2015 2:15 pm

Medical students and physicians share their writings on “becoming a real doctor”

The dilemma of being a medical student on clinical rounds who wants to help patients but can’t was captured by third-year student Raymond Deng in his essay “Performing Grief,” at a recent reading held by Stanford’s Medicine and the Muse Program and Pegasus Physician Writers group.
October 2, 2015 3:22 pm

Venom experts say global snake bite death tolls 'grossly underestimated'

Venom specialists said on Wednesday disease and disability caused by snake bites is far higher than official global health estimates suggest and antivenom stocks are running dangerously low.

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