Hot Topics: Health Care
Most U.S. hospitals have an ethics mechanism. But bioethics committees and consultants are far less common in long-term and post-acute care settings. Karl Steinberg is working to fill this gap. In the February 2019 issue of Provider magazi...Full Article
The family of Jahi McMath dismissed their state medical malpractice lawsuit in September 2018. After Jahi's death on circulatory criteria, the value of the case dropped to within settlement range. But the family had continued their federal lawsui...Full Article
It is with great pleasure that we announce the finalists in the Oxford Uehiro Prize for Practical Ethics 2019, and invite you to the final presentation and reception. The 5th Annual Oxford Uehiro Prize in Practical Ethics Final Presentation and Reception HT19 Week 8, Wednesday 6th March, 4:30 – 5:45 pm. The Presentation will be held […]Full Article
While other states (notably Maine, New Jersey, and New Mexico) are working toward legalizing medical aid in dying; Montana is moving toward delegalizing it. On Thursday, February 14, 2019, the House voted to legislatively overrule the 2009 Baxte...Full Article
By Jon Holmlund A brief recap of reasons why we should not pursue heritable human gene editing: It seems unlikely that risks to immediately-treated generations can be predicted with the accuracy we currently and reasonably expect from human subject research and medical practice. Risks to later generations, that is, to the descendants of edited people, …Full Article
Ray B. said in Volume 94:
If you believe Steven Miles, M.D. (“Oath Betrayed: Torture, Medical Complicity and the War of Terror”) the answer is, “All of them.” That’s hardly evidence of outliers. At the same time, however, there is reason to believe, from Milgram’s study, that the people who commit evil acts may, in fact, be outliers – it depends on the situation.
And so where are we, as patients and our dignity, within the medical system? ..Maurice.
Graphic: From Google Images and modified by me with Art Rage.
Many state legislatures are considering "Simon's Law" bills this session. South Dakota H.B. 1055 has unanimously passed the House and is now in the Senate. "Like other bills a parental objection "precludes the physician from instituting an o...Full Article
This year, The Hastings Center will celebrate its 50th anniversary. The Center was first located on the second floor of my house in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., with some overflow paperwork stored at the home of my neighborhood friend and cofounder, Willard Gaylin. Neither of us had ever run an organization or raised money. I am a… Read moreFull Article
Ethical understandings of proxy decision making for research involving adults lacking capacity: A systematic review (framework synthesis) of empirical research
Genomic Contextualism: Shifting the Rhetoric of Genetic Exceptionalism
Serious Ethical Violations by Physicians: What’s the Solution?
Physician Sexual Assault: The Moral Imperative for Gender Equity in Medicine
Abusive Doctors: How the Atlanta Newspaper Exposed a System That Tolerates Sexual Misconduct by Physicians
Just Policy? An Ethical Analysis of Early Intervention Policy Guidance
Freezing fertility or freezing false hope? A content analysis of social egg freezing in U.S. print media
Taking societal cost into clinical consideration: U.S. physicians’ views
Telling the Truth About Pain: Informed Consent and the Role of Expectation in Pain Intensity
Scientists have long known what causes sickle-cell disease and its devastating effects: a single mutation in one errant gene. But for decades, there has been only modest progress against an inherited condition that mainly afflicts people of African descent.
With advances in gene therapy, that is quickly changing — so much so that scientists have begun to talk of a cure.Full Article
When the Food and Drug Administration approved magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners in 1984, the machines seemed incredible. They offered an inside view of the human body, making it easier to diagnose disease, injuries and physical abnormalities. Today, they’re part of a multibillion-dollar industry: In 2016, 118 out of every 1,000 Americans got an MRI. The use of CT scans was even higher: 245 per 1,000 people in 2016.
But was all of that testing actually necessary?
No way, say physicians from the Mayo Clinic and Stanford University. In a viewpoint article in JAMA, they argue that it’s time to put the brakes on unnecessary and wasted diagnostic imaging.
“There is virtually no evidence that screening of this kind improves overall population health,” write Ohad Oren, Electron Kebebew and John P.A. Ioannidis. But, they admit, it will take a lot to wean Americans off their addiction to medical imaging.Full Article
Are Medicare patients getting better care, or are they being kept out of hospitals to avoid readmission penalties? Are people getting hurt in the process?
There’s no consensus on the answers, as research has produced conflicting results. But the questions intensified recently as two new studies helped stoke skepticism.Full Article
Congress and the Food and Drug Administration need to tame the Wild West of drug pricing. When there’s an E. coli outbreak that causes illness and death, we rightly expect our regulatory bodies to step in. The outbreak of insulin greed is no different.
The flu season is going strong.
About six million to seven million people in the United States have come down with the illness so far, with half of them sick enough to have seen doctors, according to estimates released on Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Some 69,000 to 84,000 ended up in the hospital during the period from Oct. 1, 2018 through Jan. 5.Full Article
A recent study out of Oregon suggests emergency medical responders — EMTs and paramedics — may be treating minority patients differently from the way they treat white patients.
Specifically, the scientists found that black patients in their study were 40 percent less likely to get pain medication than their white peers.
Jamie Kennel, head of emergency medical services programs at Oregon Health and Science University and the Oregon Institute of Technology, led the research, which was presented in December at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Scientific Symposium in Orlando, Fla.Full Article
Before last week, few people had heard the name He Jiankui. But on November 25, the young Chinese researcher became the center of a global firestorm when it emerged that he had allegedly made the first crispr-edited babies, twin girls named Lulu and Nana. Antonio Regalado broke the story for MIT Technology Review, and He himself described the experiment at an international gene-editing summit in Hong Kong. After his talk, He revealed that another early pregnancy is under way.
It is still unclear if He did what he claims to have done. Nonetheless, the reaction was swift and negative. The crispr pioneer Jennifer Doudna says she was “horrified,” NIH Director Francis Collins said the experiment was “profoundly disturbing,” and even Julian Savulescu, an ethicist who has described gene-editing research as “a moral necessity,” described He’s work as “monstrous.”Full Article
A major international project at The Hastings Center released policy recommendations for the development of artificial intelligence and robotics to help reap the benefits and productivity gains and minimize the risks and undesirable social consequences.
“Research, innovation, and the deployment of AI and robotic systems are proceeding rapidly, and so, too, is the emergence of a transdisciplinary community of researchers in AI and the social sciences dedicated to AI safety and ethics,” states the executive summary to the final report. “The Hastings AI workshops played a seminal role in catalyzing the emergence of this worldwide network of organizations and individuals.” The Hastings Center’s project, Control and Responsible Innovation in the Development of AI and Robotics, was funded by the Future of Life Institute and led by Wendell Wallach, a senior advisor at The Hastings Center and a scholar at Yale University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics. Wallach is an internationally recognized expert on the ethical and governance concerns posed by emerging technologies, particularly artificial intelligence and neuroscience. Project participants included Stuart Russell, of the University of California, Berkeley; Bart Selman, of Cornell University; Francesca Rossi, of IBM; and David Roscoe, a Hastings Center advisory council member.Full Article
On the one hand, reports of a rogue scientist, He Jiankui, who contravened the scientific and ethical norms that should guide the development of human genome editing reinforces the need for clarity about those norms and international monitoring of advances in the field. On the other hand, it shows the weaknesses and limitations of voluntary efforts – like the summit – to guide scientists’ practices. They lack any real enforcement power on their own, and have largely served to ensure that human genome editing research can continue, rather than promote reflection on whether we should edit the human germline in the first place.Full Article