Hot Topics: Health Care

Blog Posts (3125)

May 27, 2016

Three New Technologies for Self Deliverance

To the extent that I focus on end-of-life issues, I focus (in articles, conferences, medically-managed means of hastening death: policy counsel) on Withholding/Withdrawing Treatment Voluntary Stopping Eating & Drinking (VSED) Medical Aid in Dying ...
May 26, 2016

Career Paths in Public Health Law and Health Law (webinar)

Join me on Wednesday. June 1 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET for a free webinar: "Career Paths in Public Health Law and Health Law."

This webinar will provide attendees with a better understanding of the evolving nature of the public health law field and will share targeted strategies and practical advice on how to find jobs in the field. Two experienced professionals will discuss the relationship between health law and public health law, offer examples of opportunities in both the traditional public health law realm and in evolving areas of work and provide tips on a number of career topics. 


  • Thaddeus Pope, J.D., Ph.D., Director, Health Law Institute and Professor of Law, Mitchell Hamline School of Law
  • Dan O'Brien, J.D., Consultant, Network for Public Health Law and Former Counsel, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

May 26, 2016

Not Your Father’s Medical Humanities

Hearing the Call:  A Feature on How Physicians and Medical Educators Came to Understand their Vocation By Delese Wear & Therese Jones No one would argue that the definitions of “health” and “medicine” are different.  However,  when some of us began to urge a change regarding those words as modifiers—as in medical humanities being replaced […]
May 26, 2016

An Easy (But Politically Complicated) Way To Save Billions Of Dollars On Medical Care

I sometimes worry that my wife Paula won’t be able to see me grow old. Not that I expect to outlive her. She is four years my junior and has the blood pressure of a 17-year-old track star. It’s her … Continue reading

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May 26, 2016

Obsessed with Smartness

I came across an article published recently in The Chronicle of Higher Education with the rather surprising title: “Are Colleges Too Obsessed With Smartness?”

I have spent the last forty-eight years at one college or another as a student, fellow or faculty member and for nearly all of that time I have always thought of smartness as a good and admirable thing in those who taught me, those I taught, and my colleagues. I thought therefore, that it might be worth taking a look to find out exactly what he meant by “smartness” and what he thought was wrong with higher educators being interested in smartness. I will admit that I began reading with the idea that the contention might possibly be misguided. I also went into that consideration aware of the frequency with which overreaching statements made in The Chronicle of Higher Education by retired professors really mean that they are promoting a book. In this case the latter was true but I will not name the book as I do not wish to promote it.

Eric Hoover, Professor Emeritus at UCLA actually appears to define smartness pretty much the same way everybody else does “in the traditional sense, kids who get the highest grades and testy scores.” He objects that the “emphasis on these students” is “to the detriment of everybody else”. He does not really provide much of an argument, in this article, how this is to the detriment of everybody else. It may very well be true that these students have an advantage in gaining admission to some institutions and being awarded certain scholarships. Is this necessarily bad? I am not sure I believe this is a problem. There are many scholarships awarded on the basis of need. Is it wrong that some are awarded on merit?

When I served as a consultant to my local public school system I learned that the curriculum was aimed at the average students and that there were many programs in place to assist lower achieving students. The smartest students were often left underserved, bored and uninterested and as a result underachieving. I was happy to advocate and help design programs for these students.

There are many opportunities in place where a student’s innate qualities may be to their advantage. When I made my rather marginal attempts to succeed on my high school football team I accepted the fact that the largest, strongest, fastest players had an advantage. In defense of my teammates I will note that many of them were quite smart as well. I do not think there is anything wrong with obtaining advantage based on being smart, especially in an educational system in a society and economy which rewards merit and accomplishment. I could not have achieved much if I had to be strong and fast to succeed. I am glad there was an opportunity for me to achieve and succeed based on the things I was able to do. I am glad that others will also be able to succeed based on what they can do.

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 website.

May 26, 2016

Bioethics Commission’s New Recommendations Bolster Ethics Education

The Bioethics Commission has encouraged and supported bioethics education throughout its projects and activities. Our educational materials, related to our reports, are tailored reach a variety of audiences. As the Bioethics Commission nears the end of its tenure, the capstone report Bioethics for Every Generation: Deliberation and Education in Health, Science, and Technology ties together […]
May 26, 2016

Doctors Falsely Certified Patients as Terminally Ill

In May 2016, California doctors Sri "Dr. J" Wijegoonaratna and Boyao Huang were convicted of healthcare fraud for falsely certifying that their patients were terminally ill. California Hospice Care paid marketers to recruit Medicare and Medi-Cal benef...
May 25, 2016

Specialty Drugs at Especially High Prices

There have been many wonderful new medications in the past decade or so, drugs that finally bring hope for many people with serious illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and even some advanced cancers. But these drugs often come at … Continue reading

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May 25, 2016

Why do families have different expectations at the end of life than physicians?

I have a friend who is a funeral director. I am a family physician. One of the things that we have in common is that we both deal with death and dying and how families deal with the death of a loved one. The other day he was wondering out loud why families call the ambulance service when their loved one is clearly dead, and... // Read More »
May 25, 2016

Beppino Englaro Wins Judgment for Unwanted Treatment

Three years ago, I published "Clinicians May Not Administer Life-Sustaining Treatment Without Consent: Civil, Criminal, and Disciplinary Sanctions."   My main point was that while the risk of legal penalties for administering unwanted life-susta...