» Health Disparities Where the World Finds Bioethics Tue, 06 Oct 2015 01:30:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Black patients fare better than whites when both get same healthcare, study finds Thu, 24 Sep 2015 17:02:49 +0000 0 Poverty may increase odds of repeat hospitalizations Wed, 16 Sep 2015 20:01:04 +0000 0 U.S. government to extend healthcare nondiscrimination law to transgender people Thu, 03 Sep 2015 19:42:21 +0000 0 Effect of poverty on brains may explain poor kids’ lower test scores Mon, 20 Jul 2015 21:02:23 +0000 0 Reflections on Father’s Day from a “Single” Mother Mon, 22 Jun 2015 05:02:29 +0000 by Nanette Elster, JD, MPH

Today on Father’s Day, as I miss my own father who has been gone for 17 years now, I am reflecting on my decision to intentionally become a single mother. I think about all of the ways my father shaped the woman I am today and how he is the one who gave me the courage to become a mother with or without a husband or partner. He is the one who gave me career advice, dating advice, took me to get my first prom dress (and even my first bra).…

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MERS: Another Lesson in Quarantine and Health Disparity Tue, 09 Jun 2015 02:34:52 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

At the G7 meeting this week, the developed nations which compose the Group of 7 pledged to “wipe out Ebola.” With over 11,000 Ebola-related deaths worldwide since March 2014, this certainly is worth public health efforts and funding.

While the “world leaders” focus on Ebola, which of course made small incursions in to the U.S. and Europe, a new epidemic lurks on the horizon—MERS. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome was first reported in September 2012 in Saudi Arabia.…

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A Case for Viewing The Baltimore Protests as a Bioethics Issue Mon, 04 May 2015 22:17:56 +0000 by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Freddie Gray’s Death
On April 12, 2015, Freddie Gray, a twenty-five year old black man was arrested and placed in a police van in Baltimore, Maryland for carrying a switchblade (Baltimore State Attorney, Marilyn Mosby later announced that Gray was legally carrying a knife). Perhaps one of the more troubling aspects of Gray’s fateful police van ride was that officers reportedly observed Gray’s unresponsive body on the floor of the police van but still did not take him to see a medic.…

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A Pill for Compassion or Misunderstood Science? Wed, 25 Mar 2015 06:36:37 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

For at least a decade, studies have shown that empathy and compassion decline in medical students. The response is often more curricula dedicated to ethics, humanities, communication skills, and patient contact. But what if the answer was simply medicating the students.

An article in Time magazine reported that a study from researchers at the University of California Berkeley and University of California San Francisco have found “that by manipulating a brain chemical, people can become more compassionate and act in prosocial ways to equalize differences.”

Compassion is “a sympathetic consciousness of other’s distress with a desire to alleviate it.” According to the article, the study of 35 subjects found that when taking a drug a person’s desire to alleviate inequity increased.…

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Online offers of personalized cancer medicine may not be trustworthy Wed, 11 Mar 2015 22:29:08 +0000 0 The Social Determinants of Health: Why Should We Care? Sun, 01 Mar 2015 19:40:41 +0000 0 World’s diet worsening with globalization, major study finds: TRFN Tue, 24 Feb 2015 23:29:07 +0000 0 A Plan to Cut Costs and Crime: End Hurdle to Job After Prison Mon, 10 Nov 2014 19:35:02 +0000 0 U.N. Group Urges China’s Wealthy to Fight Ebola Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:11:48 +0000 0 U.S. agency moves to end sex bias in biomedical research Tue, 23 Sep 2014 17:54:11 +0000 0 How do we talk about enhancement after Ferguson and the death of Michael Brown? Tue, 16 Sep 2014 22:49:23 +0000 by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

No other area of philosophy has captured my interests like bioethics. Thinking about the ways that we can use health care to justly distribute opportunities and what those opportunities are is my greatest interest. My specific interest in biomedical enhancement stems from my interests in the relationship between health care and opportunities. As health is essential to living the kind of lives that we want to live, I’m always thinking about how traditional practices and advances in health care can help us lead better lives, even when there is nothing medically abnormal about or minds or bodies.…

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The raging Ebola epidemic in West Africa—will the key lessons be learned? Mon, 18 Aug 2014 04:30:14 +0000 by Arthur Caplan, Ph.D.

Ebola, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) is out of control in West Africa.  The disease, which is transmitted by contact with contaminated blood or body fluids, or by close contact with a dead body infected with the virus, has killed more than 1100 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria.  The number of dead is most likely higher since people were dying in rural villages without being counted. At least another 1000 persons are infected. …

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U.S. Democrats aim to turn contraception into campaign drive Tue, 08 Jul 2014 21:15:24 +0000 0 The Principle of Equivalence Reconsidered: Assessing the Relevance of the Principle of Equivalence in Prison Medicine Tue, 01 Jul 2014 19:36:48 +0000 0 Observations on the Nature and Extent of Injustice in the American Prison System Tue, 01 Jul 2014 19:31:34 +0000 0 Tragedy in Research History: The Children of Ireland Tue, 10 Jun 2014 19:14:40 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

For many people, the film Philomena was an introduction to a history of Irish babies being taken from their unwed mothers and adopted to “good” Catholic families in other countries. I put “good” in quotes because often what qualified a couple was the ability to pay. In the last week, news has come out of Ireland of a mass grave holding the remains of 796 infants buried in a septic tank on the grounds of a former “mother and baby” home in Galway.…

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Insured young cancer patients fare better, live longer: study Tue, 03 Jun 2014 00:04:20 +0000 0 Why vampires stay young Fri, 09 May 2014 04:42:19 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In the world of fantasy, the vampire is known for its immortality. In most incarnations, the vampire lives forever in a youthful state by feeding on the blood of humans. Now it turns out that science may have proven that the blood of the young keeps you young.

At least, if you’re a mouse. Three papers published in the last week (two in Science and one in Nature Medicine) showed that giving blood from young mice to older mice reduced many of the signs of aging.…

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Ethical Conditions for Transnational Gestational Surrogacy in Asia Thu, 01 May 2014 18:06:40 +0000 0 Panel Says No to Medicare Coverage for Lung Cancer Screening Thu, 01 May 2014 17:03:42 +0000 0 The Richer You Are the Older You’ll Get Mon, 21 Apr 2014 16:47:19 +0000 0 Hawaii police urge lawmakers to let undercover cops have sex with prostitutes Fri, 21 Mar 2014 18:46:20 +0000 0 Elizabeth Warren vows fight for gender equality in medical studies Tue, 11 Mar 2014 18:10:22 +0000 0 Women Still Left Out of Medical Research: Report Mon, 03 Mar 2014 21:08:33 +0000 0 Intersextion: Germany Allows Parents to Choose “No Sex” on Birth Certificate Wed, 26 Feb 2014 23:48:23 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In Jeffrey Eugenides Pulitzer-Prize winning novel Middlesex, readers are introduced to a protagonist, Cal Stephanides, who is male with female traits. This best seller helped to bring into the mainstream consciousness the notion of people who are born intersex—having characteristics of male and female sex organs. Or more generally, a person born with sex organs that fall outside what is considered the male or female norm. For example, a girl with a very large clitoris, or a boy with a very small penis or scrotum that looks more like labia.…

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Autism-friendly travel now officially aboard Royal Caribbean cruises Tue, 25 Feb 2014 20:14:18 +0000 0 Insured patients are often not transferred for better care, study finds Thu, 20 Feb 2014 22:45:32 +0000 0 Ethical Review of Health Systems Research in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Conceptual Exploration Thu, 20 Feb 2014 21:43:08 +0000 0 ‘Miscarriage Management': The Next Front in the Abortion Wars Sat, 01 Feb 2014 19:53:21 +0000 0 Racism May Speed Cellular Aging In African American Men Wed, 08 Jan 2014 00:50:44 +0000 0 The Year in Bioethics That Was Wed, 01 Jan 2014 21:05:33 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Happy New Year. The ending of one year and the beginning of another is often a time for reflection, for reviewing the year that has passed and for making plans/predictions for the year to come. 2013 was the first full year of the re-launch of the editor’s blog as well.

Ten bloggers in addition to myself worked for us this year and we are thankful for their contributions: Maurice Bernstein, Arthur Caplan, Jennifer Chevinsky, Nanette Elster, Ellen Fox, Jessica Jerome, David Magnus, Steven Miles, Kayhan Parsi, and Thaddeus Pope.…

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A Call to Physicians: To Do No Further Harm, or Ethical Practice as Just Distribution of Healthcare Thu, 19 Dec 2013 22:40:25 +0000 Bandy X. Lee, M.D.

*Primum non nocere*, to first do no harm, is the unchanging foundation for Hippocratic medical ethics. Each generation must, nevertheless, redefine what “doing no harm” means for its time. As we are making historic transitions in healthcare in the U.S., now is such a time for our generation.

“Doing no harm” means first avoiding doing the most extreme harm—that is, violence. Meanwhile, it is important to note that our understanding of what constitutes violence has also been expanding: the multi-determined nature of violence, no matter the scale, point to causal dynamics beyond the immediately apparent.…

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Big Tobacco battles to limit smoking laws in poorer nations Fri, 13 Dec 2013 19:01:45 +0000 0 Wealth Disparity As A Bioethics Concern Fri, 13 Dec 2013 17:48:52 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

How much money do you need to live on? $60,000 per year? $40,000 per year? $20,000? Could you live on $11,000 per year? If you made the U.S. Federal minimum wage ($7.25 since 2009) and worked 30 hours per week (the most a large number of employers will permit because anything over and they have to provide health care under the Affordable Care Act) and including no paid vacation or sick time, then you would be earning about $10,875 per year .…

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On World Toilet Day, Let’s Go Beyond The Toilet Tue, 19 Nov 2013 22:13:08 +0000 0 Report: Medicaid Expansion May Lower Prison Costs Tue, 29 Oct 2013 23:18:31 +0000 0 Growing Up Poor Changes Young Brains Mon, 28 Oct 2013 23:31:48 +0000 0 An Unhealthy Shutdown Thu, 10 Oct 2013 06:45:55 +0000 by Craig Klugman, PhD.

It’s week 2 of the government shutdown with no end in sight. In fact, some people are saying this is a good thing because it achieves their aim of shrinking government. Some Congressmen want the country to go off the deep end of the fiscal cliff, not believing that it would have negative repercussions for the population. The problem is that it turns out the government actually helps protect our health.

Thinking about having some meat for dinner?…

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Judge: Woman with Down syndrome can live with friends Tue, 20 Aug 2013 19:00:39 +0000 0 War on Drugs Ceasefire Fri, 16 Aug 2013 06:14:23 +0000 Craig M. Klugman, Ph.D.

In 1971, President Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs. Specifically he said that drug abuse was “public enemy number one in the United States.” This past week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder declared changes in how his department prosecutes drug crimes. He will seek alternatives to incarceration and avoid mandatory minimum sentences that come with specific drug-related charges for those who commit low-level, nonviolent crimes unrelated to gangs or larger organizations. Some pundits have declared that this is the end of the war.

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New answers on ER and the poor Fri, 19 Jul 2013 20:49:58 +0000 0 Video screening: The Revolutionary Optimists Thu, 20 Jun 2013 18:14:01 +0000 0 Pregnant Workers Face Routine Discrimination, Report Says Wed, 19 Jun 2013 19:05:02 +0000 0 A Tale of Two (or Three) States Mon, 10 Jun 2013 23:17:33 +0000 Kayhan Parsi, JD, PhD

I recently learned that my home state of Texas has refused to participate in Medicaid expansion that is part and parcel of the Affordable Care Act. When I first heard this news on NPR, I nearly gasped in disbelief.  Gov. Perry and the Texas legislature will walk away from $100 billion of federal money to help the state’s poor, elderly and disabled.  Wade Goodwyn, the NPR reporter for this piece, went so far as to state that “Texas Republicans have moved steadily to the right — to where the very concept of public health insurance of any kind is looked at through narrowed eyes.”  The public perception of Medicaid is that it primarily covers the poorest of the poor adults. …

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Magical NC Bill Builds Obstacles to Teen Health Thu, 09 May 2013 20:40:13 +0000 Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

If you’re a teen in North Carolina, a new bill before the legislature may make it more difficult for you to get sexually transmitted disease testing and treatment, mental health counseling, pregnancy care or even substance abuse treatment. To receive any of those, a teen would need written, notarized parental consent. A parent could not simply give permission on the phone, via a note, or even by signing a consent form. No, the parent has to use a notary to give permission.…

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Most people aren’t meeting exercise guidelines Thu, 02 May 2013 20:26:01 +0000 0