» Health Regulation & Law Where the World Finds Bioethics Tue, 22 Apr 2014 22:10:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Senator Advances Bill To Pay Medicare Beneficiaries to Register Advance Directives Mon, 21 Apr 2014 20:56:52 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

U.S. Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) along with Senators Christopher Coons (D-DE) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced a bill to the U.S. Senate (S. 224) that would “encourage Medicare beneficiaries to voluntarily adopt advance directives guiding the medical care they receive.”  The regulations for this bill are to be created by a broad group of stakeholders.

Specifically, the bill would:

(a) Establish an Advance Directive Certification Program
(b) Accredit vendors of online and written stored advance directives
(c)  Provide an incentive for completing an advance directive.…

]]> 0
Pharmaceutical or Illegal Drug: The Bizarre Case of Marijuana Thu, 10 Apr 2014 05:45:27 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

After gay marriage, one of the most controversial issues in the United States today is the issue of marijuana. Twenty-one states have passed laws or referendums legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Two states (Washington and Colorado) have legalized small amounts of marijuana for recreational use. Sixteen other states have pending legislation. Some of these states allow physicians to prescribe it while others permit physicians to recommend it by certifying that a patient has a qualifying condition.…

]]> 0
Smoking bans can help kids’ health, researchers say Mon, 31 Mar 2014 19:55:12 +0000 0 If You Have Any Questions or Concerns, Please Contact… Mon, 31 Mar 2014 19:39:18 +0000 0 Hawaii police urge lawmakers to let undercover cops have sex with prostitutes Fri, 21 Mar 2014 18:46:20 +0000 0 Planned Parenthood, Tucson gynecologist, fighting tighter regulations on abortion drugs Wed, 05 Mar 2014 20:04:39 +0000 0 Childhood secondhand smoke exposure damages arteries Wed, 05 Mar 2014 19:51:04 +0000 0 China Cracks Down on DNA Testing Tue, 04 Mar 2014 23:13:04 +0000 0 Smoking tied to changes in the structure of teen brains Mon, 03 Mar 2014 21:20:55 +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.…

]]> 0
Just Say No To These 11 Outrageous Arguments Against Legalizing Marijuana Tue, 25 Feb 2014 20:21:47 +0000 0 Unusual Iowa abortion rule has surprising result Fri, 21 Feb 2014 19:40:29 +0000 0 New York State to Limit Use of Solitary Confinement Wed, 19 Feb 2014 19:15:29 +0000 0 Freedom for the corporation, religious servitude for the individual Tue, 18 Feb 2014 07:16:49 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Many women in this country gained insurance coverage for their contraceptive costs under the controversial Affordable Care Act (ACA). One of the many challenges that have been levied against this law is the so-called contraceptive mandate, a requirement that all employer-sponsored plans cover the costs of contraceptives.

When it was announced, this mandate caused uproar from religious communities that believe contraception is immoral. In response, the Obama Administration altered the ACA to exempt health plans sponsored by religious employers, mostly houses of worship, from using their funds to pay for contraception.…

]]> 0
LIBERTY AND WHERE NOSES BEGIN–AN OPEN LETTER TO: The ACLU of Rhode Island Concerning Mandating Flu Vaccinations for Very Young Children Entering Daycare and Kindergarden Fri, 14 Feb 2014 20:00:09 +0000 From: Arthur Caplan and Dorit Reiss

SUBJECT: requiring the vaccination of children and workers in daycare and pre-K against the flu

In recent testimony submitted to the Public Health Department of Rhode Island, a representative of the Rhode Island ACLU spoke against the requirement to vaccinate Rhode Island’s children age six months to 5 years of age against the flu in order to enter daycare or pre-kindergarten. Under the rule, annual influenza vaccination would be mandatory for all children between 6 months and 59 months before entering preschool or day care programs.…

]]> 0
Breastfeeding Is Now Required By Law In The United Arab Emirates Tue, 04 Feb 2014 19:25:35 +0000 0 ‘Miscarriage Management’: The Next Front in the Abortion Wars Sat, 01 Feb 2014 19:53:21 +0000 0 Obama Says Easing Marijuana Restrictions a Job for Congress Fri, 31 Jan 2014 19:42:07 +0000 0 What’s at issue in Texas battle over brain-dead pregnant woman Fri, 24 Jan 2014 19:02:31 +0000 0 Obama: Marijuana No More Dangerous Than Alcohol Tue, 21 Jan 2014 18:01:30 +0000 0 Wombmates in Wisconsin Fri, 17 Jan 2014 22:58:21 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Women of Wisconsin better make some room as they are about to have some visitors: Their  in-laws may come to spend time in their uterus. Wisconsin bill SB201 (companion to AB217) allows a mother, father or grandparent to seek compensatory damages from the person who performed an abortion. The relatives may also seek money for emotional and psychological harm. If the damages are awarded, the provider would pay further damages of $10,000 and attorney fees. If injunctive relief is sought, then the court may prevent the physician from performing abortions in the future.…

]]> 0
In Guns We Trust Tue, 14 Jan 2014 16:39:46 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In a Florida movie theater a father was texting his daughter. Admittedly this action is annoying: You are in a dark theater engaged in a film and suddenly blinded by this little bright light. Many of us groan and a brave person might even say something to the offending texter. But on this particular day the texting father and a 71-year-old retired police officer got into a scuffle. At the end, the retired officer pulled the gun and shot the father dead.…

]]> 0
Sensible on Weed Mon, 06 Jan 2014 21:55:45 +0000 0 Death, brain death, and life support Wed, 25 Dec 2013 18:26:04 +0000 by Arthur Caplan Ph.D.

Concepts matter in doing the right thing in medicine.  This could not be more obvious then the utter confusion on display over the concepts of ‘brain death’ and ‘life support technology’ that has resulted in two dead people being kept on artificial life support in California and Texas.

In Oakland, California 13 year old Jahiu McMath has been maintained on machines since an elective tonsillectomy went horribly wrong on December 9.  She has been in the ICU on life-support at the Children’s Hospital since then.…

]]> 0
The Supreme Court’s terrible—and dangerous—ruling this week on the Fifth Amendment. Fri, 20 Dec 2013 18:58:30 +0000 0 Top 10 North American Death Panels Mon, 16 Dec 2013 17:36:58 +0000 by Thaddeus Pope, JD PhD

The term “death panel” is slippery.  It has been used either to describe or to disparage a rather motley group of initiatives and entities.  Here, I review the top ten North American “death panels.”  While common, applying the term “death panel” in the first two instances is inaccurate and misleading.  Indeed, most popular usage of the term “death panels” remains mere calumny.  But, sometimes, the “death panel” nomenclature is actually befitting.  In the remaining eight cases, the term “death panel” fits reasonably well.…

]]> 0
FDA Finally Imposes Some Controls on Agricultural Antibiotics. Sort Of. Thu, 12 Dec 2013 00:13:01 +0000 0 The FDA and Home DNA Testing Tue, 26 Nov 2013 08:03:18 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

For those on the cutting edge (or as we called it in tech journalism, “the bleeding edge”) of science, the Human Genome Project’s promise could be found in home genetic testing. Take a cheek swab (or some saliva). Put the sample in the mail. Receive your DNA map (not a complete map, just sections of DNA that have associations with certain conditions). It was the way to know yourself by seeing your genetic risk profile: What disease conditions do you have a susceptibility to?…

]]> 1
FDA Tells Google-Backed 23andMe to Halt DNA Test Service Mon, 25 Nov 2013 19:07:16 +0000 0 Cuthbertson v. Rasouli: Limited Guidance from Supreme Court of Canada Mon, 25 Nov 2013 17:05:19 +0000 by Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD

On October 18, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its long-awaited opinion in Cuthbertson v. Rasouli.  Many lawyers and ethicists have already offered significant commentary on the case.  So, after briefly summarizing the litigation and the ruling, I will proceed to draw some important, but less obvious, observations and implications.

Summary of the Case
Cuthbertson v. Rasouli was a typical medical futility dispute.  The patient, Hassan Rasouli, has been a patient in Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center for over three years, dependent on life-sustaining treatment. …

]]> 0
Potential Organ Donation + HIV Infection = HOPE Fri, 22 Nov 2013 00:00:21 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the HOPE Act (HR 698), a companion bill to one passed by the U.S. Senate (S 330) back in June. The HIV Organ Policy Equity Act would permit the harvesting of organs from people infected with HIV to be transplanted to other individuals with HIV. Previously no organ could be taken from a person infected with HIV.

The Act calls for regular reviews of research on HIV-infected organs to maintain quality standards.…

]]> 0
Addressing Unapproved Meningitis Vaccine at Princeton Mon, 18 Nov 2013 16:16:39 +0000 by Arthur L. Caplan, PhD

Emergency doses of a meningitis vaccine not approved for use in the U.S. are likely to be on the way to Princeton University to halt a meningitis outbreak that has already sickened seven students  There are approved meningitis vaccines available, but they do not protect against Meningitis B—a strain not covered by the shots given in the U.S. and not a strain prevalent here.

Government health officials said Friday they have agreed to import Bexsero, a vaccine licensed only in Europe and Australia that does protect against meningitis B. …

]]> 0
Medscape Medical News New Obesity Guidelines: Authoritative ‘Roadmap’ to Treatment Thu, 14 Nov 2013 19:06:38 +0000 0 Electronic cigarettes ‘could save millions of lives’ Tue, 12 Nov 2013 19:50:18 +0000 0 Pot-Smoking Quadriplegic’s Firing Shows Haze Over Rules Mon, 11 Nov 2013 19:37:15 +0000 0 Feds Have Beaten Pharma Into Submission Over Off-Label Drug Use, But At What Cost? Fri, 08 Nov 2013 18:41:03 +0000 0 The Fat-That-Must-Not-Be-Named Fri, 08 Nov 2013 08:36:39 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

As you may have heard, the FDA is considering changing its recommendations concerning partially hydrogenated oils, or what are commonly known as trans fats. The FDA proposes labeling these lousy lipids as not “generally recognized as safe” for food. This amounts to trans fats being considered “food additives” that could not be used in food except when authorized by regulation.

Trans fats are made by solidifying oil. The great thing from a food perspective is that these fats are very stable and give a long shelf life to food.…

]]> 1
Lawsuit: Cops forced man to undergo enemas, colonoscopy on invalid warrant Thu, 07 Nov 2013 00:16:46 +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?…

]]> 0
Purchasing Health Insurance as a Civic Duty Tue, 01 Oct 2013 15:44:46 +0000 by Kayhan Parsi, JD, PhD

Every fall, I co-teach a course on justice and health care.  In this course, my students and I discuss various theories of justice, examine different health systems, and reflect on what kind of society we live in.  When we come to the issue of health care reform in the United States, I try to impart a long, historical view.  I remind my students that attempts at providing universal health care access date back to the administration of Theodore Roosevelt over a century ago. …

]]> 0
Harvard study finds food expiration labels are misleading Mon, 30 Sep 2013 19:32:32 +0000 0 The Sky Is Falling: Health Exchanges and Government Shutdown Fri, 27 Sep 2013 20:48:25 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In case you have not heard, the world is going to end on Tuesday. Like the Y2K bug and Harold Camping’s prophecy of the rapture in May 2011, the political media is predicting the end of modern civilization on October 1, when the Affordable Care Act Health Exchanges begin a 6-month period of signing up participants. The insurance is active on January 1, 2014. Opponents of the law, critically labeled “Obamacare,” are so concerned about the coming apocalypse that they are have voted to repeal the ACA over 40 times and are willing to shut down the federal government.…

]]> 0
Paying for Patient Empowerment Wed, 28 Aug 2013 05:47:42 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Way back in 2009 when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was being debated across the country, one of the more controversial elements was a section (HE 3200, Section 1233) that would provide physician reimbursement for conversations about end-of-life advance care planning. Quickly, Sarah Palin branded such a move as a “death panel” via Facebook that made discussions of end-of-life care reimbursement a taboo topic and a political third-rail. Ms. Palin stated that these conversations were about rationing care at the expense of the “sick, the elderly, and the disabled.”

Now, 6 months before the ACA was supposed to be fully enacted (some provisions of which are delayed by 1 year including the employer mandate requirement and most recently the section that limits out-of-pocket costs for patients), two senators have proposed Medicare coverage for end-of-life conversations.…

]]> 0
Privacy for Sale Fri, 23 Aug 2013 05:57:35 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

How much is your privacy worth? Would you be willing to give up your rights to medical privacy for $50? The company CVS Caremark is betting that you would. Earlier this year, CVS began counting pharmaceutical purchases toward its rewards program. For every 10 prescriptions filled, a customer can receive $5 worth of credits to be used at CVS up to a maximum of $50 per year.  Such programs are not new; Walgreens and Rite-Aid also offer rewards for prescription purposes.…

]]> 0
Judge: Woman with Down syndrome can live with friends Tue, 20 Aug 2013 19:00:39 +0000 0 Virginia woman with Down syndrome becomes hero to the disabled Tue, 20 Aug 2013 18:55:21 +0000 0 New Zealand’s plan to regulate designer drugs Mon, 19 Aug 2013 18:16:33 +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.

]]> 0
Dangerous Catholic Attack on POLST Fri, 19 Jul 2013 18:53:29 +0000 Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD PhD

The Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) program is proving to be a highly effective mechanism for assuring that the life-sustaining treatment seriously ill patients want is the same treatment those patients get.  A number of scientifically rigorous studies have demonstrated POLST’s material benefits.  And a growing number of states have been adopting POLST through legislation, regulation, or clinical consensus.  But despite this notable quality improvement, a number of Catholic leaders and organizations have called on Catholic healthcare facilities to “not accept POLST forms and to decline to participate in POLST programs.”

POLST is a tool for translating patient’s goals of care into medical orders so that they are easily located and portable across care settings. …

]]> 0