March 28, 2018 9:00 am
In 1942, the anthropologist Ashley Montagu published “Man’s Most Dangerous Myth: The Fallacy of Race,” an influential book that argued that race is a social concept with no genetic basis. A classic example often cited is the inconsistent definition of “black.” In the United States, historically, a person is “black” if he has any sub-Saharan African ancestry; in Brazil, a person is not “black” if he is known to have any European ancestry. If “black” refers to different people in different contexts, how can there be any genetic basis to it?
March 27, 2018 9:00 am
Four former heads of the Food and Drug Administration have issued a joint statement opposing “right to try” legislation that is designed to permit desperately sick patients to get experimental treatments without the approval of the agency.
January 10, 2018 9:00 am
The suggestion that women are not advancing in science because of innate inability is being taken seriously by some high-profile academics.
September 29, 2017 9:00 am
Parents can help teach their kids about gender equality by never using gender as an excuse for behavior, experts say.
September 19, 2017 9:00 am
A new study published in Journal of Medical Ethics by van der Zande et al1 further highlights why classifying pregnant women as a ‘vulnerable population’ in the context of research is deeply problematic. Because the designation of ‘vulnerable’ is otherwise applied to populations whose decision-making capacity about research participation is somehow compromised—such as children and adults of limited cognitive ability—many of us have been arguing for some time that using this designation for pregnant women is inappropriate and disrespectful.
July 25, 2017 9:00 am
The JASONs, a group of elite scientists that advises the US government on national security, has weighed in on issues ranging from cyber security to renewing America’s nuclear arsenal. But at a meeting in June, the secretive group took stock of a new threat: gene drives, a genetic-engineering technology that can swiftly spread modifications through entire populations and could help vanquish malaria-spreading mosquitoes.
June 14, 2017 9:00 am
Julianna Snow is dying of an incurable disease. She’s stable at the moment, but any germ that comes her way, even just the common cold virus, could kill her. She’s told her parents that the next time this happens, she wants to die at home instead of going to the hospital for treatment. If Julianna were an adult, there would be no debate about her case: She would get to decide when to say “enough” to medical care and be allowed to die. But Julianna is 5 years old. Should her parents have let her know how grave her situation is? Should they have asked her about her end-of-life wishes? And now that those wishes are known, should her parents heed them?
June 9, 2017 9:00 am
Physicians might not be able to find a best solution or process for resolving more difficult ethical dilemmas, such as how they should best distribute limited resources. They could, however, pursue a path that most respects and benefits their patients and themselves.
May 18, 2017 9:00 am
Physicians’ narratives of their own experiences of illness can be a kind of empathic bridge across the divide between a professional healer and a sick patient. This essay considers ways in which physicians’ narratives of their own and family members’ experiences of cancer shape encounters with patients and patients’ experiences of illness.
February 15, 2017 9:00 am
USA Swimming, the nation’s organizing body for the sport, has some 337,000 members — of whom only 1.3 percent are black. Today, nearly 60 years after the abolishment of Jim Crow laws that kept African Americans from pools and safe swimming places, many children still never get the chance to swim.