» Public Health Where the World Finds Bioethics Sat, 28 Feb 2015 01:30:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 What should docs do with parents who don’t vaccinate? Fri, 20 Feb 2015 07:14:37 +0000 by Jenna Lillemoe, B.A.
by Arthur Caplan , Ph.D.

This year has marked the largest measles outbreak in decades with over 102 cases documented since December. This outbreak is a product of the anti-vaccination trend that has dramatically decreased vaccination compliance rates in children. Parents no longer follow the guidance of their pediatricians or believe the scientific evidence that vaccinations work without adverse effects. Pediatricians and family medicine physicians are then tasked with caring for these unvaccinated children. Because there is no set policy of how to manage caring for non-vaccinated children, we were interested in attempting to critically analyze how physicians manage non-vaccinated children.…

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Plain tobacco packs likely to deter smoking, studies show Tue, 17 Feb 2015 19:53:06 +0000 0 HPV vaccine linked to less-risky behavior Thu, 12 Feb 2015 21:31:15 +0000 0 Teacher depression may affect child learning Wed, 11 Feb 2015 21:26:50 +0000 0 Fatal smoking risks may be higher than thought Wed, 11 Feb 2015 21:20:30 +0000 0 Measles outbreak: Vaccination exemption would end under proposed California law Tue, 10 Feb 2015 21:11:14 +0000 0 Health Autism Speaks Urges Parents to Vaccinate Children Tue, 10 Feb 2015 21:09:42 +0000 0 Among New York Subway’s Millions of Riders, a Study Finds Many Mystery Microbes Mon, 09 Feb 2015 21:05:43 +0000 0 The Unbearable Rightness of Handwashing Wed, 04 Feb 2015 22:43:22 +0000 by Nanette Elster, JD, MPH and Kayhan Parsi, JD, PhD

You may have seen at your doctor’s office a poster showing a climber scaling a sheer cliff. Purportedly a public service ad (PSA), the casual viewer would assume that the poster is warning against the dangers of climbing. In fact, the poster warns people about the danger of not using sunscreen. The ad cleverly upends our typical perception of risk (that climbing is dangerous) with a much more pedestrian but even greater risk (getting skin cancer from too much sun).…

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Don’t Weasel Out of the Measles Vaccine Tue, 03 Feb 2015 20:00:40 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

By now, you have most likely been inundated with news about the measles outbreak tied to Disneyland in California. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, there have been 102 cases of the measles linked to Disneyland through either primary exposure (they were exposed directly) or secondary exposure (they were exposed to someone who had primary exposure) in 15 states. The state of Arizona alone is monitoring over 1,000 people at risk.

The latest turn in this continuing debate is parents of immune-comprised children begging their neighbors to immunize their children.…

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V-Ticket to Ride Thu, 29 Jan 2015 11:51:44 +0000 ]]> 0 Ebola – Yes to isolation, quarantine, and travel restrictions (Part III) Wed, 21 Jan 2015 09:50:04 +0000 By Adil E. Shamoo, Ph.D. (guest blogger)

The HIV experience can be used as a learning model to understand what processes may need to be used for this Ebola epidemic. While there are differences, there is much similarity, especially in the deadliness of the virus of both diseases in the early phase of the epidemic. Both are also transmitted through contact with body fluids, and can be transmitted through sexual contact. This aspect should not be overlooked; the sex drive is very strong and frequently sexual relationships defy logic and rationality.…

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Ebola – Yes to isolation, quarantine, and travel restrictions (Part II) Mon, 19 Jan 2015 11:00:58 +0000 By Adil E. Shamoo, Ph.D. (guest blogger)

Public health policy is derived from promoting public good to protect millions of people from pain and suffering; an effective policy ultimately should enhance health and happiness. The coercive powers of federal and state governments and to enforce public health policy are derived from police powers to provide safety and security to the public. The President has those powers from the plenary powers, unnamed in the constitution, but implied in those powers that protect the security of the nation.…

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Ebola – Yes to isolation, quarantine, and travel restrictions (Part I) Fri, 16 Jan 2015 11:00:44 +0000 By Adil E. Shamoo, Ph.D. (guest blogger)

In 2014, the spread of Ebola topped the headlines. While other issues have supplanted Ebola for the time being, the risk remains as the virus continues to claim victims. A viable Ebola policy that contains the spread must be put into place.

Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with body fluids, blood, and skin. Body fluid droplets remain viable for a few hours; the most infectious period is when the patient is exhibiting severe symptoms with high fever, vomiting and diarrhea.…

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Computers ‘judge personality better than friends Tue, 13 Jan 2015 17:50:19 +0000 0 Getting more exercise throughout life is tied to a reduced risk of abusing alcohol that requires treatment Mon, 12 Jan 2015 18:59:20 +0000 0 A Cold Day’s Concern About a Warming Planet Sun, 04 Jan 2015 00:35:21 +0000 ]]> 0 No increase in risky sexual activity with HPV vaccine Mon, 08 Dec 2014 22:55:55 +0000 0 Mental engagement may preserve health literacy in aging Thu, 04 Dec 2014 20:21:03 +0000 0 Heavy drinking raises women’s injury risk more than men’s Wed, 03 Dec 2014 20:19:33 +0000 0 Male circumcision benefits outweigh risks, U.S. CDC says Wed, 03 Dec 2014 20:16:31 +0000 0 China tobacco monopoly pushes back on smoking curbs Tue, 02 Dec 2014 20:15:35 +0000 0 Striking the Balance Between Population Guidelines and Patient Primacy Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:34:06 +0000 ]]> 0 Doused Counties: Banning Tobacco Sales in Massachusetts Fri, 21 Nov 2014 08:09:18 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The small city of Westminster, Massachusetts is voting on whether to become the first town in the nation to ban sales of tobacco products, e-cigarettes, and bubblegum-shaped smoking implements within its limits. Many cities already have bans on selling tobacco to minors, smoking bars, businesses, offices, and even in public. The drugstore giant CVS has banned sales of tobacco products from its stores. But this is the first time that a city is making the sale of tobacco and e-cigarettes illegal.…

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Illumina teams with U.S. government, researchers to sequence Ebola Wed, 19 Nov 2014 21:36:27 +0000 0 CDC lays out new plan to counter Ebola exposure in US Tue, 18 Nov 2014 21:40:39 +0000 0 Access to calorie-counting app doesn’t lead to weight loss Mon, 17 Nov 2014 23:39:13 +0000 0 Newly Identified Gene Mutations Act Like A Lifetime Of Treatment With Merck Cholesterol Drug Thu, 13 Nov 2014 21:12:49 +0000 0 U.S. nurses hold strikes, protests over Ebola measures Wed, 12 Nov 2014 23:18:53 +0000 0 Scientists scour the genomes of people who live past 110 Wed, 12 Nov 2014 23:13:27 +0000 0 Docs should ask heart patients about secondhand smoke: study Tue, 11 Nov 2014 19:42:18 +0000 0 Most smokers with bladder cancer know tobacco was the cause Tue, 11 Nov 2014 19:38:28 +0000 0 Kaci Hickox: Public health and the politics of fear Fri, 07 Nov 2014 20:50:22 +0000 Steven H Miles, M.D.

Kaci Hickox is a nurse who went to Sierra Leone with Doctors without borders to treat the emergency with Ebola. She is professionally brave, articulate and well trained. Sierra Leone, with 5000 cases, is one the epicenters of the Ebola epidemic.[1] [2] She was last exposed to patient care on October 21.[3] On Friday October 24, she returned to the United States, entering at Newark International Airport in New Jersey. There she was met by a disorganized set of officials who tried to determine what to do with her.…

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If no travel restrictions, then….quarantine? Wed, 29 Oct 2014 01:34:35 +0000 Read More »]]> 0 Dr. Fauci or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Hate the Media’s Coverage of Ebola Wed, 29 Oct 2014 01:30:46 +0000 by Kayhan Parsi, JD, PhD

Although the Ebola virus is not ubiquitous, media coverage of it certainly is. A quick Google search of Ebola results in 37,700,000 hits. By comparison, Googling Obama results in 34,200,000 hits (although googling Obama and Ebola together results in 91,800,000 hits). Media coverage of Ebola has displaced many other news stories over the last few weeks. WNYC’s On the Media has tried to temper the over-the-top media coverage. They even posted a Breaking News Consumer’s Handbook.…

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Health Officials Expect to Start Vaccine Trials in West Africa as Early as December Mon, 27 Oct 2014 17:37:16 +0000 0 Ebola: where is the rock concert benefit? Mon, 27 Oct 2014 16:52:54 +0000 by Arthur Caplan, PhD and Nir Eyal, D.Phil

Ebola’s toll is rising exponentially. Millions of lives are at risk in West Africa, and panic is starting to take its toll in the rest of the world.

Normally in a crisis like this our best charitable impulses pour forth. Especially among musicians, Hollywood and artists. So why aren’t fund-raising drives taking place? Where are the rock concerts, fashion shows, triathlons we saw for famines and for AIDS? Why the extreme paucity of small private donations?…

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Do Doctors Have a Duty to Treat Patients With Ebola? Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:44:11 +0000 0 Ebola Fever: “Don’t Panic” Fri, 24 Oct 2014 05:11:44 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, author Douglas Adams provided his protagonist with two pieces of advise: don’t panic and always carry a towel. The first is good advice when it comes to Ebola panic.

I was sitting down on the plane in San Diego airport after the American Society for Bioethics & Humanities meeting when I noticed a woman walking down the aisle with a face mask. Being a public health-oriented person, I figured she had tuberculosis and was under order to wear a mask to protect other people’s health.…

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Fear and Loathing in Liberia Thu, 23 Oct 2014 12:31:43 +0000 ]]> 0 U.N. Group Urges China’s Wealthy to Fight Ebola Mon, 20 Oct 2014 18:11:48 +0000 0 Death From Ebola: What do we do with the deceased? Mon, 20 Oct 2014 05:36:38 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In the United States in the year 1900, 52.6% of all deaths were due to infectious disease. the number one cause of death. When these patients died, a family member, friend, or member of a burial society washed their bodies and cleaned them. Their families held wakes and funerals in their homes, often laying out the body in the parlor. They would all go to the cemetery and the body would be buried in a family grave.…

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The Great Ebola Race: An appeal to honor the common good Thu, 16 Oct 2014 09:56:04 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In the time of the black plague, people with symptoms were often placed into separate areas. The sick and symptomatic were separated from the general populace.

When ships came into harbors they were often kept there for weeks until it was assured that they did not carry disease with them.

Cities would close their gates to travels to prevent anyone from arriving who might bring disease as well as to protect travelers from disease when it raged within.…

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Contain AND Extinguish Wed, 15 Oct 2014 01:22:59 +0000 Read More »]]> 0 Why we ignored Ebola until recently Wed, 15 Oct 2014 00:52:30 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Ebola burst onto the scene in 1976 when a thirty-old man arrived at the Yambuku Mission Hospital in Zaire complaining of severe diarrhea. He left the hospital two days afterwards and was never found again. In the days and weeks that followed, people who were patients or care providers at this facility when he was there all died after experiencing dehydration, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and bleeding everywhere. The death rate was staggering, as over 80% of affected patients did not recover.…

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Americans have 14 million smoking-related ailments: study Mon, 13 Oct 2014 20:40:59 +0000 0 Lawsuit Against U.N. on the Spread of Cholera Epidemic in Haiti Advances Thu, 09 Oct 2014 22:30:41 +0000 0 Fever Pitch Thu, 09 Oct 2014 11:42:35 +0000 ]]> 0 Jennifer Miller on NPR’s TechNation Sat, 04 Oct 2014 00:17:40 +0000 0 A Primer on Ebola: Ethics, Public Health, and Panic Wed, 01 Oct 2014 20:33:38 +0000 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Ebola is in the news a lot with the diagnosis of the first case on U.S. soil (excluding the 4 cases of health workers who were repatriated from West Africa after falling ill with the disease). Lots of information is flying around the internet and the news media. The ethics of outbreaks is not a new topic and has been written about extensively in this blog as well as elsewhere. Experts in public health ethics have addressed this issue thoroughly.…

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