Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies

Greetings from Stephen Latham, Bioethics Center Director


The William F. Buckley Program at Yale is hosting a talk by Dr. Leon Kass, former chair of President Bush’s Council on Bioethics, on Wednesday, November 13 at 4pm in WLH 116. Kass will speak on “Human Dignity: What It Is and Why It Matters.”Have you always wished that you could do bioethics-related legal research, but just not known how? Well, the Bioethics Center and the Medical School’s Program on Biomedical Ethics have a solution for your problem. We are jointly sponsoring a workshop on December 5 to teach non-lawyers about legal research methods in bioethics. Information on signing up is below. We can only accommodate about 20 people, but don’t worry, if the session fills, we’ll offer another! This means that you should email about your interest even if you can’t attend the session!

Save the date: our Tech and Ethics group will be hearing from Noel Sharkey (Sheffield, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics) on “Ethical Trading with Robots: From Care to Killing” on Monday, November 18 at 4:15 at ISPS. Open to the public!

Can non-human animals or machines count as moral persons? Yale will be hosting a conference on “Personhood Beyond the Human” on the weekend of December 6-8. The event is co-sponsored by the Bioethics Center and its Animal Ethics and Technology and Ethics groups, as well as the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. The amazing line-up of speakers begins with Friday evening keynote Peter Singer (Princeton, Bioethics). Details and registration materials at the link provided.

As ever, if there’s something you’d like to see mentioned in this newsletter, send word to me at Stephen.Latham@Yale.edu with the word “Frimail” in your subject-line.

  BIOETHICS EVENTS
 

Bioethics Legal Research Workshop
December 4th, 2013, 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Location: Yale Law School: Computer Classroom on L2


This session, co-sponsored by the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics and the Medical School’s Program on Biomedical Ethics, will introduce non-lawyers to the principles of legal research with a focus on researching bioethics issues. The session will focus on using resources available to the wider Yale (non-law school) community and on the Yale network, as well as free and low-cost options for research. Please register here.
Contact: Jason Eiseman


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Updates from the Summer Institute

From Associate Director Carol Pollard

*Shawna Benston writes: “I’m sending the ‘new and improved’ poster for the symposium I’m coordinating and hope that any of the students who are in the New York City area on November 18th will come.”  The title of the symposium is “Bioethics, Healthcare Policy, & Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Age of Obamacare.” Symposium participants will include: Adrienne Asch, Edward Bergman, Nancy Berlinger, Arthur Caplan, Nancy Dubler, Autumn Fiester, Debra Gerardi, Mindy Hatton, Michael Kosnitzky, Carol Liebman, Joe Miller, Thaddeus Pope, Charity Scott, Michelle Skipper, and Ellen Waldman. (Please click here for the poster.  Congratulations Shawna!  Great work!)

*Lauren Taylor writes: “(Professor) Betsy (Bradley) and I just co-authored and published a book (out yesterday!).  Its title is The American Health Care Paradox.  Interested folks can find out more at our website or on Amazon.” (Congratulations Lauren and co-author Betsy Bradley!  Lauren is now studying global health and medical ethics at Harvard Divinity School where she is a Presidential Scholar.  Betsy is Professor of Public Health (Health Policy); Director, Yale Global Health Initiative; Faculty Director, Global Health Leadership Institute, Yale School of Medicine).

*Connie Phung writes: “I just wanted to let you know that I am co-author for an article published in the Advances in Biological Chemistry, titled ‘Molecular cloning and characterization of an ECTO-NOX3 (ENOX3) of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.’ I hope everything is well and miss you a ton!”  (Congratulations Connie!)

*Brianna Rader writes: “I'm a Marshall Scholar Finalist!! Hooray!  I interview in Atlanta for my region on November 12th.  I'm also a Mitchell Scholar Semi-finalist.  I should find out if I'm a finalist for that soon.  If I am, I will interview in D.C.” (Congratulations and Good Luck, Brianna!)

*Ana Fonseca writes: “We are selecting law students for the Summer Program now, and I confirm that I will present at the symposium following the Banquet.”  (Wonderful news, Ana!)

*Roberto Sirvent writes: “Just wanted to forward you an article/study that you may find interesting – and rather disturbing.   I look forward to seeing you next summer!”  (Thank you for the article, Roberto, and we look forward to seeing you too!)

*Wendell Wallach, morning lecturer, writes: “For those of you who are interested, my TEDxUCONN presentation titled, Emerging Technology – Hype vs. Reality is now available on YOUTUBE.” (Congratulations Wendell!)

*Laure Hoenen writes: “I wanted to let you that this day there is a debate in France about changing the legal status of animals. Twenty-four very influential people signed a petition and published it in journals. They ask that animals will be considered as living and sentient beings by the law. In relation to that and to the publication of the book Animals too have rights [Les animaux aussi ont les droits] by Boris Cyrulnik (a French ethologist), Elisabeth de Fontenay (French philosopher), and Peter Singer, there will be a symposium February 7th, 2014, in Paris with among others Peter Singer and Jane Goodall.   I hope that I will be able to go and hear what they have to say about animal rights.  I'm also going to a symposium in December in Strasbourg called "Dehumanize, "deanimalize", from slaughterhouse to in vitro meat.”  (I never heard about in vitro meat.  I'm really curious. Laure, please send information to me from these meetings!)

*Dr. William Summers has written a book titled “The Great Manchurian Plague of 1910-1911: The Geopolitics of an Epidemic Disease.”  Dr. Summers is Lecturer in History; Professor of Therapeutic Radiology, Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, and History of Medicine and Science; Senior Project Director, HSHM, Yale School of Medicine.  I’m hoping that Dr. Summers will talk to our students this summer on this topic.  Check out the book!

*The newest Virtual Mentor, the ejournal from the American Medical Association, has a focus on consumerism in medicine. Some highlights:
-It is human nature to be motivated by rewards—financial and otherwise—and health care reform raises questions about what sorts of rewards motivate physicians effectively.
-Outcome-based payment more closely aligns payments with what patients want, which is better health rather than more health care. But these approaches remain challenging to implement.
-Measuring outcomes alone is not the answer. There should be a way to reward the doctor for educating a patient about lifestyle modifications and then documenting that the care provided followed patient preferences.
-The picture that emerges from study of physician economic behavior is mixed, but the ferocity of opposition to Medicare’s proposed coding modifier suggests that economic incentives matter.

-Carol

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This Week on Campus

Tuesday, November 12

East Asian Studies Lecture
Time: 3:30 PM
Location: 120 High St (SML), International Room
Speaker: Karen Nakamura, professor, Department of Anthropology
Topic: Disabilities of the Soul: Mental Illness, Activism, Community and Teaching from the Heart at Yale

Wednesday, November 13

Rudd Center Seminar
Time: 12:30 PM
Location: 309 Edwards St, conf room
Speaker: Victor C. Strasburger, MD, Chief, Division of Adolescent Medicine; Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics; Professor of Family & Community Medicine; University of New Mexico School of Medicine
Topic: Children, Adolescents, & the Media – Why Won't They Believe Us, and What We Need to Do to Convince Them 

Buckley Program Lecture
Time: 4 PM
Location: 100 Wall St, room 116
Speaker:Leon R. Kass, M.D., Former Chairman, President’s Council on Bioethics; Addie Clark Harding Professor Emeritus in the Committee on Social Thought and the College, University of Chicago; Madden-Jewett Chair, American Enterprise Institute
Topic: Human Dignity: What it is and why it matters

Thursday, November 14

Climate & Energy Institute Lecture
Time: 11:30 AM
Location: 195 Prospect St, room G01
Speaker: Tracey Osborne, University of Arizona; Assistant Professor in the School of Geography and Development; Director of the Public Political Ecology Lab
Topic: Global Environmental Justice: A Public Political Ecology of the Carbon Economy

Perspectives on Medicine Lecture
Time: 1 PM
Location: 315 Cedar St, room 110
Speaker: Thomas P. Duffy, MD, Professor of Medicine; Director, Program on Humanities in Medicine
Topic: The Role of the Arts at the Patient's Bedside

Program for Humanities in Medicine Lecture
Time: 5 PM
Location: 300 Cedar St, Anlyan Auditorium
Speaker: William Peace, PhD, Scholar/Ethicist, Syracuse University
Topic: Death or Disability?

Africa Week Lecture
Time: 5 PM
Location: 63 High St, room 102
Speaker: Saul Kornik, Yale World Fellow
Topic: Africa Health Innovators

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Conferences & Off Campus Events

Whine & Wine: What exactly is Palliative care and how do you ask your doctor for it?
Wednesday, November 20, 2013, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Kelly’s Restaurant & Bar 196 Crown Street, New Haven
Click here
for more information

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Grants, Fellowships, & Jobs

The Future of Public Health Law Education Faculty Fellowship
The faculty fellowship opportunity described below is open to senior, mid-level, and junior faculty (minimum of three years of full-time teaching experience) affiliated with law schools or schools/programs of public health. Following a 10-day summer institute in Park City, Utah, in July 2014, fellows will return to their home institutions for their fellowship year (2014-2015) to develop their proposals to enhance the teaching of public health law.  Applications for this unique professional development opportunity are due Friday, December 13, 2013 (recommendation letters are due Friday, December 6, 2013).  For complete details, visit www.law.gsu.edu/PHLFellowship.   Georgia State University College of Law and its Center for Law, Health & Society are leading an initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for a faculty fellowship program to promote public health law education. Ten faculty members from law schools or schools/programs of public health will be selected to participate in a yearlong fellowship program designed to foster innovations in educational programming (including clinical, externship, and other experiential learning) and to build a strong learning community among faculty who teach in the public health law field. All fellows, with their deans’ support, will design and implement a project for curricular change in public health law education at their home institutions. Each fellow will be paired with a faculty mentor in public health law. The fellows will begin their fellowship year by attending an intensive 10-day educational Summer Institute on July 16-26, 2014 in Park City, Utah. Over the course of the academic 2014-2015 fellowship year, the fellows and their mentors will regularly share ideas, experiences and models for public health law teaching, providing opportunities for professional growth and leadership development.   Applicants must have a J.D. degree and be employed in a full-time faculty position at a law school or school/program of public health, or be a full-time faculty member affiliated with a law school or school/program of public health, with a tenure-track, tenured, clinical-track, joint, or comparable faculty appointment;  Applicants must have at least three years of full-time teaching experience at a graduate- or professional-school level by July 2014; previous background in health care law, public health law, or related subjects is preferred;   A dean’s transmittal letter of support for the proposal is required, as well as two letters of reference. For the complete list of eligibility and selection criteria and to review the full Call for Applications, go to www.law.gsu.edu/PHLFellowship.   The application period opened Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013. The deadline for applications is Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. Letters of reference are due Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. For instructions on how to apply and complete information about the program, download the full Call for Applications at www.law.gsu.edu/PHLFellowship. Questions? Contact Stacie Kershner, associate director for the Center for Law, Health & Society, at skershner1@gsu.edu or 404-413-9088. 

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The Edmond J. Safra Lab
is once again seeking to admit talented scholars and practitioners, at any stage of their career, who will uncover and explain institutional corruption and build tools to counteract it. 2014-15 will be the final year of the Lab's project on institutional corruption, and we will give special preference to work that offers new means to remedy institutional corruption. We have a particular interest in projects that translate scholarship into concrete proposals and tools for reform. We have four types of fellowships open for the 2014-15 academic year.
1. Lab Fellowships and Projects: Funded residential and non-residential fellowships and projects for scholars and collaborators engaged in research and practice that directly address institutional corruption.
2. Applied Data Fellowships: Funded residential fellowships offered to quantitative problem-solvers who will translate the Lab's research into applied tools, and help to deliver the Lab's real-world impact on institutional corruption.
3. Investigative Journalists: Funded residential Lab fellowships for investigative journalists to write monographs about institutional corruption within selected institutions or fields.
4. Network Fellowships: Non-funded scholars working independently on projects related to institutional corruption.
More information about these opportunities can be found on our website: http://www.ethics.harvard.edu/lab/opportunities.
The deadline for the receipt of applications is January 1, 2014. Please email us with any questions at applications@ethics.harvard.edu.

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Calls for Papers & Nominations

Call for Abstracts for the 2014 Petrie-Flom Annual Conference: Behavioral Economics, Law, and Health Policy
Building on the success of the behavioral economics movement, the 2014 annual conference will further develop the scholarly discussion by focusing on key issues in health law policy, bioethics, and biotechnology. We welcome submissions on both broad conceptual questions and more specific policy applications. In an effort to encourage interdisciplinary and international dialogue, we welcome submissions from legal scholars and lawyers, of course, but also from bioethicists and political philosophers critiquing and defending the ethics of the sorts of manipulations called for by behavioral economists; health economists, doctors, psychologists, and other experimentalists discussing new avenues to overcome bounded rationality; international scholars and regulators discussing how their systems have used choice architecture to improve health and health care; and others who have a meaningful contribution to make in this field as related to health law, bioethics, and biotechnology policy. If you are interested in participating in the conference as a presenter, please send a 1-page abstract of your paper to petrie-flom@law.harvard.edu as soon as possible, but not later than Monday, December 2, 2013.  Conference papers need not be law review style or length.  For additional information on the conference, including registration links, please see the full announcement/call for proposals on our website: http://petrieflom.law.harvard.edu/events/details/2014-annual-conference
Please contact Cristine Hutchison-Jones, Administrative Director, Petrie-Flom Center, with any questions:  chutchisonjones@law.harvard.edu, 617-495-2316.

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Other Items of Interest

If you are interested in pursuing interdisciplinary graduate study at the University of Oxford in philosophy and/or ethics of information in connection with digital technologies, the Oxford Internet Institute offers:
1) The eleven-month residential MSc in Social Science of the Internet. Students from a wide variety of backgrounds can combine their interests in philosophical/ethical issues with Internet-related courses in law, policy and other social sciences.
2) The doctoral programme (DPhil) in Information, Communication and the Social Sciences. This is for students wishing to undertake groundbreaking, detailed research. Students are encouraged to ask original, concrete questions and to adopt incisive methodologies for exploring them, in order to help to shape the development of digital realities.
3) The Summer Doctoral Programme. This provides top doctoral students from around the world with the opportunity to work for a few intensive weeks with leading figures in Internet/digital research.
For more information, please check: http://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/graduatestudy/
For an initial expression of interest, please send a short CV (max 1500 words) and a short outline of research interests or project (max 1500 words) to:
Mrs. Penny Driscoll, BA (Hons), MA
PA to Prof Luciano Floridi
Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information
Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford
1 St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3JS
penny.driscoll8@gmail.com

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Articles of Interest

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In the News


Featured Articles

Grady, Denise, and Carey, Benedict. Medical Ethics Have Been Violated At Detention Sites, A New Report Says. The New York Times. 4 November 2013.
A group of experts in medicine, law and ethics has issued a blistering report that accuses the United States government of directing doctors, nurses and psychologists, among others, to ignore their professional codes of ethics and participate in the abuse of detainees in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.  Continue reading...

Hiltzik, Michael.  Science has lost its way, at a big cost to humanity.  Los Angeles Times. 27 October 2013.
In today's world, brimful as it is with opinion and falsehoods masquerading as facts, you'd think the one place you can depend on for verifiable facts is science. You'd be wrong. Many billions of dollars' worth of wrong. A few years ago, scientists at the Thousand Oaks biotech firm Amgen set out to double-check the results of 53 landmark papers in their fields of cancer research and blood biology. The idea was to make sure that research on which Amgen was spending millions of development dollars still held up. They figured that a few of the studies would fail the test — that the original results couldn't be reproduced because the findings were especially novel or described fresh therapeutic approaches. But what they found was startling: Of the 53 landmark papers, only six could be proved valid. Continue reading…

Environment

Huetteman, Emmarie. In A Message to Poachers, U.S. Will Destroy Ivory. The New York Times. 5 November 2013.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service will destroy six tons of illegal African elephant ivory next week that it has been stockpiling since the ’80s, officials said on Tuesday. Blaming increased demand for a devastating rise in poaching, largely by organized crime syndicates, members of a task force created by President Obama told reporters in a briefing at the National Press Building that they wanted to send a message of zero tolerance and reduce the appeal of ivory, rhinoceros horns and other illicit animal products. Continue reading...

Straziuso, Jason. Environmental Crime Wave Costs World Billions. The Associated Press. 6 November 2013.
The illegal cutting of timber and the poaching of elephants and rhinos are part of a "rapidly escalating environmental crime wave" that international governments must combat by increasing cooperation, police and environmental officials said Wednesday. Interpol and the United Nations Environmental Program are working together to stop environmental crimes that cost tens of billions of dollars a year, said Achim Steiner, the U.N. Environmental Program's Executive Director. Some 500 law enforcement and environmental experts from around the world are meeting in Nairobi this week to try to stem the problem. Continue reading...

Food

Charles, Dan. Why Are Pig-Farmers Still Using Growth-Promoting Drugs? NPR. 4 November 2013.
It's one of the most controversial practices in agriculture: feeding small amounts of antibiotics to animals in order to make them grow faster. But what if the drugs don't even work very well? There's some good evidence that they don't, at least in pigs. They used to deliver a boost in growth, but that effect has disappeared in recent years or declined greatly. Continue reading...

Health and Medicine

O’Connor, Anahad. Herbal Supplements Are Often Not What They Seem. The New York Times. 3 November 2013.
Americans spend an estimated $5 billion a year on unproven herbal supplements that promise everything from fighting off colds to curbing hot flashes and boosting memory. But now there is a new reason for supplement buyers to beware: DNA tests show that many pills labeled as healing herbs are little more than powdered rice and weeds. Using a test called DNA barcoding, a kind of genetic fingerprinting that has also been used to help uncover labeling fraud in the commercial seafood industry, Canadian researchers tested 44 bottles of popular supplements sold by 12 companies. They found that many were not what they claimed to be, and that pills labeled as popular herbs were often diluted — or replaced entirely — by cheap fillers like soybean, wheat and rice. Continue reading...

Pollack, Andrew. Hepatitis C, A Silent Killer, Meets Its Match. The New York Times. 4 November 2013.
Medicine may be on the brink of an enormous public health achievement: turning the tide against hepatitis C, a silent plague that kills more Americans annually than AIDS and is the leading cause of liver transplants. If the effort succeeds, it will be an unusual conquest of a viral epidemic without using a vaccine. “There is no doubt we are on the verge of wiping out hepatitis C,” said Dr. Mitchell L. Shiffman, the director of the Bon Secours Liver Institute of Virginia and a consultant to many drug companies. Continue reading...

CBS News and the Associated Press. Johnson & Johnson to pay $2.2B in U.S. Health Care Fraud Settlement. 4 November 2013.
Health care giant Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries have agreed to pay over $2.2 billion to resolve criminal and civil allegations of promoting three prescription drugs for off-label uses not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Justice announced on Monday. "The conduct at issue in this case jeopardized the health and safety of patients and damaged the public trust," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. "This multibillion-dollar resolution demonstrates the Justice Department's firm commitment to preventing and combating all forms of health care fraud. And it proves our determination to hold accountable any corporation that breaks the law and enriches its bottom line at the expense of the American people." Continue reading...

Law and Bioethics

Baker, Aryn. Syria Blames Rebels for Polio Outbreak and the Blame Game Begins. Time Magazine. 4 November 2013.
Less than a week after the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that 10 Syrian children had been paralyzed by polio, the Syrian regime capitalized on their suffering for propaganda purposes. “The virus originates in Pakistan and has been brought to Syria by the jihadists who come from Pakistan,” Minister of Social Affairs Kindah al-Shammat told The Associated Press on Sunday. While the Pakistan origin theory was floated by international health officials last week, the WHO has yet to complete the genetic sequencing of the Syrian virus that would prove it came from Pakistan, one of three countries where the virus is endemic. Continue reading...

Medical Ethics

Simon, Cecilia. Disability Studies: A New Normal. The New York Times. 1 November 2013.
The temporarily able-bodied, or TABs. That’s what disability activists call those who are not physically or mentally impaired. And they like to remind them that disability is a porous state; anyone can enter or leave at any time. Live long enough and you will almost certainly enter it.  That foreboding forecast is driving growth in disability studies, a field that didn’t even exist 20 years ago. The reasons are mainly demographic: as the population ages, the number of disabled will grow — by 21 percent between 2007 and 2030, according to the Census Bureau. Continue reading...

Hoffman, Jan. ‘Don’t Tell Coach’: Playing Through Concussions. The New York Times. 5 November 2013.
An extensive report about sports-related concussions in young people, released last week by the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, made recommendations that included bolstering research, collecting data, examining injury protocols and educating the public. But the report identified one particularly stubborn challenge: the “culture of resistance” among high school and college athletes, who may be inclined to shrug off the invisible injuries and return immediately to the field. “There is still a culture among athletes,” the report said, “that resists both the self-reporting of concussions and compliance with appropriate concussion management plans.” Continue reading...

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In the Journals

Boldt, Joachim. Do We Have A Moral Obligation to Synthesize Organisms to Increase Biodiversity? On Kinship, Awe, and the Value of Life's Diversity. Bioethics. October 2013.
Synthetic biology can be understood as expanding the abilities and aspirations of genetic engineering. Nonetheless, whereas genetic engineering has been subject to criticism due to its endangering biodiversity, synthetic biology may actually appear to prove advantageous for biodiversity. After all, one might claim, synthesizing novel forms of life increases the numbers of species present in nature and thus ought to be ethically recommended. Two perspectives on how to spell out the conception of intrinsic value of biodiversity are examined in order to assess this line of thought. At the cost of introducing two separate capacities of human knowledge acquisition, the 'admiration stance' turns out to reject outright the assumption of a synthetic species' intrinsic value and of an imperative to create novel species. The 'kinship stance' by contrast does ascribe value to both synthetic and natural species and organisms. Nonetheless, while from this perspective creating novel species may become an ethical demand under certain conditions, it favours changing organisms by getting in contact with them rather than synthesizing them. It is concluded that neither the admiration nor the kinship stance warrants a supposed general moral obligation to create novel species to increase biodiversity. Continue reading…

Chandrasekhar, Mahesh A. A Case in HIV Ethics: A Medical Student’s Perspective. Academic Medicine. September 2013.
A 10-year-old boy, an African immigrant who lived with his mother, presented to my outpatient pediatric clinic complaining of left ear pain. While I was surprised to see a 10-year-old presenting with acute otitis media, I was even more surprised by how well behaved he was. Young patients did not often let me look in their ears without a fight. Then came the most unexpected surprise of all—my patient’s chart revealed a diagnosis of HIV. It also revealed that he did not know his diagnosis and that, at his mother’s request, caregivers were prohibited from telling him. My patient was being seen by an infectious disease physician, had CD4 checks to monitor his disease, and was on the necessary medications. Medically speaking, he was being treated appropriately, but this was treatment of the disease, not treatment of the whole patient, as I was being taught in my classes. Continue reading…

Dunn, Michael. A global affair. Journal of Medical Ethics: Journal of the Institute of Medical Ethics. 2013.
This editorial presents an overview of the articles in this issue of Journal of Medical Ethics: Journal of the Institute of Medical Ethics. The Journal of Medical Ethics has always had a global outlook. International in its authorship, readership and editorship, the journal recognizes the value of exploring how ethical issues in healthcare and scientific research manifest themselves in different geographical settings, of examining ethical issues that cross national boundaries and of ensuring that the analysis and promotion of ethically defensible care is responsive to local practices in all parts of the world. A number of the papers in this issue of the journal exemplify the value of this global approach towards medical ethics scholarship. The journal is proud of its global reach and outlook, and remains keen to receive submissions from all parts of the world. Papers that shed new empirical light on how ethical problems arise in one or more geographical settings, and that consider how such problems should be dealt with in light of the relevant ethical and practical considerations, are always encouraged.  Continue reading…

Erler, Alexandre. ADHD and stimulant drug treatment: what can the children teach us?. Jorunal of Medical Ethics: Journal of the Institue of Medical Ethics. 2013.
The treatment of children diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with stimulant drugs has been a subject of controversy for many years, both within and outside bioethics, and the controversy is still very much alive. The ethical debate on the pharmacological treatment of children diagnosed with ADHD will, and needs to, continue. This editorial introduces an article by Ilina Singh which is featured in this issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics. Several concerns, such as that of misdiagnosis, still need to be tackled more effectively. Continue reading…

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Opinion


Ars Technica

Prengaman, Kate. New HIV antibodies show potential. November 1, 2013.
The dream of an HIV vaccine has been thwarted again and again because the virus evolves so rapidly that the immune system can't keep up. But the results from a new trial in monkeys suggest that certain antibodies have a powerful enough therapeutic effect that they may warrant clinical trials. Continue reading…

Jacquot, Jeremy. Global waste production to triple by 2100, led by sub-Saharan Africa. November 1, 2013.
One of the unfortunate but inescapable consequences of population and economic growth has been the unabated proliferation of trash. The "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" has become as emblematic of our soaring waste output as have the millions of cheap, disposable goods that we've come to rely on. Continue reading…

Gitig, Diana. Immune suppressor makes one flu vaccine work for many viruses. November 3, 2013.
The flu kills over 250,000 people every year. Flu viruses change constantly, so they can evade our immune systems, the immune systems of other host species, and the vaccines we throw at them. Each seasonal vaccine can, at best, protect only against the current circulating strain of virus—but not emerging variants. (Just so we’re clear on this, YOU SHOULD STILL GET VACCINATED. Reread the first sentence.) And we currently have no way of knowing which strain might become a pandemic, or when or where such a strain might arise. Continue reading…

Geere, Duncan. Climate change is already affecting food supplies. November 4, 2013.
A leaked draft of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report due in 2014 shows how climate change is already affecting food security around the world. Continue reading…

Los Angeles Times

Editorial. Obamacare cancellation blues. November 1, 2013.
This fall, thousands of Americans are learning that they can't keep their insurance policies next year because the coverage doesn't meet the standards set in the 2010 healthcare law. The only alternative for many will be more comprehensive policies at a higher price. The cancellations have caused a new wave of outrage against the law and President Obama, who repeatedly pledged that "if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it." Continue reading…

Hall, Carla. Abortion rights battle in Texas is far from over. November 1, 2013.
It’s unfortunate that an appellate court judge in Texas on Thursday lifted an injunction against two onerous restrictions in that state's new abortion law. Just days before, a lower court federal judge had ruled those restrictions unconstitutional because they hindered a woman’s legal right to an abortion. Continue reading…

Rohwer, Susan. Anti-vaccination movement: It’s time for doctors to take a stand. November 5, 2013.
Are doctors inadvertently fueling the anti-vaccine movement? Continue reading…

Orent, Wendy. The Lyme disease battle. November 7, 2013.
There is a subculture in America you may know little about. Its members are haunted by a slender, twisting, tick-borne germ known as Borrelia burgdorferi, the microbe responsible for Lyme disease, and they are trying desperately to warn us that we are all at risk of contracting a debilitating, chronic illness characterized by joint pain, fatigue, mood disorders and a long list of other symptoms. Continue reading…

New Scientist

Opinion. Should we give the green light to geoengineers? November 2, 2013.

You might think that giving people free rein to experiment with technologies that could cool the planet is a recipe for chaos. But as things stand, pretty much anyone could carry out field tests at will. Most geoengineering exists in a legal void (see "Geoengineers are free to legally hack the climate"). Continue reading…

Opinion. We can cut emissions without a global deal. November 7, 2013.
A slowdown in the pace of our emissions shows that nations can make cuts without a UN agreement and without jeopardising economic growth. Continue reading…

New York Times

Editorial. A Bad Reversal on the Texas Abortion Law. November 1, 2013.
A three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has dealt a grievous blow to the reproductive health and rights of Texas women. On Thursday, the court allowed Texas, pending the court’s final resolution of the case, to enforce a provision in the state’s new abortion law that requires doctors who perform the procedure to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. As a result, a third of the state’s 36 licensed abortion clinics have stopped providing abortions. Continue reading…

Editorial. Marijuana and Alcohol. November 3, 2013.
Americans are growing more comfortable with marijuana, with 58 percent favoring legalization, according to the latest Gallup poll. At the same time, some researchers believe they have identified a side benefit to increasing availability of the drug: It could lead to decreased consumption of alcohol among young people. Continue reading…

Ubel, Peter A, M.D. Doctor First Tell Me What It Costs. November 3, 2013.
DURHAM, N.C. — If an antibiotic would cure your infection, your doctor would probably still warn you about the chance of sun sensitivity before prescribing the pill. Continue reading…

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