From Associate Director Carol Pollard
*HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY TO YOU ALL!!
*Congratulations to Izabela Borek who wrote “I want to let you know that an hour ago I defended my thesis and now have a Masters Degree in Biotechnology. I was questioned for one and a half hours and received a grade of A.”
*Therese Awada is now an Intern in Plastic Surgery at Hopital Europeen Georges Pompidou (George Pompidou European Hospital, Paris, France.) (Congratulations Therese!)
*Prya Murad writes “I’ve just gotten word that I’ve been accepted as a Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) intern for the AIDS Legal Council of Chicago. PILI will be funding the summer internship.” (Congratulations Prya!)
*Past Summer Seminar Leader Christiana Peppard writes “I'm delighted that both of my new TED-Ed pieces on water (<4 minutes each) are now live at ed.ted.com! What a great Valentine's Day. Please check them out, share, repost, tweet, etc! These short, animated lessons tell you how to think about fresh water factually and ethically. And believe me, that's important: If you're made of water (check) or drink water (check) or live in a civilization that thrives on water (check)--well, check-check-check-check it out. The first piece, "Where we get our fresh water," is a clear presentation of where our water comes from, where it goes, and how much of it there is on earth--in short, what you need to know about the hard facts of global fresh water in 3.5 minutes. Find it here! The second piece, "Fresh water scarcity: An introduction to the problem," looks at global fresh water scarcity and asks: Are we running out of water? Who bears the burdens? Do shorter showers help? How should we think about water's value? Find it here. Working with TED-Ed has been a fantastic experience. I highly recommend their lessons to all learners and educators (from advanced middle school to lifelong). The seeds of my collaboration with TED-Ed and animator Jeremy Collins were planted and nourished by the amazing team at the OpEd Project and my fellow Fordham Public Voice Fellows: huge thanks to all. Check out the Op-Ed Project here: great mission and great results. Their report on "Who Narrates the World?" is really, really important work; check 'em out. With love and (of) water, Christiana.” (Congratulations Christy! Below are the URLs for her presentations!)*Please see the attachment at the end of the Friday Newsletter with articles I’ve selected for you.
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Monday, February 18
EP&E Mars Family Lecture in Business Ethics
Time: 4 PM
Location: 100 Wall St, room 211
Speaker: Alice Tepper Marlin, Social Accountability International
Topic: Human Rights at Work
Tuesday, February 19
Rudd Center Seminar
Time: 12 PM
Location: 309 Edwards St, conf room
Speaker: Robert S. Lawrence, MD, Director and Professor, Center for a Livable Future; Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, Health Policy, and International Health; Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Topic: Beyond Nutrition: The Public Health Impact of the U.S. Food System
Shulman Lecture in Science and the Humanities
Time: 5 PM
Location: 53 Wall St, auditorium
Speakers: Linda Mayes and Helena Rutherford
Topic: The Psychobiology of Parenting and Attachment
Wednesday, February 20
Time: 12 PM
Location: 120 High St, SML Lecture Hall
Speaker: Theda Skocpol, Harvard University
Topic: What It Will Take to Mobilize Americans to Limit Carbon Emissions and Fight Global Warming?
Climate & Energy Lecture
Time: 1 PM
Location: 21 Sachem St, room 110
Speaker: William Reisen, Professor, Department of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology,
School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis; Research Entomologist, Center of Vectorborne Diseases
Topic: Impact of environmental change on mosquito-borne disease in the western United States
Environmental Economics Lecture
Time: 4 PM
Location: 195 Prospect St, room 321
Speaker: Emanuele Massetti, FEEM/Yale FES
Topic: On the Use of Growing Degree Days in Econometric Analysis of Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture
Arthur M. Okun Public Policy Lecture
Time: 4 PM
Location: 34 Hillhouse Ave, Luce Auditorium
Speaker: Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Laureate
Topic: A Psychological Perspective on Rationality
Thursday, February 21
Schell Center Lecture
Time: 4:15 PM
Location: 127 Wall St, Faculty Lounge
Speaker: Kiel Brennan-Marquez, YLS '11, Schell Visiting Human Rights Fellow, Yale Law School
Topic: Imaginary Boundaries: The Jurisdictional Puzzle of Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum
Friday, February 22
Agrarian Studies Colloquium
Time: 11 AM
Location: 77 Prospect St, room B012
Speaker: Sanjay Reddy, Economics, The New School
Topic: The Poverty of Poverty Statistics
Zigler Center Lecture
Time: 11:30 AM
Location: 100 Wall St, room 116
Speaker: Stephen Kellert, PhD, Professor Emeritus; & Senior Research Scientist, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University
Topic: The Human Need for Nature and its Role in Childhood Health and Development
Business & Environment Panel Discussion
Time: 4 PM
Location: 195 Prospect St, Burke Auditorium
Panelists: Yale Scientists & Google Engineers
Topic: Geotechnology and the Future of Sustainability
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Forum on Food Labeling: Putting the Label on the Table
Friday, March 8th - Austin East and West, Harvard Law School
Saturday, March 9th - Pfizer Lecture Hall, Mallinckrodt Building, 12 Oxford St.
The Petrie-Flom Center is pleased to be co-sponsoring the Harvard Law School Food Law Society's second annual conference, Forum on Food Labeling: Putting the Label on the Table. As a part of the Society's mission to foster dialogue and exchange knowledge of emerging issues in food policy and regulation, this conference will explore the legal and policy aspects of food labeling and its effects on consumer knowledge, choice, and behavior. The forum will bring together a host of authorities on food law and policy to raise discussion on a number of pressing questions, including: What should we know about what's in our food and how it is grown? What considerations should inform these decisions? Are food labels a meaningful tool to encourage better nutrition choices? Register for the conference here.
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Universal Health Coverage in Low-Income Countries: Ethical Issues
Thursday and Friday, April 18-19, 2013
Harvard Medical School
The Petrie-Flom Center is proud to co-sponsor this year's Harvard University Program in Ethics and Health Annual Conference, Universal Health Coverage in Low-Income Countries: Ethical Issues. Can Universal Coverage be achieved in even the world's lowest-income countries? China's recent health reform, which in three years has extended health coverage to 95% of Chinese citizens, including innovative financing initiatives in some of the poorest provinces, has focused the attention of governments of low-income countries on UC. The World Health Organization's annual report of 2010, Health Systems Financing: The Path to Universal Coverage, identified the prospects for UC in even the least-developed countries and sparked an international effort to pursue this once-elusive goal. Each country will resolve these dilemmas in its own way. Our hope is that this conference will enhance their capacity for ethical deliberation in UC, so that the ethical choices can be made responsibly and thoughtfully. Registration is required. Please visit the conference website to register and for more information.
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On-line registration is now open for the 2013 Tuskegee Public Health Ethics Intensive. The intensive is sponsored by the Tuskegee University National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care. The intensive is directly and powerfully enriching for any and all leaders whose interests are in all of the sciences and arts related to health, wellness, public health, health care systems, research of all disciplines, research administration and leadership, and ethics. This year's intensive is being held April 2-5 at the university. On-line registration forms and the agenda can be downloaded now from the National Center's website at: http://www.tuskegee.edu/about_us/centers_of_excellence/bioethics_center.aspx. The intensive offers continuing education credits (Physician CMEs, Nursing CEs, General/Applicable CEUs). It is an outstanding opportunity to explore the contemporary ethics challenges and invitations concerning holistic health and wellness areas arising from research of all disciplines and health care itself in the United States and in the global community. This year's faculty, as usual, are outstanding global experts. The intensive includes an annual commemoration of the 1932-72 USPHS syphilis study, thereby honoring the men who were in the study as well as their family members --- many of whom will be present. This is one of the most powerfully moving experiences I have ever had the privilege of which to be a part. I most strongly recommend all to participate in the 2013 event --- especially to remember the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's "I Have A Dream" speech, and to give very special focus to women's voices in ethics, health, and health care. If there are any questions, please contact Ms. Beverly Ebo at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 334-725-2319. Alternatively, contact Mr. Richard Taylor at email@example.com, or 334 725 2314.Back to top
Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues Seeks Summer Interns
The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues advises the President on bioethical issues that emerge from advances in biomedicine and related areas of science and technology. The Commission works with the goal of identifying and promoting policies and practices that ensure scientific research, health care delivery, and technological innovation are conducted in an ethically responsible manner. The Commission staff performs original, archival and literature-based research, as well as policy analysis to inform the deliberations of the Commission. In order to fulfill our mission, we are seeking unpaid Summer 2013 interns. Candidates must be college graduates and have a demonstrated interest in bioethics, health, ethics, or public policy issues. Anticipated work will include research, writing, meeting preparation, and other projects as needed. Applications will be accepted through close of business February 28 and applicants will be notified at the end March. Summer interns must commit to at least 10 weeks. Please send cover letter, resume, writing sample(s), and references with contact information to:
Committee and Staff Affairs
Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
1425 New York Avenue, NW C-100
Washington, DC 20005
Applications by email are preferred.
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Caroline Miles Visiting Scholarship - The Ethox Centre - University of Oxford
The Caroline Miles Visiting Scholarships, funded by the Ethox Foundation, are awarded annually to post-doctoral or early-career researchers to enable them to spend up to a month at the Ethox Centre working on a topic relating to one of the Centre's four main research areas: clinical ethics; research ethics; public health ethics; or global health bioethics. For more information about the scheme and the application procedure, please visit the Ethox website at http://www.ethox.org.uk/. DEADLINE: 2nd April 2013
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The Henry Jackson Foundation is seeking a Bioethicist to provide support under an NIH-funded contract to the Division of AIDS (DAIDS) at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a component of NIH, located on Rockledge Drive in Bethesda, Maryland. Under the NIH Contract, HJF’s separate operating division, HJF-DAIDS, provides scientific and operations support to DAIDS including the Basic Sciences Program (BSP). The individual will be responsible for researching and providing advice on ethical issues with regard to the conduct of domestic and international HIV/AIDS clinical trials for the Bioethics Research Team at DAIDS. This includes preparing background materials, guidance and training on bioethical issues, preparing reports and manuscripts, and reviewing protocols. The incumbent must possess an advanced degree Master’s degree, JD or PhD, and/or clinical training. 6-10 years of related experience are required; direct experience with international research ethics, especially in resource-limited settings, preferred; developing country experience would be an asset. Additional background in clinical, biological or social science would be an asset. Bioethics background is an essential requirement with advanced degree or equivalent demonstrated experience. Bioethics expertise can be evidenced by degree programs, work experience, or a combination of both. Incumbent must be able to work collaboratively with diverse range of individuals, scientists and administrators. Must be able to communicate clearly in both written and oral form. It is a condition of employment with HJF-DAIDS that contractors undergo a favorable National Agency Check and Inquiry Investigation (NACI). Any qualifications to be considered as equivalents, in lieu of stated minimums, require the prior approval of Vice President of Human Resources. For more information and to apply, click here.Back to top
Harvard Medical School/Brigham and Women's Hospital Fellowship in Pharmaceutical Law and Health Services Research
The Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics at Brigham and Women's Hospital Department of Medicine and Harvard Medical School invites applications for a new postdoctoral fellowship in pharmaceutical law and health services research. Deadline is March 1, 2013. More information is available here.
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Harvard Medical School Division of Medical Ethics Fellowship in Medical Ethics Back to top
The Division of Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School supports research and teaching on ethical issues in medicine, health, and healthcare policy and practice. The Fellowship in Medical Ethics is open to physicians, nurses, lawyers, social workers, and others in academic fields related to medicine or health with a serious interest in medical ethics and a wish to further their knowledge of the history, philosophical underpinnings and contemporary practice of bioethics. Deadline for submission of application materials is April 15, 2013. Additional information is available here.
TuftScope: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Health, Ethics, & Policy, is a student journal at Tufts University founded in 2001 to provide an academic forum for discussion of the pertinent healthcare and biosocial debates in today's world. It addresses different aspects of healthcare, bioethics, public health, and active citizenship. The journal, as well as the online edition at www.tuftscopejournal.org, is edited and operated by students at Tufts University is edited and operated by students at Tufts University and is advised by an Editorial Board composed of undergraduates and faculty. The principle objective of TuftScope is to bring together a variety of viewpoints on the health sciences to transform thoughts and ideas into active citizenship and working policies. We are currently accepting submissions for our Spring 2013 (Volume 12.3) issue from undergraduates, graduate students, and all other individuals who wish to submit work. TuftScope accepts original articles on bioethics, healthcare policy, public/community health, medical education, biomedicine, and research in these fields. PLEASE NOTE THAT ORIGINAL RESEARCH WILL NOT BE PUBLISHED. Submissions will be accepted until March 1st, 2013. Detailed submissions guidelines and descriptions of the submission types may be found at www.tuftscopejournal.org under the “Guidelines” section. We welcome early submissions. All submissions should be uploaded to the submissions system on the website.
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The Center for Law, Science & Innovation at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University has issued a call for abstracts for proposed presentations at its upcoming First Annual Conference on Emerging Technologies: Law, Policy and Ethics. Eleven other organizations from across the nation with an interest in emerging technologies are co-sponsoring this path-breaking event. The national conference is slated for May 20-21 at the scenic Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa in Chandler, Ariz., just south of downtown Phoenix. Abstracts are due March 1, and should be submitted at http://law.asu.edu/emergingtechnologies. Successful applicants will be notified by March 22. The conference will consist of plenary and session presentations and discussions on regulatory, governance, legal, policy, social and ethical aspects of emerging technologies, including, but not limited to, nanotechnology, synthetic biology, biotechnology, genomics, personalized medicine, stem cell and regenerative medicine, human enhancement technologies, telecommunications, information technologies, surveillance technologies, geoengineering, neuroscience and robotics. The conference will bring together government regulators, technology innovators, scientists and engineers, scholars from law, public policy, philosophy and ethics, policymakers, non-governmental organizations, students and journalists. Participants will have a unique opportunity to explore the challenges that cut across many fields, the convergence of emerging technologies, and the societal impact of a bewildering array of transformative tools and techniques, said Wendell Wallach, of the Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics at Yale University, a co-sponsor of the conference. For more information about the conference and to register, visit http://law.asu.edu/emergingtechnologies. Back to top
The Penn Bioethics Journal (PBJ) invites submissions of papers on any aspect of bioethics written by undergraduate students. Papers can be reports of empirical research or novel syntheses of previous work in science, philosophy, public policy, or any other discipline addressing an issue in bioethics. We also accept shorter works such as news briefs and editorials. Please visit our website for more information: http://bioethicsjournal.com. The first deadline is February 18, 2013, the second deadline is March 11, 2013, and the third is April 8, 2013. Send submissions and any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.Back to top
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In the News
Tierney, John. A Match Made in the Code. New York Times. 11 February 2013.
New Orleans — In the quest to find true love, is filling out a questionnaire on a Web site any more scientific than praying to St. Valentine? Yes, according to psychologists at eHarmony, an online company that claims its computerized algorithms will help match you with a “soul mate.” But this claim was criticized in a psychology journal last year by a team of academic researchers, who concluded that “no compelling evidence supports matching sites’ claims that mathematical algorithms work.” Continue reading…
Drugs & Pharmaceuticals
Knox, Richard. World’s Most Popular Painkiller Raises Heart Attack Risk. NPR. 12 February 2013.
The painkiller diclofenac isn't very popular in the U.S., but it's by far the most widely used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID, in the world.A slew of studies, though, show diclofenac — sold under the brand names Voltaren, Cambia, Cataflam and Zipsor — is just as likely to cause a heart attack as the discredited painkiller Vioxx (rofecoxib), which was pulled from the U.S. market in 2004.But evidence of the drug's cardiovascular risk hasn't translated to a reduction in use, a paper in the journal PLOS Medicine found. Diclofenac far outsells ibuprofen, naproxen, and other NSAIDs in 15 countries around the world. Continue reading…
End of Life
Hartocollis, Anemona. Ill Woman Kept Alive by Family Dies at 28. New York Times. 12 February 2013.
Grace Lee, who was at the center of a struggle pitting her right to die
against her family’s wish to keep her alive, died on Sunday, according
to her family. She was 28. Last fall, Ms. Lee’s relatives posted a video
of her, paralyzed from the neck down by a brainstem tumor, on YouTube.
They wanted to gain public support for their battle to prevent her from
being removed from life support, an act they saw as a violation of their
evangelical Christian faith. Continue reading…
Eilperin, Juliet. Farmers, environmentalists await seventh analysis of 60-year-old Mississippi levee plan. Washington Post. 10 February 2013.
An engineering project introduced during the Eisenhower administration may be carried out during the Obama administration, but with no more consensus now than over the past 60 years. The plan to plug a quarter-mile gap in an enormous levee along the Mississippi River and install two pumping stations would help control flooding in southeastern Missouri, but it requires draining as much as 55,000 acres of wetlands that provide backwater habitat for fish and waterfowl. Continue reading…
Hagan, Caitlin and Caleb Hellerman. No pain, please, we’re British. CNN. 8 February 2013.
In the 23 years since he tried to break up a robbery in central London, Ian Semmons hasn't spent a day without severe pain. His regular doctor, a general practitioner with Britain's National Health Service, offered little for the pain despite his complaints. At the time, patients in Britain's government-run system such as Semmons weren't able to switch to another doctor. Unlike patients now, he was stuck. Continue reading…
Rosenthal, Elizabeth. Price for a New Hip? Many Hospitals Are Stumped. New York Times. 11 February 2013.
Jaime Rosenthal, a senior at Washington University in St. Louis, called more than 100 hospitals in every state last summer, seeking prices for a hip replacement for a 62-year-old grandmother who was uninsured but had the means to pay herself. The quotes she received might surprise even hardened health care economists: only about half of the hospitals, including top-ranked orthopedic centers and community hospitals, could provide any sort of price estimate, despite repeated calls. Those that could gave quotes that varied by a factor of more than 10, from $11,100 to $125,798. Continue reading…
Andrews, Michelle. Observation Units May Ease Burdens of ER Care, but Benefits to Patients Come at a Price. Washington Post. 11 February 2013.
A growing number of hospitals are opting to move some people from the emergency room into observation units where they can undergo further monitoring or testing before doctors decide whether they should be released or admitted. More than a third of hospitals report having such units today, a number that has doubled since 2003. But many hospitals and insurers haven’t set up their clinical and billing systems or their insurance contracts with these patients in mind. Not only does this sometimes result in a longer stay at the hospital, it also can cause confusion for patients and bigger bills. Continue reading…
Law and Bioethics
Twins Arrested for Sexual Assault, but Police Can’t Figure Out Which One Is Guilty. Jezebel. 11 February 2013.
In news that's literally begging to be turned into an episode of Law & Order: SVU, 24-year-old twins Elwin and Yohan were recently arrested on suspicion of six similar sexual attacks on women between the ages of 22 and 76 years old. Taking place in the French city of Marseille between Sept 2012 and Jan 2013, the police found a lead from CCTV footage and a victim who identified the twins, but couldn't tell them apart. Continue reading…
Yang, Jennifer. Birth, feeding choices affect a baby’s gut bacteria: Study. Toronto Star. 11 February 2013.
A new Canadian study has found that babies born by cesarean section or formula fed have a distinctly different makeup of bacteria inside their guts — something that could have consequences for the baby’s health or immune system development. Continue reading…
Kullmann, Kerstin. Genetic Risks: The Implications of Embryo Screening. ABC News. 10 February 2013.
A controversial procedure that lets would-be parents test embryos for certain genetic defects will soon be allowed in special cases in Germany. What does this mean for society? Do people have the right to a healthy child? "No," says Tina Stark, "they don't." Continue reading…
Yang, Jennifer. Mutant Virus Sparks Bioethics Debate. Toronto Star. 13 February 2013.
In a storage facility in the Netherlands, a mutant virus has been locked in a freezer for more than a year, unaware of the global debate swirling around it. As far as scientists know, this virus cannot be found anywhere else on Earth; it was engineered into existence. This strain — once described by its creator as “probably one of the most dangerous viruses you can make” — has sparked one of the most inflamed bioethics debates in recent memory, raising anxieties over bioterrorism, scientific censorship and the prospect of a manmade pandemic. Continue reading…
Eisenberg, Anne. Genomic Analysis, the Office Edition. New York Times. 2 February 2013.
The price of sequencing a person’s genome — putting in order all three billion base pairs of DNA in a set of human chromosomes — keeps dropping. But interpreting the billions of letters in a person’s DNA blueprint for use in medicine, and keeping that highly personal information secure and anonymous, is still a complex task. Continue reading…
MacDonald, Christine. New Technology Helps Doctors Link a Patient’s Location to Illness and Treatment. Washington Post. 4 Febrary 2013.
Epidemiologist David Van Sickle spent years studying asthma, but like many researchers of the chronic disease, he was frustrated by the obstacles to determining precise triggers of an individual attack. That frustration gave him an idea for a rescue inhaler topped with a GPS sensor. The invention would map the user’s location every time he took a puff and send that information back to his doctor. Continue reading…
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In the Journals
Chan, Tuck Wai. Buddhism and Medical Futility. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry. December 2012.
Religious faith and medicine combine harmoniously in Buddhist views, each in its own way helping Buddhists enjoy a more fruitful existence. Health care providers need to understand the spiritual needs of patients in order to provide better care, especially for the terminally ill. Using a recently reported case to guide the reader, this paper examines the issue of medical futility from a Buddhist perspective. Important concepts discussed include compassion, suffering, and the significance of the mind. Compassion from a health professional is essential, and if medical treatment can decrease suffering without altering the clarity of the mind, then a treatment should not be considered futile. Suffering from illness and death, moreover, is considered by Buddhists a normal part of life and is ever-changing. Sickness, old age, birth, and death are integral parts of human life. Suffering is experienced due to the lack of a harmonious state of body, speech, and mind. Buddhists do not believe that the mind is located in the brain, and, for Buddhists, there are ways suffering can be overcome through the control of one’s mind. Continue reading…
Kirshner, Lewis A. Toward an Ethics of Psychoanalysis: A Critical Reading of Lacan’s Ethics. Journal of the Psychoanalytic Association. November 2012.
Lacan’s seminar The Ethics of Psychoanalysis (1959–1960) pursues, from a Freudian perspective, a fundamental philosophical question classically addressed by Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics: How is human life best lived and fulfilled? Is there is an ethic of this type intrinsic to psychoanalysis? Lacan placed the problem of desire at the center of his Ethics. His notorious self-authorized freedom from convention and probable crossing of limits (see Roudinesco 1993) may have led mainstream analysts to ignore his admonition: “At every moment we need to know what our effective relationship is to the desire to do good, to the desire to cure” (Lacan 1959–1960, p. 219). This means that the analyst’s desire, as well as the patient’s, is always in play in his attempt to sustain an ethical position. An examination of Lacan’s seminar highlights this link, but also points to a number of unresolved issues. The patient’s desire is a complex matter, readily entangled in neurotic compromise, defense, and transference, and the analyst’s commitment to it is also problematic because of the inevitable co-presence of his own desire. Lacan suggested that more emphasis be placed in training on the desire of the analyst, but beyond that a proposal is advanced for the institutionalization of a “third” as reviewer and interlocutor in routine analytic practice. Analysis may not be a discipline that can be limited to a dyadic treatment relationship. Continue reading…
Komesaroff, Paul A. Cross-cultural issues in ethics: Context is everything: Commentary on “The dilemma of revealing sensitive information on paternity status in Arabian social and cultural contexts.” Journal of Bioethical Inquiry. 2012.
There are several ways in which the "problem" of crosscultural difference in ethics may arise. One is where disagreement occurs about the most appropriate course of action as a result of differing cultural attitudes or beliefs: for example, where a patient or family member has reservations on the basis of religious beliefs about the use of a particular medical treatment or practice. Adlan and ten Have about the value attached to truth-telling in different cultural settings in Saudi Arabia. Adlan and ten Have's article demonstrates vividly how the operation of one discursive framework is unable to resolve problems arising within another. Indeed, the actual language it employs fluctuates between the different modes of discussion. The decision that was ultimately reached in this case was undoubtedly the appropriate one, but it might have been more compelling if it had been based on full recognition of the deep complexity of the problem it was seeking to resolve. Continue reading...
Kowal, Emma. Genetic research and aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry. December 2012.Back to top
While human genetic research promises to deliver a range of health benefits to the population, genetic research that takes place in Indigenous communities has proven controversial. Indigenous peoples have raised concerns, including a lack of benefit to their communities, a diversion of attention and resources from non-genetic causes of health disparities and racism in health care, a reinforcement of "victim-blaming" approaches to health inequalities, and possible misuse of blood and tissue samples. Drawing on the international literature, this article reviews the ethical issues relevant to genetic research in Indigenous populations and considers how some of these have been negotiated in a genomic research project currently under way in a remote Aboriginal community. We consider how the different levels of Indigenous research governance operating in Australia impacted on the research project and discuss whether specific guidelines for the conduct of genetic research in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are warranted. Continue reading…
Shaw, Kate. Anti-anxiety drugs impact wastewater fish behavior. February 14, 2013.
Benzodiazepines are a highly effective group of pharmaceutical drugs that help millions of people cope with anxiety, insomnia, and panic disorders each year. These drugs work by binding to receptors in the brain and enhancing the effect of a neurotransmitter called GABA. Continue reading…
Timmer, John. Missouri bill redefines science, gives equal weight to intelligent design. February 12, 2013.
Each year, state legislatures play host to a variety of bills that would interfere with science education. Most of these are variations on a boilerplate intended to get supplementary materials into classrooms criticizing evolution and climate change (or to protect teachers who do). They generally don't mention creationism, but the clear intent is to sneak religious content into the science classrooms, as evidenced by previous bills introduced by the same lawmakers. Most of them die in the legislature (although the opponents of evolution have seen two successes). Continue reading…
Editorial. The bedbugs are biting. February 14, 2013.
A good night's rest is merely a dream for anyone besieged by bedbugs. Pest control company Orkin said it did more bedbug exterminations in Chicago than any other U.S. city last year. Terminix put Chicago fourth on its list of most-infested cities. Continue reading…
Editorial. Wi-fi and wildlife don’t mix. February 9, 2013.
Oh give me a phone, where the buffalo roam. … Actually, don't. Please. The National Park Service is under mounting pressure to allow wireless coverage in the peaceful unplugged spaces where the deer and antelope play. What a terrible idea. The great outdoors is supposed to be about twitter without the capital 'T.' How are you supposed to hear it if your cellphone is chirping? Continue reading…
Los Angeles Times
Editorial. San Onofre’s problematic generators. February 10, 2013.
If what two federal lawmakers say is true, there's more to the shutdown at the San Onofre nuclear plant than the public has been told. According to Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a leaked internal report by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which manufactured the problem-riddled steam generators that forced the shutdown, indicates that concerns about the generators' design were raised before they were even installed but that only minimal fixes were made. Continue reading…
Morrison, Patt. Susan Love, doctor/patient. February 13, 2013.
And now, she is the patient. For decades, as a surgeon, researcher, professor and medical celebrity of sorts, Susan Love has led the charge against breast cancer and for women's health. She served on President Clinton's cancer advisory board. She set up a research foundation. Her book on breast cancer is on the short shelf for clinicians and counselors. And last June, when, like so many women, she was feeling and doing fine, the diagnosis came. Except it wasn't breast cancer but leukemia. The woman who has battled one kind of cancer on behalf of millions of women finds herself fighting another kind, on her own. Continue reading…
New York Times
Editorial. What a company knew about its metal hips. February 10, 2013.
All-metal hip replacements have failed at a high rate and harmed many patients in recent years. Now there is evidence that a major manufacturer was aware of a serious problem with one of its models yet failed to alert patients or doctors and continued to market it aggressively. Continue reading…
Editorial. Fish in the global balance. February 10, 2013.
At some point this year, humans will for the first time consume more farmed fish than wild-caught fish, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. This is a milestone of sorts, and also an inevitable transition resulting from the overfishing of wild fish stocks and a 30-year boom in aquaculture. Continue reading…
Editorial. The crisis of compounding pharmacies. February 13, 2013.
An outbreak of fungal meningitis from contaminated steroid injections shipped last May has claimed 45 lives and sickened 693 people. The New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., which sent 17,676 of the adulterated injections to clinics in 23 states, has declared bankruptcy and shuttered its facility. But that is not the end of the story. As Kimberly Kindy, Lena H. Sun and Alice Crites reported in The Post on Feb. 8, troubles have run deep for years in the growth of lightly regulated firms that mix and ship medicines to hospitals and clinics known as compounding pharmacies. Some of the firms have expanded to manufacturing scale, yet without adequate protections and quality control. Continue reading…
Editorial. Climate change and the president. February 9, 2013.Back to top
President Obama will deliver his 2013 State of the Union address on Tuesday, and expectations are high that he will devote significant time to climate change. We hope that he adopts a different approach to explaining the need for action than he did in much of his first term. Continue reading…
Please visit our website at www.yale.edu/bioethics.