Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies

Greetings from Stephen Latham, Bioethics Center Director

It’s the last day of classes at Yale—the season of final projects and exams. With the arrival of summer, we lose the assistance of our students who work with Laurie Hurshman at ISPS to pull together much of the content of this newsletter; our last issue of the academic year will therefore be next week’s. Events and talks will slow down for the summer, while our attention is fully-occupied with the 70 or so American and international students in our Sherwin Nuland Summer Institute in Bioethics. Thank you, therefore, to Laurie, and to student assistants Stephanie Heung, Michelle Kim and Erinma Kalu, for all their hard work on this year’s newsletters.

Bioethics Summer Institute alum and former Yale/Hastings Scholar Zohar Lederman has sent us word of two new publications related to his time at Yale. The first, in the current issue of the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, is entitled “Amoralist Rationalism? A Response to Joel Marks” and engages with an earlier article by Joel, convener-emeritus of our Animal Ethics group.  The second, in the current issue of the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, is entitled “Family Presence During Resuscitation: Attitudes of Yale-New Haven Hospital Staff,” and grew out of Zohar’s survey research within the Y-NH emergency department. Congratulations, Zohar!

It’s your last chance for this academic year! So if there’s something you’d like to see noticed in this newsletter—a summer event, for example, or a recent personal achievement—send your news to me at Stephen.Latham@Yale.edu with the word “Frimail” in your subject-line.
  Updates from the Summer Institute

Campus Events

Conferences & Off Campus Events

Grants, Fellowships & Jobs

Calls for Papers & Nominations



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Updates from the Summer Institute

From Associate Director Carol Pollard

*Congratulations to Ramona Fernandez who is now Adjunct Assistant Professor, Counseling Psychology, Western University (London, Ontario, Canada)!

*Csaba Bardossy sent a new “family picture.”  Please click here to view the picture.  And Congratulations to Csaba for passing The Cambridge Language Examination!

*Laure Hoenen sent this article to a few of us at the Center, and I want to pass it on to you.  Laure wrote “I just wanted to share with you this article about Steve Wise's fight to get animals to be recognized as persons.” 

*Justin Stahl writes: “I wanted to let you know that I recently published an article on Massachusetts General Hospital's blog for the Center for Law, Brain & Behavior!  The article, which is on the subject of brain death, is viewable here: Is it Time to Pull the Plug on “Brain Death”?” (Congratulations Justin!)

*Jessica Hahne has just been awarded the Emily Murray Scholarship at The Hastings Center.  She will be there as a Visiting Scholar for three weeks in August to work on research for her senior thesis.  (Congratulations Jessica!)


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This Week on Campus

Thursday, May 1

Pediatrics Ethics Lecture (Yale community only)
Time: 4:30 PM
Location: 20 York St, room CH-201
Speaker: Warren Andiman, MD, Professor, Pediatrics (Infectious Disease) and Epidemiology; & Medical Director, Pediatric AIDS Care Program, Yale School of Medicine
Topic: Is it Ethical to Ask the 'State' to Intervene in Cases of Severe Childhood Obesity?

Governance, Environments and Markets Lecture
Time: 5 PM
Location: 195 Prospect St, Burke Auditorium
Speaker: Hans Bruyninckx, European Environment Agency; Professor of Global Environmental Governance, Lueven and Wageningen University
Topic: Towards Environmental Transformations: Lessons from the European Union for Building Effective Global Sustainability Governance

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Conferences & Off Campus Events

Unite For Sight has scheduled a new free global health webinar on Thursday, May 1, 4-5pm Eastern Time, about "Sustainability and Innovation in Global Health".  We hope that you will be available to participate!  Complete details are included below. Sustainability and Innovation in Global Health Free Webinar on May 1 Learn from leading experts about sustainability and innovation in global health. The webinar will include guidance and advice from expert panelists, as well as ample opportunity to ask the speakers questions about sustainability and innovation.  Learn about the complexities of sustainability, the importance of responsible innovation, and considerations for developing and scaling up ideas. Register for the May 1 webinar at here. The webinar's expert panelists are: April Davies, Senior Manager, Africa and Latin America, Water.org; Paul Ellingstad, Partner and Program Development Director, Sustainability and Social Innovation, Hewlett-Packard; Barrett Prinz, Director, Global Human Resources and Legal, One Acre Fund; Robin Smalley, Co-Founder, Director of mothers2mothers International.

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2014 Summer Institute for Informed Patient Choice: The legal and ethical implications of keeping patients in the dark
June 25-27, Dartmouth College, Hanover NH
The SIIPC conference aims to reach an audience of policy-level delegates; law, medical, and ethics leaders; and patient advocates to help health care delivery go the final mile of ensuring that patients are aware of, understand, and can make use of evidence pertaining to their wellbeing. That is, to make sure that no patient is left in the dark. As two sides of the same coin, law and medicine must work together to encourage policy legislation to guide practice toward a true process of patient choice. SIIPC will draw on the ethical imperative for shared decision making in health care. Hotel rooms are booking quickly; Register now! ASLME will apply for 14.75 (based on 60 min hour) credits on your behalf upon request. Program is available here. 20 confirmed speakers from law, medicine, bioethics, and patient advocacy, 2 poster sessions, numerous opportunities for cross-disciplinary networking & discussion.  Cost: $395 (April 1, 2014 through day of).  For more information, visit www.siipc.org.  Follow us on twitter: #siipc14. Questions? SIIPC2014@dartmouth.edu

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Grants, Fellowships, & Jobs

Visiting Fellows Programme: Global Health, Ethics, Philosophy, and Human Rights
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Deadline: April 30, 2014
LSHTM is offering a limited number of visiting fellowships during the academic year 2014-2015 (Sept-June) for individuals wanting to conduct ethics or philosophical research and/or scoping activities for future joint research. Visiting fellows will be provided work space, and be free to explore all three research faculties as well as surrounding University of London institutions. A Visiting Fellow ('Visitor') may stay at LSHTM from 4 to 12 weeks depending on the work plan. They are expected to make a lunchtime presentation during their stay. There is no stipend attached to the fellowship. Whenever possible, visiting fellows are expected to contribute to modest administrative costs. Suitable candidates from low and middle income countries with no available support may be considered for bursaries. Due to the nature of the position, LSHTM will be unable to sponsor a Visitor who does not already have right to work in the UK and/or obtain an appropriate visitor visa. Please do inform us if you need guidance, and consult https://www.gov.uk/business-visitor-visa. Applicants can be experienced professionals or must have completed all of their requirements for a PhD or other equivalent degree prior to their visit. The applicant may have any background but the resarch should be related to ethics, philosophy of human health, and human rights. The application will be evaluated on the content, feasibility, and reasons for carrying it out specifically at LSHTM. Applicants should submit the following materials by 30 April 2014: A curriculum vitae; A research proposal (not to exceed 1,500 words); An example of previous scholarship (journal or newspaper article, report); Contact information for two references; A copy of your current passport (front cover; details page; any visa/right to work information). Candidates can expect to hear back by the second week in May. Please direct any questions and send application materials Johanna.Hanefield@lshtm.ac.uk.

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Foundation for Child Development Young Scholars Program
Deadline: Early May (check website for updates on deadlines and application links) 
The FCD Young Scholars Program (YSP) supports policy- and practice-relevant research on the development and learning needs of the nation's young children growing up under conditions of poverty and low-income. FCD believes that early learning is a solid first step towards lifelong development and that promoting research in this area, conducted in a holistic and culturally sensitive manner, will help address the disparities in children's outcomes. Eligible researchers will have received their doctoral degrees (e.g., Ph.D., J.D., Ed.D., Psy.D., M.D.) within seven years of application submission. Ten years for physician applicants. To view additional eligibility criteria, research focus and for more information about applying to the YSP, please visit the YSP Program page of the FCD Website. 

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Calls for Papers & Nominations

Wake Forest University Center for Bioethics,Health & Society Junior Scholars in Bioethics Workshop
The Center for Bioethics, Health and Society at Wake Forest University is pleased to announce an initiative to give junior faculty working in bioethics an opportunity to present works-in-progress to scholars in bioethics and related fields.  Commentators will provide constructive feedback to presenters with the goal of fostering scholarship in bioethics.  Works-in-Progress will be read in advance by a group of experienced scholars in bioethics and related fields. Each author will present the paper during the workshop. The assigned reviewers will provide oral and written feedback and then the rest of the audience will be invited to participate in offering feedback and asking questions.  The expectation is that this discussion will assist scholars in revising their papers prior to submitting them for publication. Junior faculty (individuals who already hold a terminal degree) working in bioethics are invited to submit abstracts/summaries of 500-750 words of the proposed paper along with a curriculum vitae.  Papers should be works-in-progress that have not already been accepted for publication and that will not be submitted for publication until after the workshop at Wake Forest University. A committee of scholars will select three papers for presentation at the Junior Scholars in Bioethics Workshop.  Authors will be required to submit a full draft of the paper in advance of the workshop to allow peer reviewers sufficient time to read the papers and prepare their comments. The Center for Bioethics, Health and Society will reimburse advance purchase, domestic coach airfare or mileage and provide lodging and meals for scholars whose works-in-progress are selected for presentation.  It is expected the scholars will remain at Wake Forest University for the entire workshop to participate in the discussion of all papers. May 1, 2014: Submission deadline for Abstracts/Summaries (500-750 words) and CVs. Submissions should be emailed to bioethics@wfu.edu with a copy to Ana Iltis at iltisas@wfu.edu. June 1, 2014: Notification of Selection of Scholars. August 11, 2014: Full draft of papers due. Drafts should be emailed to bioethics@wfu.edu with a copy to Ana Iltis, Ph.D. at: iltisas@wfu.edu. September 18-20, 2014: Bioethics Scholars Weekend at Wake Forest University.

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The 1st Annual International Neuroethics Society Student Essay Prize
Deadline: May 20, 2014
The International Neuroethics Society is pleased to announce a call for submissions for a new student prize in neuroethics, which is envisioned to promote interest in neuroethics at an early stage in student's careers. All current postsecondary students in any discipline (undergraduate, graduate, or professional) are eligible and invited to submit a single-author essay on any topic in Neuroethics (e.g. ethical, legal, policy and social implications of neuroscience). The benefits of having an essay selected as one of the top two scholarly essays include: Essay published in the Kopf Carrier (Newsletter of Kopf Instruments) as part of the "Neuroethics in Neuroscience Series" edited by Judy Illes (Director, National Core for Neuroethics, UBC), Essay fast-tracked for submission to the American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience (AJOB-N), where it will be peer-reviewed and considered for publication, One year free membership with the International Neuroethics Society, Two $250 Michael Patterson Travel Stipends, which must be used to attend the 2014 Annual Meeting of the International Neuroethics Society in Washington, D.C. (Nov 13 &14), Special opportunity to network with senior members and students at the November meeting. Submission requirements: Essays should be single author, shorter than 2000 words (excluding references), double spaced, written in English, and should not have any identifying information (e.g., should not contain the student's name); authors will be anonymous to the reviewers. Students should include a cover page with name and contact information (address, phone, email), university, program affiliation, and year of study. Each Student may submit only one essay. Students may submit an original essay or one they have written previously as part of a course. If students submit an abstract to the INS meeting, they may also submit an essay here on the same topic. Submission deadline is 20-May-2014. Cover page and essay should be saved as a single file in the format "Surname_INS_Student_Essay_Prize.doc" and emailed to administrator@neuroethicssociety.org with the subject line: "INS Student Essay Prize".  The International Neuroethics Society is an interdisciplinary group of scholars, scientists, clinicians and other professionals who share an interest in the social, legal, ethical and policy implications of advances in neuroscience. The late 20th century saw unprecedented progress in the basic sciences of mind and brain and in the treatment of psychiatric and neurologic disorders. Now, in the 21st century, neuroscience plays an expanding role in human life beyond the research lab and clinic. In classrooms, courtrooms, offices and homes around the world, neuroscience is giving us powerful new tools for achieving our goals and prompting a new understanding of our- selves as social, moral and spiritual beings. Our mission is to promote the development and responsible application of neuroscience through interdisciplinary and international research, education, outreach and public engagement for the benefit of people of all nations, ethnicities, and cultures. For more information, see www.neuroethicssociety.org.

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Articles of Interest

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In the News

Animal Issues

Fackler, Martin. Japan plans to resume whaling program, with changes to address court concerns. The New York Times. 18 April 2014.
In a move likely to bring renewed international criticism, Japan said Friday that it wants to resume its research whaling in the Southern Ocean next year under a redesigned program that would address objections raised by an international court. In a statement, Minister of Agriculture Yoshimasa Hayashi said Japan would submit a new plan for research whaling this fall to the International Whaling Commission that would allow it to restart its annual hunts in waters off Antarctica in 2015. Earlier in April, Japan canceled this year’s hunt after the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled that the hunts were in violation of Japan’s legal obligations under an international treaty banning commercial whaling. Continue reading...


Strom, Stephanie. Vermont will require labeling of genetically altered foods. The New York Times. 23 April 2014.
Going further than any state so far, Vermont on Wednesday passed a law requiring the labeling of foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients. Though the move came in a tiny state far from the nation’s population centers, proponents of such labeling immediately hailed the legislative approval as a significant victory. Labeling efforts are underway in some 20 other states, and the biotech and food industries have been pushing for federal legislation that would pre-empt such action. Continue reading...

Health and Medicine

Tavernise, Sabrina and Meier, Barry. For e-cigarettes, the battle now begins. The New York Times. 24 April 2014.
At last, Washington is moving to police the multibillion-dollar business of electronic cigarettes. But just how e-cigarettes end up being regulated — and when — remains a crucial question. Nearly five years after Congress passed the Tobacco Control Act, giving the Food and Drug Administration authority to regulate various tobacco products, the F.D.A. is training its sights on e-cigarettes — a fast-growing industry riven by competing interests, including those of Big Tobacco. Continue reading...

Beaubien, Jason. Why the U.S. is worried about a deadly Middle Eastern virus. NPR. 24 April 2014.
The latest medical acronym to fear is MERS: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. The virus has killed 83 people in the Arabian Gulf since first emerging in 2012 and now looks as if it could pose a global threat. This week, the number of new cases rose at a rate that causes concern, the World Health Organization said in a statement. Continue reading...

Tavernise, Sabrina and Kopicki, Allison. Southerners don’t like Obamacare. They also don’t want to repeal it. The New York Times. 23 April 2014.
Despite strong dislike of President Obama’s handling of health care, a majority of people in three Southern states – Kentucky, Louisiana and North Carolina – would rather that Congress improve his signature health care law than repeal and replace it, according to a New York Times Upshot/Kaiser Family Foundation poll. The findings underscore the complex and often contradictory views of Mr. Obama’s principal domestic legislation four years after it became law. Continue reading...

Medical Ethics

Kern, Rebecca. FDA panel says no to shock therapy device. MedPageToday. 24 April 2014.
Members of an FDA advisory panel said Thursday that the agency should ban the use of electrical stimulation devices for aversive conditioning in patients with self-injurious or aggressive behavior. The majority of the advisers on the agency's Neurological Devices Panel said the device class poses "an unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury" to patients based on all available data and information. Panelists also felt that a clinical study of the device in adults and children would be unethical. Continue reading...


Hensley, Scott. Costly hepatitis C pill shred drug industry sales record. NPR. 23 April 2014.
The launch of Sovaldi, the $1,000-a-day pill for hepatitis C, is shaping up as the most successful ever. The Food and Drug Administration approved the pill in December. And then Gilead Sciences was off to the races. The company said it sold $2.27 billion worth of Sovaldi in the quarter that ended March 31. But the price of the drug has drawn fire. "The predicted costs of the new oral antiviral agents are as breathtaking as their effectiveness," said an editorial in a recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. "Costs alone cast a pall over the stunning success in achieving the long-hoped-for goal of a safe and effective therapy for hepatitis C." Continue reading...

Reproductive Health

Chan, Amanda. FDA approves DNA HPV test a primary cervical cancer screening tool. The Huffington Post. 24 April 2014.
The FDA approved today (April 24) the first HPV DNA test for cervical cancer screening, for use by women ages 25 and older. The test, called the cobs HPV Test, works by detecting DNA from 14 types of HPV that are known to be associated with high risk of cervical cancer, including specific identification of HPV 16 and HPV 18 strains (which are responsible for about 70 percent of cervical cancers). Continue reading...

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In the Journals

Golding Berenice Jane. Review of Reproductive donation practice, policy, and bioethics. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology. March 2014.
This book provides coverage of the bioethical, policy and practice, and jurisdiction-dependent issues that arise with regards to reproductive donation. The reviewer believes this book would be of interest to anyone who has a special interest in the area of reproductive donation including healthcare professionals, lecturers, students, researchers, clinicians and bio ethicists. The reviewer notes one strength of this book is the way in which the content is both balanced and interlinked; providing a coherent framework for the reader as the authors provide clear cross-referencing to material covered in chapters written by other contributors. Continue reading…

Hook, John. A response to Dalal's 'Ethics versus compliance. The institution, ethical psychotherapy practice, (and me)'. Group Analysis. March 2014. The current author (Hook) agrees it is right that Codes of Ethics should be examined to ensure as far as possible that they serve the functions they are intended for. Dalal's view that the Code of Ethics is there to police the membership. Hook contends that its primary purpose is to protect the public, in as far as this is possible to do. Dalal goes on to say that Codes of Ethics only state the obvious and that in some way we all know what they contain without actually reading them. This may be generally true but not necessarily specifically so. As Dalal points out there is little specific idea about how any therapy will turn out. Dalal, through some of the philosophical quotations, presents an optimistic view of human nature. Again it may be true that the majority know what is right and seek to live by it. Dalal points to the difference between the terms patient and client citing that the use of the term client was brought about to reduce the power differential. Hook seriously doubts it has done so. Dalal makes a somewhat caricatured description of the law, which to some extent is recognizable. Dalal's article overall raises concerns for about how the profession of psychotherapy responds adaptively to the demands of regulation and accountability both within health and social care organizations and society in general in private practice. Continue reading…

Shook, John R. A principled and cosmopolitan neuroethics: considerations for international relevance. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine. January 2014.
Neuroethics applies cognitive neuroscience for prescribing alterations to conceptions of self and society, and for prescriptively judging the ethical applications of neurotechnologies. Plentiful normative premises are available to ground such prescriptivity, however prescriptive neuroethics may remain fragmented by social conventions, cultural ideologies, and ethical theories. Herein we offer that an objectively principled neuroethics for international relevance requires a new meta-ethics: understanding how morality works, and how humans manage and improve morality, as objectively based on the brain and social sciences. This new meta-ethics will simultaneously equip neuroethics for evaluating and revising older cultural ideologies and ethical theories, and direct neuroethics towards scientifically valid views of encultured humans intelligently managing moralities. Bypassing absolutism, cultural essentialisms, and unrealistic ethical philosophies, neuroethics arrives at a small set of principles about proper human flourishing that are more culturally inclusive and cosmopolitan in spirit. This cosmopolitanism in turn suggests augmentations to traditional medical ethics in the form of four principled guidelines for international consideration: empowerment, non-obsolescence, self-creativity, and citizenship. Continue reading…

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