Greetings from Stephen Latham, Director


This is the last Friday Newsletter of  the academic year. Except for our Summer Institute, which is gearing up, things are winding down.

There’s just one May event you should mark on your calendars: The medical school’s Program for Biomedical Ethics will hear from its own Warren Andiman, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology and Medical Director of the Pediatric AIDS Care Program, on May 23. Warren will be talking about “Ethical Conundrums Associated with Non-Adherence to Medical Therapy among Adolescents and Young Adults.” The talk will be in the Cohen Auditorium at 4:30.

It’s seems as if it’s hardly a newsletter unless I congratulate visiting scholar Zohar Lederman, MD (Philosophy, NUS) on yet another publication; this one, in the Journal of Medical Ethics, is Zohar’s controversial take on the controversial subject of “after-birth abortion.”

Congratulations to Editor-in-Chief Michelle Bayefsky and a host of undergraduate writers on their publication of the first issue of the Yale Bioethics Journal. It arrived in my box today, and I look forward to reading every word.

I’ll be back in touch with  you all in the fall, when we’ll be adding a new Newsletter feature on the scholarship coming out of the Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics. Until then, good luck with exams, happy Commencement, enjoy your summers, and think bioethics-y thoughts!  

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Updates from the Summer Institute

From Associate Director Carol Pollard

*PLEASE NOTE: This will be the last Friday Newsletter for a few months.  We will be starting up again at the beginning of Yale University’s Fall Semester (September).  Please keep your updates coming, and I will publish them in our first edition in the Fall.

*Congratulations to Jim Nugent who will be a resident in pediatrics starting this July in Washington DC. “I have so many great memories from the summer program.  It will definitely continue to inform my career.”  (And Happy Birthday Jim!)

*Congratulations to Bo Shan Xiang who has added “Yale Law School ’16 “ to his time line!

*Alexandra (Alex) Mogyoros writes “All is good here, I have recently finished my final paper towards my JD and am spending the summer as a research fellow for the Open AIR project which looks at the role of intellectual property in African innovation (among other things -  http://www.openair.org.za).  So right now I am completing a residency at the IP law unit in Cape Town in South Africa!  Also exciting news, I had my first legal paper published in the Tort Law Review this past spring, which I am attaching here in case you are interested."  (Congratulations Alex!) 

*Congratulations (again!) to Ruth Retassie on the publication of yet another paper titled “Scotland:  £20 million personalized medicine research centre gets go-ahead” in BioNews, a UK e-journal dealing with stories in assisted conception, genetics, embryo/stem cell research and related areas and published by the Progress Educational Trust.  (One of the aims of this publication is to inform debates in these areas.)

*Vikoria (Vika) Safarian writes “I want to tell you about the island I live on and how special it is.  Jeju, South Korea, has recently become one of the "new seven wonders of the world" so plenty of international investors and tourists are coming here for its natural beauty.  The island is being developed into something akin to Disney World.  However, its traditional culture of shamanism, women divers (incredibly strong Jeju women who dive down to depths of up to 30 meters without any equipment to get sea food creatures for their families' sustenance), and the knowledge and mysticism of this culture is a threat to be totally eliminated! My friend Giuseppe Rositano is a professional documentary maker, and he has spent 7 years on Jeju, first as a teacher and then interviewing shamans and filming A Search for Spirits on the Island of Rocks, Wind and Women.  Spanning the course of 18 months and accumulating more than 500 hours of shamanistic ceremonies and traditional storytelling on film, Rositano captures the spiritual life of 5 villages through exploration of their native deities and traditional oral stories that have been passed down through generations.  These stories, which describe the lives of Jeju’s extensive pantheon, are quickly disappearing.  A Search is an attempt to preserve these unique indigenous beliefs.  You can read about Rositano here: http://www.jejuweekly.com
/news/articleView.html?idxno=3102
We need your help!  For the last year and a half, Giuseppe and the team have funded this project exclusively with their personal budgets. Thus far, this project was possible because Giuseppe has lived on Jeju for many years and has built rapport with locals over the years and was able to film inexpensively.  His contacts aided greatly in the planning and execution of the filming, but more funds are needed to take this film to the next level. Our next steps are the post-production phase of the project and entering film festivals.  By helping, your money will go towards informing the world of this culturally unique religion that receives very little attention and is in danger of becoming extinct.  Your money will go towards post-production costs and entry fees so we can take this project to the next level.  This project is on kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com
/projects/114038402/at-search-for-spirits-on-the-island-of-rocks-wind

  Have a great summer break!  Come visit and welcome our 2013 summer students to the fold!

Carol

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Grants, Fellowships, & Jobs

Post-doctoral Fellowships in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Genetics
The Center for Research on Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Psychiatric, Neurologic and Behavioral Genetics at Columbia University anticipates the availability of post-doctoral fellowship positions to begin September 2013. The goal of the fellowship is to train researchers whose work is focused on the ethical, legal and social implications of advances in genetics, with a special focus on psychiatric, neurologic, and behavioral genetics. Training programs, which will generally last 2 years, include course work, mentored research activities, guidance in seeking research funding, and participation in the activities of the Center.  All activities are designed to accommodate the skills and interests of the fellows. Candidates should have a doctorate (e.g., PhD, JD, MD) in the social and behavioral sciences, genetics or other basic sciences, epidemiology, nursing, medicine, law, or one of the humanities, and substantial empirical research skills. The deadline for applications is June 30, 2013. For further information, please contact the fellowship director, Sharon Schwartz, PhD:  sbs5@columbia.edu.

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Other Items of Interest

Harvard Clinical Bioethics Course, June 12-14, 2013, 260 Longwood Avenue , Boston, MA. This intensive course is designed for members of ethics committees and others interested in ethical aspects of clinical practice. Registration available here

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Articles of Interest

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In the News


Drugs & Pharmaceuticals

Schwarz, Alan. Attention-Deficit Drugs Face New Campus Rules. New York Times. 30 April 2013.
Lisa Beach endured two months of testing and paperwork before the student health office at her college approved a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Then, to get a prescription for Vyvanse, a standard treatment for A.D.H.D., she had to sign a formal contract — promising to submit to drug testing, to see a mental health professional every month and to not share the pills. Fresno State is one of dozens of colleges tightening the rules on the diagnosis of A.D.H.D. and the subsequent prescription of amphetamine-based medications like Vyvanse and Adderall. Some schools are reconsidering how their student health offices handle A.D.H.D., and even if they should at all.  Continue reading…

Health Care

Rovner, Julie. Family Doctors Consider Dropping Birth Control Training Rule. NPR. 25 April 2013.
One of the more popular provisions of the federal health law requires that women be given much freer access to prescription methods of birth control. That includes not only the pill, but implants and IUDs as well. But what happens if there are not enough doctors to prescribe those contraceptives? Continue reading…

Law and Bioethics

Beck, Melinda. Poor Prognosis for Privacy. Wall Street Journal. 1 May 2013.
The sharing of Americans' health information is set to explode in coming years, with millions of patients' medical records converted to electronic form and analyzed by health-care providers, insurers, regulators and researchers. That has prompted concerns over privacy—and now, new federal rules that aim to give patients more control over their information are posing technical and administrative problems for the doctors and hospitals that have to implement them. Information-technology experts say the challenges illustrate how difficult it may be to protect sensitive patient information as digitization of the health-care industry expands. Continue reading…

Bernstein, Nina. Advocates Say Managed-Care Plans Shun the Most Disabled Users. New York Times. 30 April 2013.
Managed-care companies in New York have come under fire for signing up vigorous older adults referred to them by social day care centers, customers whose health needs are relatively small. But on Tuesday, legal advocates for the disabled told the state’s Medicaid director that the most seriously impaired people were getting the opposite treatment. Continue reading…

Fishman, Ray. Bad News for Obama Care. Slate. 1 May 2013.
A study published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that—at least as far as health outcomes are concerned—the Oregon Medicaid experiment hasn’t lived up to the hopes of many universal care advocates. Two years after getting randomly assigned to Medicaid coverage, recipients fared no better than a control group of uninsured, low-income Oregonians in tests for hypertension, cholesterol, and diabetes treatment—all medical conditions that can be managed with proper care. The Medicaid recipients did report much lower rates of depression and—perhaps relatedly—were much less likely to be on shaky financial footing than those in the control group. But the Oregon study’s findings indicate that the claim that universal health care on its own will make Americans healthier, at least in these particular dimensions, may be wishful thinking. Continue reading…

Silverman, Ed. Did Novartis Violate Its Corporate Integrity Agreement? Forbes. 24 April 2013.
Twice this past week, the US Department of Justice filed lawsuits alleging Novartis paid kickbacks to boost prescriptions and caused federal healthcare programs to pay for medicines based on false claims. One complaint seeks damages and civil penalties for corrupting the dispensing process with multi-million-dollar ‘incentive programs’ that targeted doctors. The other involves kickbacks in the form of rebates and discounts to at least 20 pharmacies in exchange for switching transplant patients from rival medicines to its Myfortic immunosuppressant treatment. Continue reading…

Mental Health

Logan, Linda. The Problem With How We Treat Bipolar Disorder. New York Times. 26 April 2013.
The last time I saw my old self, I was 27 years old and living in Boston. I was doing well in graduate school, had a tight circle of friends and was a prolific creative writer. Married to my high-school sweetheart, I had just had my first child. Back then, my best times were twirling my baby girl under the gloaming sky on a Florida beach and flopping on the bed with my husband — feet propped against the wall — and talking. The future seemed wide open. I don’t think there is a particular point at which I can say I became depressed. My illness was insidious, gradual and inexorable. I had a preview of depression in high school, when I spent a couple of years wearing all black, rimming my eyes in kohl and sliding against the walls in the hallways, hoping that no one would notice me. But back then I didn’t think it was a very serious problem.  Continue reading…

Public Health

Orenstein, Peggy. Our Feel-Good War on Breast Cancer. New York Times. 25 April 2013.
I used to believe that a mammogram saved my life. I even wrote that in the pages of this magazine. It was 1996, and I had just turned 35 when my doctor sent me for an initial screening — a relatively common practice at the time — that would serve as a base line when I began annual mammograms at 40. I had no family history of breast cancer, no particular risk factors for the disease. So when the radiologist found an odd, bicycle-spoke-like pattern on the film — not even a lump — and sent me for a biopsy, I wasn’t worried. After all, who got breast cancer at 35? By coincidence, just a week after my diagnosis, a panel convened by the National Institutes of Health made headlines when it declined to recommend universal screening for women in their 40s; evidence simply didn’t show it significantly decreased breast-cancer deaths in that age group. What’s more, because of their denser breast tissue, younger women were subject to disproportionate false positives — leading to unnecessary biopsies and worry — as well as false negatives, in which cancer was missed entirely. Continue reading…

McNeil, Donald G. Jr. ‘Cured of AIDS?’ Not Yet. New York Times. 29 April 2013.
What to make of all the recent “cured of AIDS” headlines? An American in Berlin, a baby in Mississippi and 14 patients in France are all alive without treatment. Is a cure at hand? No. But in unusual cases, some people seem able, with temporary help from antiretroviral drugs, to kill the virus before it can sink into reservoirs deep in their bodies — or to at least force it to stand at the doorways of their cells, unable to get in. “I’m excited about this,” said Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “Not that we’ve got a cure, but things are falling into place that tell us what goes into the process of infection. So we’re learning whom we can potentially take off treatment.” Does that mean doctors should now encourage H.I.V. patients to stop treatment? Continue reading…

Morin, Monte. Federal Panel Says Everyone 15 to 65 Should Have HIV Test. Los Angeles Times. 29 April 2013.
Citing recent evidence that HIV infections are best managed when treated early, an influential panel of medical experts has finalized its recommendation that all people ages 15 to 65 be screened for the virus that causes AIDS. The recommendation from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force seeks to address one of the key challenges in the fight against HIV/AIDS: The window during which patients respond best to treatment is also the time when symptoms of the disease are least noticeable. Continue reading…

Reproduction

Last, Jonathan V. Make Boomsa for the Motherland. Slate. 25 April 2013.
In February, the R&B group Boyz II Men performed a show in Moscow. Several Western media outlets claimed that the concert was done at the behest of Vladimir Putin, as part of his campaign to get Russians to make boomsa for the motherland—the idea being that the sweet, smooth grooves of “I’ll Make Love to You” would be a nice warm-up act for Valentine’s Day. This was something of a hoax: It’s not clear that Putin actually had anything to do with the booking. Or that the Moscow concert was anything other than a routine tour stop for the group. But the Boyz II Men story caught on because it fit in with some of the outlandish measures Russia has taken in recent years to boost its low fertility rate. Continue reading…

Research Ethics

Fountain, Henry. Harvard Medical School Plans to Close Primate Research Lab. New York Times. 24 April 2013.
About 2,000 monkeys at a Harvard Medical School research center will be moved to other laboratories around the country as the school shuts down the troubled center, an official with the National Institutes of Health said Wednesday. The school announced Tuesday that it would close the facility, the New England Primate Research Center in Southborough, Mass., over the next two years. Harvard said financial uncertainties were behind the move, but the laboratory has been cited in recent years by the federal Department of Agriculture for failing to comply with the Animal Welfare Act, and four primates have died there since mid-2010. Continue reading…

Hamilton, Jon. A Tale Of Mice And Medical Research, Wiped Out By A Superstorm. NPR. 25 April 2013.
When Superstorm Sandy inundated lower Manhattan last year, thousands of lab animals drowned and many scientists lost months or even years of work. One of those scientists is Gordon Fishell, a brain researcher at New York University. Just hours before Sandy reached New York, Fishell says, he began to worry that animals housed in a basement below his lab were in danger. "I realized Hurricane Sandy and high tide were going to coincide at Battery Park, which is right where my lab is," he says. But by then, public transportation had shut down and Fishell was stuck at his home in suburban Westchester, N.Y. The next day, as he tried to get back to his lab, his worst fears were confirmed. Continue reading…

Technology

Eisenberg, Anne. Variations on a Gene, and Tools to Find Them. New York Times. 27 April 2013.
Cancers were once named strictly for the tissue where they originated in the breast, prostate or other part of the body. Now, in the age of genetically informed medicine, cancers may also come with a more specific lexicon: the names of mutated genes deep within tumors that cause cells to become cancerous. Most of these gene flaws — there are scores of them, and they have names like BRAF V600E — are relative newcomers to medical terminology, as are most of the anticancer drugs, still in early testing, that are aimed at them. Development of the new drugs has been spurred by the falling cost of decoding DNA and the prospects of premium prices for drugs that specifically attack the molecular drivers of cancer. Even medical oncologists can be daunted by the complexity of these genes and the therapies intended to fight them. Continue reading…

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In the Journals

Birks, David Rhys. Wellbeing, Schizophrenia, and Experience Machines. Bioethics. February 2013.
In the USA and England and Wales, involuntary treatment for mental illness is subject to the constraint that it must be necessary for the health or safety of the patient, if he poses no danger to others. I will argue against this necessary condition of administering treatment and propose that the category of individuals eligible for involuntary treatment should be extended. I begin by focusing on the common disorder of schizophrenia and proceed to demonstrate that it can be a considerable harm to a person's life without causing the person to be a danger to himself. I illuminate this claim by constructing a thought experiment concerning a person who slips on a banana peel and falls into a malfunctioning version of Robert Nozick's experience machine. I propose that the reasons why we should remove the person from the machine are the same reasons why we should administer involuntary treatment to individuals with schizophrenia. I rebut three objections to the analogy and conclude that if we believe that we have a duty to provide treatment for reasons relating to a person's wellbeing, it follows that we should reject the health or safety requirement and instead broaden the category of individuals who are eligible for involuntary treatment. Continue reading...

Carter, Adrian. Ethical implications of research on craving. Addictive Behaviors. February 2013.
Cravings, intense desires to experience the effects of a drug, are widely regarded as significant impediments to overcoming addiction, although their role in relapse may be overstated. Scientists and clinicians wish to better understand the neurobiological and cognitive basis of craving so that they may develop psychotherapeutic, pharmacological and other medical methods to reduce craving and thereby drug use. The conduct of such research raises significant ethical issues. When recruiting individuals and conducting this research, scientists need to ensure that substance dependent participants have the capacity to provide free and uncoerced consent. This is especially the case in studies in which dependent participants are given their drug of addiction or provided with other inducements to participate (e.g. financial incentives) that may undermine their ability to fully consider the risks of participation. Treatments for addiction that seek to reduce cravings may also carry risks. This includes psychotherapeutic approaches, as well as pharmacological and medical treatments. Clinicians need to consider the risks and benefits of treatment and carefully communicate these to patients. The desire to reduce urges to use drugs should not be employed to justify potentially harmful and ineffective treatments. The safety and effectiveness of emerging treatments should be assessed by well conducted randomized controlled clinical trials. Continue reading...

Courtwright, Andrew. Stigmatization and Public Health Ethics. Bioethics.
February 2013.

By the success of smoking denormalization strategies as a tobacco-control measure, public health institutions are adopting a similar approach to other health behaviors. For example, a recent controversial ad campaign in New York explicitly aimed to denormalize HIV/AIDS amongst gay men. Authors such as Scott Burris have argued that efforts like this are tantamount to stigmatization and that such stigmatization is unethical because it is dehumanizing. Others have offered a limited endorsement of denormalization/stigmatization campaigns as being justified on consequentialist grounds; namely, that the potential public health benefits outweigh any stigmatizing side effects. In this paper, I examine and reject the blanket condemnation of stigmatization efforts in public health. I argue that the moral status of such efforts are best evaluated within a contractualist, as opposed to a consequentialist, framework. Contractualism in public health ethics asks whether a particular stigmatizing policy could be justified to reasonable individuals who do not know whether they will be affected by that policy. Using this approach, I argue that it is sometimes permissible for public health institutions to engage in health-related stigmatization.
Continue reading...

Sheehan, Aisling M. Screening for depression in medical research: ethical challenges and recommendations. BMC Medical Ethics. January 2013.
Background Due to the important role of depression in major illnesses, screening measures for depression are commonly used in medical research. The protocol for managing participants with positive screens is unclear and raises ethical concerns. The aim of this article is to identify and critically discuss the ethical issues that arise when a positive screen for depression is detected, and offer some guidance on managing these issues.
Discussion Deciding on whether to report positive screens to healthcare practitioners is both an ethical and a pragmatic dilemma. Evidence suggests that reporting positive depression screens should only be considered in the context of collaborative care. Possible adverse effects, such as the impact of false-positive results, potentially inappropriate labelling, and potentially inappropriate treatment also need to be considered. If possible, the psychometric properties of the selected screening measure should be determined in the target population, and a threshold for depression that minimises the rate of false-positive results should be chosen. It should be clearly communicated to practitioners that screening scores are not diagnostic for depression, and they should be informed about the diagnostic accuracy of the measure. Research participants need to be made aware of the consequences of the detection of high scores on screening measures, and to be fully informed about the implications of the research protocol.
Summary Further research is needed and the experiences of researchers, participants, and practitioners need to be collated before the value of reporting positive screens for depression can be ascertained. In developing research protocols, the ethical challenges highlighted should be considered. Participants must be agreeable to the agreed protocol and efforts should be made to minimise potentially adverse effects. Continue reading...

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Opinion


Ars Technica

Timmer, John. When it comes to the environment, many conservatives don’t like conserving. May 1, 2013.
Energy efficiency is often a hard sell in the US. Energy efficient devices can require a bit more money up front, which is then paid back gradually often over the course of several years. But a new study in the latest edition of PNAS suggests that the problem isn't only a matter of economics—instead, like so much else, energy efficiency has become politicized. Because they so strongly object to the thought of climate change, many conservatives won't spend more for energy-efficient light bulbs if their packaging contains a message about cutting carbon emissions. Continue reading…

Timmer, John. Congress tries to reset science grants, wants every one to be “groundbreaking”. April 29, 2013.
Due to Congressional rules, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology had to choose new leadership this year. At the time, we opined that almost any choice would be a bad one. The Democrats had been neglecting the committee, leaving three seats unfilled, while the Republicans filled their seats with people who were openly hostile to a number of fields of science such as evolution and climate research. Late last year, the House leadership made its intentions clear, attempting to crowdsource a search for federal research grants that people considered wasteful spending. Continue reading…

Houston Chronicle

Editorial. Blood Money. April 26, 2013.
Dr. Hagop M. Kantarjian, chairman of the leukemia department at MD Anderson Cancer Center, made Houston proud this week. Led by Kantarjian, nearly 120 leukemia experts from around the world signed on in support of a commentary published in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology. Its point: the astronomical, unjustified cost of cancer drugs in the United States - in particular, drugs for chronic myeloid leukemia, the disease these experts know best - is costing American lives. Continue reading…

New York Times

Editorial. The Next Step in Drug Treatment. April 26, 2013.
The mandatory-sentencing craze that drove up the prison population tenfold, pushing state corrections costs to bankrupting levels, was rooted in New York’s infamous Rockefeller drug laws. These laws, which mandated lengthy sentences for nonviolent, first-time offenders, were approved 40 years ago next month. They did little to curtail drug use in New York or in other states that mimicked them, while they filled prisons to bursting with nonviolent addicts who would have been more effectively and more cheaply dealt with through treatment programs. Continue reading…

Editorial. Food Aid Reform. April 27, 2013.
Food aid is one of the most important tools of American foreign policy. Since the mid-1950s, the United States has spent nearly $2 billion annually to feed the world’s poor, saving millions of lives. But the process is so rigid and outdated that many more people who could be helped still go hungry. Reforms proposed by President Obama will go a long way toward fixing that problem and should be promptly enacted by Congress. Continue reading…

Editorial. Wins and Losses in the Fight Against Tobacco. April 28, 2013.
Cigarette packages are unlikely to carry graphic warning labels anytime soon as a result of separate actions by the Supreme Court and the Food and Drug Administration. That is a setback, though perhaps temporary, for the federal government’s campaign to reduce the health damage caused by this highly lethal product. The silver lining is that the Supreme Court left intact most of the F.D.A.’s powers to regulate this industry. Continue reading…

Editorial. Exorbitant Prices for Leukemia Drugs. May 1, 2013.
Last year we were heartened when doctors at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York refused to use an outrageously overpriced drug for treating advanced colorectal cancer because it was no better than a cheaper (but still costly) alternative. Neither did much to extend a patient’s life. Now the revolt against unjustifiably high cancer drug prices has been joined by more than 100 leukemia experts from more than 15 countries. Continue reading…

Editorial. Putting Politics Ahead of Science. May 2, 2013.
Appearing before Planned Parenthood’s annual convention last Friday, President Obama pledged his continuing support for women’s reproductive rights. In a speech before the National Academy of Sciences on Monday, Mr. Obama promised to keep science a sphere “not subject to politics” or “skewed by an agenda.” Continue reading…

Slate

Plait, Phil. Why is our government attacking science? May 1, 2013.
I’m used to attacks on science; they’ve been endemic for years now. Antivaxxers, global warming deniers, creationists, what have you. And I’ve even gotten used to, at some level, egregiously antiscience rhetoric and machinations from government officials. Continue reading…

Fisman, Ray. New Lawsuits Shine a Light on Pregnancy Discrimination. May 2, 2013.
Stephanie Stewart, an honors student at the Borough of Manhattan Community College on an academic scholarship, was due to deliver her son before the end of the spring semester in 2012. She needed some accommodations because she would not be able to attend every session of her women’s studies class. Stewart figured her professor would be understanding—it was a women’s studies class. But she wasn’t. The professor told Stewart that she wouldn’t be able to make up any tests or assignments she missed due to doctor’s appointments or labor and delivery. “When I received a backlash from her and no support from her, I was extremely stunned. I felt disrespected,” Stewart says. Continue reading…

Washington Post

Editorial. EPA speaks on how much radiation is too much. April 29, 2013.
Imagine that the Boston bombers didn’t pack nails into pressure cookers but instead packed highly radioactive material. How would the government be responding? Continue reading…

Editorial. The legal mess on emergency contraception. May 2, 2013.
When U.S. District Judge Edward Korman ruled last month that the government had to allow unrestricted, over-the-counter access to the emergency contraceptive Plan B, it seemed as though the Obama administration had stumbled its way out of a political quandary. Scientists say that the drug is safe for over-the-counter sale; in fact, the judge noted, it would be among the safest of over-the-counter drugs. But many parents — President Obama included, by his own account — are queasy about children being allowed to buy emergency contraceptives without oversight. The court forced the government to act on evidence, not queasiness. Continue reading…

Editorial. Cruelty to farm animals demands exposure. April 26, 2013.
So gut-wrenching are the images — cows being shocked, turkeys being stomped, horses being burned with chemicals, piglets kicked like soccer balls — that the videos recorded by animal rights organizations at factory farms are almost impossible to watch. That, though, has helped make them effective tools in the fight against illegal and cruel treatment of farm animals. It’s alarming that a number of states have bowed to pressure from agribusiness and enacted laws to criminalize this useful undercover work. Continue reading…

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