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We need unbiased medical exams for presidential candidates

As unusual as the 2016 presidential election has been, one obvious aspect has gone largely unnoticed: By the time the next president of the United States is inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2017, he or she will have reached or come close to reaching 70 years old. That all the remaining major…

Psychiatric Institutions Are A Necessity

Behind the bars of prisons and jails in the United States exists a shadow mental health care system where nearly half a million inmates have a serious mental illness like schizophrenia. In hospitals, severely mentally ill patients languish for months in acute care units, which are designed to stabilize patients, not…

Price Transparency Not a Panacea for High Health Care Costs

In a JAMA editorial, UPenn PRC Director Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, discusses whether price transparency helps lower the cost of health care when pricing of services is a choice tool for  deciding on a health care plan. Responding to a new study by Desai et al in the same May…
Tags: kevin volpp

Dr. Steve Joffe Awarded PCORI Grant on Learning Healthcare Systems

Penn Medicine bioethicist and LDI Senior Fellow Steven Joffe has received a $1 million grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to fund a three year study of the governance structures of 16 Learning Health Systems across the country.Learn more
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Health policy: Addressing conflicts of interest of public speakers at advisory committee meetings

A study reveals that, from 2009–2014, a considerable percentage of public speakers at Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee meetings had disclosed or undisclosed financial associations with the drug company seeking product approval. Amid calls for increased public engagement in health care and health-care research, steps must be taken to minimize the conflicts…
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Penn professor calls for more focus on ethics in nursing

Nursing students at Penn learn valuable skills in biology and physiology, but they also study a more unusual subject: ethics. While there isn’t a significant amount of research on ethics in nursing, bioethics as a whole enjoys a greater presence at Penn than it does at many other universities. “One of…

Penn LDI CHIBE April Newsletter

Dear Colleague, We are happy to present to you our spring issue of the CHIBE newsletter. Our first story features a study conducted by Christina Roberto, Ph.D., assistant professor of medical ethics and health policy at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine. This study looks at the effects of sugary soft-drink labels…

Instructional Designer

The Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania seeks a bright, motivated Instructional Designer (ID) to lead the translation of the subject expertise of faculty to the online learning environment for effective educational outcomes. Working across the Department’s multiple online…

Tickets Available for Penn Bioethics Film Festival

    • 2016 Bioethics Film Festival
Due to popular demand, we are releasing additional FREE tickets to the previously sold-out remaining events (April 13 & 14) in the inaugural Penn Bioethics Film Festival. The series, themed “Authority and Rebellion,” spotlights films on human experimentation. Remaining films include Transformation (2006), Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary…

Meet the Class of 2018 MEHP Fellows

The Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy is pleased to announce that Ronit Y. Stahl, PhD and Bege Dauda, PhD have been selected as Penn Fellows in Advanced Biomedical Ethics. Dr. Stahl is a historian whose scholarship addresses the role of religion in health-related public policy. Dr. Dauda is a…

Yes, We're Mammals, But Is It Wise These Days To Promote Breastfeeding As 'Natural'?

Hippos do it. So do orangutans. There’s no question that for us mammals, nursing is one of those defining behaviors in nature. The question is whether public health officials, in promoting breast-feeding among human mothers, should deploy the term “natural.” Two academics pondering these and other linguistically charged questions sparked an online…

MBE Student Anastasia Vishnevetsky Wins Health Photo Contest

Anastasia Vishnevetsky, a Master of Bioethics student and 4th year medical student at Penn, has won 1st Place in the Center for Global Health's 1st annual photo contest. The photo, taken in Cusco, Peru, is captioned: "...a photo of a nurse visiting an elderly woman in the villages outside Cusco…
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How Well is the Affordable Care Act Doing? Reasons for Optimism

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is now 6 years old. Fair-minded people want to know whether the ACA is succeeding. Even more important is the question of how it will do in the future. The context of the ACA’s past is important for understanding its future. The ACA narrowly passed. A…

Nurses and Industry: Conflict or Collaboration?

Registered nurses are integral members of health care teams in hospitals and other health care settings. As such, they play a pivotal role in the moral endeavors of health care and in the business of health care delivery. The nurses' primary commitment is to the patient, family, or community but, similar…

To Increase Group Exercise, Penn Study Suggests Rewarding the Individual and the Team

Financial incentives aimed at increasing physical activity among teams are most effective when the incentives are rewarded for a combination of individual and team performance, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The study, which examined the effectiveness of offering monetary rewards…

Who's Willing? Characteristics Associated with Willingness to Participate in Clinical Research

Clinical researchers struggle to meet subject recruitment goals, with one-third of studies underenrolled. Compounding this problem, ethnic and racial minorities are largely underrepresented in clinical research, limiting the ability of researchers to determine the effectiveness of treatments at the population level and for large subgroups of patients. Several theories have been…

The Ethics of Infection Challenges in Primates

In the midst of the recent Ebola outbreak, scientific developments involving infection challenge experiments on nonhuman primates (NHPs) sparked hope that successful treatments and vaccines may soon become available. Yet these studies pose a stark ethical quandary. On the one hand, they represent an important step in developing novel therapies and…

How a Zika Virus Breakthrough Vindicates Stem Cell Research

Modern biology needs tools. One of the most controversial of those tools has proven to be crucial to explaining how the Zika virus causes brain damage in newborns. Zika is poised to dwarf the threat of Ebola, which was never a significant danger to the United States in spite of…

Medical Ethics and Health Policy to Host Bioethics Film Festival

The Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy of the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine will hold its first annual “Bioethics Film Festival” on April 12-14 at the Annenberg Center for Performing Arts on Penn’s campus. The theme of the festival is “Authority and Rebellion,” a topic that festival…

Are there unintended consequences to calling breastfeeding 'natural'?

Breast-feeding: "It's only natural." It's a message women may have seen on Facebook or a state health department website, or heard on the radio, as part of a campaign launched in 2013 by the Department of Health and Human Services. But, according to a pair of experts, this type of campaign…