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Evaluating Novel Therapies During the Ebola Epidemic

The Ebola hemorrhagic fever outbreak in West Africa poses acute and novel challenges for health policy and research ethics. Faced with an exceptionally virulent infectious agent, limited resources, and danger to health workers, local and international authorities struggle to deploy proven public health techniques that can limit the spread of the…

Ethical considerations of experimental interventions in the Ebola outbreak

The outbreak of Ebola virus raging in west Africa is special in two respects. First, with more than 2100 infections and 1100 deaths, it has already become the most severe and largest documented Ebola outbreak. It is also occurring in some of the world's least developed countries, and is therefore extremely…

SHOCKED Adventures in Bringing Back the Recently Dead; By David Casarett M.D.

Order Your Copy “Casarett’s inquiry makes for entertaining, informative, and at times, electrifying reading.” —Booklist Not too long ago, there was no coming back from death.  But a little electricity, applied to the heart in just the right way, has changed all that.  Now death has become just another serious complication.…

Penn Nursing Receives One of the First Future of Nursing Scholars Grants to Prepare PhD Nurses

University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing is one of only 14 schools of nursing nationwide to be among the first to receive a grant from a new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) program to increase the number of nurses holding PhDs. As an inaugural grantee of the Future of Nursing Scholars…

Money, Sex, and Religion — The Supreme Court's ACA Sequel

The Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case is in many ways a sequel to the Court's 2012 decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Like the 2012 case, the decision was decided by a 5-to-4 vote, but in the initial ACA decision, Chief Justice John Roberts…

Michael Bay Drops the B-Word in the new Transformers

I was about two-thirds of the way through my medium popcorn when the Stanley Tucci character in Transformers: Age of Extinction shouted defensively at one of the autobots, "I know you take the bioethical issues very seriously!" It was all I could do to hold on to my precious kernels. In…

Hobby Lobby's Unintended Consequences

Which would you prefer: to have the ability to decide for yourself and your family the type of coverage you want to purchase on a health insurance exchange—and having your premiums subsidized by a defined contribution or voucher from your employer—or to cede that ability to your employer entirely, having them…

Who's your daddy? Study on genetic testing says parents don't need to know

As more research is done on the human genome and more people seek genetic testing, researchers, physicians, genetic counselors and ethicists are struggling with the issues of how to present the new information to patients and whether certain findings should be presented at all. A paper published Monday in the leading…

Higher-risk teen girls anxious about breast cancer, Philly researchers find

Parents often share news of diseases that run in the family with their children so they're aware and can make healthy choices. But how do teens handle that information? New research by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia suggests many teen girls at higher risk…

University of Pennsylvania must end its investments in tobacco

Across the United States, the tide continues to turn against tobacco. The struggle to stem the local, national and global health crisis created by tobacco has now reached a pivotal point here in Philadelphia: At their June 19-20 meeting, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania will vote on a proposal…

Commitment Devices: Using Initiatives to Change Behavior

Unhealthy behaviors are responsible for a large proportion of health care costs and poor health outcomes.  Surveys of large employers regularly identify unhealthy behaviors as the most important challenge to affordable benefits coverage. For this reason, employers increasingly leverage incentives to encourage changes in employees’ health-related behaviors. According to one survey, 86%…

Jennifer Ruger Elected as Member of the Council on Foreign Relations

Jennifer Prah Ruger, PhD, MSc, MA, MSL, associate professor of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, has been elected to membership on the Council on…

How Are We Going To Live With Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease confronts us with an ethical challenge: How do we live with dignity and quality of life in the face of progressive disability and, ultimately, death? Patients’ cognitive and decision-making impairments often make them unable to answer this question, and when professionals who provide services for older adults fail to…

Ezekiel Emanuel Further Explains His Prediction That Employers Will Drop Health Insurance

Our recent interview with Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel about his provocative prediction that most employers will abandon health coverage by 2025 struck a nerve with You’re The Boss readers. It came as no surprise that Dr. Emanuel’s claim, first made in his new book, “Reinventing American Health Care,” would be swept…

Impromptu Man: J.L. Moreno and the Origins of Psychodrama, Encounter Culture, and the Social Network by Jonathan Moreno

Impromptu Man is the story of an unlikely combination of ideas that have helped shape our time.  Seen through the colorful personality and long career of one of the 20th century’s great innovators, the psychiatrist and psychodrama founder J.L. Moreno, this epic history takes the reader from the creative chaos of Habsburg…

New book by Ezekiel Emanuel: Reinventing American Health Care

The definitive story of American health care today—its causes, consequences, and confusions. In March 2010, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. It was the most extensive reform of America’s health care system since at least the creation of Medicare in 1965, and maybe ever. The ACA was controversial and…

Kevin Volpp and Steven Joffe Named Vice Chairs of Penn Medicine's Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy

Steven Joffe, MD, MPH, and Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, have been named Vice Chair of Medical Ethics and Vice Chair of Health Policy, respectively, in the Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “I am delighted to announce these…

Comparing Obamacare to Its Alternative

FROM the moment the ink dried on March 23, 2010, Republicans said they intended to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. They have voted more than 40 times to wipe the law from the books. But Republicans have never gotten around to describing, in detail, the set of policies they…

Chris Feudtner honored by the Hastings Center

Chris Feudtner, MD, PhD, MPH, director of the Department of Medical Ethics and director of research for the Pediatric Advanced Care Team at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He is recognized for his leadership in promoting better, more patient-driven care for children at the end of their lives, as well as…

Bioethics Boot Camp at the University of Pennsylvania

The Department of Medical Ethics & Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania is seeking applicants for Bioethics Boot Camp, a three-week workshop in bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, June 8-27, 2014.  At Bioethics Boot Camp, students will be given an intensive introduction to bioethics and will be mentored…