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60-Second Lecture: Impromptu Man


Justin Bekelman, MD awarded PCORI Grant

Project Summary For patients with stage II or III breast cancer, radiation therapy after breast conservation surgery or mastectomy improves breast cancer control and survival. However, because of unwanted radiation to the heart, radiation therapy may also increase the chance of future heart problems after breast cancer treatment has finished. Photon…

Announcing New Fellows in Biomedical Ethics for 2016

The Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy is pleased to announce the incoming Fellows in Advanced Biomedical Ethics.  We have a great group and we are very excited for them to arrive, join our community & get started. The 2016 fellows are: Grace Lee, MD, Hospital of the University…

Autumn Fiester: Teaching Nonauthoritarian Clinical Ethics

One area of bioethics education with direct impact on the lives of patients, families, and providers is the training of clinical ethics consultants who practice in hospital-based settings. There is a universal call for increased skills and knowledge among practicing consultants, broad recognition that many are woefully undertrained, and a clear…

Penn Bioethics Journal

The Penn Bioethics Journal (PBJ) is the premier peer-reviewed undergraduate bioethics journal. Established in 2004, the Journal provides a venue for undergraduates to make contributions to the field of bioethics. Embracing the interdisciplinarity of bioethics, PBJ reviews and publishes original work addressing debates in medicine, technology, philosophy, public policy, law, theology, and ethics,…

March 2015 Newsletter from LDI/CHIBE

Link to Newsletter Dear Colleague, We hope you stayed warm and dry this winter season! The March 2015 issue of the CHIBE newsletter focuses on some exciting research that received a lot of media attention in the last few months. You can follow our media publications on our Twitter account @PennCHIBE…

Karlawish: How can we really live with Alzheimer's?

When I was in medical school at the end of the 20th century, I was taught that Alzheimer's disease was a rare cause of dementia in middle-aged adults. The elderly had senility caused by an indecipherable mess of pathologies and aging. Now, in the 21st century, Alzheimer's is called an epidemic.…

Penn Bioethics Boot Camp

Penn Bioethics Boot Camp is a three-week intensive introduction to bioethics for graduate students in philosophy, political theory, the social sciences, and law.  Boot Camp includes real-world bioethics experiences and seminars by Pen faculty and visiting faculty. Admissions to Bioethics Boot Camp is competitive.  There is no fee for Bioethics Boot…

Zeke Emanuel: How to Develop New Antibiotics

THE bacteria are winning. Every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least two million people are infected with bacteria that can’t be wiped out with antibiotics, and as a result, 23,000 people die. Direct health care costs from these illnesses are estimated to be as…

The risk of knowing: Alzheimer's research volunteers

Jason Karlawish, a Penn physician who is leading the psychological study, said people often join trials like this because they have seen what Alzheimer's does up close and want to help, even if they may not benefit. His pitch: "Do you want to be a partner with me to achieve the…

Wearable Devices as Facilitators, Not Drivers, of Health Behavior Change

Several large technology companies including Apple, Google, and Samsung are entering the expanding market of population health with the introduction of wearable devices. This technology, worn in clothing or accessories, is part of a larger movement often referred to as the “quantified self.” The notion is that by recording and reporting…

Many Breast Cancer Patients Receive Unnecessarily Long Courses of Radiation

A study published in JAMA authored by researchers Justin Bekelman and Zeke Emanuel found that two-thirds of women treated for early-stage breast cancer in the U.S. receive longer radiation therapy than necessary. The vast majority of women who undergo lumpectomies receive six to seven weeks of radiation therapy, despite multiple randomized…

Dr. Connie Ulrich Awarded Grant from the National Cancer Institute

Dr. Connie Ulrich received a 5 year, $2,038,959 grant from the National Cancer Institute for her 1R01CA196131 award entitled:  " Retention in Cancer Clinical Trials: Modeling Patients' Risk Benefit Assessments”.  Dr. Ulrich’s study will use an innovative mixed methods approach and mathematical 3-D perceptual mapping (multidimensional scaling) to examine how patient-participants conceptualize…

How old is too old? Two ethicists debate quality of life as we age

How is this for a headline sure to catch your attention: "Why I hope to Die at 75." It was the title of an opinion piece written earlier this year for The Atlantic by Zeke Emanuel, chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University…

Ebola quarantines: nurses' perspective

American nurses and physicians have a long history of volunteering their time and talent during times of natural disasters, epidemics or other world calamities. International relief plays a significant role in providing first aid on the ground, making sure that those in need receive immediate medical care, education, or other resources.…

Genetic counseling model for informed consent in the era of multiplex testing for cancer susceptibility

Multiplex genetic testing, including both moderate- and high-penetrance genes for cancer susceptibility, is associated with greater uncertainty than traditional testing, presenting challenges to informed consent and genetic counseling. We sought to develop a new model for informed consent and genetic counseling for four ongoing studies.Read Article

The U.S. Military Mission Against Ebola

Military health-care forces under Africom, the United States Africa Command, have been deployed to assist Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in setting up preventive health services and treatment centers for the Ebola epidemic. The mission of the U.S. military, charged with defending our country’s national security, sometimes includes responding to epidemics…

Issues continue to dog the testing of Ebola drugs and vaccines

At a U.S. congressional hearing today that examined the country’s public health response to Ebola, an official from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it’s working to develop “a flexible and innovative protocol” to evaluate experimental treatments for the disease. The fact that no such common protocol already exists speaks…

Connie Ulrich: Listen to nurses who blow the whistle on shoddy Ebola care

Nurses often know the ethically correct course of action but cannot carry it out because of administrative fear of retaliation or other constraints. This is called moral distress, and nurses want to leave their jobs because of it.Read Letter

Mark Attiah: The New Diversity in Medical Education

During my pediatrics rotation, the mother of a patient waited until the attending physician had left the room before she lowered her voice, smiled, and asked, “Are you wearing your hoodie for Trayvon?” She didn't know what city I was from, what faith I belonged to, or what tax bracket I…