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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…

Internet-Based Learning Module and Small-Group Debriefing on Trainees' Skills with Patients with Substance Use Disorders

Purpose: To examine whether an Internet-based learning module and small-group debriefing can improve medical trainees' attitudes and communication skills toward patients with substance use disorders (SUDs). Method: In 2011-2012, 129 internal and family medicine residents and 370 medical students at two medical schools participated in a cluster randomized controlled trial, which…

The First Couples Therapy, Starring Joan Crawford

Put the Queen of Hollywood together with the King of New York and what do you get? An intensely troubled marriage.  Add an innovative psychiatrist and the result is what seems to be the first recorded case of couples therapy. That was the challenge my dad, the psychodrama founder J.L. Moreno,…

Ezekiel Emanuel and why he wants to die at 75, Radio Times WHYY

In a provocative article in The Atlantic, bioethicist EZEKIEL EMANUEL writes that it’s okay with him if he dies at age 75. He says that after 75, the quality of life begins to diminish and by then he will have lived a complete life – he will have loved, been loved,…

Applied Ethics in Mental Health Care: An Interdisciplinary Reader

This book discusses some of the most critical ethical issues in mental health care today, including the moral dimensions of addiction, patient autonomy and compulsory treatment, privacy and confidentiality, and the definition of mental illness itself. Although debates over these issues are ongoing, there are few comprehensive resources for addressing such…

Karlawish: Too Young to Die, Too Old to Worry

THIS weekend, the singer and songwriter Leonard Cohen is celebrating his 80th birthday — with a cigarette. Last year he announced that he would resume smoking when he turned 80. “It’s the right age to recommence,” he explained. At any age, taking up smoking is not sensible. Both the smoker and…

Why I Hope to Die at 75

Seventy-five. That’s how long I want to live: 75 years. This preference drives my daughters crazy. It drives my brothers crazy. My loving friends think I am crazy. They think that I can’t mean what I say; that I haven’t thought clearly about this, because there is so much in the…

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%…