Thursday, June 9, 2016

National Academies on Gene-Drives

Why would you read all the coverage of the National Academies Gene-Drives report when you could actually read the report itself? My thoughts will appear here later, after I've read the report itself.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Sometimes It Snows In April

Click on the title to link to "Sometimes It Snows In April," my favorite Prince song. A bioethics song. Lovely.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

King v. Burwell and Obamacare

If you're at all concerned with the possibility that the Supreme Court may shortly deprive tens of thousands of people of their (recently-acquired) federally-subsidized health insurance, you should look at this post by Timothy Jost on Balkinization, detailing the contents of the amicus briefs that put the anti-Obamacare forces (I think) to shame. And then look at this Wall Street Journal story, and this one, and this amazing piece from Mother Jones, about the four "plaintiffs" in the case, who have little to no idea of the position "their" lawyers are taking on their behalf, and in at least one case don't seem to even know that they're plaintiffs. The plaintiff's legal theory is pathetic, the lawyer's supposed named plaintiffs are frauds--and yet it's actually possible that the Supreme Court might endorse the theory to protect those plaintiffs.

John Roberts can work as hard as he wants to protect the reputation of the Supreme Court as non-political, but if they decide against the US on this one, they will have no credibility left at all.  

Debate on Physician Assisted Suicide

Here's a debate on Physician Assisted Suicide at higher than the normal level of discourse. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bioethics at Yale, Encyclopedic Edition

I just got my copy of the hefty new six-volume edition of the Encyclopedia of Bioethics. The Editor-in-Chief, Bruce Jennings, and two of the six Associate Editors (me, Mark Mercurio) teach at Yale. One of the two Consulting Editors (Joe Fins) is visiting at Yale this term. Another of the Associate Editors (Greg Kaebnick) is at The Hastings Center, with which Yale has a research alliance and a joint visiting-scholar program. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Out of the Frame and Into the Gutter: Graphic Novels and Health Justice

A while ago I shared with you this wonderful cartoon from Comic Nurse, alias MK Czerwiec. Now let me share with you this symposium, Out of the Frame and Into the Gutter, brought to you in part by Comic Nurse. Thanks, Comic Nurse! If you're near Columbia on the afternoon of April 4, learn what graphic novels can do for health and social justice!

No Aid in Dying In CT This Year

The Public Health Committee of the Connecticut Legislature has no plans to bring an Oregon-style bill for Aid-in-Dying (aka physician-assisted suicide) to the floor of the legislature for a vote, in spite of 61% public support for the bill. Serious opposition by religious groups and by disability activists have kept legislators from moving the bill forward. But, the failure of the Aid-in-Dying bill seems to have resulted in some substitute enthusiasm for a Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) bill for Connecticut. (Some states call MOLST "POLST," for Physician Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment. It's the same thing.) Under MOLST, terminally-ill patients and their physicians can frame orders to be entered onto the patients chart, from "do everything" to orders restricting intubation, antibiotics, resuscitation, ventilation or artificial feeding; such orders would be legally binding on all caregivers. It's like an advance directive on steroids, because it's both an expression of the patient's desires and a physician's medical order in the patient's chart.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

End-of-Life Planning, Roz Chast Edition

Please, please go read this wonderful and moving and honest cartoon about, among other things, why we don't do end-of-life planning, by longtime and beloved New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast. Really, go read it