Multiple candidate vaccines for coronavirus are being evaluated scientifically in a process of unprecedented speed, and thousands of individuals around the world have volunteered to participate in placebo-controlled phase III field trials. If, or when, one of these candidate vaccines is proved to be safe and effective and receives an emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration, will it continue to be ethical to enroll participants in other coronavirus trials that randomize half of them to a placebo?
BIOETHICS FORUM ESSAY
This year’s Intersex Awareness Day, October 26, marks a historic pivot. Last week, Boston Children’s Hospital revealed that its physicians would no longer perform certain nonconsensual infant genital surgeries on babies born with atypical genitals. They join the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, which made a similar announcement in July and even apologized to its former intersex patients. Intersex advocates have been working toward this goal for decades.
A federal complaint filed last month on behalf of a nurse who worked in the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia alleged that immigrants held in this U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility were medically neglected and forced into solitary confinement for speaking out, and that some underwent unnecessary hysterectomies. According to news reports,… Read more
How could I, the grandchild of four Holocaust survivors, be obligated to provide not just satisfactory, but exceptional care to such a morally repugnant character?
Empathy does not need to dissipate as we endure medical training. Both the pandemic and the national reckoning over racial injustice and police brutality have touched every aspect of life as we know it, and medical training and education have been no exception.
With all of the tumult surrounding the coronavirus and the upcoming presidential election, few people likely noticed that three important figures in bioethics, medical history, and medical sociology recently died within a month of one another. But for those of us who work in these fields, the deaths of Renée Fox, Charles Bosk, and David… Read more
In an essay published in Scientific American, we call for immediate and intensive research into the possibility that exposure to one of the coronaviruses that cause the common cold could decrease the severity of Covid-19, and could be leveraged to expand what’s been called
“pre-existing” immunity to the disease by deliberate transmission of common cold coronaviruses. Here, we expand on our proposal.
Volunteering for a Covid-19 vaccine trial satisfied my altruistic goals and harmonizes with my Hindu beliefs. But I am troubled that a drug company is going to profit from my altruism and my religious obligations.
Years before George Floyd begged to be released from under the knee of Officer Derek Chauvin, Barbara Dawson, a 57-year-old Black woman, died begging a police officer, John Tadlock, not to remove her oxygen mask. Her death occurred right outside the Calhoun Liberty Hospital in Blountstown, Florida, shortly before Christmas in 2015.
In New Zealand we have been saved from the worst devastations of Covid-19 by a firm government, courage and care for one another, and our geographic “moat.” With the recent minor surge of cases, our government has, once again, encouraged us to respond as a team of 5 million. We have been guided by the slogan “Be kind.”
As multiple Covid vaccine candidates enter clinical trials and hopefully move closer to approval, one important unanswered question is how to compensate the rare cases of serious vaccine harm.
Covid isn’t merely overshadowing the drug overdose crisis—it’s directly worsening it.
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