Click here for a deeper conversation on this topic led by Hastings Director of Research Josephine Johnston.
Amid the volume of coverage and commentary on the politics of immigration and the consequences of crackdowns and criminalization, here is a selection of recent work – analysis, personal essay, fiction, mixed-media – that can spark the moral imagination.
BIOETHICS FORUM ESSAY
Reports that migrant children held by the Office of Refugee Resettlement are being drugged require an immediate and unambiguous response by the Trump administration. According to court filings, the drugs that are alleged to be among those given to children without their parents’ consent include clonazepam, duloxetine, guanfacine, geodon, olanzapine, latuda and divalproex. Drugging children without… Read more
In an earlier piece, “Trumping Drug Costs,” I looked at out-of-pocket costs as the pivotal issue with drugs. They can be a particularly heavy burden on the elderly, taking money from their savings and a large bite of their Social Security income. Along the way, I also looked at out-of-pocket medical costs in Europe–called “cost… Read more
It’s a little-known and rarely discussed fact of medical practice that doctors value the ability to love our patients. If the thought of doctors loving patients makes you queasy, be reassured. I’m not talking about romantic love but the visceral sense of goodwill and impulse to service that draws young people to the profession and… Read more
The Russian poet Anna Akhmatova was a mother separated from her child by a state policy of terror. During the 1930s, she and other mothers would gather outside a Leningrad prison, desperate for information. One day, after 17 months of “waiting in prison queues,” another woman whispered to her, “‘Could one ever describe this?’ And… Read more
In late April, a suspect thought to be the Golden State Killer, a man who had eluded police for decades after committing a string of murders and rapes in Northern California and Orange County between 1976 and 1986, was identified on the basis of DNA evidence. Although we celebrate the dogged pursuit of a more… Read more
In April, the U.S. Justice Department announced that it would criminally prosecute migrants who had been apprehended after crossing the U.S.-Mexico. border. An immediate consequence of this announcement, explained in detail here, is the separation of children from their parents. Rather than being allowed to stay with their children in an immigrant detention center while… Read more
At a time when facts are distorted, disregarded, and ignored in policy making and political discourse, the need in Washington for seekers and defenders of truth has perhaps never been greater. I discussed the state of affairs with Representative Bill Foster, a Democrat from Illinois who prides himself on being the only PhD scientist currently… Read more
I usually have trouble finding a good word to say for President Trump’s policy ventures, but his aim to better control out-of-pocket drug costs is worth support. Distressingly, but unsurprisingly, it does not include giving government the needed power to bargain with industry for what it will pay for drug coverage. Nor will it allow… Read more
The process is fairly simple. You select one of the companies that offer direct-to-consumer genetic tests; pay online; receive a neatly packed kit that contains a tube designed to collect your spit; return the package using prepaid postage; and wait for the results that will unravel the mysteries of your ancestry. If you have opted… Read more
On May 8, the New York Court of Appeals denied an appeal to have two captive chimpanzees, Kiko and Tommy, recognized as legal persons with the right to bodily liberty and released to a chimpanzee sanctuary. The Court of Appeals allows only about 5 percent of appeals, so the legal outcome was not surprising. In… Read more
In “Tackling Obesity and Disease: The Culprit Is Sugar; the Response is Legal Regulation,” published in the Hastings Center Report, Lawrence O. Gostin describes four coordinated interventions that have been effective at controlling peoples’ tobacco consumption and which can serve as a “powerful model” for controlling peoples’ overconsumption of added sugar and particularly sugar-sweetened beverages.… Read more