Click here for a deeper conversation on this topic led by Hastings Director of Research Josephine Johnston.
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
BIOETHICS FORUM ESSAY
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
Many privileges come with having a doctor in the family: appointments squeezed into busy schedules as personal favors, a conspicuous lack of financial strain, an ability to comprehend both treatment plans and health care systems. But familial and professional roles often clash in a health crisis. “It’s impressive,” an x-ray technician said to Dr. David… Read more
Last month, Hawaii became the seventh state, with the District of Columbia, to legalize physician-assisted suicide. Similar to some of the other state laws, Hawaii’s Our Care, Our Choice Act permits competent adults with a terminal illness and a diagnosis of less than six months to live to obtain a lethal prescription to use to… Read more
Human infection challenge studies, which deliberately expose healthy volunteers to disease-causing infectious agents under carefully controlled conditions, offer a valuable method of biomedical research aimed at efficient initial efficacy testing of vaccine candidates, among other possible uses. They can be controversial, however, often evoking the response, “How can researchers do that?” Although Nazi physicians conducted… Read more
The death of former first lady Barbara Bush at age 92 was noteworthy in many ways. She was by all accounts smart, sharp and funny, and a fine, helpful wife to one president and mother to another. Her death last week after a long illness, with her husband at her side, was a model of… Read more
While the U.S. system of organ donation and transplantation is in a state of growth for the fifth year in a row, the call for new strategies to accelerate that progress has never been more robust as the critical need for transplantable organs continues to far exceed the supply. In an article in the March-April… Read more
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