Hastings Center Report

Hastings Center Report

From the Editor: Third Parties

Abstract: The lead article in the Hastings Center Report’s November-December 2020 issue reconsiders the rationale for requiring that patients have a prescription from a physician to obtain a drug. Madison Kilbride, Steve Joffe, and Holly Fernandez Lynch conclude that growing respect for patient autonomy should lead to a new default for drug access: drugsshould be available over the counter unless there are special concerns about harms to third parties or about patients’ ability to make decisions for themselves. This conclusion would be a substantial reorientation of drug policy in the United States. Bioethics at a societal level is a theme in the second article, “The Social Risks of Science,” and throughout the issue.

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