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    Forum Posts by
    L. Syd M. Johnson

    • Might Chimpanzees Have Legal Rights?

      Posted on May 30, 2018

      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

    • Chimpanzees: Persons or Things?

      Posted on March 28, 2018

      Last month, a group of 17 North American philosophers (myself included) filed an amicus curiae brief with the New York State Court of Appeals on behalf of Kiko and Tommy, two captive chimpanzees. The brief, informally known as “Chimpanzee Personhood: The Philosophers’ Brief,” supports a legal action by the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP). Pursuing a… Read more

    • Sports Concussions and Sandbagging

      Posted on June 28, 2013

      Sport-related concussions are a significant public health problem, and concussion management is one of the most controversial issues in sports medicine. The latest international consensus statement on concussion in sport advises that players not return to play on the same day they were injured and that they not return until they are asymptomatic. But it can be… Read more

    • Withholding Care from Vegetative Patients: Financial Savings and Social Costs

      Posted on July 2, 2010

      In a recent column in the Huffington Post, Jacob M. Appel argues for “rational rationing” of health care resources by withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining medical treatment from patients in a permanent vegetative state. He considers the case of Ruben Betancourt, which will soon be decided by the New Jersey Superior Court in Betancourt v. Trinitas… Read more

    • Lessons from H1N1 (Swine Flu)

      Posted on February 3, 2010

      After public health authorities in the United States spent months encouraging, cajoling, and frightening the public into getting vaccinated against the H1N1 influenza virus, they had no vaccine to give. The second wave of the H1N1 pandemic hit North America in early fall 2009. Millions were infected and thousands died before people were immunized. Of… Read more

    • The Silent Scream: Misdiagnosis in Disorders of Consciousness

      Posted on December 11, 2009

      The widely publicized case of Rom Houben, a Belgian man who was inaccurately diagnosed as being in a vegetative state for more than two decades, highlights the serious problem of misdiagnosis in patients with disorders of consciousness. Houben’s diagnosis came after a near-fatal car crash in 1983. According to a report in The Guardian, his… Read more