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The March-April issue of the Hastings Center Report offers another in a series of articles over the last few years on the structure and the ethics of surrogate decision-making. Here, Daniel Brudney addresses how to help the surrogate deal with a treatment decision. A core insight he offers is that the structure of the surrogate’s… Read more
HASTINGS CENTER REPORT
Jack, who is seventy-five years old, is in the hospital with a terminal condition that has undermined his cognitive faculties. He has left no advance directive and has never had a conversation in which he made his treatment wishes remotely clear. Yet now, a treatment decision must be made, and in modern American medicine, the… Read more
In this article, our analysis of empathy in the clinical context hinges on the complexities of patients who are acutely suffering. Using a case concerning a heart transplant patient with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Alex, and his nurse, Joe, we investigate how empathy’s phenomenological nebulousness can generate doubts about its virtue. Even when asking, “How are… Read more
According to the mainstream conception of research involving human participants, researchers have been trained scientists acting within institutions and have been the individuals doing the studying, while participants, who are nonscientist members of the public, have been the individuals being studied. The relationship between the public and scientists is evolving, however, giving rise to several… Read more
Policy-makers, bioethicists, and patient advocates have been engaged in a fierce battle about the merits and potential harms of a federal right-to-try law. This debate about access to investigational medical products has raised profound questions about the limits of patient autonomy, appropriate government regulation, medical paternalism, and political rhetoric.
Evidence-based medicine has become both the mantra of clinical practice and the dominant contemporary approach to patient care. Gordon Guyatt et al. first proposed applying the concept to medical education in the early 1990s, arguing for training that “de-emphasizes intuition, unsystematic clinical experience, and pathophysiologic rationale” in favor of “examination of evidence from clinical research”;… Read more
In January 2018, the Trump administration established the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights with the explicit goal of intensifying legal protection of religious and conscience objections in health care. The establishment of OCR’s new division illustrates the significant powers of administrative agencies to… Read more
Vaccination is one of history’s most successful public health interventions. Since 2000, vaccination campaigns against measles, which is highly contagious but preventable through the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, have reduced both the global incidence of the disease and measles deaths by 80 percent.