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10/11/2017 - 12:32pm

How Anne Wojcicki led her company from the brink of failure to scientific pre-eminence

10/11/2017 - 12:18pm

Project obtains tissues from recently deceased individuals to look for the origins of disease

10/11/2017 - 11:10am

The Salt Lake City Police Department has fired the police detective who was video recorded aggressively handcuffing a hospital nurse who refused to allow him to draw blood from an unconscious patient in July

10/11/2017 - 9:05am

By Mason Marks In this brief essay, I describe a new type of medical information that is not protected by existing privacy laws. I call it Emergent Medical Data (EMD) because at first glance, it has no relationship to your … Continue reading →

10/11/2017 - 8:46am

"At first it’s cool, and then you realize, I’m filling some drugs that are for some pretty serious health problems as well. And these are the people that are running the country,” Pharmacist Mike Kim said, listing treatments for conditions like diabetes and Alzheimer’s. “It makes you kind of sit back and say, ‘Wow, they’re making the highest laws of the land and they might not even remember what happened yesterday.'”

10/11/2017 - 8:31am

Asking whether a healthcare tool or intervention is "safe" almost always really means asking if it is "safe enough."  First, almost all healthcare tools and interventions introduce their own inherent risks. Second, almost all tools and i...

10/11/2017 - 8:31am

Asking whether a healthcare tool or intervention is "safe" almost always really means asking if it is "safe enough."  First, almost all healthcare tools and interventions introduce their own inherent risks. Second, almost all tools and interventions can be negligently or deliberately administered wrongly.  

In the United States, there have certainly been cases where advance directives have been abused (see, e.g. Van Note). But the number of these cases is microscopic relative to the millions of advance directives that have helped assure value-congruent care since 1976....

10/10/2017 - 10:19pm

Pharmaceutical companies are for-profit enterprises that make their money by selling medicinal drugs. This might seem stupefyingly obvious, but it can get (briefly) obscured when these companies distribute shiny pamphlets suggesting that the promotion of human well-being is their ultimate mission or when they act in seemingly philanthropic ways. Scratch the surface, or just wait until the smoke clears, and the profit motive comes back into view. This is partly why bioethics workers find pharmaceutical companies fascinating and appalling: sometimes they offer a glimpse of what it would be like if powerful multinationals really threw their weight behind public health goals, but only a glimpse, because they inevitably veer off to make money and please their stockholders, sometimes in ways at odds with the ethics of research and health care. They are a kind of ethical rogue element. We need them -- who can whip up their own Klonopin? -- but don't expect them to join your health and social justice parade.

Here come the caveats. Prices for HIV drugs were lowered by the work of advocates, which the pharmaceutical industry initially opposed tooth and nail. (They have reaped profits from antiretrovirals in the meantime.) While lowering drug prices did make a significant difference for patient care, only 50% of those in sub-Saharan Africa currently in need of HIV drugs are on treatment, two decades later. Much more is needed than lowered drug prices to improve patient and population health. More too than the establishment of an oncology database, particularly if what the guidelines recommend implies human or material resources that are not locally available -- the guidelines could be a grim reminder of what you don't have. And the use of IBM's Watson for clinical care has not been a rousing success so far even in the best of circumstances....

10/10/2017 - 1:17pm

A new tool helps primary-care physicians draw on medical expertise from all over the world

10/10/2017 - 12:13pm

Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment, have become a staple in care for the fragile or seriously ill. They document in detail what kind of medical treatments patients want — or don’t want — at the end of life. Nearly every state in the US has a program; dozens are established or developing. But in Oregon, organizers have taken a step to ensure that final medical wishes are honored