Is it a doctor’s responsibility to tell you if a disease is written on your genetic code? And if so, do you really want him or her to tell you? Thanks to new guidelines by the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, this may soon be a reality for many Americans. Last week, the national organization – made up of genetics specialists – published a report urging doctors who sequence a patient’s full set of genes to also test them 24 genetic conditions, and alert the patient, regardless of the patient’s wishes to know or not.
There are few professions, if any, that require as much as training as becoming a doctor, but now, that process could become one year shorter. Bioethicist Art Caplan discusses a new plan by NYU to allow some students to finish medical school in three years, instead of four.
The fact that Holmes was seeing a psychiatrist prior to the theatre shooting in Aurora, Colorado, is a fact that has emerged in the past few days. Should his psychiatrist be required to disclose private information about her patient? And, had she known in advance that Holmes struggled with violent thoughts and delusions, should she have alerted police?
Yesterday we heard the story of the 'cyclops baby,' a child born badly disfigured and doomed to die. We put some of the questions it raises to Art Caplan, head of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU's Langone Medical Center.
How would you react, if during a regular doctor’s checkup, your physician told you that you were obese? That’s what the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has suggested in a new set of recommendations. It says all adults should be screened for obesity and patients with a high body mass index should be receive intervention.
In January 2003, The Lancet — one of the world's oldest and most respected medical journals — published an article championing the combination of two drugs (ACE inhibitors and ARBs) in treating certain types of kidney disease. But then an investigation concluded that the data in the study had been collected in a way that made it scientifically unsound. The Lancet printed a retraction, but thousands of patients still receive these drugs in combination.
This week the Supreme Court’s scrutiny of President Obama’s signature piece of legislation dominated the headlines, but it wasn’t the only story out there. Anger over the perceived lack of justice in the Trayvon Martin shooting case continues to sweep the nation, and the controversial film "Bully" got bullied by the ratings board. These stories and more are covered by our panel of Kai Wright, Editor of Colorlines, Ron Christie, Republican political strategist, and Art Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania.
This week a Federal Drug Administration panel backed the approval of a weight loss drug called Qnexa. Strictly intended for use by clinically overweight people with BMIs over 27kg/m2, Qnexa is a combination of an already-existing weight loss drug and another drug not yet approved for weight loss. At present, many doctors use this particular combination of drugs to treat obese patients, but this approval would allow them not to go "off the label" with their prescriptions.
Minnesota Congresswoman and presidential contender Michele Bachmann continues to draw criticism, after making remarks this week that the HPV vaccine is dangerous for young girls. Speaking with Matt Lauer on NBC's "Today Show," Bachmann said that a woman on Florida told her that her daughter had received the vaccine, and "suffered from mental retardation after." Public health advocates are encouraging Bachmann to provide proof of this story. And two bioethics professors have upped the ante, offering to pay more than $10,000 for medical records that prove the anecdote is true.
An article published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association says the state should intervene in cases of morbidly obese children. The authors say that parents should lose custody in the most extreme cases of childhood obesity. This opinion has drawn criticism from several lawyers and members of the bioethics community.
The New York state health department released a report this week saying that an organ transplant recipient contracted HIV from a kidney donation at a New York hospital. It’s the nation’s first documented case of HIV transmission via a living donor transplant since the 1980s. How did this happen? And what are the repercussions?
This week, a presidential bioethics committee met to discuss one of the most shocking violations of medical ethics — a clinical study done back in the 1970s on nearly 400 African American men in Tuskegee Alabama to study the progression of syphilis. The men believed they were receiving free health care from the US government. But just days before the committee met, a new comprehensive investigation by the Associated Press found that for decades, the United States government also knew about and authorized medical experiments on disabled people and prison inmates. Experiments included injecting cancer cells into the chronically ill at a New York hospital and giving hepatitis to mental patients in Connecticut.
Gay men have been banned from donating blood since 1983. But now, a group of senators led by John Kerry are petitioning to put an end to the 27-year-old ban.
There were/are approximately 15,000-20,000 hemophiliacs in the US. 100% of them contracted hepatitis in the late 1960s and early 1970s when their medication (factor concentrate) was brought to the market. 10,000 of them were then infected when HIV emerged in the early 1980s because of this drug. In 1983, a ban was instituted to prohibit any gay man who had sex since 1977 from ever giving blood. Filmmaker Marilyn Ness explored the history of the ban in her documentary, "Bad Blood."
A team of scientists have successfully developed new living bacteria from non-living parts, which they’re calling the first “synthetic cell.”
This week, the Senate will take up debate on its health care reform bill. One of the questions at the center of that discussion will be how best to cut costs and still maintain good care. Last week, we heard new recommendations from a physicians' group on breast cancer and cervical cancer screening that would produce exactly that result: good care, at lower costs. The scientific basis for the recommendations appears sound, and yet the public response to those recommendations ranged from confused to angry. What happens when the science on good health care clashes with people's feelings about their own care? We speak to Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania; along with Dr. Stacy Berg, pediatric oncologist at Texas Children’s Hospital.
The facts. The skinny. The straight dope. If you're talking about health care reform (and who isn't, these days?), the truth has been thoroughly muddled lately with a lot of buzzwords, misnomers and outright fabrication. That's why The Takeaway is talking to Art Caplan. He's the director of the Center of Bio-Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania, and he's going to put the health care debate and such concepts as the potential "co-operative insurance consortia" into plain-speak.