Category Archives: Ethics

Is Your Boss Discriminating Against You Because You Smoke?

Obamacare gave employers permission to charge smokers up to 50% more for health insurance, as a way to incentivize healthier behavior. But to make sure smokers had a fair chance to avoid these penalties, the law required employers to provide tobacco cessation … Continue reading

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Tobacco is Taking Over the World!

We’ve done a lot of things in the United States over the last few decades to curb tobacco consumption. We’ve warned people cigarettes will kill them, created persuasive ad campaigns to scare people away from cigarettes, and added a hefty … Continue reading

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Are Doctors Ready to Talk about Health Care Costs with Patients?

While I was on vacation, I spoke with reporter about a topic near and dear to my heart – importance of getting clinicians to talk about health care costs with their patients. The reporter put together a very nice piece … Continue reading

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Should Death Row Inmates Be Able to Donate Their Organs Before They Die?

Several people have asked me lately whether I think that death row inmates should be able to donate their organs before they die. In effect, to commit suicide through organ donation. Culminating in donation of the heart, of course. They are … Continue reading

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Should HIV-Positive Patients Receive Scarce Lung Transplants?

Quite a while ago, I was co-author on a New England Journal of Medicine article arguing that HIV-positive patients, stable on anti-retro viral therapy, were now healthy enough to qualify as organ transplant recipients. Nevertheless, this practice remains controversial, as you … Continue reading

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What's Fair About Price Discrimination in Pharmaceutical Markets

A while back, DVD companies hoping to sell their products in countries like Poland faced a dilemma.  They could sell their products at a nice profit in the booming U.S. market, but to sell products in those other countries, they … Continue reading

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On the Allure of Cheating

Recently, my 15-year-old son and a group of his friends went out together for dinner and a movie. The movie they chose to see was an R-rated comedy, a fact that only struck them when they approached the ticket office … Continue reading

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Stephen Hawking on Aid in Dying

World-famous physicist, Stephen Hawking, is now advocating in favor of physician-assisted death, in the video shown here. I am both very glad that he is still alive, so many years after developing his illness, and that he is advocating for … Continue reading

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Congratulations to the MacLean Center

The University of Chicago Medicine’s MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, where I trained in the early 90s, has been awarded the prestigious Cornerstone Award from the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities for “outstanding contributions from an institution that … Continue reading

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Is There a Difference Between Suicide and Ending One's Life?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines suicide as: “Death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with any intent to die as a result of the behavior .” The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as: “the act or an instance of taking one’s … Continue reading

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