Tag Archives: ethics

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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Death Panels and Out-of-Pocket Health Care Costs

Recently, I wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Timescalling upon physicians to discuss out-of-pocket costs with their patients before making medical decisions, and urging patients to take matters into their own hands if their physicians fail to initiate such conversations. This Op-Ed closely … 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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A Magician's Eye for Consumer Scams

One of the themes running through Fooling Houdini that I like the most was the strong connection that Stone made between magic, con artistry, and even common business practices. Magicians have long been known for their ability to spot scams. … Continue reading

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Can Comics Improve Medical Care?

Take a look at this wonderful video where a physician and a nurse explain how comic books, what they called “graphic medicine”, can improve medical care. You might also want to check out the website of the graphic medicine collaborative they have … Continue reading

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Should Patients Be Able to Receive "PFO Occluders" Outside of Research Trials?

Ten years ago, my tennis partner suffered a stroke.  He was a sixty-year-old at the time, working to move up into the top ten players in his age group.  In the country!  You could not have found a healthier sixty-year-old.  … Continue reading

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What Made Our Greatest Surgeon General So Great

I have been thinking a lot about C Everett Koop lately, ever since his death on February 25 at the ripe old age of 96 and more recently with the announcement that our current Surgeon General, Regina Benjamin, is planning … Continue reading

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Is Behavioral Economics the Death of Living Wills?

As a physician who conducts research on decision-making, I have been asked many times: What does behavioral economics teach us about the role of living wills in medical care? Famed behavioral economist Dick Thaler recently opined on this topic in the … Continue reading

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The Predictable Irrationality of Righteous Minds, and the Work of Ethicists

Jennifer spends lots of time with dead things, dead humans actually. She works in a pathology lab. One night, she is asked to incinerate a fresh human cadaver, and she is struck that it would be a waste to throw away perfectly good … Continue reading

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