Policy & Ethics

New Jersey health officials' interpretation of CDC guidance is going to put smokers ahead of nonsmokers in the COVID vaccination program. Crazy? We think so.
So far, the rollout of the COVID vaccine has been an embarrassing mess. There are different rules at different distribution locations, and sometimes they seem to change randomly. And to complicate matters, we're learning about unused, leftover doses. So who gets them? Or do they get thrown out?
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) created queue guidelines for those receiving the COVID-19 vaccines. While vaccination of healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities is already underway, there's much being written about position jockeying for those in the groups that follow. Let's take a deeper dive into these deliberations.
One of the several questions I hear is, "Where is the excess mortality from COVID-19?" Those numbers may be starting to come into view, but let us consider another death from COVID-19, the loss of small businesses.
Andrew Wakefield, the godfather of the modern anti-vaccine movement, is spreading disinformation about the COVID vaccine, falsely claiming that the mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna are a form of genetic engineering. Like all good liars, he mixes a tiny bit of truth into a sea of lies.
There's a war going on between the Department of Justice and Walmart over (what else) opioids. The DOJ -- which claims that the retail giant "fuel[ed] the opioid crisis by encouraging its pharmacists to fill prescriptions" – overlooks that they were actually legally written by health care practitioners. ACSH advisor Dr. Jeffrey Singer takes a look at this important case.
With the press flooded with futuristic phantasms of using CRISPR-Cas 9 to genetically engineer "designer" children -- by creating human-induced hereditable mutations -- it's easy to lose sight of ethical, legal, and moral issues arising from currently existing technology. Will we be tempted to "improve" our genetic destiny, and who decides which improvements to make? And who gets them? Are we mature enough as a society to eschew decisions leading to claims of eugenic determinism? And what about the social justice concerns?
Drs. Jeffrey Singer and Josh Bloom just published an op-ed in the Philidelphia Inquirer about the pointless and inhumane treatment that pain patients must endure in the name of fighting the "opioid epidemic." Except it's nothing of the sort. We are having a "street drug epidemic." This is why people are dying, not from prescription analgesics.
The governor of Washington State has canceled Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's, and about 20% of Seattle's restaurants and bars have closed permanently. The governor's arbitrary policies, such as banning indoor dining while allowing customers to eat inside tents, deserve part of the blame. Photographs put the absurdity on stark display.
Inoculations are a welcome development, but the public should temper its excitement.
Those who favor indefinite lockdowns believe they have the moral high ground. They do not. In reality, they callously turn a blind eye to the economic and social devastation that their policy is causing.
From vaping to cutting-edge biotechnology, UK health regulators do a far better job than their American counterparts. This was proven yet again when the UK beat the U.S. FDA at approving a coronavirus vaccine produced by Pfizer, an American company.