Policy & Ethics

Now that prospective parents have the option to genetically design their kids – at least to a point- what does this mean to society in terms of other responsibilities involved in child-making?
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, a physician was charged with manslaughter for administering morphine and a sedative to patients who couldn't leave the hospital during the disaster. Was she alleviating their pain and anxiety or trying to kill them? Meanwhile, many news outlets are paid to slant their science coverage. How did that happen, and what do we do about it?
You may want to procure an air sickness bag before you read this. What's worse: A cigarette company portraying smoking as sexy (and it's not the least bit subtle) or a 1970 ad proudly proclaiming, "You've come a long way, baby" (as if the women's rights movement somehow empowered women by giving them their own brand of cigarettes)?
Are impending drug DUI laws scientifically justified, accurate, or fair? If you're pulled over for a traffic violation in certain locations and asked to take a roadside saliva test, you may learn they're anything but. Drs. Josh Bloom and Henry Miller discuss this in an opinion piece published in the law journal Law360.
According to the CDC, heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the U.S., taking roughly 700,000 lives in 2021. For cardiologists who treat these patients, the supply and demand are endless. Those market conditions attract private equity because caring for those patients means big money.
Public health agencies have no problem recommending people replace tobacco smoke with nicotine patches or chewing gum. Yet they have a seemingly visceral dislike for replacing tobacco smoking with nicotine e‑cigarettes, even though research shows nicotine e‑cigarettes are more effective than patches or gum. Perhaps it’s because the act of vaping too closely resembles the act of smoking. Whatever the reason, it’s not evidence-based.
In order to prevent "pharmacy shopping" – something that is now pretty much impossible anyhow – the DEA has insisted that prescriptions for scheduled drugs sent to one pharmacy (or refills) be picked up at that same pharmacy, not transferred to another one, no matter how inconvenient that may be. Well, guess what? Officials "listened" to "commenters" and made a very small concession. How kind of them!
Chatbots’ ease of use and ability to rapidly create human-like text, including everything from reports, essays, and recipes to computer code, ensure that the AI revolution will be a powerful tool for students at every level to improve their capabilities and expertise. The list of apps and services is growing longer every day. But, like most powerful technologies, the use of chatbots offers challenges as well as opportunities. We need strategies to minimize the former and accentuate the latter.
“It never made sense for the DEA to list marijuana as a Schedule I drug. Making it a Schedule III controlled substance will make researching the drug’s medicinal uses easier. But it still makes federal criminals of the millions of adults who have been using marijuana recreationally for millennia and makes as much sense as it does to require people to get a prescription to ingest beer, wine, or whiskey.”
Whether it's better in the mind’s eye to know one’s biological origins (if born of a donated sperm or egg) – or not – is the subject of much debate. The answer depends on where you were born.
The courts have found that FDA's tobacco policies are arbitrary and capricious. The medical community calls them unscientific and harmful.
Reporters like to portray themselves as truth tellers who hold the powerful accountable. In reality, many of them are hired guns who publish propaganda under the guise of doing journalism. The good news is that a growing number of Americans are abandoning the legacy media for better sources of information.