Policy & Ethics

When words like "world-renowned" are used in the medical realm (especially by people selling something, like an unnecessary product or procedure), beware. And then prepare yourself with a healthy dose of skepticism.
Scandals, no matter their size or consequence, shouldn't eradicate the basic tenets of doctor-patient privilege.
The odd case of a stricken man arriving at a Florida hospital with no ID, no family member – but with a bold tattoo stating that critical, life-saving intervention be withheld – is serving as a bizarre but essential reminder to the rest of us to raise a difficult, yet frequently-skirted, topic.
A traveler who smokes should be able to wait to light up until he, or she, gets home. But if that's not possible, the nicotine craving can be satisfied with a layover in Europe or Asia.
That a person with such a hostile view toward industry-funded science serves on the editorial board of a major scientific journal is disturbing. That she possesses no academic qualifications to justify her position as "senior editor" is a scandal.
Nearly 60 years ago, a government regulation designed to assure the public about the safety our food supply did just the opposite; it set off a panic that was completely unwarranted. Thanksgiving was ruined for millions because the government created an invalid distinction between the natural world and the synthetic one. The regulation was called the Delaney Clause. In simple form, it said that if a synthetic chemical could be shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals, it must be banned.
How did a frog that doesn't live in Louisiana get a habitat there? It was part of a sue-and-settle agreement arrangement between the government an environmental group, and it could cause the Supreme Court to dismantle the Endangered Species Act.
Newly released guidelines from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggest illegitimate, unproven stem cell uses might become a thing of the past.
Volunteer tourism, or voluntourism, is an emerging trend of travel linked to “doing good”. Yet these efforts to help people and the environment have come under heavy criticism – I believe for good reason. Voluntourists’ ability to change systems, alleviate poverty or provide support for vulnerable children is limited. They simply don’t have the skills. And they can inadvertently perpetuate patronizing and unhelpful ideas about the places they visit.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer is suffering through a period of critical upheaval, with ethical breaches of one of its environmental activists having been exposed. Meanwhile, IARC's posturing may get its funding pulled.
It is time to call out academia's fascination with Karl Marx for what it really is: a pernicious form of historical revisionism that is nearly identical to Holocaust denial.
We have never seen anything like this. Climate scientist Mark Jacobson has sued the National Academy of Sciences for publishing an article that disagrees with him. For his hurt feelings, he wants $10 million.