Policy & Ethics

When discussing Hospital systems, non-profit is a tax status, not a revenue statement. In exchange for providing a range of “community” services, these institutions are tax-exempt. The Lown Foundation dishes the dirt on the profits and losses of some of our most prominent institutions.
To thousands of women gifted with childbirth through assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and their children - the practice can only be described as a godsend. The industry, including IVF facilities, with global revenues in the billions, I am sure, agrees. But perhaps technology has run away with itself before we’ve considered the full ramifications of the risks and conjured solutions for the abuses, some of which have come to light just this week.
President Eisenhower worried that we were creating a scientific/technologic elite that controls the narrative and stifles heterodoxy. But the digital age and the democratization of knowledge threaten the scientific "priesthood" – much in the way the printing press threatened the controlling interest of an earlier time. The priesthood must learn to adapt to a world where it no longer has a monopoly on specialized knowledge.
North Carolina State University recently cancelled a science-outreach event because the invited speakers have the wrong skin color. It's another example of academic institutions prizing a radical social agenda over education.
The proposed Purdue bankruptcy plan has its champions and its detractors. Many bemoan usurping the victim’s rights to confront the bankruptcy debtor. Others see bankruptcy as a chance to provide some compensation to those injured in a rapid and streamlined fashion, guaranteeing recovery funds are available while allowing the concern to continue operating, providing an orderly resolution so that business might continue, preserving jobs and some revenue.  
Since the CDC, DEA, and Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing have become experts in dispensing prescription drugs, why stop there? Well, in Massachusetts, it didn't stop there. Judges were dictating specific medications to help addicts recover. Judges? Who's quoted in the article? Andrew Kolodny, of course. Why?
The World Health Organization is poised to reject emergency approval for Medicago's COVID vaccine because one of its ingredients is grown in tobacco plants. There's absolutely no justification for this decision.
Is it too early to address what went wrong when the COVID vaccines were rolled out? This is not about the “first rough draft of history." Instead, it's a more dispassionate, high-altitude view that allows us to assess this public health moment through two different critical theory lenses: complex systems and scaling.
New York City, not exactly the sanest place in the galaxy, has done little to change its reputation by maintaining its private-sector employer vaccine mandate for sports teams, even though it is scientifically laughable. New York athletes are banned from playing home games unless they are vaccinated but allowed to play road games. And players who can't play are allowed to sit there and watch. Welcome to Crazyville.
It seems that COVID-19 is, finally and hopefully, waning from the American scene. Before we face another wave or a new threat, it might make sense to review some of the legal fallout, notably the interplay between freedom of religion, the obligation of the state to protect public health, and the prevalence of changing attitudes championing solidarity versus those advocating autonomy.
Upon first glance, the revision of the atrocious 2016 CDC opioid prescribing guidelines would seem to be an improvement – a low bar by any measure. But it doesn't take long to see that the 2022 version still leaves much to be desired.
Social media platforms, fringe websites and activist groups are well-known sources of unscientific nonsense. Less discussed is the fact that ideological activism masquerading as research often finds a home in prestigious academic journals. One journal in particular has a long history of publishing such dubious content—The Lancet.