Policy & Ethics

From hospital inpatient “wealth screenings” for potential donors, to digital "geofencing" cell phones in emergency rooms, the erosion of patient privacy is real. Guess who's the latest to have access to your intimate data (e.g. pregnancy status, ovulation cycle, blood pressure) without your consent?
Rent doesn't just refer to apartments and land. Also, rent is not profit, it requires no activity in adding value and it entails little risk. The rising cost of healthcare includes the rising cost of healthcare's rents.
Like Pig-Pen from Peanuts, a cloud of filth follows Andrew Wakefield wherever he goes. Vaccine exemptions have soared 1900% in Texas since he moved there. Now, he's trying to get anti-vaccine politicians elected.
Eating at Panda Express recently in Seattle, it was hard not to notice that after just a few bites some diners found their forks to be completely bent out of shape. A quick look at the handle revealed why: It was marked "compostable."
The new behavioralists are trying to figure out how to best reward physicians for good outcomes. We may call it "pay for performance," but it seems an awful lot like all those studies of rats pressing levers to get a reward or avoid being shocked.
The editorial board of the New York Times came out in favor of revising FDA regulations of cosmetic products. This is a reasonable suggestion since such a review has not taken place since 1938. But sound science, especially toxicology, is essential for any change in regulations to be meaningful. Unfortunately, on the science itself, the newspaper's proposal misses the mark.
You do not want to be in the shoes of chronic pain patient Iris Erlingsdottir. Iris has a rare, genetic form of arthritis, which is not treatable. But it is extremely painful. She describes some of what she has to go through to get relief. Just plain awful.
Imagine if Dr. Oz -- who peddles all sorts of pseudoscientific, nonsensical miracle cures on his daytime TV show -- proposed an environmental policy. That's the Green New Deal.
Can a physician's past professional deeds be forgotten? And if so, who gets to decide? If you ask the European Union, the answer is Google.
Gwyneth Paltrow has a great career. Not many actors can match her cinematic résumé. So why she feels the need to become America's second-biggest health scam artist -- after Dr. Oz, of course -- is absolutely mind-boggling. Netflix will launch a series of health shows featuring Ms. Paltrow and her bogus claims this autumn. Doesn't she have enough money already?
Vaccine resistance is one of the top 10 threats to global health. New York City is currently experiencing its worst outbreak of measles in decades, sickening scores of children in ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods. Prominent health organizations and advocacy groups have called on state legislatures to eliminate religious and philosophical exemptions.
Did you know when you're in the hospital, the fundraising staff has access to part of your health record unless you opt-out? Our love affair with Big Data is transforming patient privacy into a relic.