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10/11/2017 - 8:46am

"At first it’s cool, and then you realize, I’m filling some drugs that are for some pretty serious health problems as well. And these are the people that are running the country,” Pharmacist Mike Kim said, listing treatments for conditions like diabetes and Alzheimer’s. “It makes you kind of sit back and say, ‘Wow, they’re making the highest laws of the land and they might not even remember what happened yesterday.'”

10/11/2017 - 8:31am

Asking whether a healthcare tool or intervention is "safe" almost always really means asking if it is "safe enough."  First, almost all healthcare tools and interventions introduce their own inherent risks. Second, almost all tools and i...

10/11/2017 - 8:31am

Asking whether a healthcare tool or intervention is "safe" almost always really means asking if it is "safe enough."  First, almost all healthcare tools and interventions introduce their own inherent risks. Second, almost all tools and interventions can be negligently or deliberately administered wrongly.  

In the United States, there have certainly been cases where advance directives have been abused (see, e.g. Van Note). But the number of these cases is microscopic relative to the millions of advance directives that have helped assure value-congruent care since 1976....

10/10/2017 - 10:19pm

Pharmaceutical companies are for-profit enterprises that make their money by selling medicinal drugs. This might seem stupefyingly obvious, but it can get (briefly) obscured when these companies distribute shiny pamphlets suggesting that the promotion of human well-being is their ultimate mission or when they act in seemingly philanthropic ways. Scratch the surface, or just wait until the smoke clears, and the profit motive comes back into view. This is partly why bioethics workers find pharmaceutical companies fascinating and appalling: sometimes they offer a glimpse of what it would be like if powerful multinationals really threw their weight behind public health goals, but only a glimpse, because they inevitably veer off to make money and please their stockholders, sometimes in ways at odds with the ethics of research and health care. They are a kind of ethical rogue element. We need them -- who can whip up their own Klonopin? -- but don't expect them to join your health and social justice parade.

Here come the caveats. Prices for HIV drugs were lowered by the work of advocates, which the pharmaceutical industry initially opposed tooth and nail. (They have reaped profits from antiretrovirals in the meantime.) While lowering drug prices did make a significant difference for patient care, only 50% of those in sub-Saharan Africa currently in need of HIV drugs are on treatment, two decades later. Much more is needed than lowered drug prices to improve patient and population health. More too than the establishment of an oncology database, particularly if what the guidelines recommend implies human or material resources that are not locally available -- the guidelines could be a grim reminder of what you don't have. And the use of IBM's Watson for clinical care has not been a rousing success so far even in the best of circumstances....

10/10/2017 - 1:17pm

A new tool helps primary-care physicians draw on medical expertise from all over the world

10/10/2017 - 12:13pm

Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment, have become a staple in care for the fragile or seriously ill. They document in detail what kind of medical treatments patients want — or don’t want — at the end of life. Nearly every state in the US has a program; dozens are established or developing. But in Oregon, organizers have taken a step to ensure that final medical wishes are honored

10/10/2017 - 11:12am

Take-down notices “imminent” as lawsuit is filed alleging widespread copyright infringement

10/10/2017 - 11:09am

Philip Rosoff writes: "When someone is sick or needs the help of a physician, who should decide what is appropriate – what blood tests and imaging studies to order, what medicines to prescribe, what surgeries to perform? Should it be the doctor, the patient or some combination of the two?"

10/10/2017 - 10:33am

Mason Marks is joining Bill of Health as a regular contributor. Mason is a Visiting Fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project. His research focuses on the application of artificial intelligence to clinical decision making in healthcare. He is particularly … Continue reading →

10/10/2017 - 9:02am

The Jaharis Health Law Institute is now accepting applications for a Faculty Fellow in Health Law and Intellectual Property! Established in 1984 and supported by the Mary and Michael Jaharis Health Law Institute (JHLI), DePaul’s health law program has consistently ranked … Continue reading →