The Ban on Federal Funding of Syringes — continued

People arguing that our federal government spends “too much” sound more and more like cynics by Oscar Wilde’s famous definition: knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing.

I’m neither for big government nor small government. I’d like government that does important things effectively and efficiently. One very effective and efficient way to spend federal money would be on syringe exchange, probably the single most effective non-medical intervention we’ve ever devised to fight HIV. Unfortunately, the Congress that has endless time and energy to debate symbols has no time or energy to end the ban on paying for syringes with federal funds.

amfAR has put out a very nice short film on this, as part of its renewed effort to convince Congress to end the ban.  It makes a convincing case, with simple stories and basic facts. Pass it on.

The Globalization of Health Care: Legal and Ethical Issues – Now Available from OUP

The edited volume stemming from the Petrie-Flom Center’s 2011 Annual ConferenceThe Globalization of Health Care: Legal and Ethical Issues, I. Glenn Cohen, ed. (Oxford University Press, 2013) – is now available for purchase through the publisher, Amazon, or other outlets.  You can also download the introduction and front matter for free here.

The Globalization of Health Care: Legal and Ethical Issues is the first book to offer a comprehensive legal and ethical analysis of the most interesting and broadest reaching development in health care of the last twenty years: its globalization. It ties together the manifestation of this globalization in four related subject areas – medical tourism, medical migration (the physician “brain drain”), telemedicine, and pharmaceutical research and development, and integrates them in a philosophical discussion of issues of justice and equity relating to the globalization of health care. The time for such an examination is right. Medical tourism and telemedicine are growing multi-billion-dollar industries affecting large numbers of patients. The U.S. heavily depends on foreign-trained doctors to staff its health care system, and nearly forty percent of clinical trials are now run in the developing world, with indications of as much of a 10-fold increase in the past 20 years. NGOs across the world are agitating for increased access to necessary pharmaceuticals in the developing world, claiming that better access to medicine would save millions from early death at a relatively low cost. Coming on the heels of the most expansive reform to U.S. health care in fifty years, this book plots the ways in which this globalization will develop as the reform is implemented. The book features leading academics from across the world and different academic disciplines (law, philosophy, medicine, public health, government, business and geography) and outside academia to provide an international and interdisciplinary perspective.

TOC below the fold:

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Apr 4: Dan Brock delivering the Gay Lecture on “The Future of Bioethics”

Please join the Division of Medical Ethics for:

The 2013 George W. Gay Lecture in Medical Ethics

Dan W. Brock, PhD
Frances Glessner Lee Professor of Medical Ethics, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, HMS

“The Future of Bioethics”
Thursday, April 4, 2013
4:00 PM

Harvard Medical School

Tosteson Medical Education Center

Carl W. Walter Amphitheater
260 Longwood Avenue, Boston

Please pass this invitation along to other interested friends and colleagues.
RSVP to  DME at hms.harvard.edu.

The George W. Gay Lecture is the oldest endowed lectureship at Harvard Medical School, and quite possibly the oldest medical ethics lectureship in the United States. The lectureship was established in 1917 by a $1,000 gift from Dr. George Washington Gay, an 1868 graduate of HMS. Since its inception, many of the nation’s most influential physicians, scientists, researchers and social observers, including Erich Fromm, Felix Frankfurter, Margaret Mead, Elizabeth Kübler Ross, E.O. Wilson, and Joshua Lederberg have given the Gay Lecture. Elie Wiesel, Marian Wright Edelman, Paul Krugman, Nicholas Kristof and Donald Berwick have given recent Gay Lectures.

Flu Vaccine Mandates for Health Care Workers

According to officials, the worst of this year’s devastating flu season should be over in most parts of the country. But in early January, the flu had hit 47 of 50 states. According to the CDC, a total of 78 influenza-associated pediatric deaths have been reported. Throughout this terrible flu season, there’s been much talk about vaccination mandates for health care workers.

States have started passing legislation regulating health care worker flu vaccination, and an increasing number of hospitals have started implementing policies in attempt to reach the Healthy People 2020 goal of having 90 percent of health care workers vaccinated. Only two-thirds of health care workers were vaccinated against the flu last year. This can leave patients at risk and hospitals short-staffed because of absenteeism.

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