As hospitals walk the tightrope of patient data-sharing, one system offers a new balance

Every major medical center in America sits on a gold mine of patient data that could be worth millions of dollars to companies that could use it to develop new treatments and technologies. A new framework could help them do so more responsibly, going beyond the minimum legal requirements and respecting patients by giving them more say in how their individual data may be used.

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Renowned Bioethicist Co-Chairs Effort to Help Cities Safely Reopen Sports and Recreation Amidst Pandemic

Arthur L. Caplan, PhD, the Drs. William F and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor of Bioethics at NYU Langone Health and the founding director of the Division of Medical Ethics in the Department of Population Health, is co-chairing a newly-created United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) Advisory Panel on Sports, Recreation, and Health.

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The Ethics of COVID-19

As some governors are moving to ease COVID-19 restrictions, the virus is causing patients, medical professionals and community members to face unprecedented ethical dilemmas in their day-to-day lives and careers. “As social animals who live in community, this pandemic has made us unable to ignore the issue, and significance of, social obligation,” says Stuart Finder, PhD, MA, director of the Center for Healthcare Ethics at Cedars-Sinai.

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New in the Hastings Center Report: A call to confront mistrust in the US health care system

“For those who have faced exploitation and discrimination at the hands of physicians, the medical profession, and medical institutions, trust is a tall order and, in many cases, would be naïve,” writes Laura Specker Sullivan in “Trust, Risk, and Race in American Medicine.”

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Direct-to-Consumer Fertility Tests Confuse and Mislead Consumers, Penn Study Shows

Direct-to-consumer hormone-based “fertility testing” for women is viewed by consumers as both an alternative, empowering tool for family planning, and a confusing and misleading one, according to the results of a new study from Penn Medicine. Findings from the small, first-of-its-kind ethnographic study reinforce the need for consumer education around the purpose and accuracy of the tests, which have seen increasing interest in recent years due to the low cost and widespread availability. The study was published in the journal of Social Science and Medicine.

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How Oncologists Can Ethically Navigate the “Right-to-Try” Drug Law

The 2018 federal Right to Try Act allows patients with a life-threatening illness to be treated with drugs that have not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Many in the oncology community say Right to Try strips away important regulatory protections and view the move as a risky step bound to create ethical dilemmas for physicians whose goal is to guide patients toward safe and appropriate treatment decisions. Oncology is one field at the forefront of requests for unapproved drugs. An interdisciplinary team of bioethicists, oncologists, and lawyers from Penn Medicine and other institutions penned a commentary published online this week in the Journal of Clinical Oncology to offer recommendations to help oncologists navigate this new “Right to Try” world, while maintaining their ethical obligations to patients.

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