Yale Friday Newsletter – 10/05/12

Here’s the latest edition, edited down a bit for our readership.

Steve Latham, director of the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, reminds those of you who are job-hunting to check out the jobs page on Bioethics.net. There have been about a dozen new jobs and fellowships listed there since September. You should also look at the jobs page of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities, or at the Hastings Center’s jobs and fellowships page.

And Carol Pollard, Associate Director, has provided some articles of interest: click here.

Bioethics Center Events

Wednesday, October 10 at 4:15 PM

Technology & Ethics Group
Location: 77 Prospect St, A002
Speaker: Danah Boyd, Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research
Topic: Privacy and Ethics in Big Data Research

This Week on Campus

Wednesday, October 10

Rudd Center Seminar

Time: 12:30 PM

Location: 309 Edwards St, conf room

Speaker: James Krieger, MD, MPH, Chief, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Section, Public Health – Seattle and King County; Clinical Professor, Medicine and Health Services, University of Washington

Topic: Using Policy and Systems Changes to Create Healthy Environments at the Local Level

Dennis L. Cherlin Memorial Lecture

Time: 4 PM

Location: 10 Hillhouse Ave, room 220

Speaker: Kenneth Kendler, Virginia Commonwealth University

Topic: Genetic Epidemiology of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders: A Current Perspective

Conferences & Off-Campus Events

Enforcing the CHIMP Act: The Case for Criteria to Retire Chimpanzees in Labs to Sanctuary

Thursday, Oct. 18, at 2 p.m. (EST)

The webinar will discuss what life in a laboratory is like for chimpanzees; the science that shows how unnecessary and ineffective chimpanzee use is in research meant to benefit humans; and our Rulemaking Petition to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asking them to define eligibility criteria for retiring chimpanzees instead of allowing labs to decide as HHS currently does. The presentations will last 30 minutes, followed by listener questions. Our presenters:

•           Psychologist and NEAVS President Dr. Theodora Capaldo will explain the Rulemaking Petition and discuss the retirement criteria it sets forth.

•           Geneticist and NEAVS Science Director Dr. Jarrod Bailey will overview the scientific reasons why chimpanzees are not needed or useful.

•           Gloria Grow, Fauna Sanctuary founder/director and co-chair of NEAVS’ Project R&R: Release and Restitution for Chimpanzees in U.S. Labs, will share her personal experience with the physical and psychological toll labs have on chimpanzees and their recovery in sanctuary. The United States is the only country still using chimpanzees for research. Despite scientific evidence showing they are unnecessary, more than 900 languish in U.S. labs today. Many of the chimpanzees are elderly and sick, and 80-90% are not in active research. A law – the CHIMP Act – already exists that would retire these chimpanzees to sanctuary, but its mandates are not being fulfilled. In response, NEAVS, the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA), and other co-petitioners have filed a Rulemaking Petition asking the government to define when a chimpanzee is not needed for research and therefore eligible for retirement and sanctuary. Please RSVP to help us plan (RSVP not required to attend). Following this live webinar, a recording of the presentations, Q&A, and accompanying slide show will be archived at our Project R&R campaign website. For more information or to read the full Rulemaking Petition, email info@neavs.org or visit Project R&R.

Christians and Other Animals: Moving the Conversation Forward

Friday, 16 November | 4 – 6 p.m.

12th-foor Lounge | Lowenstein Center

Fordham College at Lincoln Center


Peter Singer, Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University

David Clough, Professor of Theological Ethics and Department Chair, University of Chester

Eric Meyer, Fordham Doctoral Candidate in Theology

R.R. Reno, Professor of Theological Ethics, Creighton University, editor of First Things

Moderator: Charles Camosy, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics, Fordham University

Space is limited. RSVP to christiansandotheranimals@gmail.com. Co-Sponsors: Department of Theology, Center for Religion and Culture, Office of the Provost, Dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill, Dean of Fordham University Faculty. This panel wishes to provoke Christians to think about other animals in new ways. Currently a very hot topic in academic theology and philosophy, concern for non-human animals is largely unengaged by our broader culture, and our panel will try to bring this discussion to a broader audience. Peter Singer—in addition to being the most influential philosopher alive today—was the intellectual heft behind the beginning of the animal rights movement in the 1970s. David Clough is one of the leading voices in defense of animals in the contemporary Christian conversation, and Eric Meyer’s research has mined the Christian tradition in ways that turn the current debate about animals on its head. We are also fortunate to have R.R. Reno play the all-important role of ‘sympathetic skeptic’ in our discussion. All participants will be framing their remarks in such a way that students and non-specialists can engage. It promises to be a lively afternoon!

Grants & Fellowships

Calls for Papers & Nominations

Call for Papers on Professionalism in Public Administration and Public Service

In acknowledgment of the milestone of ASPA’s 75th anniversary, PAR is seeking cutting-edge perspectives about public service professionalism. We intend to select a small number of proposals about public service professionalism for full development as articles. The submissions will have to meet PAR’s rigorous doubleblind review process. The articles that are accepted will appear as lead articles throughout volume 74.

Among the topics for which we are especially interested in receiving proposals are:

• Is There a Public Service Professionalism? As Mosher reminds us, government is crowded with professionals— lawyers, engineers, doctors, foresters, scientists— who are responsible for the public’s business. Is there a convergence in the values espoused by most public service professions? How does the normative order of public service professions converge? What are the obligations, the responsibilities, to which all public service professionals should be attentive? Is there a lowest common denominator? Is there a high standard to which all public service professionals should aspire?

• How Well Did the Public Service Professions of the Progressive Era Fare and How Do They Need to Change for a New Century? At least in organizational terms, the Progressive era produced an explosion of public service professional organizations, many of which survive today. Did the public service professions live up to their social contract with their constituents and citizens? What can be said of them today? Do they need to reshape their missions for a new era?

• How Does the Concept of Public Service Professionalism Apply across Sectors? Because public service is not the exclusive domain of government employees, public service professionals may exist in all three sectors. Given this perspective, what defines a public service professional? Should the norms and ethics for public service professionalism differ across sectors? Do they differ in reality?

• Oaths, Ethics Codes, and Codes of Conduct. The oath of the Athenian City State has been associated with the first U.S. public administration program since its founding. The ICMA code of ethics is enforced as an embodiment of stewardship for good government in local governments across the United States. ASPA’s code of ethics was adopted more than a quarter century ago. What do we know about the symbolic and instrumental value of oaths and codes? Can we employ these codes and rules in systematic ways to improve the public standing and performance of public service professionals?

• How Can the Professions and Professionals Be Developed for Public Service Professionalism? The models of professional education are becoming more standardized over time. MDs, JDs, and MPAs are now shaped in ways more similar than different. How suitable are our models of professional education for developing public service professionals? In what ways do models for professional development need to change?

• Does the Idea of Public Service Professionalism Resonate Internationally, beyond the Boundaries of the U.S.? The idea of and consciousness about professionalism in American public administration is, as noted above, quite recent. If profession is relatively new to the American context, what is its status around the globe? Does public service professionalism have universal attributes or is it another example of American exceptionalism?

If you are interested in having a proposal considered for this special series of articles, then send a one-page (maximum of 500 words) title and description of the article you propose to James L. Perry, Editor-in-chief, Public Administration Review at perry@indiana.edu.  Receipt of your proposal by November 15, 2012 will assure its consideration for the ASPA anniversary volume.

Employment Opportunities

In the News


Carey, Benedict. Report Sees Less Impact in New Autism Definition. New York Times. 2 October 2012.

Proposed changes to the official diagnosis of autism will not reduce the proportion of children found to have it as steeply as many have feared, scientists reported on Tuesday, in an analysis that contradicts several previous studies. Continue reading…

Drugs & Pharmaceuticals

Park, Alice. Meningitis Outbreak Grows, Highlighting Dangers of Compounding Pharmacies. Time. 4 October 2012.

Health officials are hunting for the source of a meningitis outbreak among dozens of people who received steroid injections to treat back pain. So far, 35 people have fallen ill with fungal meningitis and five have died after receiving shots in the spine. Health officials expect the case count to rise, warning that hundreds, if not thousands of patients who received epidural steroid injections could be at risk. The fungus, Aspergillus, causing illness may have contaminated the steroid injections at some point in the manufacturing process, but investigators are still searching for the cause. Continue reading…

Christopher, Paul. Addicted to Painkillers, Unready for Help. New York Times. 1 October 2012. “I’m addicted to painkillers,” J., a thickset construction worker, told me on a recent afternoon in the emergency room, his wife at his side. Two years before, after months of pain, stiffness and swelling in his hands and neck, his primary physician had diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis and had prescribed three medications: two to slow the disease and one, oxycodone, for pain. Continue reading…

Food & Nutrition

McGrath, Matt. California Battle Over GM labels. BBC. 4 October 2012. 

Voters in California will decide on a proposal next month that would require the labelling of most foods made with genetically modified ingredients. Continue reading…


Kolata, Gina. Infant DNA Tests Speed Diagnosis of Rare Diseases. New York Times. 3 October 2012.

This new method, published on Wednesday in the magazine Science Translational Medicine, is a proof of concept — a demonstration in four babies that it is possible to quickly scan a baby’s entire DNA and pinpoint a disease-causing mutation in a couple of days instead of the more typical weeks or months. The study’s investigators said the test could be one of the first practical fruits of the revolution in sequencing an individual’s entire DNA. Continue reading…

Health Care

Rabin, Roni Caryn. When Doctors Stop Taking Insurance. New York Times. 1 October 2012.

Private health insurance used to be the ticket to a doctor’s appointment. But that’s no longer the case in some affluent metropolitan enclaves, where many physicians no longer accept insurance and require upfront payment from patients — cash, checks and credit cards accepted. Continue reading…

Landro, Laura. Access to Doctor’s Notes Aids Patients’ Treatment. Wall Street Journal. 1 October 2012.

Patients who have access to doctor’s notes in their medical records are more likely to understand their health issues, recall what the doctor told them and take their medications as prescribed, according to a study published Monday. Continue reading…

Public Health

Rosenthal, Elisabeth. To Encourage Biking, Cities Lose the Helmets. New York Times. 29 September 2012.

One spectacular Sunday in Paris last month, I decided to skip museums and shopping to partake of something even more captivating for an environment reporter: Vélib, arguably the most successful bike-sharing program in the world. In their short lives, Europe’s bike-sharing systems have delivered myriad benefits, notably reducing traffic and its carbon emissions. A number of American cities — including New York, where a bike-sharing program is to open next year — want to replicate that success. Continue reading…


Stein, Rob. Scientists Create Fertile Eggs From Mouse Stem Cells. NPR. 4 October 2012.

Scientists in Japan report they have created eggs from stem cells in a mammal for the first time. And the researchers went on to breed healthy offspring from the eggs they created. While the experiments involved mice, the work is being met with excitement — and questions — about doing the same thing for humans someday. Continue reading…

Research Ethics

Zimmer, Carl. Misconduct Widespread in Retracted Science Papers, Study Finds. New York Times. 1 October 2012.

Last year the journal Nature reported an alarming increase in the number of retractions of scientific papers — a tenfold rise in the previous decade, to more than 300 a year across the scientific literature. Continue reading…

Patient-Led Advocacy Has Changed How U.S. Government Funds Medical Research. ScienceDaily. 1 October 2012.

Patient-led advocacy has created a shift in the way the U.S. government has prioritized funding for medical research, and significantly changed the way policymakers think about who benefits the most from these dollars, a University of Michigan School of Public Health fellow in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Research Program found. Continue reading…

In the Journals

Juengst, Eric T.; Flatt, Michael A.; Settersten, Richard A. Jr. Personalized Genomic Medicine and the Rhetoric of Empowerment. Hastings Center Report. September-October 2012.

A decade after the completion of the Human Genome Project, the widespread appeal of personalized genomic medicine’s vision and potential virtues for health care remains compelling. Advocates argue that our current medical regime “is in crisis as it is expensive, reactive, inefficient, and focused largely on one size fits all treatments for events of late stage disease.” What is revolutionary about this kind of medicine, its advocates maintain, is that it promises to resolve that crisis by simultaneously increasing the ability to be “personalized,” “predictive,” “preventive,” and “participatory.” Some call personalized genomic medicine “P4 Medicine,” inscribing these cardinal virtues into the movement’s name.

All of these putative virtues have interesting implications for the future of health care. In this essay, we are especially interested in the claims that personalized medicine will lead to a more “participatory” or “patient-centered” approach to health care, in which patients are “empowered” to take more personal control over their care. The rhetoric of patient empowerment is nothing new in health care, but personalized medicine is an interesting case study because it portrays empowerment as one of its key virtues and as a mechanism for fixing the health care “crisis.” Continue reading…

Laranjeira, Carlos. The role of narrative and metaphor in the cancer life story: a theoretical analysis. Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy. October 2012.

Being diagnosed with cancer can be one of those critical incidents that negatively affect the self. Identity is threatened when physical, psychological, and social consequences of chronic illness begin to erode one’s sense of self and challenge an individual’s ability to continue to present the self he or she prefers to present to others. Based on the notion of illness trajectory and adopting a Ricoeurian narrative perspective, this theoretical paper shall explore the impact of cancer disease on identity and establish the crucial importance of metaphor in the narratives of life with cancer. Findings indicate that in cancer narratives the illness experience supplies the narrative structure with temporal and spatial meeting points that make the narrative comprehensible and meaningful. Cancer forces identity changes not only from having to endure the long-term physical and psychosocial effects of the disease, but also from inevitable existential questions about life’s meaning. Improved medical knowledge today means improved ethnomedical practices. Metaphor can bridge the gap between the cancer experience and the world of technology and treatment, helping patients to symbolically control their illness. Continue reading…

Rady, Mohamed, Y.; Verheijde, Rady and Joseph L. Brain-Dead Patients are not Cadavers: The Need to Revise the Definition of Death in Muslim Communities. Healthcare Ethics Committees Forum. 2012.

The utilitarian construct of two alternative criteria of human death increases the supply of transplantable organs at the end of life. Neither the neurological criterion (heart-beating donation) nor the circulatory criterion (non-heart-beating donation) is grounded in scientific evidence but based on philosophical reasoning. A utilitarian death definition can have unintended consequences for dying Muslim patients: (1) the expedited process of determining death for retrieval of transplantable organs can lead to diagnostic errors, (2) the equivalence of brain death with human death may be incorrect, and (3) end-of-life religious values and traditional rituals may be sacrificed. Therefore, it is imperative to reevaluate the two different types and criteria of death introduced by the Resolution (Fatwa) of the Council of Islamic Jurisprudence on Resuscitation Apparatus in 1986. Although we recognize that this Fatwa was based on best scientific evidence available at that time, more recent evidence shows that it rests on outdated knowledge and understanding of the phenomenon of human death. We recommend redefining death in Islam to reaffirm the singularity of this biological phenomenon as revealed in the Quran 14 centuries ago. Continue reading… 

Wike, Victoria, S. Where Should They Go? Undocumented Immigrants and Long-Term Care in the United States. Healthcare Ethics Committees Forum. July 2012.

In this paper, I consider the question of where illegal immigrants should go once their lives have been saved in hospitals and they are ready to be transferred to long-term care situations. I highlight three recent cases in which such a decision was made. In one case, the patient was kept at the hospital, in another the patient was repatriated to his home country, and in the third, the patient was discharged to his family. I consider the relevant moral values and argue that for reasons of fairness we must develop a policy that treats similar cases in similar ways. In order to best uphold patient well-being and minimize costs, the plan proposed here calls for illegal immigrants to be covered by insurance for long-term care. Continue reading…


Ars Technica

Timmer, John. Research fraud exploded over the last decade. October 1, 2012.

A number of studies have spotted a worrisome trend: although the number of scientific journals and articles published is increasing each year, the rate of papers being retracted as invalid is increasing even faster. Some of these are being retracted due to obvious ethical lapses—fraudulent data or plagiarism—but some past studies have suggested errors and technical problems were the cause of the majority of problems. Continue reading…

Los Angeles Times 

Editorial. Suicides in Solitary. October 3, 2012.

Prison gang members are among the worst of the worst, felons who sometimes continue to kill from behind bars as they smuggle orders to other gang members on the outside. It makes sense to take special measures to protect society from such hard cases. But should that mean housing them in isolated conditions so inhumane that they can be driven insane? Continue reading…

Editorial. On torture, Romney’s wrong. October 3, 2012.

As a general proposition, Mitt Romney’s campaign has striven to distance itself from the George W. Bush administration. But the candidate and his advisors seem intent on restoring one of that administration’s most discredited policies: the use of torture to extract information from suspected terrorists. Such a return to what President Obama rightly has called a “dark and painful chapter in our history” would endanger, not enhance, American security. Continue reading…

Editorial. Kids, put down those sodas. September 28, 2012.

Was the American Beverage Assn. trying to defend sugary sodas when it said last week that they amounted to just 7% of the typical American’s caloric intake? The association may have thought that sounded like very little, but it’s actually a lot. For a person eating 2,000 calories a day — the level the federal government assumes in calculating nutritional requirements — consuming 7% fewer soda calories would theoretically lead to a loss of 14 pounds a year, with little if any loss of nutrients. Continue reading…

New York Times 

Editorial. Contraception and religious liberty. October 3, 2012.

Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, prominent Republicans and other social conservatives have spent the past year making inflammatory allegations that an Obama administration rule requiring employer health plans to cover birth control without a co-pay tramples on religious freedom. An important federal court decision issued Friday rejected that attack as without foundation. Continue reading… 


Helmuth, Laura. Why is Romney Campaigning on Medical Quackery? September 29, 2012.

Let’s play doctor. A patient comes to you with joint pain, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, poor attention, and mood swings. You might run a series of tests to rule out a persistent infection or other disorder. If your patient lives in a tick- and Lyme-disease-infested area, you would be wise to test for the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and, if detected, prescribe a course of antibiotics. But suppose the tests come back negative and there is little evidence that your patient was bitten by a tick or was infected with the Lyme disease bacterium. If you are a good doctor, and you are, you might explore a diagnosis of depression, a disease that afflicts almost 10 percent of the population at any given time. Continue reading…


The Petrie-Flom Center Staff

The Petrie-Flom Center staff often posts updates, announcements, and guests posts on behalf of others.

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