TODAY – Deceased Organ Donation and Allocation: 3 Experiments in Market Design

Sorry for the late notice, but we just learned that Al Roth will be giving a talk with this title TODAY @ 3:30 at Stanford.  More info here.

Al has also pointed us to two relevant posts over at his Market Design blog:

Allocating deceased donor kidneys for transplant: problems, some proposed changes, and how can we get more donors?

Two recent NY Times stories discuss the allocation of deceased donor kidneys:

A few different things are intertwined here: the long waiting lists, the congested process of offering kidneys and having them accepted or rejected and offered to the next person on the list, and the ordering of the list, which in turn might influence how often people need a second transplant, which comes back to how long the waiting lists are…There are lots of interesting and important questions about how to most efficiently allocate the scarce supply (see e.g. Zenios et al.)But organ allocation has an unusual aspect: how organs are allocated may also influence the supply, by changing donation behavior. [And this is the topic of Al’s talk today.]

Older kidneys work fine (thank you for asking:)

Older Kidneys Work Fine for Transplants“Using data from more than 50,000 living donor transplants from 1998 through 2003, researchers at the University of British Columbia concluded that the age of the donor made no difference to the eventual success of the transplant — except for recipients ages 18 to 39, who were more likely to succeed with a donor their own age. Patients in this group accounted for about a quarter of all the patients studied. The scientists also analyzed lists of people waiting for a kidney from a deceased donor and found that the probability of becoming ineligible for donation within three years was high, varying from 21 percent to 66 percent, depending on age, blood group and severity of disease. Waiting can be fatal, the authors contend, and an offer of a kidney should not be rejected simply because of the donor’s age.”

Symposium: Freedom of Choice at the End of Life, Nov. 16

By Nadia N. Sawicki

New York Law School’s Justice Action Center is hosting a symposium on elder law on Friday, November 16, titled “Freedom of Choice at the End of Life: Patients’ Rights in a Shifting Legal and Political Landscape.”   A number of Bill of Health bloggers (myself included) will be speaking at this event, which will address topics including legal and practical impediments to honoring end-of-life wishes, the practicalities of drafting and using advance planning tools, pain management and palliative care, futility, and ethical dilemmas in end-of-life care.  You can register here.

Congratulations to the 2012 Health Law Scholars!

This past weekend was the eleventh annual Health Law Scholars Workshop, and I wanted to take a minute to congratulate the 2012 Scholars: Alena Allen (Memphis), Leo Beletsky (Northeastern), Christina Ho (Rutgers-Newark), and Lindsay Wiley (American).  Each scholar had two hours dedicated to a discussion of their work, with expert reviewers including Rebecca Dresser (Wash U), Elizabeth Weeks Leonard (Georgia), Kevin Outterson (Boston University), Ted Ruger (Penn), and Rob Schwartz (New Mexico/Hastings), along with the health law faculty at the Center for Health Law Studies, Saint Louis University.  The Workshop is sponsored by the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics and SLU’s Center for Health Law Studies, and scholars are selected by a health law committee through blind peer review.  To date there have been 44 scholars, including many contributors to Bill of Health.

Upcoming Event – The Valuation of Life and Health in Government Policies

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Harvard Kennedy School
Belfer Center, Room 1

Jonathan Wolff will be discussing the valuation of life and health in government policies.  Free and open to the public.  Stop by if you’re in Cambridge!

(And don’t forget about Michael Sandel’s talk, “What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets” – which is unfortunately at a conflicting time at the law school. Take your pick!)

HLS Health Law Policy Workshop – Professor Nick Bagley on Physician Bureaucrats: Why Medicare Reform Hasn’t Worked

The Petrie-Flom Center at Harvard Law School is pleased to announce this year’s Health Law Policy, Biotechnology and Bioethics Workshop. We’re delighted again to welcome a stellar lineup of leading researchers and opinion-makers in fields at the intersection of health and law.  Professors Einer Elhauge and Glenn Cohen lead the 2012-13 workshop series.

The workshop’s next presenter is Nick Bagley, Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Michigan Law School.  He will be presenting his paper, “Physician Bureaucrats: Why Medicare Reform Hasn’t Worked,” on Monday, September 24th.  A PDF of the paper is available here.

Workshops are held on selected Monday evenings, from 5-7 pm in Hauser Hall, room 105.  The schedule for Fall 2012 can be found below.  Workshops are open to the public and copies of papers will generally be posted a week in advance on the Petrie-Flom Website:

Upcoming Event – Health Care Reform: A View from Both Sides, 9/25/12

Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Austin Hall, Classroom 111
Harvard Law School

If you’re going to be in Cambridge next week, please join us for a special off-the-record debate on American health care reform, moderated by the Petrie-Flom Center’s Founding Faculty Director, Einer Elhauge.  John McDonough, official surrogate of the Obama campaign and director of the Center for Public Health Leadership at the Harvard School of Public Health, and Oren Cass, domestic policy director for the Romney campaign, will discuss what each candidate would mean for the future of US health policy.

This event is free and open to the public.  No reporting will be permitted without the express permission of the speakers. Lunch and refreshments will be served.

Co-sponsored by the Petrie-Flom Center, HLS Democrats, HLS Republicans, and HLS American Constitution Society.

Upcoming Event – What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets, 9/19/12

The Petrie-Flom Center will be co-sponsoring this lecture by Michael Sandel, the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government at Harvard University, on his recent book What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets published earlier this year. A question and answer period with Prof. Sandel and a small reception will immediately follow his lecture.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
2019 Milstein West Conference Center, Rooms A & B
Wasserstein Hall, Harvard Law School

Upcoming Event – Petrie-Flom Center Open House, 09/18/12

This year marks the start of the Petrie-Flom Center’s 8th year at Harvard Law School.  If you’re in town, please join us at our annual open house to meet our affiliates and learn more about some exciting new initiatives we’ll be launching.  We’ll have information on our events and programs scheduled for the upcoming semester, as well as information about the vast array of programs and organizations focusing on health policy, biotechnology, and bioethics across Harvard.

September 18, 2012
Petrie-Flom Center
23 Everett St. 
Third Floor Conference Room
Cambridge, MA 02138


Alan Wertheimer at HLS tonight

Short notice, but…

Alan Wertheimer will be presenting his draft paper “Why Is Consent a Requirement for Ethical Research?” tonight at the Health Law Policy and Bioethics Workshop at Harvard Law School.

These workshops take place on selected Mondays from 5-7pm, Hauser Hall, Room 105. This year’s schedule can be found here.  Open to the public – check it out if you’re in town.