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Bioethics, Psychedelic Therapy Abuse, and the Risk of Ethics Washing

By Tehseen Noorani and Neşe Devenot


The academic discipline of bioethics is becoming a prominent arena for the discussion of ethics abuses in psychedelic therapy. With this being a relatively new topic of research for bioethics, it may be opportune to consider blind spots in the discipline’s own gaze and operations, which can otherwise hinder effective engagement with the issues at hand. We write in the wake of an extensive search by Gather Well Psychedelics, a psychedelic therapy training organization, to contract professional bioethicists to conduct an ethics audit of their organization. We ask, what challenges arise for bioethicists offering professional services when taking on commissions to work for organizations such as Gather Well that are emerging out of the psychedelic underground?

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colorful soap bubble bursting.

Introductory Editorial — Critical Psychedelic Studies: Correcting the Hype

By Neşe Devenot

Since the 2022 publication of “Preparing for the Bursting of the Psychedelic Hype Bubble,” a JAMA Psychiatry Viewpoint by David Yaden and colleagues, a wave of scholarship and commentaries has emphasized the ethical importance of nuanced science communication about the still-nascent field of psychedelic medicine.

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UN United Nations general assembly building with world flags flying in front - First Avenue, New York City, NY, USA

Disability Participation and Empowerment in the Context of Climate Action: A Human Rights Obligation

By Elisavet Athanasia Alexiadou

States have a human rights obligation to promote the full, meaningful, and informed participation of persons with disabilities in the context of policy-making and decision-making processes about climate change.

This essay seeks to explain the basis for this obligation, outline its scope, and elucidate how states can ensure its fulfillment.

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Giant Sea Wall, Jakarta, Indonesia - August 28 2021: A four meters wall built to prevent sea water comes in the inner land due to sea level rise. The fastest sinking city. (Masjid Tenggelam)

Examining the Climate Change-Migration Nexus from a Disability Lens

By Divya Goyal

Growing interest in recognizing and promoting migration as a form of climate adaptation risks exacerbating existing inequalities and generating new ones for disabled people.

Scholars, policymakers, and advocates in this field need to pay greater attention to the impact of climate-induced migration on disabled people, document the experiences of disabled people with climate-induced migration and displacement — with a particular focus on their vulnerabilities and capabilities — and deliberate on strategies to build the adaptive capacity and resilience of disabled people.

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small person standing with megaphone speaking toward an ear with a red "x" over it.

Beyond Vulnerability: Disability, Epistemic Agency, and Climate Action

By Sarah Bell

When considered in climate policy, disabled people are typically homogenized as climate “victims;” a framing that does little to address the social or political conditions that create these circumstances or to recognize the potential contributions of disabled people as knowledgeable agents of change.

This piece highlights the failure to recognize the knowledges of disabled people as a form of epistemic injustice, whereby the capacity of disabled people as knowers or “epistemic agents” that produce, use and/or transmit knowledge is repeatedly misrecognized or undermined.

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Supreme Court of the United States.

The Federal Judiciary Is Broken — But Not for the Reason You Think

By Jennifer Bard

Recent events, including the discovery that Justice Thomas has been accepting luxury vacations from and selling real estate to a billionaire, and the Fifth Circuit’s finding in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. FDA that federal courts have the power to modify the conditions under which the FDA can approve a drug, may seem separate. But they’re not. Both involve a threat to our constitutional government and both highlight the need to shield all federal decision makers from entities with billions at stake and a fiduciary interest in increasing the value of their company for the benefit of shareholders. And while issues of influence affecting Supreme Court Justices attract the most attention, the factors that make Justices targets extend across the entire federal judiciary.

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Medical armored personnel carrier. Medical cross on the armor of an armored vehicle against the background of the flag of Ukraine at exhibition ARMS AND SECURITY - 2021. Kiev. Ukraine - June 18, 2021.

Sutures for Ukraine: The Medical Case for City Diplomacy

By Vrushab Gowda, Leslie Appleton, and Jesse Ehrenfeld

The war in Ukraine has brought nothing less than an unmitigated humanitarian catastrophe. Health care infrastructure has been deliberately — and systematically — targeted by Russian forces since the very outset of the invasion. Hospitals have been bombed, internal displacement has uprooted providers from their communities, and rail lines have come under sustained bombardment from cruise missiles, hindering the resupply of frontline towns. All of this has exacerbated the demands on an already fragile health care system, which strains to keep up. The Ukrainian people urgently need practical solutions.

Enter city diplomacy. In parallel to official channels of federal aid, American cities can play a decisive role in supporting their Ukrainian counterparts under threat. An “Adopt-a-City” campaign could leverage preexisting ties within a sister cities context (like Los Angeles and Kiev, if approved), which can be bolstered and intensified. Where these relationships do not exist, they can be created. New York could “adopt” Odessa. Atlanta, Kharkiv. Houston, Dnipro.

City departments of health would take center stage throughout all of this. Unlike howitzers, ammunition, electrical grids, and water supplies, medical aid is readily portable across international lines and can be concentrated in urban settings. An “Adopt-a-City” platform would provide a unified vehicle for channeling it, permitting American cities to render material and infrastructural assistance alike.

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Medicine doctor and stethoscope in hand touching icon medical network connection with modern virtual screen interface, medical technology network concept

AI in Digital Health: Autonomy, Governance, and Privacy

The following post is adapted from the edited volume AI in eHealth: Human Autonomy, Data Governance and Privacy in Healthcare.

By Marcelo Corrales Compagnucci and Mark Fenwick

The emergence of digital platforms and related technologies are transforming healthcare and creating new opportunities and challenges for all stakeholders in the medical space. Many of these developments are predicated on data and AI algorithms to prevent, diagnose, treat, and monitor sources of epidemic diseases, such as the ongoing pandemic and other pathogenic outbreaks. However, these opportunities and challenges often have a complex character involving multiple dimensions, and any mapping of this emerging ecosystem requires a greater degree of inter-disciplinary dialogue and more nuanced appreciation of the normative and cognitive complexity of these issues.

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