Jonathan Moreno has been awarded the American Society for Bioethics & Humanities Lifetime Achievement Award
The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Jonathan D. Moreno on Friday, October 19, 3:45 pm at the ASBH Annual Conference. Dr. Moreno will accept ASBH's highest honor and share insights about his career.
Martha Farah Elected to Prestigious British Academy Fellowship
Martha Farah has been made a Fellow of the prestigious British Academy for the humanities and social sciences.
The New Face of Medical Advice: The Online Pregnancy Forum
Expecting moms are turning to the Internet for issues they can’t or won’t discuss with their doctors. An essay by Anna Wexler, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in the department of medical ethics and health policy
This is How Police Killings Affect Black Mental Health
“Nothing will happen to the Police in the Freddie Gray case . . . ” a man tweeted three days after the death of a 25-year-old Baltimore man whose fatal spinal injury while in police custody in 2015 triggered protests throughout the nation. These sentiments — perception of a systemic unfairness and a loss of faith in institutions — are common among black people in the days and months following police killings of unarmed African Americans, according to a study published last month in the medical journal the Lancet. The report analyzed data collected between 2013 and 2016 from 103,710 black adults, finding the incidents to be detrimental to the psyche, adding 1.7 days of poor mental health annually per person. The study also analyzed white Americans’ self-reported mentality after all police killings (of white and black people), determining that “mental health impacts were not observed.”
Sonic attacks: How a medical mystery can sow distrust in foreign governments
The recent evacuation of a group of U.S. diplomatic personnel stationed in Guangzhou, China, revived concerns over an “attack” that originated in Havana in mid-2016. At that time, several U.S. individuals working at the American Embassy in Cuba became ill after hearing sounds in their residences similar to cicadas or being in a car with the windows rolled down. The bizarre noises were accompanied by dizziness, headaches, hearing problems, visual focusing issues and cognitive impairments such as memory loss and difficulty concentrating on their daily routines.
Kanye West tried 'scream therapy' after Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint, Dr. Jonathan Moreno weighs in
The act of screaming is largely viewed as a hysterical, out-of-control response to stress — and science shows it may contribute to cardiovascular disease — but according to a study published in the journal Current Biology, screaming also fills an evolutionary role: To warn of us of danger.
20 at 20: Longstanding Bioethics Master’s Program Milestone
Penn’s interdisciplinary Master of Bioethics (MBE) program is one of the nation's premier programs for bioethics education, attracting exceptional students from both the U.S. and abroad—and it is one of the longest-running such programs, now celebrating its 20th anniversary year. What better way to explore and celebrate the program’s remarkable impact than by getting to know a sampling of its diverse graduates?
How Police Killings Lead To Poor Mental Health In The Black Community
A recent study published in The Lancet Medical journal shows that police killings of unarmed black men leads to poor mental. NPR's Michel Martin talks with study co-author Dr. Atheendar Venkataramani.
Easier Drug Approval Isn’t Cutting Drug Prices
“It’s at least possible that if I know we’ve got to show actual, substantial benefits, or that it’s got to be novel in some way, that I might push harder,” says Dr. Steven Joffe, a pediatric oncologist at the University of Pennsylvania.
Soda ad blitzes conspicuously match food stamp schedules, study says
Food companies have embraced a controversial tactic in their quest to sell more soda, a new study says: timing advertisements for sugary drinks to the days states distribute food stamp benefits. On any given day, grocery shoppers are likely to see soda displays in stores, researchers found. But they are two to four times as likely to come across them when food stamps go out.
DACA program tied to health of U.S.-citizen kids
The U.S. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, has spillover benefits for the health of the young children of DACA-eligible mothers, a recent study suggests. Researchers found that after DACA was implemented, there was a surge in enrollment of these U.S.-born kids aged 5 and younger in the national Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) benefit program.
E-cigarettes disappoint in a workplace quit-smoking study
It’s a big question for smokers and policymakers alike: Do electronic cigarettes help people quit? In a large study of company wellness programs, e-cigarettes worked no better than traditional stop-smoking tools, and the only thing that really helped was paying folks to kick the habit.
Want people to quit smoking? Offer them money.
E-cigarettes, on their own, don’t appear to be very good at saving lives. If you really want to get smokers to quit, you need to build an incentive structure. Consider a study published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study’s authors took some 6,000 smokers enrolled in tobacco-cessation programs through their employers and randomly divided them into five groups. The first received information about the health benefits of not smoking and motivational text messaging. The second received free cessation aids, such as nicotine patches or pharmacotherapy and, if those failed, free e-cigarettes. The third received free e-cigarettes upfront. And the final two received financial incentives — worth up to $600 — if they kept from smoking. The result six months later? Those receiving financial incentives were up to three times more likely to quit than those given free e-cigarettes.
Can Bundled Payments Help Control Health Care Costs?
The U.S. spends more per person on health care than any other major industrialized nation. In fact, costs now reach about 18% of GDP and so anything that can slow the climb – or reverse it – tends to get attention. One promising idea for blunting costs comes from new research on how Medicare experimented with bundled payments for knee and hip replacements. That saved about 5% of total costs. Beyond the monetary gain, that approach also appeared to raise the overall quality of care. Amol Navathe, a professor of medicine and health policy at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine, was part of the research team. He joined the Knowledge@Wharton show, which airs on Wharton Business Radio, SiriusXM channel 111, to discuss the findings.
Dr. Joshua Kayser (MBE 2014), 2018 "Doctor of the Year''
Congratulations to alum Dr. Joshua Kayser (MBE 2014) on receiving the 2018 "Doctor of the Year'' award at the CPL Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center!
The best flu prevention might be behavioral economics
“One of the best examples of a successful nudge was reported last year by University of Pennsylvania researchers who, with a simple tweak in the electronic medical record, increased vaccination rates by almost 40% relative to clinics that did not receive the tech change. The intervention was devastatingly simple: When doctors first logged in to a patient chart, they were prompted to either “accept” or “cancel” an order for the flu shot.”
Is it possible to change bad behavior - permanently?
“With the recently launched Behavior Change for Good Initiative, University of Pennsylvania psychology professor Angela Duckworth and Wharton professor of operations, information and decisions Katherine Milkman are hoping to come up with strategies for change that actually stick. Working with a team of scientists from different disciplines, they’re conducting some of the largest social science experiments ever in an effort to create easy, affordable tools that help people make better daily and long-term decisions about their health, education and savings.”
Announcing New Medical Ethics Fellows
Three outstanding first-year postdocs will be joining the Division of Medical Ethics this summer.
Penn’s Bioethics Film Festival celebrates 200th anniversary of ‘Frankenstein’
“We have very high hopes that technologies like CRISPR will actually help us to address some terrible human afflictions,” said Moreno. “While at the same time, we worry that these hopes could be exploited by unscrupulous people, or that the consequences could be really terrible and set science back.”