Government Should Not Fund Organizations that Kill Innocent Human Beings

Government Should Not Fund Organizations that Kill Innocent Human Beings

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America announced in October that it would no longer accept “reimbursement” for the costs it incurs in making fetal organs and tissues available for scientific research.[1] In the same announcement, the group denied any previous wrongdoing—despite footage of Planned Parenthood officials bargaining over the price of baby body parts. It thereby hoped to put to rest controversy surrounding the group and the recent videos. This missed the point. The government…

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The Fallacy of U.S. and China Hospital Collaborations – Are we able to bridge ideals with realities?

The Fallacy of U.S. and China Hospital Collaborations – Are we able to bridge ideals with realities?

INTRODUCTION AND HISTORY China is the fastest growing consumer market in the world with a burgeoning population that is hungry for increasing goods and services.  With declining reimbursements and increasing regulatory complexity, why not export healthcare from the USA along with Coca-Cola overseas to the largest customer base in the world? Western medicine has, in fact, been in China since the 17th century when Jesuit missionaries brought remedies into China to add to the herbalist…

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Playing constant catchup: Can the world respond to disease crises faster?

Playing constant catchup: Can the world respond to disease crises faster?

Dr. Gary Nabel evoked a famous quote when we spoke recently about the situation the world faces with the Zika virus, the most recent in a string of emerging infectious disease crises. “Einstein said … the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. What we’re doing now fits his definition of insanity,’’ said Nabel, chief scientific officer of global research and development for the pharmaceutical giant Sanofi….

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Precision Medicine in Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

Precision Medicine in Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

Abstract Precision or Personalized Medicine is today an integral part of modern cancer therapy. Iit does not involve tailoring treatment to a person’s specific genome sequence but rather tailoring treatment to mutations found in the patient’s tumor. Much of the buzz about what personalized medicine is based on speculations in areas of medicine where personalized medicine has not yet arrived. My purpose here will be to describe what precision medicine involves today in oncology, how…

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Lessons from Indiana: the case for broader implementation of syringe exchange programs

Lessons from Indiana: the case for broader implementation of syringe exchange programs

Abstract This paper examines the recent HIV outbreak in Indiana and discusses the role of syringe exchange programs (SEPs) as effective interventions for HIV prevention in the US. We also briefly discuss the historical origins of legislation that govern SEP and how some of these policies impede broader implementation of this intervention. Finally, we present evidence for why these policies must change in order to more effectively contain the syndemic of HIV and substance use….

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Simulating the Impact of an Urban Farm Tax Credit Policy in a Low Income Urban Setting

Simulating the Impact of an Urban Farm Tax Credit Policy in a Low Income Urban Setting

Abstract Urban farm tax credits, which incentivize the conversion of vacant lots into community farms, are increasingly being adopted as a means of improving low income urban food environments. At the request of members of the Baltimore City Council, we modified an existing agent-based model of the Baltimore city low income food environment to predict potential impact of the policy on numbers of privately owned vacant lots, fresh produce availability and consumption. The model predicted…

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Improving American Mental Health Policy: No Simple Answers

Improving American Mental Health Policy: No Simple Answers

By Michael B. Friedman, LMSW Adjunct Associate Professor, Columbia University School of Social Work Abstract: This article explores the obvious need for improvements in American mental health policy, noting that the complexity of the system results in a wide range of challenging and contentious policy questions that go beyond health policy and involve social welfare policy, disability policy, criminal justice policy, and more. The complexity arises from the heterogeneity of populations with mental and/or substance…

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In Response to Davis and Gupta: Why Funding Planned Parenthood is Deceptive, Inappropriate, and Should End

In Response to Davis and Gupta: Why Funding Planned Parenthood is Deceptive, Inappropriate, and Should End

I write in response to Anne Davis, MD, MPH and Pratima Gupta, MD, MPH, “Attacks on Planned Parenthood are Ideologically Driven and Dangerous,” Harvard Health Policy Review (Nov. 2015), available here. Drs. Davis and Gupta are admirably frank in asserting the propositions they defend: They believe that abortion is an integral element of “comprehensive reproductive health care.” And they believe that taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood is helpful to the practice of abortion in America,…

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Social Policy is Health Policy: Addressing the “Causes of the Causes” of Health Disparities

Social Policy is Health Policy: Addressing the “Causes of the Causes” of Health Disparities

Author: Rita Hamad, MD MPH MS Instructor of Medicine, Stanford University Although the U.S. boasts the most advanced medical technologies in the world, hundreds of thousands die each year from preventable diseases like stroke and lung cancer. Health disparities between the poor and the rich are starker than in any other high-income country. In this article, Dr. Rita Hamad discusses why a focus on prevention in healthcare settings is not enough. Rather, social and economic…

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In Response to Anderson and George: Why Funding Planned Parenthood Respects Life

In Response to Anderson and George:  Why Funding Planned Parenthood Respects Life

I write in response to Ryan T. Anderson, Ph.D., and Robert P. George, J.D., D. Phil, “Government Should Not Fund Organizations that Kill Innocent Human Beings,” Harvard Health Policy Review (Nov. 2015), available here, arguing that the federal government should defund Planned Parenthood because it provides abortions.[1] These arguments to defund Planned Parenthood are counterproductive and illogical, even from an anti-abortion viewpoint, because defunding would undermine safe attempts to lower rates of abortion. Moreover, while anti-abortion…

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