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Yale Institution for Social and Policy Studies

Greetings from Stephen Latham, Bioethics Center Director

Our Technology and Ethics group will host its first event this Wednesday, Oct. 14. We'll be hearing from our own Phil Rubin (Haskins Lab), recently returned from his position in the President's Office of Science and Technology Policy, on "Obama's BRAIN: a view of science policy from inside the White House." Details at the link and in the Campus Events calendar below.

Climate change and retreating ice have vastly changed the environmental conditions in the Arctic. Increased sea traffic and other human activity have had a powerful negative impact on the regions sea mammals. On October 29, our Animal Ethics group is sponsoring a public talk by Cheryl Rosa, DVM, PhD, Deputy Director of the US Arctic Research Commission. Cheryl has done extraordinary work dealing with the effects of climate change on polar bears, whales and other Arctic marine mammals. Her talk, which will be held at ISPS at 5:15pm, is entitled,"Arctic Entanglements: Welfare and Survival of Large Whales." The public is invited to this event, which is sponsored in part by a grant from an anonymous donor through the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

Our sister organization, the Program for Biomedical Ethics at the Medical School, will host Dr. Joel Frader (Pediatrics and Bioethics, Northwestern) on October 21, speaking on "Ethical Challenges in Pediatric Palliative Care." Details at the link.

If you have an event or an accomplishment you'd like to see mentioned in this Newsletter, email me at stephen.latham@yale.edu with the word "Frimail" in your subject-line.
  Updates from the Summer Institute

Campus Events

Conferences & Off Campus Events

Grants, Fellowships & Jobs

Calls for Papers & Nominations



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Updates from the Summer Institute

From Summer Institute Director Carol Pollard

Congratulations to Zohar Lederman on the publication of his article titled “One Health, Vaccines and Ebola: The Opportunities for Shared Benefits,” by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015.  Please click here to check out the article!

 Congratulations to Marcia Inhorn!  She was interviewed by YaleNews about Dubai becoming the international center for medical care, including in vitro fertilization (IVF).  Her latest book, “Cosmopolitan Conceptions: IVF Sojourns in Global Dubai,” features voices of people who traveled to Dubai at great personal expense to seek IVF treatment. The stories of these “reprotravelers” provide insight into the frustration, pain, fear, and financial burden shouldered by those who are compelled to travel across borders for IVF services.  Please click on this YaleNews article!

Congratulations to Selin Isguven who is doing research at the Yale School of Medicine.  She sent along these two articles to share.  (Thank you Selin!) 

Unite For Sight is hosting its upcoming Third Annual Social Entrepreneurship Institute in New Haven on Friday, October 30th.  For more information, please see: http://www.uniteforsight/institute

Marie Schnebelen writes: “Just to keep you updated, I am currently working on my Master’s in Ethics, part of my combined degree with medicine. I have the oral presentation of the main results of my research concerning "breast cancer and complementary therapies,” which contains slides of patients, at the Georges Canguilhem's Meetings in Strasbourg  this Friday.  I am going to present a poster at the National Conference of the French Association in Supportive Care from October 14-16 in Paris.  The main goal of the poster is to present the results of qualitative research done this year with 2 oncologists, 3 homeopaths, and a nurse. The goal of this research was to find the arguments, against and for, the eventual integration of homeopathy at the hospitals in France. Finally, I met with a physician who worked in a Palliative Unit yesterday afternoon.  I have to write a project defining how we could imagine better education in palliative care by medical students in Strasbourg.  I am very excited and motivated to work on this project.”  (Congratulations Marie!)

Guiomar Micol Levi-Sette wants to remind our students that there are many UN entry-level positions available now (lawyers, political scientists, economists, statisticians, scientists and humanitarians). Please check out the UN website!  (Thanks Guiomar!)

Moira O’Neill writes: “Here is some good news that is of interest to past students who were in the “Living with Disabilities” seminar. Richard LaPointe's case was a focus in the discussion when I taught this seminar, Ethical Considerations on Disability and the Criminal Justice System. Several of our students at the Summer Institute even attended court proceedings and advocated on his behalf.  After 25 years in prison Richard today is free thanks almost entirely to his supporters who persisted in educating about, and advocating for, people with disabilities who become entangled in the criminal justice system.  Thanks a bunch.”  (Thank you, Moira, for the follow-up!  Good to hear from you!)

Megan Hoberg writes: “I hope all is well and you are enjoying the changing of the seasons on the east coast!  I wanted to drop in and give a quick update. Recently, I started volunteering through a hospice organization in metro Detroit. My training process was much more extensive than I anticipated, and I was very grateful for that. I am serving as a patient companion and am fortunate enough to be in their Advanced Hospice Volunteer Certification program that allows for other opportunities, such as working with chaplains and being a part of the interdisciplinary patient plan meeting. There are so many ethical issues surrounding end-of-life, and my experience has been enlightening thus far, especially when looking at access to care issues and how insurance/Medicare plays a significant role in that process. I do not think I ever would have developed the initiative to work with this program if it were not for your visible and contagious passion for end-of-life care, so I truly wanted to thank you for that inspiration to do so. I've been doing some research on my own, but I was wondering to what extent do you think race/class impacts an individual or family's end-of-life decisions?  Of course, religion is a HUGE factor in many of these decisions, as was evident from the panel this year, but I was wondering if you focus solely on race or class, what your thoughts were? Other than that, I am working on getting IRB approval for some survey research that will have, as its goal, examining what citizens perceive as the costs/benefits of the Affordable Care Act and how that relates to their overall attitudes towards the Act. I’m very excited about this! I am still on track for graduation with my BA in philosophy and political science in the Spring and have recently developed an increased interest in going for a Master’s in Bioethics before law school.   I have been in touch with a few schools that seem eager to work with me and my research interests, and that makes me hopeful.  I will definitely be keeping you posted...and possibly coming to you with questions in the near future! I hope planning for next year's program is going well.  I 'm already looking forward to returning for the Symposium! Again, I just want to express my immense gratitude for all that you helped me with over the summer.  I am so thankful to have had such a great experience at Yale and to be exposed to an atmosphere that truly fostered such a positive environment for learning.  Hope all is well, and I look forward to hearing from you whenever you get a chance.”  (Congratulations!  Megan, let’s talk this next week.  So proud of all that you are doing!)

I just had an interview with a writer for the communications department at the University of South Carolina; she is doing an article about the students from the University of South Carolina who come to the Summer Institute.  (Yeah!)

Sierra Alef-Defoe writes: “To all my generous donors, I wanted to give you a final update on Obliteride 2015! With fundraising now closed, I am very excited to report that you helped me raise $2,500, exceeding my goal by 25%!  Obliteride in total raised over $2 million this year! The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, which Obliteride raises money for, just put out their annual report, so I wanted to share some highlights:

‘Breakthrough’ treatment boosts survival in battle with deadly brain tumor:

Dr. Jim Olson's Tumor Paint advances to clinical trial for children with brain cancer:

I am studying abroad in Europe this year, and will soon be shadowing in the pediatric cancer unit here in Lyon, France.  I'm still riding my bike around, too! (click here for a photo!).  I'm really hoping to ride in Obliteride 2016 as well -- updates to come! :)  Thank you so much again for your support!” (Good Luck, Sierra, with all that you are doing!)

Congratulations to Erik Parens, Hastings Center Scholar, on the publication of his co-edited special issue of the Hastings Center Report, The Genetics of Intelligence: Ethics and the Conduct of Trustworthy Research. The full issue can be read online here.

Tom Robey will be speaking at the Avon, Connecticut, Public Library in a continuing education program titled “Medical Ethics: A Dialogue.”  Presentations are titled: “Safety Net Medicine (Just Another Day at Work in the ER)”; “Death on Your Own Terms: Making Sense of End-of-Life Planning”; and “Who Gets What When: How Disasters Collide with Ethics and Medicine.” Please click here for advertisements for the talks. (Congratulations Tom!)

The Solomon Center for Health Law and Policy at Yale Law School and the Yale School of Management invite you to a cutting-edge interdisciplinary conference on the fundamental changes in the healthcare industry that have occurred in the wake of the ACA.  Speakers include: Kathleen Sebelius, Alex Azar, Stephen Brill, Troy Brennan, and Maura Healey.  The Conference is titled “The New Health Care Industry: Integration, Consolidation, Competition in the Wake of the Affordable Care Act and is taking place November 12-13.  All are welcome to attend!

Child Trends, an organization that produces research on children’s issues, can be contacted at staff@childtrends.org. Their e-newsletter is excellent – and they also have paying research positions open and are looking for candidates to fill them.  Here is an example of the work they do from their e-newsletter:

              “Child Poverty: Still struggling after Great Recession”

Growing up poor can have long-term effects on physical and emotional development, and achievement in academics and the workforce.  Two recent Census bureau reports highlight child poverty, allowing Child Trends to examine trends over the course of the great Recession. The official poverty rate for children has not rebounded to its pre-recession levels despite the economic recovery underway – in 2014, it was 21.1 percent.

Please see the Articles I’ve prepared for you!


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This Week on Campus

Wednesday, Oct. 14

The Technology and Ethics group of the Bioethics Center presents Philip Rubin, Senior Advisor to the President of Haskins Laboratories and Professor Adjunct, Dept. of Surgery, Yale School of Medicine, speaking on: "Obama’s BRAIN: a view of science policy from inside the White House." Rosenkranz room 05, 4:30 pm.

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Conferences & Off Campus Events

Pre-Approval Access: Can Compassion, Business, and Medicine Coexist?

October 28 - 29, 2015

The New York Academy of Sciences | NYC

Presented by the NYU School of Medicine and the New York Academy of Sciences

Patients who have a serious condition for which no satisfactory alternative therapy exists and who cannot enter a clinical trial may, under certain circumstances, gain access to new investigational medicines through what is known as “pre-approval access” or “compassionate use.”  The benefits of such non-approved medicines may outweigh the potential risks for many critically ill patients. However, a number of ethical and safety concerns have been raised relating to the safety, equitability and social value of such access. This two-day colloquium will address these important issues. Event is free, but pre-registration is required; information at the link above.

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Grants, Fellowships, & Jobs

Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R), a 41-year-old, educational nonprofit organization based in Boston, dedicated to advancing the highest ethical standards in the conduct of research, seeks a full-time Director of Programs. PRIM&R is primarily concerned with biomedical, social science, and behavioral research with human subjects, as well as research involving animals. We accomplish our mission through education, membership services, professional certification, public policy initiatives, and community building. Visit www.primr.org for more information.

The Center for Narrative Practice is pleased to announce that the 2016-2017 Low Residency Certificate in Narrative Practice will begin on August 22, 2016, and that applications are now being accepted.  The certificate program provides an intensive introduction to the theory, methods, and applications of narrative practice. Students will collaborate with professionals from diverse fields, disciplines, and backgrounds, and will receive practical training that can be incorporated into their lives and careers.  The certificate program requires 80 hours of residency in Boston (one week in August 2016, one week in January 2017), and 80 hours of online study (weekly online sessions during the 2016 fall and 2017 spring terms). Click here for more information.

The Division of Medical Ethics in the Department of Population Health of NYU School of Medicine seeks to recruit two Assistant Professor level faculty members for tenure track positions beginning July 1, 2016.  

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Calls for Papers & Nominations

Hiram College's Summer Seminar on Health Humanities Teaching has issued a call for papers for its June 8-11 event, “Emerging Diversities in Health Humanities Teaching.” They are entertaining proposals for Sample Class Sessions, Lightning Talks, and Posters via an easy Wufoo form. Details here.The Initiative on Islam and Medicine at the University of Chicago has a call for abstracts of papers to be presented at its April conference, "Interfaces and Discourses:   A Multidisciplinary Conference on Islamic Theology, Law and Biomedicine." Proposals are due by Wednesday, December 16, 2015. Click here for more information regarding the guidelines for an abstract submission or to submit your abstract.

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Articles of Interest

To read the full text of an article, click on its link and it will open in a new window.  

Some sites may require free registration; others may require that you or your organization have a paid subscription.

In the News


"California governor signs bill legalizing physician-assisted suicide." Reuters, Sharon Bernstein, Oct. 7."

"Assisted dying: What does the law in different countries say?" BBC, Penney Lewis, Oct. 6.

Presumed Consent for Organ Donation

"Organ donation law changes finalised in Welsh assembly," BBC, Oct. 6.

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In the Journals

Access to Experimental Drugs

"Experts critical of America's right-to-try drug laws," Lancet, Rita Rubin, Oct. 3

Genetic Testing

"The Genetics of Intelligence: Ethics and the Conduct of Trustworthy Research," Hastings Center Special Report, Erik Parens and Paul Appelbaum, eds.

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Gun Control and Public Health

"A new way to tackle gun deaths." Nicholas Kristoff, New York Times, Oct. 3.

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Please visit our website at bioethics.yale.edu.

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