Category: Ethics

BladderMax: Fake News and Outrageous Headlines

A newspaper ad for BladderMax is disguised as a news story reporting "the end of bladder leakages." The information is inaccurate and the headlines are preposterous.

/ December 11, 2018

A Culture of Standards Matters

Perhaps the most dangerous effect of the alternative medicine movement has been an erosion of the culture of dedication to science and standards within medicine. This has to change.

/ September 12, 2018

Clínica 0-19: False hope in Monterrey for brain cancer patients (part 2 of 3)

Last week, I discussed Clínica 0-19, a clinic in Monterrey, Mexico whose doctors claim to be able to treat the deadly brainstem cancer DIPG using intra-arterial chemotherapy and immunotherapy. This week, I discuss what I've learned since last week, specifically a lot more about just what it is that these doctors do, why it is scientifically dubious and unproven, and why I...

/ July 2, 2018

TIC’D OFF

Two years ago we discussed the TicTocStop, a dental appliance that the inventors assured us would help mitigate the symptoms of Tourette Syndrome. In the intervening years things have...not gone well. This illustrates the need for skepticism regarding questionable medical claims, and the importance of initiatives like AllTrials to ensure the good, the bad, and the ugly research is available to everyone.

/ May 4, 2018

Is the use of “Open-Label” Placebo Ethical in the Treatment of Children?

Is the use of "open-label" placebo ethical in pediatric medical care, or any care for that matter? A recent article in Pediatrics discussing this issue comes to a flawed conclusion based on a misunderstanding of placebo and of the literature on placebo without deception.

/ August 25, 2017

Sen. Ron Johnson: Holding the bill funding the FDA hostage unless the cruel sham that is right-to-try is added to it

Advocates claim that "right-to-try" laws help terminally patients by allowing them access to experimental drugs before approval, when, in fact, such laws strip legal and regulatory protections from patients using such drugs and their purpose is actually to undermine and weaken the FDA. Now advocates led by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) are making a new push to pass right-to-try by embedding it...

/ July 17, 2017

The sad but unexpectedly hopeful cancer saga of Cassandra Callender

I've frequently discussed the stories of teenagers with cancer who either refuse chemotherapy or whose parents refuse chemotherapy for them. The case of Cassandra Callender is the same, yet different, from many of these unfortunate and sad sagas in that she was older when diagnosed with cancer and that she realized her mistake. I can now only hope that it's not too...

/ June 19, 2017

The Ethics of Involuntary Pediatric Drug Testing

Although it may seem like a good idea, testing for recreational drug use on an adolescent patient without consent is ethically questionable, challenging to interpret, and unlikely to benefit patient or family.

/ June 16, 2017

Does society try to shame and shun vaccine refusers and the vaccine-averse?

Antivaxers often complain that they are judged harshly, even shunned. A recent study suggests that, to some extent, they might well be. But are judging, shaming, and shunning parents who refuse to vaccinate their children wrong? More importantly, what about the children, who didn’t choose not to be vaccinated, and how likely is such stigmatization to change behavior?

/ June 12, 2017

Naturopathic Experiences: Remembrance of things past.

Interacting with patients who also get care from naturopaths: uncomfortable dilemmas.

/ April 14, 2017