Please click an article title below to read more.

I Should Have Read More History

March 9, 2022 • Posted in Blog

D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A. Executive Director

As a teenager, I decided I wanted to be a physician — to help people. I also naively thought that medicine was apolitical. I should have read more history. If I had, I might have come across the story of Ignác Fülöp Semmelweis.

Semmelweis was born to Hungarian parents slightly more than 200 years ago, in 1818. Although he began to study law, he ended up graduating from medical school in 1844. Other plans of his changed as well. When he did not land a position in internal medicine, he spent four extra months training to ...read more

The Rubicon

July 30, 2018 • Posted in Blog

D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A. Executive Director

The law in the Roman Republic in 49 B.C. was very clear about an army crossing a small stream outside Rome: it was considered an act of war. Julius Caesar knew this, and led his 13th Legion across that stream, declaring, in the historian Suetonius’ words, “The die is cast!” Caesar and his army did not turn back, but continued on to war, and ultimately defeated Pompey the Great. This turning point in history is referenced whenever we talk about approaching a point of no return and utter the phrase, “crossing the Rubicon.”

“The Rubicon” sculpture ...read more

Medicine’s Schizophrenic Approach to Suicide

June 14, 2018 • Posted in Blog

D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A. Executive Director

On 10 May 2018, Medscape Medical News published an article about the recent suicides — five days apart — of an NYU psychiatry resident and a medical student. Marcia Frellick, reporting for Medscape, wrote

The university confirmed the deaths to Medscape Medical News in a statement: “We were saddened to learn of the recent deaths of one of our medical students and one of our psychiatry residents, both by suicide. Counseling and support services are being offered to students, faculty, and staff. On behalf of the institution, we extend our deepest condolences to their families, friends, ...read more

First Human Embryos Edited in U.S.: A Bright Red Line Is Crossed

July 28, 2017 • Posted in Blog

D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A. Executive Director

“Sooner than we expected”: A friend – a scientist steeped in the bioethics realm – wrote to me of her surprise at the announcement of the first embryonic humans edited in the United States. Steve Connor, writing in the MIT Technology Review, reported the work on 26 July 2017.  Doubtless, the publication of the work in a scientific journal will follow.

The article, “First human embryos edited in U.S.” by Steve Connor, describes the process thusly: “A person familiar with the research says ‘many tens’ of human IVF embryos were created for the experiment using the ...read more

Helping Patients Live vs. Helping Them Die

June 6, 2017 • Posted in Blog

D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A. Executive Director

Cultural Suicide On Sunday, 28 May 2017, The Tennessean published a full page set of articles on the problem of suicide amongst the armed forces in our nation. The year 2012 saw a peak of 22 U.S. veterans killing themselves per day (Jake Lowary, “‘I can’t do barbecues:’ Veteran says“). The Department of Veterans Affairs plans a 7.5 percent budget increase to $186.1 million in 2018 — all to address suicide prevention, the department’s “highest clinical priority” (Jake Lowary, “Suicide rising in the military, but some programs give veterans hope“).

In light of these sobering statistics, it ...read more

Choosing Wisely — an initiative of the ABIM Foundation

April 10, 2012 • Posted in Medicine & Health

Nine United States specialty societies representing 374,000 physicians developed lists of “Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question” in recognition of the importance of physician and patient conversations to improve care and eliminate unnecessary tests and procedures.

http://choosingwisely.org/?page_id=13

FDA Okays First Cord Blood Product — medpage TODAY

November 10, 2011 • Posted in Atlas

http://www.medpagetoday.com/HematologyOncology/Hematology/29594

Virulent E. Coli Strain Spreads in Germany and Puzzles Health Officials — New York Times

June 2, 2011 • Posted in Atlas

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/02/world/europe/02ecoli.html

Convicted rapist next in line for organ transplant — BioEdge

May 6, 2011 • Posted in Medicine & Health

http://www.bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/9504/

Crime and Transplants — Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics Bulletin

May 6, 2011 • Posted in Medicine & Health

http://bioethicsbulletin.org/archive/crime-and-transplants/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=crime-and-transplants