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medical ethics


  • "Follow the Science," but Explain and Apologize

    by Susan M. Reverby

    Governments need to establish trust so that their public health announcements are credible and persuasive, but have undermined that trust by conducting ethically questionable studies. A model of apology is part of the solution. 


  • The Troubling History of a Black Man's Heart

    by Chip Jones

    What Virginia doctors saw as a triumphant achievement was a devastating indictment of medical racism and institutional disregard for the dignity of a Black man and his family.



  • Rebecca Skloot: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the Sequel

    Rebecca Skloot is the author of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”LAST week, scientists sequenced the genome of cells taken without consent from a woman named Henrietta Lacks. She was a black tobacco farmer and mother of five, and though she died in 1951, her cells, code-named HeLa, live on. They were used to help develop our most important vaccines and cancer medications, in vitro fertilization, gene mapping, cloning. Now they may finally help create laws to protect her family’s privacy — and yours.The family has been through a lot with HeLa: they didn’t learn of the cells until 20 years after Lacks’s death, when scientists began using her children in research without their knowledge. Later their medical records were released to the press and published without consent. Because I wrote a book about Henrietta Lacks and her family, my in-box exploded when news of the genome broke. People wanted to know: did scientists get the family’s permission to publish her genetic information? The answer is no.