Saturday, January 19, 2019

Friday, January 11, 2019

Hennepin Healthcare has won a Shrekli

Congratulations to Hennepin Healthcare, which has been recognized by the Lown Institute with a 2018 Shrekli -- the award given for "profiteering and dysfunction in health care, named for Martin Shkreli, the price-hiking 'pharma bro' that everyone loves to hate."

The Lown Institute writes:

As part of clinical trials at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minnesota, patients in the Emergency Department with severe agitation were given powerful antipsychotics and the potent sedative ketamine without their knowledge or consent. The Institutional Review Board of the hospital determined that these patients could not give informed consent, so they did not need to be told they were part of a trial. According to federal law, vulnerable patients must have a family member or representative give consent before participation.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Why does the U reserve pomp and glory for its chief bureaucrat?

Henning Schroeder writes in the Star Tribune:

When I first came to the University of Minnesota a little more than 10 years ago, I was astonished to find all ex-presidents immortalized by buildings named after them. It seemed to come as a default bonus with every presidential appointment. Being dead wasn’t a prerequisite, either. Now, if buildings really need to be named after university employees, why pick chief bureaucrats and not Nobel laureates? Even if you run a little short on the latter, reserving pomp and glory for the ceremonial heads just seems odd to me. After all, universities were originally conceived as academic republics, not monarchies.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Looping Effects of Enhancement Technologies

My latest in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry. 

The abstract:

Libertarians often portray the decision to use enhancement technologies purely as a matter of individual choice, affecting the person who uses them but no one else. Yet individual choices often add up to large social changes that profoundly affect the lives of other people, effectively pushing individual choices in a particular direction. It seems plausible that self-reinforcing loops such as those that have driven the adoption of technologies like cars and air-conditioners might also play a role in the adoption of enhancement technologies, effectively exerting pressure on people to use a technology that they might otherwise resist.

The full paper is on and

Well, that didn't take long

The compromised chief medical officer for Memorial Sloan Kettering is now an employee of AstraZeneca.