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The Hastings Center Report table of contents for September-October 2010


Title: The Prospects for Personalized Medicine
Author: Shara Yurkiewicz
Summary: Ten years after the release of a working draft of the human genome, major changes have made their way into medical practice, the marketplace, research, and policy.
Title: Personalized Medicine's Ragged Edge
Author: Leonard M. Fleck
Summary: The phrase "personalized medicine" has a built-in positive spin. But little attention has been given to some challenging issues of justice it raises. Some people will clearly benefit a lot, some people will clearly not benefit at all, and many people will benefit somewhat.

Title: Personalized Cancer Care in an Age of Anxiety
Testing provides a few crystal balls.
Author: Susan Gilbert
Summary: To get an idea of how personalized medicine could reshape patient care in the years ahead, one need only look at how it is beginning to reshape the care of patients with cancer, where it has gained its firmest foothold.

Title: A Patient's Experience
When personalized medicine means less medicine.
Author: Marian Fontana
Summary: All cancer survivors know where they were when they were told they had cancer. I was forty-three years old, exercised five days a week, and ate organic vegetables. How could I have cancer? A tickertape of questions scrolled across my mind.

Title: Wanted: Human Biospecimens
Traditional informed consent doesn't fit this research.
Author: Karen J. Maschke
Summary: Collecting and using tissue, blood, urine, and other human biospecimens for various types of research is not new. But for personalized medicine to realize its potential, researchers will need thousands more of these samples for genetic studieswhich raises a host of ethical questions, some of them new to human subjects research.

Title: Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Tests and the Right to Know
Author: Ronni Sandroff
Summary: Dealing with genetic knowledge is new for many of us, although families with devastating hereditary diseases such as cystic fibrosis and Tay-Sachs have dealt with it for decades. The editor of Consumer Reports on Health looks at what consumers want and need to know.


Title: Hospice and Physician-Assisted Death: Collaboration, Compliance, and Complicity
Authors: Courtney S. Campbell and Jessica C. Cox
Summary: A survey finds that most hospices in Oregon, the first state to legalize physician-assistance in dying, either do not participate in or have limited participation in requests for such assistance. Both legal and moral reasons are identified.

Title: Can We Improve Treatment Decision-Making for Incapacitated Patients?
Authors: Annette Rid and David Wendler
Summary: Clinical practice relies on patients to make their own treatment decisions, typically in consultation with a clinician. This approach poses a dilemma for incapacitated patients, such as those with advanced Alzheimer disease, especially when it is unclear which treatment the patient prefers and which treatment best promotes the patient's clinical interests. The authors consider ways to improve current practice.

At Law

Title: The National Individual Health Insurance Mandate
Author: Lawrence O. Gostin
Summary: On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law the nation's first comprehensive health care reform bill. Within weeks, twenty states filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of its most politically charged featurean individual mandate. The law remains controversial because it compels people to purchase coverage they choose not to have, raising the question whether Congress can lawfully and ethically require individuals to contract with, and transfer money to, a private party.

Book Review

Title: Populations, Public Health, and the Law
Author: Wendy E. Parmet
Reviewed by: James G. Hodge, Jr.

Exploring Communal Health through Law
In Populations, Public Health, and the Law, Wendy E. Parmet offers something few other legal or policy scholars have produced during the modern "renaissance" in the field of public health law: an account of the need for fundamental change in how lawmakers and policymakers view the role of law in protecting population health.


Contact: Michael Turton
845-424-4040 x242
The Hastings Center

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