Spotlight

News in Context: Ebola and AIDS Comparisons

Several recent news reports have drawn comparisons between the response to Ebola and the response to AIDS in the early days of that epidemic. In both cases there were questions about balancing public health safety against civil liberties, the obligations of health care workers, and ethical protocols of vaccine and drug trials. Hastings Center projects in the 1980’s were groundbreaking in identifying ethical issues raised by AIDS and helping to establish public health policies that protected people’s civil liberties and privacy while enabling research, diagnosis, and treatment to proceed. Publications from these projects provide historical perspectives, and they reflect similarities and difference in the responses to two deadly infections that caught the world off guard.

Ethical Issues

The Hastings Center’s work on AIDS established that there were ethical issues in understanding and responding to this new and frightening infectious disease, recalls Carol Levine, a Hastings Center Fellow who led the Center’s AIDS research and was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for her work in AIDS policy and ethics. Many of the same ethical concerns raised by AIDS also apply to Ebola.

The Hastings Center Report A bimonthly journal promoting ethics in health, medicine, and the environment.
IRB: Ethics & Human Research A bimonthly journal probing ethical issues in human research studies.

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In The Media

The New York Times
July 11, 2014
A letter to the editor by Greg Kaebnick discusses humans’ relationship to the wilderness.

Roll Call
July 10, 2014
Hastings Center board member Joseph J. Fins writes a commentary, “Congress, With Help of Private Ryan, Can Save the VA.”

Reuters
June 16 & 17
Nancy Berlinger and Mildred Solomon quoted in separate articles about the family dispute over Casey Kasem’s end-of-life wishes.

Newsday
May 10, 2014
Josephine Johnston quoted about Long Island doctors who recommend medications to hospitals while being paid by drug companies.

BMJ
May 6, 2014
Hastings Center senior advisor Rosemary Gibson looks at a small town in Maine to see the human impact of escalating health care costs on a community.

Wall Street Journal
April 28, 2014
Josephine Johnston quoted in an article about fertility treatments and multiple births, which also cites new article by Johnston, Michael Gusmano, and Pasquale Patrizio in Fertility and Sterility.

WMHT public television, Albany
April 10, 2014
Mildred Solomon interviewed on “Health Link” about the benefits of palliative care. 

Newsday
March 15, 2014
Josephine Johnston quoted on federal charges against Novartis for paying doctors to prescribe pills.

Associated Press and NPR
January 1, 2014
Nancy Berlinger quoted on brain death and the case of Jahi McMath.

New York Times 
December 1, 2013
Daniel Callahan’s op-ed, “On Dying After Your Time,” is published in the Sunday Review.

Slate
October 8, 2013
Hastings Center Report case on doctors googling a patient is subject of an article.

CBS, D.C.
September 18, 2013
Michael Gusmano quoted on relationship between mental illness and violence.

Nature
August 14, 2013
Tom Murray quoted about ethical questions raised by the BRAIN initiative.

Huffington Post
July 31, 2013
Hastings Center Guidelines called “a new must read resource for healthcare consumers.”

The New York Times
July 29, 2013
Nancy Berlinger quoted on dilemmas posed by pre-clinical testing for Alzheimer’s disease.

U.S. News Best Hospital Guidebook
July 12, 2013
Blair Sadler, board member and Fellow, interviewed about Fable hospital; Hastings Center Report essays cited. 

New York Times New Old Age blog
June 16, 2013
Over 65 blog post cited on why a geriatrician stopped accepting Medicare.

Huffington Post Live
June 6, 2013
Mildred Solomon, president, interviewed about pediatric lung transplants.

NPR’s Science Friday
May 17, 2013 
Josephine Johnston discusses ethical implications of new research that created the first human embryonic stem cells through cloning.

World Medical and Health Policy
March 2013
Michael Gusmano examines U.S. cancer survival statistics in light of claims that the U.S. health care system is the “best in the world.” 

Cell Stem Cell
February 7, 2013
Josephine Johnston coauthors article about absence of gamete donor consent in the NIH stem cell registry

The New York Times
January 20, 2013
Tom Murray quoted on the “arms race” in sport doping  

The New York Times
January 11, 2013
Letter to the Editor by Daniel Callahan on costs of medical care at the end of life