Medical Ethics

Direct-to-consumer COVID-19 testing

Concerns over direct-to-consumer COVID-19 tests may override the benefits, with issues of safety, efficacy, and ethics in question.

From Penn LDI

Who should get the COVID-19 vaccine first?

A group of global experts led by Penn offer a model that lays the groundwork for fair distribution and prioritize reducing premature deaths.

From Penn Medicine News

In the News

NBC News

Secret, powerful panels will pick COVID-19 vaccine winners

Susan Ellenberg of the Perelman School of Medicine said it’s important to keep data and safety monitoring boards anonymous to protect the members from people desperate for treatment. It “would be very hard to tell [a patient], ‘Oh I can’t help you.’ It’s an unreasonable burden,” she said.


The Wall Street Journal

Thousands of American troops to take part in COVID-19 early-detection study

PIK Professor Jonathan Moreno commented on plans to conduct a COVID-19 early-detection study on U.S. troops. “Should we ask for consent if it reveals medical issues that a person in uniform may not want revealed and is not relevant to job performance?” he asked.


The Washington Post

FDA poised to announce tougher standards for a COVID-19 vaccine that make it unlikely one will be cleared by Election Day

Holly Fernandez Lynch of the Perelman School of Medicine commented on the FDA’s use of emergency authorizations to expedite coronavirus drugs. “Is the president going to put the screws to the FDA so much that they will speed ahead on a vaccine?” she asked.


Mask skeptic lawmaker takes on side gig overseeing drug company trial

Susan Ellenberg and Holly Fernandez-Lynch of the Perelman School of Medicine commented on U.S. Rep. Andy Harris’s role in overseeing the trials of a coronavirus drug. “The concern about bias wouldn’t arise unless the decision-making [on data from the trial] was difficult,” said Ellenberg. “If the data are such that it's a hard call as to whether to stop the study or not, that's when the personal connections seep into consciousness.”



#MedBikini backlash exposes research ethics boards’ digital gaps

Emily Largent of the Perelman School of Medicine weighed in on a retracted study that claimed it was unprofessional for early-career surgeons to post photos of themselves in bathing suits on social media. “This is just proof that when it comes to social media research, in general, we don’t have good guidance,” said Largent.


WHYY (Philadelphia)

Protests, masks and public health: where do my rights end and yours begin?

Dominic Sisti of the Perelman School of Medicine and Alison Buttenheim of the School of Nursing spoke about encouraging healthy behavior during a pandemic and the responsibilities of those who choose not to participate in social distancing.