Medical Ethics

100 years of insulin

On July 27, 1921, Canadian doctors Frederick Banting and Charles Best successfully isolated the hormone insulin, one of the most important breakthroughs in treating diabetes. Experts from around the University share their thoughts on the medical triumph on the 100th anniversary.

Kristen de Groot

Racial bias in mortality prediction scores

In mass casualty situations like the COVID-19 pandemic, mortality prediction models alone could divert scarce critical care resources away from Black patients.

From Penn LDI

In the News

Philadelphia Inquirer

Philly vaccine pioneer: Was the human cost of doing fewer COVID-19 trials on kids worth it?

Paul Offit of the Perelman School of Medicine wrote an opinion piece about the human cost of conducting child vaccine trials. While some may be concerned that the Pfizer trial was too small or too brief, Offit argued that a larger or longer trial would have resulted in more sick children in the placebo group, as occurred during the polio vaccine’s development.


Yahoo! News

Medical ethicists criticize doctors refusing to treat the unvaccinated

PIK Professor Jonathan Moreno commented on some doctors’ decisions to not treat unvaccinated adults with COVID-19, saying, “We have to find ways to take care of people, even if we don’t agree with their actions.”


Yahoo! News

Behind the U.S. military's 'complicated history' around vaccinations

PIK Professor Jonathan Moreno spoke about President Biden’s decision not to extend the federal worker vaccine mandate to members of the military. “The military does have a complicated history around requiring, especially people in uniform, to take certain medications or to be vaccinated,” Moreno said.


The New York Times

COVID news: Vermont leads U.S. in vaccinations

Steven Joffe of the Perelman School of Medicine said former FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn will have to walk an ethical fine line in his new role as chief medical officer at a venture capital firm, as federal rules limit his engagement with the FDA going forward.



Amid record pandemic travel, what’s safe? And the debate over vaccine passports

PIK Professor Ezekiel Emanuel spoke about so-called “vaccine passports” and privacy. “In public health there’s a principle that you should use the least restrictive method necessary,” he said. “This allows us to say, ‘Those people who’ve gotten vaccinated, you don’t have to adhere to certain restrictions because you are now immune.’”


The Washington Post

Vaccines are about to become a free-for-all. Here’s how to ensure it’s done equitably

Harald Schmidt of the Perelman School of Medicine co-authored an op-ed calling for equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution. “Three things are central: prioritizing more vulnerable communities; conveying that doing so is good for both public health and equity; and making clear that equity is not the enemy of efficiency,” Schmidt and his co-authors wrote.