Medical Ethics

Improving diversity in cancer clinical trials

The Cancer Clinical Trials Community Ambassador Training Program at the Abramson Cancer Center was established in August 2021 to create spokespersons and resources to increase awareness and access to cancer clinical trials in the diverse Philadelphia communities. 

From Penn Medicine News

Learning to listen in troubled times

The SNF Paideia Program and partners featured Ernesto Pujol and Aaron Levy, an artist and an interdisciplinary scholar who have transformed both what it means to listen and what the act of listening can achieve as part of a lecture and workshops.

Kristen de Groot

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

In the News

Fast Company

Your doctor is moonlighting on TikTok as an influencer

Dominic Sisti of the Perelman School of Medicine said that, during the evolution of the internet in the 1990s, bioethicists were preoccupied by the Human Genome Project and overlooked the rise of social media and its impact on health care. “Social media was something that we as bioethicists just didn’t have our eyes on—and it’s coming back now to haunt us,” he said.



Biogen Alzheimer’s drug coverage threatens minorities’ access

Holly Fernandez Lynch of the Perelman School of Medicine spoke about the obstacles preventing less-privileged people from participating in clinical trials. “You typically have to live near the trial site or have the resources to travel. You have to be able to take time away from work and your caregivers need to do the same. You have to have reliable transportation,” she said.


The Washington Post

The ethics of a second chance: Pig heart transplant recipient stabbed a man seven times years ago

Scott Halpern of the Perelman School of Medicine spoke about the importance of maintaining separation between legal and medical systems. “We have a legal system designed to determine just redress for crimes,” he said. “And we have a health-care system that aims to provide care without regard to people’s personal character or history.”


Philadelphia Inquirer

Debate: Should we waive COVID-19 vaccine patents for low-income countries?

Harsha Thirumurthy of the Perelman School of Medicine argued that we should waive COVID-19 vaccine patents for low-income countries. “We simply can’t bring an end to the pandemic—here in the U.S. or elsewhere—without rapidly closing the global vaccine gap,” he wrote. “And we can’t close that gap without waivers of patent protections that are keeping lower-income countries from manufacturing vaccines themselves.”


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.”