Policy

Category archives for Policy

There has been a lot of commentary this week about the GOP-led proposal to de-fund Planned Parenthood. Commentators such as Ezra Klein note the irrationality of this stance, since Planned Parenthood itself estimates it prevents more than 620,000 unintended pregnancies each year, and 220,000 abortions. Why wouldn’t the anti-abortion crowd support this increase in contraception,…

There has been a surge of interest recently in science denial, particularly revolving around the issue of vaccines. Last year saw the release of Michael Specter’s Denialism; in the last few months, three others have been released: Seth Mnookin’s

Student guest post by Francis Mawanda. HIV/AIDS is a major public health problem worldwide. To date, it is estimated that more than 60 million people have been infected with HIV and more than 25 million people have died as a result of HIV/AIDS worldwide1. Despite the high prevalence and mortality rates that are associated with…

I’ve been seeing a lot of comments mocking the current outbreak of H1N1, and a lot of people (and journalists) who don’t understand what “big deal” is about the “snoutbreak” of swine influenza, or don’t get what the raising of the World Health Organization’s pandemic alert phase up to 5 means. I noted here what…

Obama: end malaria deaths by 2015

Well, you certainly can’t fault Obama for aiming high. Via satellite, Obama announced at yesterday’s Clinton Global Initiative forum that he would provide support to end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015–a lofty goal, but is it even close to attainable? Obama provided the basics of his plan here, laying out why he feels this…

After Karl Rove’s appearance here Sunday night, Laurie Garrett’s talk on Monday was downright uneventful–despite a talk which included discussion of AIDS, abortion, and welfare, among other things. Garrett, for anyone who may be unfamiliar, is currently a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations. She’s the author of The Coming…

Last fall I wrote about the bizarre case of University of Pittsburgh geneticist Robert Ferrell. Dr. Ferrell, you may recall, had been prosecuted for sharing generally-harmless strains of bacteria with a colleague, SUNY-Buffalo art professor Steven Kurtz. Dr. Kurtz then used the bacterial cultures in an art display, which drew the attention of authorities following…

Religion vs. public health redux

I mentioned previously a clash between religion and public health, where a Liberian immigrant was jailed for importing bushmeat. She argued that infringing upon her religious freedom in this manner was unconstitutional; authorities argued that she couldn’t put others at risk because of her religious beliefs. Another clash where religious beliefs are at odds with…

Yesterday I mentioned the controversy over needle exchange programs as an analogy to the objection the administration has to providing heroin anti-OD kits containing Narcan to drug users. In a bit of good timing, the LA Times has an article about a 73-year-old HIV+ lay preacher, of all people, who was on arrested while working…

Turtles: not a kid’s best friend

An ongoing outbreak of Salmonella associated with turtles has now sickened more than 100 and caused a quarter of that number to be hospitalized: Cases have been reported in 33 states, but mostly in California, Texas, Pennsylvania and Illinois. Most of the patients have been children. No one has died in the latest outbreak, which…