- As humanity grapples with the social, economic, and political disruption caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many healthcare systems across the globe have been working to set appropriate expectations for patients being treated during these challenging times. As of June 8, 2020, there are close to 2 million COVID-19 cases in the United States with 112,000 deaths [coronavirus.jhu.edu]. As patient volumes increased, healthcare systems and state and federal governments scrambled to address critical shortages of COVID-19 test kits, personal protective equipment, pharmaceutical drugs, and medical equipment such as mechanical ventilators.
- On May 1, 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to allow use of the antiviral drug remdesivir to treat patients with severe coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19). Remdesivir is an investigational drug studied in clinical trials for COVID-19 and is available to children and pregnant women through compassionate-use access but is not yet FDA approved. In early May, the US Department of Health and Human Services began to distribute remdesivir, donated by Gilead Sciences, Inc., to hospitals and state health departments for emergency use; multiple shipments have since been distributed.
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced 2 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes that allow clinicians to bill for time spent discussing advance care planning (ACP) effective January 1, 2016. As defined by Sudore et al,1 ACP is “a process that supports adults at any age or stage of health in understanding and sharing their personal values, life goals, and preferences regarding future medical care….[with] the goal…that people receive medical care that is consistent with their values, goals and preferences during serious and chronic illness.” Proponents applauded this new policy as a method to incentivize ACP, potentially increasing the uptake of ACP and thereby improving the delivery of medical care that aligns with the patients’ goals, values, and preferences.
- In November 2018, the announcement that genetically edited human embryos had been used for reproductive purposes caused international uproar; many observers argued that editing the human germline was unethical, particularly given the early stage of the science and the absence of appropriate oversight. We provide an overview of the implications of these events, focusing on the relevant ethical considerations for physicians addressing patient questions and concerns. The editing of the human germline for reproductive purposes should be understood against an historic backdrop of clinical research in assisted reproduction, as well as other exemplars of translational investigation.
- I flew beyond this world's compass. How strange,I turn in this circle like the legs of a compass.Jalāl ad-Dīn Rumi1