His wife was pleading tearfully with us. “Please, if you just let me feed him, he’ll get strong enough for chemo.” The patient’s three adult children echoed their mother’s plea. This is not an uncommon scenario when I am called to facilitate a discussion between the medical team and the family of a patient with […]Read More Food, Caring, and Cancer: Understanding Caregiver Distress about Feeding
By now you’ve probably encountered antivax rhetoric claiming parallels between vaccine mandates and Nazi Germany medical experiments. In this post, I will explore whether such analogies are legitimate. I’m not the first to do this but I hope to contribute a perspective that adds a new dimension. Before evaluating any alleged parallels between vaccine mandates […]Read More Are Vaccine Mandates similar to nazi medical experiments?
Recently a “bombshell” article appeared in the BMJ in which an investigative journalist reports a whistleblowers account of problems with the original Pfizer trial (linked below). As usual, Orac over at Respectful Insolence has done an excellent job evaluating and contextualizing the whistleblower’s claims. Rather that repeat Orac’s labor I want to contemplate the logical […]Read More The Pfizer whistleblower: What Does it mean?
Colin Powell died from complications due to Covid-19…but he was vaccinated. What conclusions can we draw about vaccine effectiveness? The facts: Colin Powell was 85 years old and had multiple myeloma—a rare type of blood cancer. This nefarious type of cancer attacks the cells that make antibodies (the things you need to effectively fight off […]Read More The Death of Colin Powell and Covid-19 Vaccines
The latest hot topic in the news is organ donor ethics. Several donor clinics have removed from eligibility potential recipients who refuse to get a covid vaccine. Let’s learn about the ethics of organ donation to understand the policy. There are about 100 000 people in the US waiting for an organ transplant. Unfortunately, not […]Read More Covid-19 vaccine refusal and organ transplant eligibility
When this pandemic eventually ends, the anti-vaccine movement will claim that it wasn’t because of vaccines. If the anti-vaccine movement is anything, they are consistent. Historically, they have always tried to point to some other variable besides vaccines to explain away a disease’s decline. The favorite explanation is that many communicable diseases declined precipitously because […]Read More Predicting Anti-Vaccine Explanations for the Eventual End of the Pandemic
What’s the difference between a lawyer and a philosopher? No, this isn’t a joke. It’s a genuine question. In fact, puzzling over this distinction has ancient roots extending all the way back to Socrates. While Socrates doesn’t use the word lawyer, he uses the term “sophist” which, for my purposes here, amounts to the same […]Read More The Impeachment Trial and the Philosopher’s Stance
This is the story of Onesimus, an African slave, who is responsible for the first major medical advancement in American history: Inoculation against smallpox. Up until the later half of the 1700s, smallpox outbreaks were a major threat to public health in the American Colonies. Smallpox virus droplets from an infected individual (usually from speaking) […]Read More Black History and the Early History of Inoculation in America
The words ‘rational’ and ‘reasonable’ are often used interchangeably in everyday language. But for philosophers they have specific meanings. These distinct meanings are important because they help to articulate the desirable features of a policy response to Covid-19 and vaccines. As with anything in philosophy (or any subject, for that matter) there isn’t unanimous agreement […]Read More The Rational, The Reasonable, and Covid-19 Vaccine Policy
SOCRATES: I walked to the mall yesterday with Rory, son of Bill Gates, to make my prayers to the God of Christmas. As this was my first celebration of his festival, I wished also to see how the ceremony would be conducted. Along the way we encountered Apple, daughter of Gwyneth Paltrow. On our way […]Read More The Lost Socratic Dialogue on Vaccines