Who gives a damn whether a medical researcher is nice inside? Who cares if he loves science, patients, and babies? We ought to care about whether he shills for a corrupt industry, whether he accurately presents evidence in a case, whether he obtains informed consent. This is what patients and subjects would reasonably care about.
The Institutional Review Board system treats social scientists unfairly at the front end, and at the back end fails to provide justice when harm comes to people used as medical research subjects. These problems represent two sides of a coin. Here's a suggestion of something small and easy you can do to help.
In what (I think) will be the last "Dex Diary," I take up the question of why some people act, while others sit it out, and talk about the growing movement within academia to engage with socially important issues.
In this entry of the Dex Diaries, Anne Tamar-Mattis, JD, talks about the "silent majority" from whom she often hears in her advocacy work: clinicians troubled by the way medical systems treat children with disorders of sex development. She also talks about how the silence started to lift around prenatal dexamethasone for CAH once we all started to speak out as one.
This entry of The Dex Diaries features the perspective of Fran Howell, a woman who was exposed to DES in the womb and who now acts as Executive Director of DES Action USA. Howell raises the question: When will we learn the hard lessons of prenatal DES exposure? (And implicitly asks: Why does it take activists to stop these train wrecks? Why can't the FDA be more proactive?
In this installment of the Dex Diaries, Ellen Feder, the corresponding author of our letters of concern, talks about her own experiences accepting prenatal steroids for her babies. In doing so, she works to answers the question: What were the mothers thinking?
Pregnant patients and their obstetricians are told an off-label use is "safe and effective" by a researcher who then turns around and tells the NIH she needs funding to see if it is safe and effective. Your tax dollars at work.
This third installment of "The Dex Diaries" explores how the obstetricians prescribing the fetal-engineering intervention appear to have been hung out to dry. Morally, I don't see how they are culpable. But legally? Ugh.
In this second installment of the Dex Diaries, I explain why a group of 32 scholars in bioethics and allied fields called on the federal government to investigate the off-label use of a drug intended to radically alter fetal sex development.
The internet is abuzz with the claim that the editor of the Archives of Sexual Behavior is refusing to retract an article purporting to evidence the success of "ex-gay" therapy, even though the article's author wants it retracted. Read the real story here.
The subject headings in library catalogs -- such as those that have labeled some babies "monsters" -- are created by real people. And so it takes real people to fix them. Here's the story of one fixer.
You might think "more is better" in medical care. But not so! A recent humorous "Ten Commandments" in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) reminded physicians about what should really matter in medical care. Here, I provide an English-language translation of those Ten Commandments.
What are the problems with the new Australian passport system for genders? In a nutshell: (1) confusion of sex and gender; (2) pretending intersex is a simple natural category; (3) imagining that transgender people never have anything but one of two simple genders; (4) letting doctors be the arbiters of social identity; and (5) uh, did they really have to pick "X"?
The producer calling me from "The Dr. Oz Show" seemed incredulous. "Your too tired to be on Dr. Oz? But you were on Oprah!" But it wasn't just that I was physically tired from doing too much media that week.
A doctor promotes an off-label drug to pregnant women as "safe for mother and child," while telling her colleagues it is, in fact, experimental. The FDA can't seem to do anything about it. The doctor's medical school won't seem to do anything about it. Won't somebody please think of the children?