This Month at the Center for Bioethics

This month at the Indiana University Center for Bioethics, we are pleased to welcome a new faculty investigator. Katherine Drabiak-Syed, J.D., has joined us to work on our Predictive Health Ethics Research program. Katherine’s expertise on the legal and policy issues of genetic research and medicine are valuable addition to our team.

We are also proud to announce new publications from two of our faculty investigators, Kimberly Quaid and Peter Schwartz. Quaid contributed to an article reporting the results of study examining the effect of genotype disclosure regarding patient risks for Alzheimer’s disease. The study of 162 asymptomatic adults demonstrated that “the disclosure of APOE genotyping results to adult children of patients with Alzheimer’s disease did not result in significant short-term psychological risks” (Green RC, Roberts JS, Cupples LA, Relkin NR, Whitehouse PJ, Brown T, Eckert SL, Butson M, Sadovnick AD, Quaid KA, Chen C, Cook-Deegan R, Farrer LA; REVEAL Study Group. Disclosure of APOE genotype for risk of Alzheimer’s disease. N Engl J Med. 2009 Jul 16;361(3):245-54. PMID: 19605829). Schwartz’s article also addressed the communication of health risks. In his paper Schwartz examines the reasons for and against sharing comparative risk information with patients. He argues in favor of sharing comparative risk information and concludes that criticisms “of disclosing this sort of information to patients … rests on a mistakenly narrow account of the goals of prevention and the nature of rational choice in medicine” (Schwartz PH. Disclosure and rationality: comparative risk information and decision-making about prevention. Theor Med Bioeth. 2009;30(3):199-213. PMID: 19551490).

Finally, our faculty investigators were busy in the media. Eric Meslin shared his summer reading list with Sound Ethics and discussed The Future of Bioethics with the author Howard Brody. Also, we were all pleased to watch Aaron Carroll discuss health care reform with Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report, July 21, 2009.

— J.O.

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