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2015 Bishop Lecture featuring Lawrence O. Gostin, J.D., LL.D. (Hon.)

Tue, March 17, 2015, 11:00am
Location: 
Founders Room, Alumni Center, 200 Fletcher St., Ann Arbor, MI

Bishop Lecture in Bioethics: "Law, Ethics, and Public Health in the Vaccination Debates: Politics of the Measles Outbreak" (Keynote Address for the 2015 CBSSM Research Colloquium)

Abstract: The measles outbreak of early 2015 is symptomatic of a larger societal problem–the growing number of parents who decide against vaccinating their children. This failure is causing the resurgence of childhood diseases once eliminated from the United States.
falseThis presentation explores the legal and ethical landscape of vaccine exemptions. While all states require childhood vaccinations, they differ significantly in the types of religious and/or philosophical exemptions permitted, the rigor of the application process, and available review mechanisms. States with relaxed exemption policies disproportionately experience more outbreaks of vaccine-preventable disease.

Vaccine exemptions are an illustration of the “tragedy of the commons,” in which parents choose not to vaccinate their children, relying on the fact that other parents will vaccinate their children, thus providing community immunity. However, the net result of many individual decisions not to vaccinate is the collapse of herd immunity and thus an upsurge in preventable disease and death.
The failure to vaccinate puts others at risk, thus violating an important ethical principle. However, punishing individual parents could entrench political opposition to vaccine policy. The most ethical and effective solution is for state legislatures to tighten vaccination laws, making it more difficult to obtain non-medical exemptions.

Lawrence O. Gostin, J.D., LL.D. (Hon.) is University Professor, Georgetown University’s highest academic rank conferred by the University President. Prof. Gostin directs the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and is the Founding O’Neill Chair in Global Health Law. He is Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University, Professor of Public Health at the Johns Hopkins University, and Director of the Center for Law & the Public’s Health at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities. Prof. Gostin is also the Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Public Health Law & Human Rights.

  • Click here for video-recording of the 2015 Bishop Lecture

2011 CBSSM Research Colloquium

Fri, May 20, 2011 (All day)

The second annual Bioethics Research Colloquium was held Friday, May 20, 2011, at the Alumni Center.  The Colloquium was jointly sponsored by the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine and the Center for Ethics in Public Life. 

The majority of the colloquium was devoted to presentations of research in or about bioethics conducted by University of Michigan faculty, fellows and students.  Presentations focused on theoretical, empirical, and critical approaches to understanding and resolving ethical issues in health care and the life sciences.

Presenters:

  • Apurba Chakrabarti, Department of Cellular, Molecular, and Developmental Biology: A bureaucratic framework of IRBs: Understanding how cultural forces influence the contemporary IRB bureaucracy.
  • Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman, Department of Philosophy: Online sexual racism and the prevalence of HIV among black MSM. 
  • Susan Dorr Goold, MD, MHSA, MA, Department of Internal Medicine: Market failures, moral failures, and health reform (keynote).
  • Henry Greenspan, PhD, Residential College, LSA: Temptation and trespass in the pharmaceutical industry: Incentivizing ethical self-regulation. 
  • Lisa H. Harris, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology: Obstetrician-gynecologists' objections to and willingness to help patients obtain abortion in various clinical scenarios: A national survey. 
  • Aisha T. Langford, MPH, Comprehensive Cancer Center: The misdiagnosis of the minority problem in cancer clinical trials: Is our focus on medical mistrust causing harm? 
  • Naomi Laventhal, MD, Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases: Innovative therapies in the newborn intensive care unit: The ethics of off-label use of therapeutic hypothermia.
  • Erika Manu, MD, Department of Internal Medicine: Resident attitudes and experience with palliative care in patients with advanced dementia.
  • Karen M. Meagher, Department of Philosophy (MSU): Considering virtue: Public health and clinical ethics.
  • Andrew Shuman, MD, Department of Otolaryngology: The right not to hear: The ethics of parental refusal of hearing rehabilitation.
  • Lauren Smith, MD, Department of Pathology: Pathology review of outside material: When does it help and when can it hurt? 

Funded by the National Institutes of Health/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Funding years: 2010-2020

This proposal is for the planning and conduct of the next ten years of the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), with interviewing to be conducted continuously from June 1, 2011 through May 31, 2019. The awarded contract will cover a ten-year period, from September 2010 through May 2020, and include eight years of data collection and three data releases. Working closely and collaboratively with the NCHS/NSFG work team to develop materials and specifications, we shall conduct all the necessary activities, including sample design, pretest, CAPI programming, hiring, supervising and training interviewers, data processing, data file preparation, and data file documentation, for a complete national survey. It is anticipated that the NSFG will be done indefinitely as a continuous national survey, in which interviewing is done every year, producing approximately 5,000 in-person interviews per year with men and women 15-44 years of age, in English and Spanish. Over the life of this proposal, about 40,000 men and women will be interviewed in person in 8 years. This proposal also provides for the preparation and release of up to 3 public use data files.

The National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) is part of a series of face-to-face surveys based on national probability samples that began in 1955. From 1955-1995, the surveys were limited to women of reproductive age. The University of Michigan is currently the contractor for the NSFG Cycle 6 and The 2006-10 NSFG (Cycle 7). Cycle 6 was conducted beginning in 2002 using a national sample of men and women 15-44; and “The 2006-10 NSFG,” a continuous sample of men and women 15-44. In each NSFG, respondents have been interviewed in person in their own homes by trained professional female interviewers. In Cycles 6 and 7, the NSFG has been conducted using Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) and Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interviewing (Audio CASI). CAPI and Audio CASI is being used again in this proposal.

Link: http://www.psc.isr.umich.edu/research/project-detail/34976

PI: Mick Couper

 

 

2014 CBSSM Research Colloquium and Bishop Lecture (Myra Christopher)

Thu, May 15, 2014 (All day)
Location: 
Vandenberg Meeting Hall (2nd floor), The Michigan League, 911 N. University, Ann Arbor, MI

2014 CBSSM Colloquium and Bishop Lecture featuring Myra Christopher

The Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine (CBSSM) Research Colloquium was held Thursday, May 15, 2014 at the Vandenberg Meeting Hall (2nd floor), The Michigan League, 911 N. University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.
 

The CBSSM Research Colloquium featured the Bishop Lecture in Bioethics as the keynote address.  Myra Christopher presented the Bishop Lecture with a talk entitled: "The Moral Imperative to Transform the Way Pain is Perceived, Judged and Treated." Myra Christopher holds the Kathleen M. Foley Chair in Pain and Palliative Care at the Center for Practical Bioethics.

The 2014 Research Colloquium presenters:

  • Andrew G. Shuman, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Michigan: "When Not to Operate: The Dilemma of Surgical Unresectability"
  • Phoebe Danziger, MD, University of Michigan Medical School: "Beliefs, Biases, and Ethical Dilemmas in the Perinatal Counseling and Treatment of Severe Kidney Anomalies"
  • Kathryn L. Moseley, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, University of Michigan: "Electronic Medical Records: Challenges for Clinical Ethics Consultation"
  • Helen Morgan, MD,  Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan: "Academic Integrity in the Pre-Health Undergraduate Experience"
  • Tanner Caverly, MD, MPH, Health Services Research Fellow, Ann Arbor VA Medical Center and Clinical Lecturer, University of Michigan: "How Transparent are Cancer Screening & Prevention Guidelines about the Benefits and Harms of What They Recommend?"
  • Susan D. Goold, MD, MHSA, MA , Professor of Internal Medicine and Health Management and Policy, School of Public Health, University of Michigan: "Controlling Health Costs: Physician Responses to Patient Expectations for Medical Care"
 

 

CBSSM recently hosted the 2014 Research Colloquium held Thursday, May 15, 2014 at the Vandenberg Meeting Hall (2nd floor), The Michigan League, 911 N. University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.

The CBSSM Research Colloquium featured the Bishop Lecture in Bioethics as the keynote address.  Myra Christopher presented the Bishop Lecture with a talk entitled: "The Moral Imperative to Transform the Way Pain is Perceived, Judged and Treated." Myra Christopher holds the Kathleen M. Foley Chair in Pain and Palliative Care at the Center for Practical Bioethics. The Bishop Lecture is made possible by a generous gift from the estate of Ronald C. and Nancy V. Bishop.

The 2014 Research Colloquium presenters included:

  • Andrew G. Shuman, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Michigan: "When Not to Operate: The Dilemma of Surgical Unresectability"
  • Phoebe Danziger, MD, University of Michigan Medical School: "Beliefs, Biases, and Ethical Dilemmas in the Perinatal Counseling and Treatment of Severe Kidney Anomalies"
  • Kathryn L. Moseley, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, University of Michigan: "Electronic Medical Records: Challenges for Clinical Ethics Consultation"
  • Helen Morgan, MD,  Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Michigan: "Academic Integrity in the Pre-Health Undergraduate Experience"
  • Tanner Caverly, MD, MPH, Health Services Research Fellow, Ann Arbor VA Medical Center and Clinical Lecturer, University of Michigan: "How Transparent are Cancer Screening & Prevention Guidelines about the Benefits and Harms of What They Recommend?"
  • Susan D. Goold, MD, MHSA, MA , Professor of Internal Medicine and Health Management and Policy, School of Public Health, University of Michigan: "Controlling Health Costs: Physician Responses to Patient Expectations for Medical Care"

Funded by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Funding Years: 2014 - 2016.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Michigan has established a rigorous curriculum, with enhanced and mentored research practicum and exciting opportunities to engage in community-based and partnered participatory research. The curriculum is based on adult learning theory and integrates research theory and practical applications. This curriculum will fulfill requirements for a Master's Degree in Health and Health Care Research, a degree program that was designed specifically to meet the needs of the Clinical Scholars at the University of Michigan. These above courses make up the central components of the first year of Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Michigan. The second year of the Clinical Scholars Program is primarily devoted to research, with the Scholars' Research Committee continuing as an advisory committee. Education in the second year focuses more closely to each Scholar's specific needs. In the second year the Scholars also participate in a "Work-in-Progress Seminar" led by one of the Program Directors. Throughout all years of the program, Scholars participate in the Clinical Scholars noon health Seminar. This is a weekly 1.5 hour seminar which will alternate between presentation of research findings by Scholars, faculty, or invited guests, and presentations about health policy by Michigan faculty and invited guests. All Scholars are expected to attend the seminar each week, as well as the CSP Leadership, most Core Faculty, and selected guests.

PI(s): Rodney Hayward

Co-I(s): Matthew Davis, Gary Freed, Mary Ellen Heisler, Timothy Hofer, Joel Howell, Theodore Iwashyna, Eve Kerr, Joyce Lee, Richard Lichtenstein, Laurence McMahon Jr, Caroline Richardson, Mary AM Rogers, Sanjay Saint, Antonius Tsai, Michael Volk, Sara Waber

The Importance of First Impressions (Jun-05)

How do your risk estimate and your actual level of risk impact your anxiety? Please answer the following question to the best of your ability:

What is the chance that the average woman will develop breast cancer in her lifetime?

The average lifetime chance of developing breast cancer is actually 13%.

How does this risk of breast cancer (13% or 13 out of 100 women) strike you?
 
As an extremely low risk 1       2       3       4       5        6        7        8       9       10 As an extremely high risk
 

How do your answers compare?

Making a risk estimate can change the feel of the actual risk

CBDSM investigators Angela Fagerlin, Brian Zikmund-Fisher, and Peter Ubel designed a study to test whether people react differently to risk information after they have been asked to estimate the risks. In this study, half the sample first estimated the average woman's risk of breast cancer (just as you did previously), while the other half made no such estimate. All subjects were then shown the actual risk information and indicated how the risk made them feel and gave their impression of the size of the risk. The graph below shows what they found:

 

As shown in the graph above, subjects who first made an estimated risk reported significantly more relief than those in the no estimate group. In contrast, subjects in the no estimate group showed significantly greater anxiety. Also, women in the estimate group tended to view the risk as low, whereas those in the no estimate group tended to view the risk as high.

So what's responsible for these findings? On average, those in the estimate group guessed that 46% of women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives, which is a fairly large overestimate of the actual risk. It appears, then, that this overestimate makes the 13% figure feel relatively low, leading to a sense of relief when subjects find the risk isn't as bad as they had previously thought.

Why this finding is important

Clinical practice implications - The current research suggests that clinicians need to be very deliberate but very cautious in how they communicate risk information to their patients. These results argue that a physician should consider whether a person is likely to over-estimate their risk and whether they have an unreasonably high fear of cancer before having them make a risk estimation. For the average patient who would overestimate their risk, making a risk estimation may be harmful, leading them to be too relieved by the actual risk figure to take appropriate actions. On the other hand, if a patient has an unreasonably high fear of cancer, having them make such an estimate may actually be instrumental in decreasing their anxiety. Physicians may want to subtly inquire whether their patient is worried about her cancer risk or if she has any family history of cancer to address the latter type of patient.

Research implications - Many studies in cancer risk communication literature have asked participants at baseline about their perceived risk of developing specific cancers. Researchers then implement an intervention to "correct" baseline risk estimates. The current results suggest that measuring risk perceptions pre-intervention will influence people's subsequent reactions, making it difficult to discern whether it was the intervention that changed their attitudes or the pre-intervention risk estimate. Researchers testing out such interventions need to proceed with caution, and may need to add research arms of people who do not receive such pre-tests.

For more details: Fagerlin A, Zikmund-Fisher BJ, Ubel PA. How making a risk estimate can change the feel of that risk: shifting attitudes toward breast cancer risk in a general public survey. Patient Educ Couns. 2005 Jun;57(3):294-9.

 

 

Does order matter when distributing resources? (Jun-03)

Should people with more severe health problems receive state funding for treatment before people with less severe health problems? See how your opinion compares with the opinions of others.

Imagine that you are a government official responsible for deciding how state money is spent on different medical treatments. Your budget is limited so you cannot afford to offer treatment to everyone who might benefit. Right now, you must choose to spend money on one of two treatments.

  • Treatment A treats a life threatening illness. It saves patients' lives and returns them to perfect health after treatment
  • Treatment B treats a different life threatening illness. It saves patients' lives but is not entirely effective and leaves them with paraplegia after treatment. These patients are entirely normal before their illness but after treatment will have paraplegia.

Suppose the state has enough money to offer Treatment A to 100 patients. How many patients would have to offered Treatment B so that you would have difficulty choosing which treatment to offer?

How do your answers compare?

The average person said that it would become difficult to decide which treatment to offer when 1000 people were offered Treatment B.

What if you had made another comparison before the one you just made?

In the study, some people were asked to make a comparison between saving the lives of otherwise-healthy people and saving the lives of people who already had paraplegia. After they made that comparison, they made the comparison you just completed. The average person in that group said it would take 126 people offered Treatment B to make the decision difficult. The differences are shown in the graph below

Why is this important?

The comparison you made is an example of a person tradeoff (PTO). The PTO is one method used to find out the utilities of different health conditions. These utilities are basically measures of the severities of the conditions. More severe conditions have a lower utility, and less severe conditions have a higher utility, on a scale of 0 to 1. Insurance companies, the government, and other organizations use these utilities as a way to decide which group to funnel money into for treatments.

On the surface, it seems like basing the money division on the severity of a condition is a good and fair method, since theoretically the people who are in the greatest need will be treated first. However, the PTO raises issues of fairness and equity that aren't accounted for in other utility elicitation methods like the time tradeoff (TTO) and rating scale (RS).

For example, when asked to decide how many people with paraplegia would have to be saved to equal saving 100 healthy people, many people say 100; that is, they think it is equally important to save the life of someone with paraplegia and a healthy person. Going by values obtained using the TTO or RS, an insurance company may conclude that 160 people with paraplegia (using a utility of .6) would have to be saved to make it equal to saving 100 healthy people. This would mean that less benefit would be gotten by saving someone with paraplegia, and thus they might not cover expenses for lifesaving treatments for people with paraplegia as much as they would for a healthy person. The PTO shows that many people would not agree with doing this, even though their own responses to other utility questions generated the policy in the first place.

For more information see:

Ubel PA, Richardson J, Baron J. Exploring the role of order effects in person trade-off elicitations. Health Policy, 61(2):189-199, 2002.

CBSSM investigators Holly Witteman, Andrea Fuhrel-Forbis, Angela Fagerlin, and Brian Zikmund-Fisher, along with CBSSM alumni Peter Ubel and Andrea Angott will give a plenary talk at the Society for Medical Decision Making's 32nd Annual Meeting in Toronto on Monday, October 25.  The talk is titled, "Colostomy is Better than Death, but a 4% Chance of Death Might Be Better Than a 4% Chance of Colostomy: Why People Make Choices Seemingly At Odds With Their Stated Preferences." 

Abstract:

Purpose: When asked for their preference between death and colostomy, most people say that they prefer colostomy. However, when given the choice of two hypothetical treatments that differ only in that one has four percent chance of colostomy while the other has four percent additional chance of death, approximately 25% of people who say that they prefer colostomy actually opt for the additional chance of death. This study examined whether probability-sensitive preference weighting may help to explain why people make these types of treatment choices that are inconsistent with their stated preferences.

Method: 1656 participants in a demographically diverse online survey were randomly assigned to indicate their preference by answering either, “If you had to choose, would you rather die, or would you rather have a colostomy?†or, “If you had to choose, would you rather have a 4% chance of dying, or would you rather have a 4% chance of having a colostomy?†They were then asked to imagine that they had been diagnosed with colon cancer and were faced with a choice between two treatments, one with an uncomplicated cure rate of 80% and a 20% death rate, and another with an uncomplicated cure rate of 80%, a 16% death rate, and a 4% rate of colostomy.

Result: Consistent with our prior research, most people whose preferences were elicited with the first question stated that they preferred colostomy (80% of participants) to death (20%), but many then made a choice inconsistent with that preference (59% chose the treatment with higher chance of colostomy; 41% chose the treatment with higher chance of death). Compared to the first group, participants whose preferences were elicited with the 4% question preferred death (31%) over colostomy (69%) more often (Chi-squared = 24.31, p<.001) and their treatment choices were more concordant with their stated preferences (64% chose the treatment with higher chance of colostomy; 36% chose the treatment with higher chance of death, Chi-squared for concordance = 36.92, p<.001).

Conclusion: Our experiment suggests that probability-sensitive preference weighting may help explain why people’s medical treatment choices are sometimes at odds with their stated preferences. These findings also suggest that preference elicitation methods may not necessarily assume independence of probability levels and preference weights.


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