Thursday, December 8, 2016

Health and Medicine

Do medical advances, like stem cell research, promise eternal youth or an ethical quagmire? With skyrocketing medical costs and aging populations, will even rich societies be unable to assure decent medical care for all? Are millions needlessly dying in poor countries because they suffer from diseases that do not affect the rich? What will be the payoff of the mapping of the human genome?

Medicine is being transformed by a scientific and technological revolution. But will new and better drugs and longer life spans come at too high a cost to our ethical and moral norms? The question is too important to be left to experts and accountants. Informed discussion requires that the public understand the social, economic, and political implications of today’s medical advances.

Survey after survey shows that readers look to their newspapers for news about improvements in medicine and their impact on health. Project Syndicate’s monthly series of commentaries on Health and Medicine brings cutting edge medical discoveries and thorny policy issues to newspaper readers everywhere. Committed to identifying and presenting ideas that demand wider attention, Project Syndicate is uniquely suited to “translate” the technology and ethics of state-of-the-art medicine into language that the broad public can understand.

The contributors include some of the world’s leading physicians, including Nobel laureates Paul Berg and Christian de Duve, and such renowned experts as Claude Kordon of the French Institute of Health and Medical Research, Harvard’s infectious disease expert Paul Farmer, Oxford University Professor of Physiology and Director of the Royal Institute Susan Greenfield, and Lennart Levi of Sweden’s Karolinska Institute.

Editing the series is Joanna Rose, science writer for Forskning & Framsteg magazine and producer of Swedish Radio’s “Filosofiska Rummet” program.

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