Berman Institute Monthly Newsletter – December 2020

December 2020


New $3.3 million NIH-funded study will examin ethical, policy implications of workplace genomic testing

Researchers from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine will lead an interdisciplinary, multi-institution study of the ethical, legal and social implications of workplace genomic testing in the United States. Debra Mathews is part of the research team.

This award was covered in Genome Web and Global Banking and Finance.


Cross-Disciplinary Team Will Design, Develop Devices to Better Treat Spinal Cord Injuries

A team of Johns Hopkins biomedical engineers and neurosurgeons has received $13.48 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop implantable ultrasound and other devices that could revolutionize care for people suffering from spinal cord injuries. Alan Regenberg is part of the research team.

Postdoctoral fellow Brandi Baud Scully has accepted a fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital for congenital cardiac surgery. She will start in August 2021.

Jeremy Sugarman served on the Research and Research Oversight Working Group for the National Academy of Medicine Special Publication: Health Data Sharing to Support Better Outcomes: Building a Foundation of Stakeholder Trust.


Vaccine Ethics: What Are We Learning from COVID-19?
Cosponsors: Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs & The Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics 
December 3, 12:00 – 1:30 pm EST
As the race for COVID–19 vaccines enters its next stage, we are faced with broad ethical challenges, along with specific questions of principle and practice. Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, will moderate a panel discussion on the ethics of the COVID-19 vaccines. Panelists: Ruth Faden, Clive Meanwell, Nicole Hassoun, and Reed Tuckson.


Theater of War for Frontline Medical Providers: Montefiore
December 8, 12:00 – 2:00 pm EST
This event uses Sophocles’ Philoctetes and Women of Trachis to create a vocabulary for discussing themes such as personal risk, death/dying, grief, deviation from standards of care, abandonment, helplessness, and complex ethical decisions, the project aims to foster connection, community, moral resilience, and positive action. Featuring performances by Kathryn Erbe, Marjolaine Goldsmith, Frankie Faison, and David Strathairn. Open to all; link for free registration.


Adapting the Monitored Emergency Use of Unregistered and Investigational Interventions (MEURI) to a high income country setting
December 16, 8:00 – 9:00 am EST
Hot Topics in Research Ethics Series: Dr. Voo Teck Chuan will examine the application of WHO’s MEURI framework to the ethical provision of unproven interventions to treat COVID-19 patients in Singapore. Register here.


Click to view

A Palliative Care Intervention for Patients on Phase 1 StudiesJournal of Palliative Medicine
Authors: Betty Ferrell, Vincent Chung, Mark T. Hughes, et al


Opinion: For now, it’s unethical to use human challenge studies for SARS-CoV-2 vaccine developmentPNAS
Authors: Jeffrey P. KahnLeslie Meltzer Henry, Anna C. Mastroianni, et al


The public’s role in COVID-19 vaccination: human-centered recommendations to enhance pandemic vaccine awareness, access, and acceptance in the United StatesVaccine
Authors: Monica Schoch-Spana, Emily K.Brunson, Rex Long, et al., including Alexandra RuthNancy Kass

Ethical and Practical Concerns about IRB Restrictions on the Use of Research Data
Ethics & Human Research
Authors: Mark Barnes, Judith Carrithers, Jeremy Sugarman


Juntos en la pandemia de COVID-19 (together in the COVID-19 pandemic): health-care professionals and the Latinx community, The Lancet Respiratory Medicine
Authors: Sandra E. Zaeh, Kathleen R. Page, Zackary D. Berger, et al

Opioid agonist treatment is highly protective against overdose death among a U.S. statewide population of justice-involved adults
, The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Authors: Noa Krawczyk, Ramin Mojtabai, Elizabeth A. Stuart, et al, including Brendan Saloner


Genomics in the era of COVID-19: ethical implications for clinical practice and public healthGenome Medicine
Authors: Gail Geller, Priya Duggal, Chloe L. Thio, Debra MathewsJeffrey P. Kahn, Lisa L. Maragakis, Brian T. Garibaldi


Public attitudes toward an authorization for contact program for clinical researchJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association
Authors: Nyiramugisha K. Niyibizi, Candace D. Speight, Charlie Gregor, et al, including Jeremy Sugarman


Restarting Orthopaedic Care in a Pandemic: Ethical Framework and Case ExamplesThe Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Authors: CJ Humbyrd, AM Dunham, AL Xu, TN Rieder


Tolerance for Ambiguity Among Medical Students: Patterns of Change During Medical School and Their Implications for Professional DevelopmentAcademic Medicine
Authors: Gail Geller, Douglas Grbic, Kathryn M. Andolsek, Marie Caulfield, Lindsay Roskovensky


Conceptual framework of food systems for children and adolescentsGlobal Food Security
Authors: Ahmed Raza, Elizabeth L. Fox, Saul S. Morris, et al, including Jessica Fanzo

The Case for ‘Contributory Ethics’: Or How to Think about Individual Morality in a Time of Global ProblemsEthics, Policy & Environment 
Authors: Travis N. Rieder & Justin Bernstein


“Do I Have to Be Tested?”: Understanding Reluctance to Be Screened for COVID-19American Journal of Public Health
Authors: Aron Egelko, Leen Arnaout, Joshua Garoon, Carl Streed, Zackary Berger


Measuring Health Care Interprofessionals’ Moral Resilience: Validation of the Rushton Moral Resilience ScaleJournal of Palliative Medicine
Authors: Katherine E. Heinze, Ginger Hanson, Heidi Holtz, Sandra M. Swoboda, Cynda H. Rushton


Treatment Recommendations to Parents During Pediatric Tonsillectomy Consultations:A Mixed Methods Analysis of Surgeon LanguagePatient Education and Consulting
Authors: Anne R.Linksa, Wynne Callon, Carly Wassermanc, et al, including Mary Catherine Beach


Special Double Issue on Covid-19Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal
Editors: Quill R. Kukla and Travis N. Rieder


The Product Reformulation Journey So Far: An Assessment, GAIN Discussion Paper
Authors: Jessica Fanzo and Rebecca McLaren

Click to see full list

November 24

Will you need a COVID-19 vaccine to fly?
Fast Company 
With comments from Jeffrey Kahn.


November 23

Walz announces new, anonymous COVID-19 exposure notification app
With comments from Jeffrey Kahn.


November 22

America’s vaccine conundrum
New York Daily News
Written by Nancy Kass and Ruth Faden.


November 20

Who should get the Covid-19 vaccine first? 
With comments from Ruth Faden.


November 19

Covid-19 Vaccines and Pregnant Women: Ruth Faden on MSNBC
Ruth Faden was a guest.


Covid tracing fans public health vs privacy debate
Financial Times
With comments from Jeffrey Kahn.


November 18

Future of health: Why we need to make space for bioethics

Silicon Republic

An interview of Marielle Gross.


Plant-based bonanza: Unilever sets €1bn sales target for meat and dairy alternatives

Business Green

With comments from Jessica Fanzo.


Lung tissue from aborted fetus not used in AstraZeneca vaccine development

AP News

With comments from Nancy Kass.


November 17

Pregnant women haven’t been included in promising COVID-19 vaccine trials
The 19th
With comments from Ruth Faden. This article was syndicated to USA Today.


November 16

Greek tragedy helps frontline medical workers cope with COVID-19
The HUB 
Theater of War for Frontline Medical Providers—developed by Theater of War Productions, the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, and the Johns Hopkins Program in Arts, Humanities & Health—presents dramatic readings by acclaimed actors of scenes from ancient Greek plays for audiences of frontline medical providers to open up powerful dialogue about difficult subjects.


November 15

Coronavirus: “Hay que ser honesto con lo que se sabe y lo que no se sabe sobre las vacunas contra el Covid-19”, plantea una reconocida bioética

La Nacion

Ruth Faden was interviewed (article in Spanish).


November 10

Verdict Still Out on Covid-19 Notification App
Fox 45 – Baltimore
Jeffrey Kahn offers comments.


Contact Tracing Apps Were Big Tech’s Best Idea for Fighting COVID-19. Why Haven’t They Helped?
With comments from Jeffrey Kahn.


November 9

Should the Federal Government Pay People to Get a COVID-19 Vaccination?
With comments from Nancy Kass. The Healthline article was covered in The Miami Herald.


November 5

Genomic testing in the U.S. workplace

Global Banking and Finance

Coverage of new NIH-funded work including Debra Mathews.


Jackson Laboratory Wins $3.4M NHGRI Grant to Study Workplace Genomic Testing

Genome Web

Coverage of new NIH-funded work including Debra Mathews.


November 4

The Struggles of Physical Activity while Distance Learning
Rediscovering Play Podcast
November 4, 2020
Katelyn Esmonde and Keshia Pollack-Porter discuss their recent article.


Former NBA player shares past drug addiction as overdose deaths rise across U.S.
WJLA – Washington, DC
With comments from Brendan Saloner.


November 2

Princeton professor presents a new theory on countering racism at bioethics lecture

The Johns Hopkins News-Letter

The Berman Institute’s Bioethics Seminar Series was covered by this student publication


December 10

Jeffrey Kahn will serve on a panel titled “Let’s Talk Digital Ethics” at the 4th Annual NODE Health Digital Medicine Conference, hosted by the Network of Digital Evidence in Health.


December 1

Anne Barnhill was an invited guest at a workshop on How SARS2 Vaccine Allocation Schemes Ought to Respond to Background Inequity, hosted by the Center for Population-Level Bioethics at Rutgers University.


November 21

Anne Barnhill and Jan Dutkiewicz gave a talk titled “Peak Anthropocene: Cellular Agriculture and the Politics of Disruptive Harm Reduction” at a workshop on Assailing the Anthropocene: The Ethics of Disruptive Innovations for Surviving Our Climate-Changed World hosted by the Department of Philosophy at Bowling Green State University.


November 20

Joseph Carrese and Jeremy Sugarman presented at a webinar on Pandemic Related Consent, Research and Ethics hosted by the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC). Dr. Carrese’s presentation was titled “COVID-19 and Clinical Ethics: Considerations for Practitioners and Practice.” Dr. Sugarman’s presentation was titled “Ethics and COVID-19 Research Institutional Prioritization.”


November 14-19

Mark Hughes gave a meeting titled “Two Sides of the Same Coin: End of Life Challenges During COVID-19 for Patients and Healthcare Professionals” at the 2020 AMA Medical Student Section Virtual Interim Meeting.


November 13

Jeremy Sugarman, along with Judith Carrithers, gave a talk titled “Working Towards Ethically Sound Research” at the Cement Extramural Leadership Institute at the National Institutes of Health


November 10

Jeffrey Kahn moderated a session titled “Our Health, Your Security” at the 9/11 Memorial Summit on Security.


November 9

Jeremy Sugarman spoke at the International Virtual Conference: Research, Ethics and the Quest to Cure COVID-19 hosted by the Bioethics and Law Center at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University. His talk was titled “Ethics and COVID-19 Research Institutional Prioritization.”


November 6 & November 18

Jeremy Sugarman served on two workshops of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise’s Virtual Workshop Series: Design Approaches for Current and Future HIV Prevention Efficacy Trials. During the session on Future Design Approaches for Settings where All Participants Are On Active Prevention, Dr. Sugarman spoke at two subsessions on ARV Based Prevention (November 6) and Vaccines (November 18).


November 6

Yoram Unguru gave a talk at the Thirteenth Annual Pediatric Bioethics Conference, hosted by the Wolfson Children’s Hospital at the University of North Florida. His talk was titled “Respect or Resist – Refusal of Standard Treatments for Favorable Prognosis Childhood Cancer.  When Children & Parents Say No.”


November 4

Anne Barnhill gave a guest lecture on the ethics of COVID-19 vaccine allocation in the Ethical and Regulatory Aspects of Human Research course at the NIH Department of Bioethics.