Berman Institute Monthly Newsletter July 2021

July 2021


Berman Institute faculty have created the COVID-19 Maternal Immunization Tracker (COMIT), a newly launched online resource providing a global snapshot of public health policies that shape access to COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant and lactating people. Read our announcement here.

Enabling Ethical Analysis and Public Justification in State-Level Pandemic Responses in the United States

Anne Barnhill was awarded a grant from The Greenwall Foundation. During the COVID-19 pandemic, state governments adopted policies that profoundly affected personal and public life, in some cases imposing costs, curtailing freedom and exacerbating inequities. It’s often claimed that such high-stakes policy decisions should be ethically assessed, should account for the diverse perspectives and values held by the public, and should be clearly explained and justified to the public. This project aims to improve the frequency and quality of such activities by creating ethics guidance and tools that are fine-tuned to real-world pandemic policy-making contexts.

Prof. Fanzo Awarded $3.8 Million to Apply Human Rights-Based Approach to Food Systems

The award supports the first phase of a ten-year project to strengthen the capacity of governments, peasants, and other people living in rural areas to adopt and incorporate human rights frameworks such as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP) into food policy and food systems action.

Gail Geller was named to the National Advisory Board of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health. Professor Geller will also serve as a Working Group Member on Direct-to-Consumer Microbiome-Based Health Testing at the University of Maryland School of Law.

Megan Collins received a Maryland Daily Record 2021 Healthcare Heroes Award.

Click to view

Statement based on the 4th international conference on global food security – December 2020: Challenges for a disruptive research AgendaGlobal Food Security
Authors: Patrick Caron, Martin van Ittersum, Tessa Avermaete, et al, including Jessica Fanzo.

Ethics and regulatory considerations for the clinical translation of somatic cell human epigenetic editingStem Cell Reports
Authors: Nikolajs Zeps, Tamra Lysaght, Ruth Chadwick, et al, including Jeremy Sugarman.

Ethics of HIV cure research: an unfinished agendaBMC Medical Ethics
Authors: Karine Dube, John Kanazawa, et al, including Jeremy Sugarman

Space Radiation and Astronaut Health: Managing and Communicating Cancer Risks: A Consensus Study ReportThe National Academies Press
Authors: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Committee on Assessment of Strategies for Managing Cancer Risks Associated with Radiation Exposure During Crewed Space Missions, includes Jeffrey Kahn.

Guidelines for Reporting Trial Protocols and Completed Trials Modified Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and Other Extenuating CircumstancesJAMA
Authors: Aaron M. Orkin, Peter J. Gill, Davina Ghersi, Lisa Campbell, Jeremy Sugarman, et al.

Structural and organizational factors shaping access to medication treatment for opioid use disorder in community supervisionDrug and Alcohol Dependence

Authors: Alene Kennedy-Hendricks, Sachini Bandara, Sydney Merritt, Colleen Barry, Brendan Saloner.

Covid-19, equity, and inclusivenessBMJ
Authors: Nicholas G Evans, Zackary D Berger, Alexandra L Phelan, Ross D Silverman.

The Ethics of Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation: Revisiting the Principles of Clinical BioethicsThe Annals of Thoracic Surgery
Authors: Zachary Enumah, Joseph Carrese, Chun Woo Choi

Barriers experienced by organ procurement organizations in implementing the HOPE act and HIV-positive organ donationAIDS Care
Authors: Zachary Predmore, Brianna Doby, Debra G. Bozzi, et al, induding Jeremy Sugarman

Burnout and moral resilience in interdisciplinary healthcare professionalsJournal of Clinical Nursing

Authors: Inga Antonsdottir, Cynda Rushton, Katie Nelson, et al.

Ethical considerations in the care of encephalopathic neonates treated with therapeutic hypothermiaSeminars in Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Authors: Monica Lemmon, Courtney Wusthoff, Renee Boss, et al.

Palliative care in lung transplantationAnnals of Palliative Medicine

Authors: Brandi Braud Scully, Eric Nolley, Errol Bush

Ethical issues in genetics and infectious diseases research: An interdisciplinary expert review,” Ethics, Medicine, and Public Health
Authors: Alexis Walker, Vence L. Bonham, Angie Boyce, et al, including Michelle Lewis, Debra Mathews, Gail Geller, Jeffrey Kahn

Global Food Systems, Diets, and Nutrition,” Palgrave Textbooks in Agricultural Economics and Food Policy
Authors: Jessica Fanzo, Claire Davis

Beyond price and income: Preferences and food values in peri-urban Viet Nam,” Appetite

Authors: Winnie Bell, Jennifer Coates, Jessica Fanzo, et al

Clinician–family relationships may impact neonatal intensive care: clinicians’ perspectives,” Journal of Perinatology
Authors: Jennifer J. Miller, Janet R. Serwint, Renee D. Boss

Concentration of Patient Care Among Buprenorphine-Prescribing Clinicians in the US,” JAMA

Authors: Bradley D. Stein, Brendan Saloner, Megan S. Schuler, et al

Cultural Values and Beliefs of Selected Local Communities in Botswana: Implications for Human Subject Research Ethics Practice,” Journal of Empirical Research on Human Subjects Research
Authors: Setlhomo Koloi-Keaikitse, Gail Geller, Dudu Jankie, Joseph Ali

Institutional Problems, Individual Solutions — The Burden on Black Physicians,” New England Journal of Medicine
Author: Alyssa M. Newman

Multiple cropping alone does not improve year-round food security among smallholders in rural India,” Environmental Research Letters
Authors: Pinki Mondal, Ruth S DeFries, Jessica Clark, et al, including Jessica Fanzo

Click to see full list

June 30

The ethical questions raised by COVID-19 vaccines: 5 essential reads
The Conversation
Experts writing for The Conversation, including Travis Rieder, have provided guidance on how to approach some of these ethical concerns.

June 29

With nod for vaccine in pregnancy, crores of families will breathe easy
The Times of India
The COMIT tracker is cited.

June 28

Statement based on the 4th international conference on global food security – December 2020: Challenges for a disruptive research Agenda
Global Food Security
Jessica Fanzo is a coauthor.

Global policies on COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy vary widely by country according to new online tracker
With comments from Ruth Faden.

Chemotherapy Drug Shortages in Pediatric Oncology
The Hematologist
Yoram Unguru is a guest.

June 22

How to Have the Hard Vaccination Conversations
The New York Times
With Ruth Faden

A Diet that’s Healthy for People, and the Planet
The Financial
With comments from Jessica Fanzo.

June 21

Midday On Ethics: The Challenge of Vaccination Authentication
In conversation with Jeffrey Kahn

June 17

Could the U.S. Have Saved More Lives? 5 Alternate Scenarios for the Vaccine Rollout
The New York Times
With comments from Ruth Faden.

June 11

New project takes off: fostering human rights in food systems
A multidisciplinary project consortium led by Dr. Jessica Fanzo,

June 10

The US Will Donate 500 Million Pfizer Vaccine Doses to the World. What Else Can Biden Do to Help End COVID-19?
Global Citizen
With comments from Ruth Faden.

June 8

On Top of Everything Else, the Pandemic Messed With Our Morals
The Atlantic
With comments from Cynda Rushton.

June 5

Aid agencies escalate Gaza relief effort
The Lancet News
With comments from Leonard Rubenstein.

June 4

You can eat cicadas, but be careful if you have seafood allergies, FDA warns
With comments from Jessica Fanzo.

“It’s Really, Truly Everywhere”: How the Opioid Crisis Worsened with COVID-19
The Commonwealth Fund: The Dose
With comments from Brendan Saloner.

June 1

The Pandemic Made Kids’ Eyesight Worse, Doctors Say
The Wall Street Journal
With comments from Megan Collins.


On June 21, Debra Mathews spoke at the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) Annual Meeting in a session on The Science and Ethics of Generating Gametes from Stem Cells. Her talk was titled “Reflections on the 2008 Hinxton Group Consensus Statement and a Decade of Scientific and Governance Evolution.”

On June 17, Leonard Rubenstein gave a talk titled “Syria’s conflict at ten years: ongoing violations of international humanitarian year” for the Syria Public Health Network and Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health.

On June 10, Leonard Rubenstein gave a talk titled “Attacks on Healthcare and Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict: Five Years On from UN Security Council Resolution 2286,” at the Centre for International Peace and Security Studies, McGill University.

On June 10, Jeremy Sugarman gave a talk titled “Stem Cell Research: From bench to bedside” at the Harvard Annual Bioethics Conference.

On June 10, Gail Geller and Sheethal Jose, along with Brian Garibaldi, gave a talk titled “Should genetic testing of patients and clinicians play a role in the management and control of infectious disease outbreaks?” at the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC) Virtual Summit.

On June 4, Leonard Rubenstein presented at the University of Manchester conference on Rethinking the History of Violence, Health and Care in Wartime, c. 1860-2000s.  His talk was titled “The stubborn persistence of military necessity to rationalize violence against health care.”

Yoram Unguru gave a talk titled “Cancer Predisposition: Identification and Management in the Era of Genomic Testing” at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL on June 4.