Berman Institute Monthly Newsletter – October 2020

October 2020


Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has appointed Brendan Saloner, PhD, as a Bloomberg Associate Professor of American Health in the Department of Health Policy and Management. This is an endowed position supported by the Bloomberg American Health Initiative through a gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Saloner is an associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management, with a joint appointment in Mental Health. He is also core faculty in the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. His research focuses on the intersection of health and social policy, particularly on the role of public programs that serve people with substance use disorders.

Cynda Rushton, along with Theresa Brown, the American Journal of Nursing, and New Voice Strategies published a report titled “The Wisdom of Frontline Nurses: 14 Solutions.” This report is a culmination of stories solicited from nurses from around the country. The 14 summary recommendations from those at the front line provide an important perspective born of the reality of dealing with dying patients and grieving families, making do with unsafe equipment, fearing for their own lives and those of their families, and knowing that it didn’t have to be this way.

This fall, the Berman Institute quickly created and offered a new elective, Ethical and Policy Challenges in the Era of Covid-19: Implications for Clinical Practice, Research and Public Health. The elective was made available to medical students whose in-person clinical rotations were disrupted by the pandemic.

The Berman Institute virtually hosted the 2nd Annual Stavros Niarchos Foundation Bioethics Academy, in which panelists unraveled some of the prominent and interesting ethical dilemmas that affect us all during the COVID-19 pandemic that has changed our world dramatically. Nancy KassRuth FadenJeffrey Kahn, and Jeremy Sugarman served as panelists.

Joe Ali is hosting a podcast on Ethics, COVID-19 & Africa along with colleagues from the continent. The goal of this podcast series is to explore, from an African perspective, the ethical challenges facing government, institutions, researchers, and the public as we collectively manage the COVID-19 pandemic. The topics covered include:

  • Ethical Aspects of COVID-19 and Non-COVID-19 Research during the Pandemic (mp3)
  • The Public Health Response to COVID-19 (mp3)
  • Health System Preparedness and Clinical Ethics Issues in Ethiopia (mp3)
  • Application of Digital and Mobile Technologies in the Context of COVID-19 (URL)

The Berman Institute has created a YouTube series of short Bioethics Conversations on COVID-19 and other ethics topics. Episodes include:


October 12, 12:00 – 1:00 PM EST

Seminar: An African Philosophical Perspective on the Tension between Autonomy and Solidarity

Caesar Atuire, PhD
This event will take place on Zoom. The passcode for the event is: Atuire

October 15 – 18

The Berman Institute will be well represented at the virtual 22nd annual meeting of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities(ASBH), with a group of faculty, fellows, and students scheduled to present. Visit our virtual exhibit and see the schedule of Berman Institute affiliates’ presentations.

The Berman Institute will sponsor the plenary session: Social Justice and Bioethics through the Lens of the Story of Henrietta Lacks. Topics include structural injustice; the perspective of members of the Lacks family; a retrospective on law, social justice, and bioethics from the release of the Belmont Report in 1979 to the present; and a discussion of how architecture and design can represent legacy and naming. An audience Q&A will follow the panel presentations.

The Institute is a co-sponsor of a special performance by Theater of War at ASBH on Saturday, October 17th from 6:00 – 8:30 PM EST. This special presentation of Antigone in Ferguson on Zoom will foreground the perspectives of people in Baltimore, Maryland whose lives have been impacted by racialized police violence and health inequity. The performance is free and open to the public; register for this free Zoom event. Watch the trailer here.

October 26, 12:00 – 1:00 PM EST

Seminar: Humanitarian Ethics and COVID-19

Hugo Slim, PhD
This event will take place on Zoom. The passcode for the event is: Slim

October 30, 12:00 – 1:00 PM EST

Seminar: Viral Justice: Pandemics, Policing, and Public Bioethics

Ruha Benjamin, PhD
This seminar will take place on Zoom. The passcode for the event is: Benjamin


Click to view

COVID-19 and World Order: The Future of Conflict, Competition, and Cooperation
JHU Press
Editors: Hal Brands, Francis J. Gavin
In a series of essays, international experts in public health and medicine, economics, international security, technology, ethics, democracy, and governance imagine a bold new vision for our future. Essayists include: Jessica FanzoJeremy A. Greene, and Jeffrey P. Kahn.

Early Effects of COVID-19 on Programs Providing Medications for Opioid Use Disorder in Jails and Prisons
Journal of Addiction Medicine
Authors: Sachini Bandara, Alene Kennedy-Hendricks, Sydney Merritt, Colleen L. Berry, Brendan Saloner

Nurses Confronting the Coronavirus: Challenges Met and Lessons Learned to Date
Nursing Outlook
Authors: Connie M. Ulrich, Cynda Rushton, Christine Grady

Pain in the Pandemic: Ethical Approaches During COVID-19
Pain Medicine
Authors: L. McLean House, Kayla N. Tabari, Travis Rieder, Zachary L. McCormick

Underlying Determinants of and Solutions for Malnutrition in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Public Health Nutrition: Essentials for Practitioners
Authors: Marie L. Spiker, Scott B. Ickes, Jessica Fanzo, Jessica Jones-Smith

Effect of Outpatient Note Templates on Note Quality: NOTE (Notation Optimization through Template Engineering) Randomized Clinical Trial
Journal of General Internal Medicine
Authors: Jeremy A. Epstein, Joseph Cofrancesco, Mary Catherine Beach, Amanda Bertram, Helene F. Hedian, Sara Mixter, Hsin-Chieh Yeh, Gail Berkenblit

Genetically Related Choriocarcinoma Developing 5 Yr After a Complete Hydatidiform Mole and Simulating a Cornual Ectopic Pregnancy
International Journal of Gynecological Pathology
Authors: Danielle B. Chau, Anna L. Beavis, Brigitte M. Ronnett, Erik Jenson, Christopher D. Gocke, Jean Anderson, Amanda Nickles Fader, Rebecca Stone

Performance and Acceptability of Self-Collected HPV Testing Among Women Living with HIV
International Journal of Infectious Diseases
Authors: Runzhi Wang, Kristen Lee, Charlotte A. Gaydos, Jean Anderson, Jean Keller, Jenell Coleman

Critical Care Guidance for Tracheostomy Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Global, Multidisciplinary Approach
American Journal of Critical Care
Authors: Vinciya Pandian, Linda L. Morris, Martin B. Brodsky, James Lynch, Brian Walsh, Cynda Rushton, Jane Phillips, Alphonsa Rahman, Troy DeRose, Leah Lambe, Lionel Lami, Sarah Pui Man Wu, Francisco Paredes Garza, Simona Maiani, Andrea Zavalis, Kafilat Ajoke Okusanya, Patrick A. Palmieri, Brendan A. McGrath, Paolo Pelosi, Mary Lou Sole, Patricia Davidson, Michael J. Brenner

Critical Care Guidance for Tracheostomy Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Global, Multidisciplinary Approach
American Journal of Critical Care
Authors: Vinciya Pandian, Linda L. Morris, Martin B. Brodsky, James Lynch, Brian Walsh, Cynda Rushton, Jane Phillips, Alphonsa Rahman, Troy DeRose, Leah Lambe, Lionel Lami, Sarah Pui Man Wu, Francisco Paredes Garza, Simona Maiani, Andrea Zavalis, Kafilat Ajoke Okusanya, Patrick A. Palmieri, Brendan A. McGrath, Paolo Pelosi, Mary Lou Sole, Patricia Davidson, Michael J. Brenner

Ethical Dilemmas for Nursing Students and Faculty: In Their Own Voices
Nursing Education Perspectives 
Authors: Veronica D. Feeg, Diane J. Mancino, Cynda Hylton Rushton, Kyra J. Waligora Mendez, Jennifer Baierlein

Innovation on the Reservation: Information Technology and Health Systems Research among the Papago Tribe of Arizona, 1965–1980

Authors: Jeremy A. Greene, Victor Braitberg, Gabriella Maya Bernadett

The Impact of Various Risk Assessment Time Frames on the Performance of Opioid Overdose Forecasting Models

Medical Care
Authors: Hsien-Yen Chang, Lindsey Ferris, Matthew Eisenberg, Noa Krawczyk, Kristin E. Schneider, Klaus Lemke, Thomas M. Richards, Kate Jackson, Vijay D. Murthy, Jonathan P. Weiner, Brendan Saloner

Is Geographic Socioeconomic Disadvantage Associated with the Rate of THA in Medicare-aged Patients?
Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
Authors: Rafa Rahman, Joseph K. Canner, Ellioit R. Haut, Casey Jo Humbyrd

Informed Consent for Mobile Phone Health Surveys in Colombia: A Qualitative Study:
Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics
Authors: Mariana Rodriguez-Patarroyo, Angelica Torres-Quintero, Andres I. Vecino-Ortiz, Kristina Hallez, Aixa Natalia Franco-Rodriguez, Eduardo A. Rueda Barrera, Stephanie Puerto, Dustin G. Gibson, Alain Labrique, George W. Pariyo, Joseph Ali

Click to see full list

October 27

Jeffrey Kahn will be a guest on Midday with Tom Hall to discuss current ethics topics.

September 29

Trump Is Encouraging Big Pharma’s Worst Instincts
The New Republic
With comments from Ruth Faden.


September 28

Rapid Covid Tests for Schools Are Important: Johns Hopkins [VIDEO]
Bloomberg Markets
Megan Collins is a guest.


September 24

Bioethicists condemn DIY COVID-19 vaccine efforts
ABC News
With comments from Ruth Faden

Contact Tracing Apps Struggle to Be Both Effective and Private
IEEE Spectrum
With comments from Joseph Ali.


September 23

Who should get the Covid-19 vaccine first? The equality vs. equity debate, explained.
With comments from Ruth Faden.


September 22

With Limited COVID-19 Vaccine Doses, Who Would Get Them First?
With comments from Ruth Faden.


September 29

Climate Change Places Vulnerable Populations in a Double Bind During Storm Seasons in COVID-19 Era

Berman Institute of Bioethics

Vivian Altiery De Jesús writes.


September 17

Who gets a COVID vaccine first? Access plans are taking shape
With comments from Ruth Faden.

Why distributing a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine will be global challenge
AMA Ethics Talk
Ruth Faden was a guest.


September 16

To find a vaccine for COVID-19, will we have to deliberately infect people?
National Geographic
With comments from Jeffrey Kahn.


September 15

World Health Organization announces distribution plan for COVID-19 vaccine
ABC News
With comments from Ruth Faden, who worked on the plan.

Protection for All: Equitable Distribution of COVID-19 Vaccines
Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health Magazine
With comments from Ruth Faden.

4 Rs Strategy Offers a Fresh Perspective to Confront Ethical Challenges

With comments from Cynda Rushton.


September 11

The ethics of pausing a vaccine trial in the midst of a pandemic: a conversation with Ruth Faden
Ruth Faden is interviewed.


September 10

App-Based Contact Tracing Has Been a Bust. Apple Wants to Try Something New.
With comments from Jeffrey Kahn.

Some of the most vulnerable to COVID say they won’t get a vaccine
Nancy Kass is a guest.


September 9

An Epidemic’s Electronic Eyes
Johns Hopkins HUB
With comments from Jeffrey Kahn.

Making a COVID-19 vaccine is tough enough. Figuring out who gets it first could be even tougher
Marketplace Morning Report
Nancy Kass is a guest. (Segment starts at 4:07)

Why AstraZeneca pausing its COVID-19 vaccine trial may be good news
ABC News
comments from Ruth Faden.


September 2

Maryland Will Soon Use Cellphones to Help with Contact Tracing for the Coronavirus. Here’s What You Need to Know
Baltimore Sun
With comments from Jeffrey Kahn.


September 1

These Scientists Are Giving Themselves DIY Coronavirus Vaccines
New York Times

With comments from Jeffrey Kahn


Apple and Google expand coronavirus warning software
Washington Post
With comments from Jeffrey Kahn. This story was syndicated in MSN Money.


Can Greek Tragedy Get Us Through the Pandemic?
The New Yorker
Coverage of the Theater of War. The Berman Institute is a co-sponsor of their performances.

Scientists are giving DIY coronavirus vaccines to themselves and sometimes to friends, family

Fox News

With comments from Jeffrey Kahn.


July 14

A Medical Student’s Hope

Doximity: Op-Med

MBE student Liz Ghandakly writes.


October 28

Yoram Unguru will give a talk to the Leukemia / Lymphoma Society titled Drug shortages, ethical dilemmas, and clinical trials.


October 26

Nancy Kass will give a seminar on “COVID-19 Vaccine Challenge Studies: What are the Ethics of Deliberately Infecting Participants to Speed Up The Science?” at the University of Malaya as part of their Master of Health Research Ethics program.


October 9

Yoram Unguru served as a discussant for a #policyethx Session titled Drug Shortages: Policy Solutions and Ethical Responses, as part of the Harvard Medical School Policy & Bioethics Consortium.


September 30

Jeffrey Kahn was a speaker at an event hosted by the National Academies’ Science & Entertainment Exchange. The event was titled: The COVID-19 Dashboard: Deciphering the Data, Visualizing the Virus.


September 24

Debra Mathews gave a talk titled The Ethics of Gene Therapy as part of the Baltimore-Washington Genetics Group Educational Series at an event called The Treatment of Genetic Disorders: Today and Tomorrow.


September 17

Jess Fanzo and Rebecca McLaren spoke at a webinar on the Food Systems Dashboard: A Decision-Making Tool for Better Food Governance Decisions.


Jeremy Sugarman served on a panel at the President’s Session: Ethics, Legislation and Regulation” of the 2020 Cord Blood Virtual Connect.


September 16

Jess Fanzo gave a talk titled Eating Healthy, Sustainably and Equitably in the Anthropocene Era as part of Tufts University’s Friedman School Speaker Series.


September 10

Jeremy Sugarman spoke at the 2020 Cord Blood Conference – “Path to the Future,” hosted by the Arizona Cord Blood Program. His talk was titled “Ethical Considerations of Stem Cell Use from Cord Blood and Tissues.”