• Nature illustration by Piotr Kowalczyk

    Medicine is plagued by untrustworthy clinical trials. How many studies are faked or flawed?

    Jul 18, 2023
    NATURE: Investigations suggest that, in some fields, at least one-quarter of clinical trials might be problematic or even entirely made up, warn some researchers. They urge stronger scrutiny. Lisa Bero, PhD and colleagues acknowledge trustworthiness checks are sometimes unfair to the authors of randomized controlled trials, and exactly what should be checked to classify untrustworthy research, is still up for debate. Bero and a team of research-integrity experts have developed a set of red flags that might serve as the basis for creating a widely agreed method of assessment.
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  • Science cover 7_2023

    Mitigating bias in AI at the point of care

    Jul 13, 2023
    SCIENCE: Artificial intelligence (AI) shows promise for improving basic and translational science, medicine, and public health, but its success is not guaranteed. Numerous examples have arisen of racial, ethnic, gender, disability, and other biases in AI applications to health care. Co-authors Matthew DeCamp, MD, PhD and Charlotta Lindvall, MD, PhD write that ensuring equity will require more than unbiased data and algorithms. It will also require reducing biases in how clinicians and patients use AI-based algorithms—a potentially more challenging task than reducing biases in algorithms themselves.
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  • Dr. Wynia with Nancy Mueller, MD, FAAN

    Matthew Wynia recognized as one of 11 doctors that are moving medicine forward.

    Jun 10, 2023
    AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION: Center Director Matthew Wynia, MD, MPH, received the AMA Foundation Award for Leadership in Medical Ethics and Professionalism. Matt is one of 11 physicians to recieve an Excellence in Medicine Award at the AMA's June, 2023 meeting in Chicago, where he was recognized for his altruism, advocacy and professional skill, The award honors people dedicated to the principles of medical ethics and the highest standards of medical practice and who have made an outstanding contribution through active service in medical ethics activities.

    Dr. Wynia also was named as co-chair, along with Niva Lubin-Johnson, MD, MPH, of a task force to guide organizational transformation within and beyond the AMA toward restorative justice to promote truth, reconciliation, and healing in medicine and medical education.
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  • HHRJ logo

    Instituting Children’s Full Political Participation and Representation in the 21st Century United States

    Jul 12, 2023
    HARVARD HUMAN RIGHTS JOURNAL: As we approach the 100th anniversary of children’s rights, in which the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child stated that humanity “owes to the child the best that it has to give," this commentary by Warren Binford, JD, Ed.M, affirms the U.S. has a moral duty to more fully integrate children into our national priorities and decision-making.

    Children comprised 22.1 percent of the U.S. population in 2020 and yet just 7.4 percent of the federal budget was allocated for their needs. It is only when children are able to fully exercise their political rights that their needs will start to be addressed by a system that too often has dismissed them as merely children, and as a result, under-resourced them and their future.
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  • Melinda Beck illustration

    When doctors sugarcoat the truth, patients get shortchanged

    Jun 24, 2023
    WASHINGTON POST: Withholding information for the patient’s best interest was the norm in medicine for centuries. Doctors were the gatekeepers of health and their duty was to provide hope and comfort. Currently the doctor-patient partnership model has replaced that sort of medical paternalism. Yet doctors still make routine judgments about how much to tell patients.

    Too much information can be unhelpful and confusing, said CBH Research Director, Eric Campbell, PhD. Should a doctor decide that medical choices are over a patient’s head so they shouldn’t be mentioned or that a patient is too fragile to handle difficult news? Such assumptions can reflect an implicit bias that can lead to health disparities. Poorer outcomes can result when a doctor’s unconscious feelings about skin color, gender, disability, age or ethnicity influence what gets shared.
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  • Hickenlooper and Calif

    Federal Visit Brings Senator, FDA Commissioner to Campus

    Jun 26, 2023
    CU ANSCHUTZ NEWS: Senator John Hickenlooper and Federal Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf, MD, visited our campus on June 23rd. Following a tour of the Gates Manufacturing Facility, a group of researchers and CBH Director Matthew Wynia, MD, MPH, came together to discuss insights into pandemic preparedness with Hickenlooper and Califf, whose son graduated from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and practices in Colorado.

    Hickenlooper, is a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, is currently working on the reauthorization of the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA). That legislation addresses agencies, including preparedness programs at the FDA, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response and other public health infrastructure programs.
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  • NASE proceedings

    Sponsor Influences on the Quality and Independence of Health Research

    Jun 2, 2023
    NASEM: Chief Scientist Lisa Bero, PhD was the keynote presenter at a 3-day National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Workshop on the many ways that funding sources (especially corporate funders) can influence and impair research quality and outcomes.
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  • Dupont-3M

    Companies Covered Up Harm of PFAS ‘Forever Chemicals,’ New Study Finds

    Jun 1, 2023
    THE MESSENGER: Researchers Nadia Gaber, Lisa Bero, and Tracey J. Woodruff analyzed a trove of previously secret documents initially uncovered during litigation by Robert Bilott, the first attorney to successfully sue DuPont over PFAS. Bero and colleagues found that by “suppressing unfavorable research and distorting public discourse, 3M and DuPont were able to tamp down wider concern for decades, using strategies similar to Big Tobacco to keep the risks quiet."

    Their findings and implications for policy makers & the public were published in an article in the Annals of Global Health entitled, The Devil they Knew: Chemical Documents Analysis of Industry Influence on PFAS Science.
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  • Probability function for genotype by protein value for sICAM-1

    Large scale proteomic studies create novel privacy considerations

    Jun 7, 2023
    NATURE: Most people think about their genes as being uniquely identifiable to them. But new research by a team including Matthew DeCamp, MD, PhD and Marilyn Coors, PhD, shows that your " proteome "- the full set of proteins that are made from your genes, and include everything from blood cells to neurons to proteins like insulin - are just as unique.

    They found that even with only a modest number of proteins, researchers can link people to their genome with remarkable accuracy - meaning the proteome is not as anonymous as once thought.
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  • Chatbot image

    Do Chatbot Avatars Prompt Bias in Health Care?

    Jun 8, 2023
    CU ANSCHUTZ NEWS: Matthew DeCamp, MD, PhD, and colleagues are shining a light on artificial intelligence’s role — and appearance — in health care. “Sometimes overlooked is what a chatbot looks like – its avatar,” the researchers write in a new paper published in Annals of Internal Medicine. “Current chatbot avatars vary from faceless health system logos to cartoon characters or human-like caricatures. Chatbots could one day be digitized versions of a patient’s physician, with that physician’s likeness and voice. Far from an innocuous design decision, chatbot avatars raise novel ethical questions about nudging and bias.”
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  • Abrams and Wynia News Nation still

    Does decision to fine doctor who gave 10-year-old abortion make sense?

    May 31, 2023
    NEWS NATION: The Indiana Medical Licensing Board voted to reprimand Dr. Caitlin Bernard, an Indianapolis obstetrician-gynecologist, after she spoke to the press about providing an abortion to a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio.

    NewsNation host Dan Abrams says there’s “no way” anyone would be able to identify the patient based on the information disclosed by the doctor. Center Director Matthew Wynia, MD, MPH, weighed in stating, " This is an illustration that medical ethics and journalistic ethics worked in this case. What did not work in this case is political ethics."
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  • Oil spill

    How Are Chemical Harm Risks Established After an Industrial Spill?

    May 2, 2023
    CU ANSCHUTZ NEWS: Lisa Bero, PhD, Chief Scientist at CBH and Research Professor at the the Colorado School of Public Health, recently led a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine committee to improve processes that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses to identify harm posed to humans and the environment following industrial chemical spills. “Harm is something that I think gets conflated with safety,” said Bero.

    “Established levels for a chemical’s harm don’t necessarily mean that if you’re slightly outside that level, it’s safe. And it further depends on the data as well, which is always limited. For example, liver toxicity studies are often done acutely – high levels of exposure in a short period of time – rather than at lower levels over an extended period," Bero said.
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  • Milbank centennial edition

    The Perils of Medicalization for Population Health and Health Equity

    Apr 25, 2023
    THE MILBANK QUARTERLY: Daniel Goldberg, JD, PhDand co-authors find that medicalization defines behavioral and physiological responses to social phenomena as individual pathology and disease (often with elements of stigma and social control), which are in turn viewed as individual medical problems to be diagnosed, treated, and influenced by authorities within the field of medicine.

    Medicalization has encroached into both population health science and public health, bringing with it a myopic focus on the role of the medical care delivery system in intervening upon individual acute medical and social needs. This leaves the root-cause social, economic, and political drivers of population health invisible, ignored, and undisturbed.
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  • Raymond and Beverly Sackler in 2004. The family branch’s donations to the National Academies began in 2008.

    Sacklers Gave Millions to Institution That Advises on Opioid Policy

    Apr 24, 2023
    NEW YORK TIMES: For the past decade, the White House and Congress have relied on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, a renowned advisory group, to help shape the federal response to the opioid crisis, by convening expert panels or delivering policy recommendations and reports. Yet officials with the National Academies have kept quiet about one thing: their decision to accept roughly $19 million in donations from members of the Sackler family, the owners of Purdue Pharma, the maker of the drug OxyContin that is notorious for fueling the opioid epidemic.

    CBH Chief Scientist Lisa Bero, PhD, said the group’s longtime failure to disclose financial ties between committee members and industry placed the Academies in the “dark ages” of research integrity. Accepting millions of dollars from the Sackler family while advising the federal government on pain policy “would be considered a conflict of interest under almost any conflict-of-interest policy I’ve ever seen.”
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  • FakeTipsBanner

    Six Tips for Spotting Fake Health News

    Mar 27, 2023
    CU ANSCHUTZ TODAY: Everybody can help fight the health misinformation epidemic by not falling for – and not sharing – fake news. Lisa Bero, PhD Chief Scientist at CBH offers six tactics for separating fact from fiction in medical studies.
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  • ODVV logo

    Children’s interests are a moral compass for decision-making

    Mar 12, 2023
    ORGANIZATION FOR DEFENDING VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE: As the international community finds itself fractured by conflicts, economic instability, pandemics, and the looming climate emergency, children are the ones who prove to be the most vulnerable. Iranian journalist Kourosh Ziabari interviews Warren Binford, JD, Ed.M.,, W.H. Lea for Justice Endowed Chair in Pediatric Law, Ethics & Policy, and Director for Pediatric Law, Ethics & Policy at the Kempe Center, about the key challenges to children’s rights and the most viable strategies to respond to them. Read article>>
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  • Health Policy Nirvana

    When Crafting Public Health Policy, the Perfect Shouldn’t Be the Enemy of the Good

    Mar 9, 2023
    BILL OF HEALTH-HARVARD LAW: Daniel Goldberg, JD, PhD argues that the premise of harm reduction rests on the idea that the perfect ought not be the enemy of the good. We live in a non-ideal world and public health interventions must be designed and implemented with such imperfections in mind.

    Utopian ideals are important insofar as they frame the state of play between our current world and the destinations that we are trying to reach. However, the map is not the territory; clinging too much to a plan even when real-world conditions frustrate the ideal journey may leave travelers lost in the wilderness.
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  • Victor Juhasz illustration for The Nation

    When Force-Feeding Is Torture

    Mar 7, 2023
    THE NATION: After 3.5 years of litigation, the DOJ has released video footage depicting the force-feeding of Mohammad Salameh, detained at ADX Florence, a federal prison in Colorado that houses one of the most secretive units in the United States. Salameh reports that he was force-fed more than 200 times over the course of his eight hunger strikes. The newly-released videos and an accompanying feature depict two instances of medical treatment forced on Salameh: one rehydration by IV and one feeding by nasogastric tube.

    Matthew Wynia, MD, MPH, Director of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities and Advisor to Physicians for Human Rightssays there is no doubt that the Bureau of Prisons violated medical ethics and international law in providing forced medical treatment to Salameh. The force-feeding was conducted in a manner far outside of medical norms, causing significant discomfort to Salameh and potentially endangering his life.
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  • MaryLou-and-Agnes

    A Denver Researcher Highlights Older Queer Women Through Photographs

    Feb 27, 2023
    5280 MAGAZINE: Carey Candrian, PhD, associate professor at CU School of Medicine, photographed older Colorado women who are a part of the LGBTQ community for her exhibit, Eye to Eye: Portraits of Pride, Strength, Beauty, which was displayed at the Fulginiti from October 2022-July 2021. The show is now on display at the Bob Ragland Branch Library in Denver.

    "As academics, we get pressured to publish literature and write books, and I’ve done those things. None of them have had an impact as much as these photographs. I spend a lot of time thinking about how different things would be if we disseminated data in a way that was more accessible and in a way that could actually lead to change. Art is a really great way to change culture. It’s harder to hate someone to their face.”

    "Doing research requires a certain level of trust between the researcher and the participants. The bravery and courage these women have shown has been phenomenal. They’ve been trained to stay silent, and then having to say yes to their photos and stories being on display throughout the entire state is a level of courage that I think is only made possible through that trust."
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  • LA times Covid tests

    Opinion: The COVID ‘emergency’ is ending. Here’s who will be hurt most

    Feb 16, 2023
    LA TIMES: Authors Wendy Netter Epstein and Daniel Goldberg warn that a direct consequence of ending the U.S. Public Health Emergency will be that uninsured and undocumented people won’t be able to access care for COVID. This is a tragedy in its own right and is likely to expand racial health inequalities connected to COVID. It will also have broader impacts on the community and the economy as COVID will spread, workforce shortages will continue and burdens of long COVID will increase.

    They suggest States work to enact social policies that are likely to reduce COVID-related inequalities, such as paid sick leave laws, universal basic income requirements and supplemental nutrition assistance programs.
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