About 40 percent of eligible people have been vaccinated against the flu in recent years, but many more might do so were it not for persistent myths about the disease and its vaccine. For example, a new survey shows that more than half of parents believe the flu shot can cause the flu. Experts explain why those myths aren’t true and set the record straight.
Dr. William Schaffner, Professor of Preventive Medicine & Infectious Diseases, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Dr. Jean Moorjani, pediatric hospitalist, Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital, Orlando, FL
Dr. Michael Deem, Professor of Bioengineering, Physics & Astronomy, Rice University
Skyrocketing drug overdose deaths are adding to the supply of transplantable organs. Contrary to the beliefs of many—and their designation as “high risk” donors–these are often high quality organs from youthful people. Even organs carrying disease that never would have been acceptable before are now able to be used if recipients accept them.
A new survey shows more pediatricians are experiencing vaccination refusal among patients, and while the reasons are evolving, they still often result from misinformation. An increasing proportion of doctors are kicking these families out of their practices if they can’t change minds and behavior, but is that ethical? Whose rights are paramount—the unvaccinated child or the rest of the practice?
Synopsis: Genetic testing has become a widespread reality in the past five years, but doctors are struggling with what many genetic findings really mean. Should patients should be told about the presence of genes that might be either dangerous… or perfectly harmless? Experts discuss.
Host: Reed Pence. Guests: Dr. Dan Roden, Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology and Biomedical Informatics and Assistant Vice Chancellor, Personalized Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Dr. Gerald Feldman, Professor of Molecular Genetics in Medicine, Pediatrics and Pathology, Wayne State University and President, American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics; Dr. Ellen Wright Clayton, member, Center for Biomedical Ethics and Society and Professor of Pediatrics and Law, Vanderbilt University
Synopsis: Mosquito-transmitted Zika virus has arrived in Central and South America, and while most people are not affected by it, the virus has been linked to microcephaly, a severe birth defect. Experts discuss the virus, how it’s transmitted, its spread to the US, and how to protect yourself from it.
Host: Reed Pence. Guests: Dr. Uriel Kitron, Professor and Chair of Environmental Sciences, Emory University; Dr. William Schaffner, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Vanderbilt University Medical Center; Dr. Anna Durbin, Associate Professor of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Synopsis: A surprisingly high percentage of people who’ve been treated in intensive care units later suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, often including hallucinations recalling horrible ICU incidents. This has led to coining a new syndrome–PICS, or post intensive care syndrome. Experts discuss why the syndrome appears to occur and what’s being done to treat and prevent it.
Host: Reed Pence. Guests: Dr. Joe Bienvenu, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University; Dr. James Jackson, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Vanderbilt University
Synopsis: Measles is more widespread than it has been in years. The current measles outbreak in several states has prompted questions about the responsibility of parents to have their children immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases. Experts discuss this “social contract” cited by courts since colonial times, and why highly-contagious measles is a good test case for the rights and responsibilities of parents.
Host: Reed Pence. Guests: Dr. John Swartzberg, Clinical Professor Emeritus, University of California Berkely School of Public Health; Dr. William Schaffner, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Infectious Disease, Vanderbilt University; Alta Charo, Warren P. Knowles Professor of Law and Bioethics, University of Wisconsin