September 14, 2016

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Science and Law: Addington v. Texas: When can mentally ill people be committed against their will?

ADDINGTON v. TEXAS 441 U.S. 418 (1979) The mentally ill are a controversial group in U.S. public health. Some believe they need to be committed to prevent them from harming themselves or others, but that also leads to the risk of erroneously committing people who do not require it, a serious infringement on individual liberty. […]

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September 14, 2016

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Trump-Pence would be disastrous for U.S. public health.

  Joseph Lachman, 9/13/2016 The Trump-Pence ticket is a threat to the health to everyone living in the U.S., and perhaps the world. Their policy proposals and stances regarding crucial public health issues are at best naive, and at worst, completely wrong. We’re not going to waste time here arguing about a lot of the […]

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September 11, 2016

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Science and Law: Wong Wai v. Williamson: Why racism makes bad public health policy

WONG WAI v. WILLIAMSON 103 F. 1 (C.C.N.D. Cal. 1900) The case of Wong Wai in San Francisco presents an interesting opportunity to understand how public health policy can go wrong when it is based on fear and prejudice rather than research and evidence. Historical Background In the late 19th century, the California Gold Rush […]

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September 9, 2016

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Why we shouldn’t allow Mike Pence to decide public health policy

Gov. Mike Pence, R-Ind. (Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Newscom) By Joseph Lachman, 9/9/2016 Mike Pence is the current Republican Vice Presidential Candidate, and also himself a threat to U.S. public health. Why? He allows his moral idealism to prevent him from implementing effective public health policy, resulting in many unnecessary cases of illness as well […]

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July 13, 2016

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Science and Law: Bragdon v. Abbott: How does HIV fit into disability law?

BRAGDON v. ABBOTT 524 U.S. 624 (1998) In the previous post, we discussed how the Rehabilitation Act prevented a woman with tuberculosis from being fired without proper risk evaluation thanks to the act’s protections of handicapped persons. This decision helped set a precedent for a later case in 1998, 8 years after the passage of […]

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July 11, 2016

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Science and Law: School Board of Nassau County v. Arline: Do people with a contagious disease qualify for disability protection?

SCHOOL BOARD OF NASSAU COUNTY v. ARLINE 480 U.S. 273 (1987) The case of Gene Arline and the Nassau County School Board represents an important part of case law regarding the way our society defines disability and what factors employers are allowed to consider when hiring new employees. Case Background In 1987, the Supreme Court […]

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January 2, 2016

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The question we should ask politicians (or anyone) when discussing controversial issues

Try asking yourself this question, and others to avoid useless bickering.

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May 10, 2015

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SWB: Where do the 2016 presidential candidates stand on scientific issues?

We’ve started the 2016 presidential election race, and a lot of public figures are officially declaring their candidacy lately. Some of my upcoming posts will take time to analyze each candidate and their stance on science-related issues, such as: Climate change Energy policy (Oil, gas, coal, nuclear, alternative) Healthcare Infectious disease (such as Ebola) Vaccination […]

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May 9, 2015

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Science and Law: Quinlan v. State of New Jersey: Do patients have the right to end life-sustaining care based on the U.S. Constitution?

QUINLAN v. STATE OF NEW JERSEY Supreme Court of New Jersey 70 N.J. 10, 355 A. 2d 647, 1976 This case is another important landmark decision in the ‘right to die’ movement. This helped to define the rights of patients and their guardians to refuse or discontinue life-sustaining medical intervention. Case Background Karen Ann Quinlan […]

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April 11, 2015

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“Why Politicians Need Science”: Politico’s poor attempt to put science on a pedestal

Politico recently published an article by Michael Shermer titled, Why Politicians Need Science, and sadly, I think it is one of the worst articles I have seen on their site in a long time (besides obvious things such as Ted Cruz’s opinion piece, but for different reasons). To start off, the sub-heading uses the phrase, “before […]

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