Sean Philpott

Commentary & Opinion
12:45 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Sean Philpott: The Curious Case Of Hobby Lobby

The news was chock-a-block with important health stories this week, including new evidence debunking the vaccine-autism myth and the revelation that researchers conducted a legal albeit ethically questionable study that manipulated the emotions of nearly 700,000 Facebook users. But I want to talk about the 900-lb. gorilla in the room: the US Supreme Court’s decision in the so-called “Hobby Lobby” case (Burwell et al. v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. et al.)

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Commentary & Opinion
12:51 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Sean Philpott: Banning Conversion Therapy

Earlier this week, the New York State Assembly overwhelmingly voted to pass a bill that would ban the use of so-called “reparative” or “conversion” therapy – treatments that aim to change sexual orientation – on minors. During the time I wrote this commentary, the New York State Senate had yet to vote on the bill. They have until the end of today, when the 2013-14 legislative session officially closes, to pass the bill. Should it pass, Governor Cuomo is expected to sign the bill into law. This would make New York the third state – following California and New Jersey – to outlaw efforts to turn gay kids straight.

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Commentary & Opinion
12:25 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Sean Philpott: Living With HIV/AIDS Should Not Be A Crime

It went largely unnoticed by the public and the press, but last month Iowa's Senate and House of Representatives did something groundbreaking. With broad bipartisan support, that state became the first in the country to repeal and replace its existing HIV criminalization law.

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Commentary & Opinion
12:50 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Sean Philpott: Alzheimer's Disease: A Forgotten Epidemic

We hosted a conference on Alzheimer's disease at the College last week, inviting a distinguished group of physicians, researchers, caregivers, advocates and policymakers to discuss the ethical and legal challenges of diagnosing and treating those with the disease.

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Commentary & Opinion
12:48 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Sean Philpott: The Ethics Of A Botched Execution

Clayton Lockett died last week, but few will mourn his death. A four-time convicted felon, Mr. Lockett was executed by the State of Oklahoma for shooting and then burying alive a 19-year-old girl. Following his death, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin proudly stated that, "justice was served".

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Commentary & Opinion
12:50 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Sean Philpott: Income Inequality and Health: Can the Poor Have Longer And Better Lives?

The issue of income inequality has been in the news a lot lately. The gap between rich Americans and poor Americans has grown considerably since the 1970s. The United States now ranks first among the developed nations of the world in terms income inequality as measured by the Gini coefficient, a way of describing the distribution of wealth in a society. Globally, we're fourth overall, surpassed only by Lebanon, Russia and the Ukraine.

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Commentary & Opinion
12:43 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Sean Philpott: Grieving for Fred Phelps

Fred Phelps, one of the most reviled men in the United States, died last week. Mr. Phelps was the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, a virulently homophobic organization known for its 'God Hates Fags' slogan.

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Commentary & Opinion
12:45 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Sean Philpott: Reefer Madness

While I was on the phone with a colleague from Denver last week, our conversation turned inevitably to the topic of marijuana. Colorado legalized recreational use of drug via popular referendum in 2012, creating the world's first fully regulated recreational marijuana market. The first commercial sales occurred this past January, with $15 million in sales reported in the first month alone.

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Commentary & Opinion
12:47 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Sean Philpott: Opening The Black Box

In a study published earlier this week, researchers found that pregnant women who take acetaminophen -- a widely used drug found in such over-the-counter painkillers as Tylenol and Excedrin -- are at increased risk of having children with hyperkinetic disorders like ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

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Commentary & Opinion
12:44 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Sean Philpott: Buying Into The Club

I’ve never been a big fan of actor Matthew McConaughey, but his recent award winning performance in The Dallas Buyers Club might change my opinion of him. In that movie The Dallas Buyers Club, Mr. McConaughey plays the role of Ron Woodroof, a real-life Texas cowboy who was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 1985.

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