Addictive by Design: Do Plaintiffs Suing Big Tech Stand a Chance?

Addictive by Design: Do Plaintiffs Suing Big Tech Stand a Chance?

In federal court, Seattle School District #1 is suing big tech companies under Washington state’s public nuisance law, alleging social media harms children’s mental health. Also, as a result of consolidating 100 cases, a large multi-district lawsuit in federal court in California is using products liability to take aim at big tech for harming children’s…

The paperwork standard of care: medical malpractice liability for violating advance directives
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The paperwork standard of care: medical malpractice liability for violating advance directives

Hospital and physician liability for saving the life of someone who wished not to be saved is an area of evolving law. While years ago, such cases were routinely dismissed, recent caselaw recognizes the cause of action under medical malpractice. Increasing public awareness of the importance of advance directives and movements like medical aid in…

Wrongful (but not wrong) Prediction

Wrongful (but not wrong) Prediction

There was an episode of Welcome Back, Kotter that aired in 1976. Juan Epstein, a character in Kotter’s infamous classroom of remedial students called the Sweathogs, decides he wants to become a veterinarian. His teacher, Gabe Kotter, supports his dream and encourages him to speak to a career counselor at the school. Enter technology. The…

Bioethics as Broad and Deep
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Bioethics as Broad and Deep

I envision a broad bioethics, one that covers the relationships and interactions between science and society. Bioethics ranges from dilemmas arising in the relationship between doctors and people seeking care (often clinical ethics) to largescale societal moral dilemmas. The individual and societal issues are intertwined: each has implications for the other. Does a policy, personal…

Hunger and The Global Food Crisis
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Hunger and The Global Food Crisis

Organizations and scholars frame the current food crisis as a global phenomenon due to a confluence of events and circumstances like droughts, the pandemic, and the war in Ukraine. As Samantha Power noted this week, “a decade of progress” has been “obliterated”. The number of people with unmet food needs is steeply increasing after a…

“Somewhere in the constitution”: Reproductive Freedom
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“Somewhere in the constitution”: Reproductive Freedom

Reactions to Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health are wide ranging, and many seem to reflect emotion and use charged language. I do not mean to downplay the tossing out of an established constitutional right, but a cooling off period may allow for more reasoned discussion. While in the past courts disagreed about where in the…

Big Data as Collective Judgments

Big Data as Collective Judgments

People put a lot of stock in data. Data is essentially information. It often becomes the basis for an assumption. When we think of data, we think of facts. That works in many settings. For example, an ingredient label, done truthfully, lists ingredients. If it lists flour, one would reasonably assume the product contains flour….

Can AI Commit a Crime? A Look at Intent

Can AI Commit a Crime? A Look at Intent

In criminal law, the mens rea is the criminal intent. It is a mindset – most crimes require both an act and a mindset. Often mens rea is what distinguishes guilt from innocence even among people who have committed the same act. For example, pushing a shopping cart of bagged groceries out of a store…

Anti-Resilience: What Happened to Normal?
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Anti-Resilience: What Happened to Normal?

Diagnosis is a tricky word. Doctors diagnose some scientific truths: for example, a finding of a tumor and the accompanying pathology report describing cellular activity and genetic information, etc. Diagnosis is also the term used for many things for which science does not provide a distinct test – diagnosis depends in those cases on a…

The Social Determinants of Health: Finding Causation in a Sea of Correlation
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The Social Determinants of Health: Finding Causation in a Sea of Correlation

The social determinants of health by Marmot and Wilkinson are a list of social circumstances that impede or positively influence good health. Pointing out barriers to achieving health, the social determinants set the backdrop for justice-based bioethics. Access to good jobs in which one has agency or discretion and a living wage and access to…