Selected Op-Eds and Blog Posts
Staying in Their Lane
December 17, 2018
“In the wake of the recent Twitter fight between the National Rifle Association and U.S. physician groups over whether doctors should speak out about firearm policy issues, we argue that professionalism actually requires that doctors take a leadership role in gun policy debates, even if (in fact, especially if) doing so is politically fraught and financially harmful to them….”
With Matthew K. Wynia
Businesses, Guns, and HUman Rights
March 22, 2018
"The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., resulted in the deaths of 17 people. Tragically, from January 1 to March 21, 2018, there were 3,088 gun-related deaths and 5,355 gun-related injuries in the United States. Gun violence is a public health problem. But it's also a human rights problem. It is time to turn to international human rights and moral and social norms, which ground obligations for individuals and business organizations to limit gun ownership...."
Making America Healthy Again
August 11, 2017
"Access to health care is critical for the health of individuals and for the well-being of the community, but health depends on more than medical care. Studies show that the social determinants of health, including education, socioeconomic status, poverty, the physical and social environment, employment, and discrimination, among others, are at least as important for health as is medical care. It is worth considering where the new administration stands with respect to the social determinants of health...."
How 'America First' Undermines Our Health
April 10, 2017
"People value their health. It allows them to pursue their aims and enjoy their lives, and it contributes to their well-being. But health is not only good for particular healthy individuals. It is also good for their families, communities, nations, and in a world in which people flows are global, health is good for the global community. Health fosters robust economies and fruitful innovation. It has a spillover effect. Because people are socially embedded, it is difficult to exclude others from the good and bad health of individuals...."
Health for Everyone Must Include Immigrants
January 23, 2017
"As the new Trump Administration settles into Washington, the repeal and replacement of President Obama's signature accomplishment, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is first on the agenda. Given candidate Trump's harsh rhetoric about immigrants, it seems unlikely that his proposed replacement will provide expanded access to health insurance for immigrants. Yet if he truly wants to replace the ACA, and keep his promise to provide health care for everyone, his replacement must cover all immigrants, documented and undocumented...."
When America Goes First, Charity Should Go without Borders
December 18, 2016
"As we embark upon an era in which nativism, racism, and sexism are sanctioned as social norms, responsibility to help globally may land on the shoulders of donors. Too many people worldwide depend upon US charity to erect a wall between them and us. Other sources of help are at risk of drying up. President Barack Obama has planned to allocate $34 billion to foreign assistance for federal fiscal year 2017. Under the sway of Donald Trump's 'America-first' policy this amount may undergo drastic cuts...."
September 30, 2016
"Colin Kaepernick deserves our support and admiration. It is now common knowledge that the San Francisco 49ers quarterback chose not to stand during the national anthem—thus eschewing a well-entrenched norm in which football players express their patriotism by standing during the anthem—no matter what. By not standing, Kaepernick protested racial injustice and acted in solidarity with those who have experienced police brutality and other forms of discrimination...."
May 19, 2016
"How many philosophers does it take to change a light bulb? It depends on how you define 'change.' Philosophy is often viewed as irrelevant, and philosophers as living in ivory towers, easily dismissed for quibbling over words and arguing for the sake of argument. Senator Marco Rubio, during a fleeting bid for the Republican nomination, challenged philosophy's value when he proclaimed that America needed 'more welders and less philosophers.' Not so fast, Rubio. Some philosophers are changing the world...."
#OscarsSoWhite, Oscars So Wrong
January 28, 2016
"Jada Pinkett Smith is right to draw attention to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' failure to nominate actors of color for a second year in a row. She is also right to boycott the Academy Awards. Those who stand in solidarity with Ms. Pinkett Smith, by boycotting the Awards, are also on solid moral ground. The Academy's nominations are morally troubling because they violate the rights of people of color in the industry to equal consideration and because film has a powerful influence on social norms and community well-being...."
A Post-#GivingTuesday Reflection
December 10, 2015
"#GivingTuesday, a creation of the 92nd Street Y in New York City, is intended to bring together individuals, communities and organizations to celebrate generosity and giving. Now in its fourth year, #GivingTuesday takes place on the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In the US, charities receive about one-third of their donations during the holiday season. With a focus on social media, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season. By drawing attention to the virtue of giving it may increase donations. But for charity to be effective it must consist in more than giving and good intentions...."