In the News


San Jose Mercury News, 03/17/19

--Opinion: Teens with anti-vax parents should have right to be vaccinated

Recent outbreaks of measles raise the issue of whether teens should have the right to be vaccinated even if their parents are opposed. This op-ed, written by Alyssa Burgart, clinical assistant professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine, argues that teens should be able to make that decision.


San Jose Mercury News, 03/14/19

--Stanford scientist joins call for moratorium on gene-edited babies

A group of prominent scientists and bioethicists is calling for a global moratorium on any new attempts to bring gene-edited babies into the world. 18 researchers, including Stanford’s Paul Berg, the Robert W. and Vivian K. Cahill Professor of Cancer Research, Emeritus, wrote a commentary published in Nature, and is quoted in this story. The piece is highlighted here and in articles from Discover Magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, and Science Magazine. Russ Altman, the Kenneth Fong Professor and professor of bioengineering, of genetics and of medicine, provides comment in an article on Science News.


Scope, 03/14/19

--A skeptical look at popular diets: Low fat revival?

In the eighth post in the series A Skeptical Look at Popular Diets, Randall Stafford, professor of medicine and director of the Program on Prevention Outcomes and Practices, along with Christopher Gardner, the Rehnborg Farquhar Professor and a professor of medicine, break down low-fat diets.


Scope, 03/07/19

--A skeptical look at popular diets: The lowdown on low carb

In the seventh post in the series A Skeptical Look at Popular Diets, Randall Stafford, professor of medicine and director of the Program on Prevention Outcomes and Practices, along with Christopher Gardner, the Rehnborg Farquhar Professor and a professor of medicine, examines down the pros and cons of a low-carb diet.


Washington Post, 03/05/19

--Two Maryland bills are the state’s latest attempt to rein in drug prices

This piece outlines proposed state legislation in Maryland that would require drug companies to provide more information about their products and create a commission to review prices and set limits on what insurers, pharmacies and hospitals must pay. Michelle Mello, professor of law and of health research and policy, provides comment.


San Jose Mercury News, 03/05/19

--Unleashing terror? How to catch deadly mail-order DNA

Fielding thousands of requests for custom-built DNA, gene synthesis companies in the Bay Area are striving to remain vigilant about possible efforts to create biohazards. Quoted here is Mildred Cho, associate director of the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics and professor of pediatrics and of medicine.


San Jose Mercury News, 03/05/19

--East Bay parents want to preserve dead son’s sperm — but what next?

This piece examines the ethical quandary raised by parents’ efforts to save their son’s sperm after his death at 21. Barry Behr, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, is quoted. Also mentioned is the work of David Magnus, Thomas A. Raffin Professor in Medicine and Biomedical Ethics, director of the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, and professor of pediatrics and of medicine.

Read More in SCBE News

Advanced Health Care Directive

California law give you the ability to ensure that your health care wishes are known and considered if you become unable to make these decisions yourself. Completing a form called an “Advance Health Care Directive” allows you to do a number of things:

Appoint another person to be your health care “agent”

Delineate your health care wishes, such as:

  • Health care instructions, including life support, organ and tissue donation
  • Revoke prior directives

A sample form is attached for reference. Acknowledgment before a notary public is not required if two qualified witnesses have signed this Directive in Part 5. In other words this is a free legally binding document.

Upcoming Events

SCBE Brown Bag

Tuesday, May 14, 2019, 12pm
Katharine Shear, MD
Marion E. Kenworthy Professor of Psychiatry, School of Social Work, Columbia University
Topic: TBA

More events

Medicine & the Muse Program (Click here to learn more) 


Ways to Give Gifts

A gift may be made in the form of a check, securities, a bequest, or a complex trust arrangement designed to maximize tax advantages. Checks should be made payable to Stanford University.

For financial donations, please contact the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics at