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Neurology podcast about aducanumab

Winston Chiong
January 25, 2022

I got to have another great conversation with Dr. Jeff Ratliff for the Neurology journal podcast. When he had me on last time to talk about dementia ethics more generally, I wasn’t able to talk yet about the position statement that our committee has been preparing to address the many challenges raised in decision-making regarding this controversal new drug. In this discussion we considered how to counsel patients and families given the drug’s lack of established benefit, known harms, potential negative effects on the entire Medicare system, and health equity concerns given the exclusion of Black, Indigneous and Hispanic patients from pivotal clinical trials. At the end, Dr. Ratliff asked a tough question about a scenario in which a patient really desires treatment; I did my best to illustrate how frameworks of shared decision-making may be helpful in such situations.

Lab BBQ and UCSF Bioethics

Winston Chiong
November 1, 2021

We took a year off from Decision Lab BBQ and were pleased to be be back together in person for hamburgers, steak, jerk chicken, shrimp… okay, too much food. (Got excited, it’s been a while!) Originally not planned as a Halloween party but pushed back a week because of an “atmospheric river.” Was very fun to see some lab members’ costumes; also, everyone got to meet Jordy the corgi puppy.

As another announcement, I have been named the interim Director of UCSF Bioethics. It’s been great to have this opportunity to share ideas about needs and opportunities with other involved members of our campus community; we’ve got some exciting plans for the coming year!

photo of Lab BBQ and UCSF Bioethics

Neurology podcast on dementia ethics

Winston Chiong
September 27, 2021

I really enjoyed this interview with Dr. Jeff Ratliff for the Neurology journal podcast regarding our recent AAN Ethics, Law and Humanities Committee position statement about ethical issues in dementia. We got to talk about a broad range of topics even in a brief interview, such as problems that come up from the language we use about dementia, the difficult issue of truth-telling about a diagnosis that family members may lead to emotional harms, decisions about nursing home placement, and issues raised by new treatments like aducanumab. For the latter, while our position statement was formulated and reviewed by the different neurological societies prior to aducanumab’s approval, there are some broad issues (including capacity assessment, awareness of financial strains in dementia, and the exacerbation of racial and ethnic disparities) that this new drug illustrates.

Go Giants! And postdocs!

Winston Chiong
September 19, 2021

We got a chance to enjoy some lovely weather and views, and garlic fries (except Brandon), in the middle of a great playoff race–even if the game itself was a little disappointing. It was great to finally meet Brandon in person, to catch up with Cailin, and to welcome Helena and Steve to the group. Here’s hoping that the Giants continue to give us something to root for into October!

Also, two days after this we got together again for Ethiopian food (Brandon-approved) and Postdoc Appreciation Week. Thanks so much Toby, Clara and Colin for all that you bring to the team!

photo of Go Giants! And postdocs!