The Society for Philosophy and Disability Is Official

By Nir Eyal

With an approved constitution, elected officials and now, recognition from all three divisions of the American Philosophical Association (APA), a new society is finally official. The Society for Philosophy and Disability, or SPD, will hold its first two sessions at the February 2013 Central APA meeting in New Orleans.

SPD is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to furthering research and teaching on philosophical issues related to disability and to promoting inclusiveness and support for people with disabilities in philosophical education and in the profession of philosophy. SPD aims to provide a forum for philosophical discussion of disability by arranging meetings, maintaining an online presence, and organizing academic projects.

Adam Cureton, President of the Society, invites everyone to join SPD, which they can do on the Society website. You are also welcome to invite colleagues or students who are interested in philosophy and disability to join us.

Tell Patients: It’s Not All About YOU

By Art Caplan [cross-posted on MedScape]

This flu season is proving to be a doozy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta say that this is one of the worst flu seasons ever. The agency reported severe flu cases in 46 states during the last week of December 2012. Eighteen states are considered to be at epidemic levels.

Hospital emergency rooms are swamped with flu patients. Hospitalizations from the flu are already in the thousands. Days of work being lost are escalating rapidly.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has declared a public health emergency in that city because of a sharp rise in cases of flu. Boston has had nearly 700 confirmed cases of influenza since the season began last October. That is a 10-fold jump over the 70 confirmed cases in the previous year.

Eighteen children and infants are dead because of the flu this season. The CDC doesn’t track flu deaths of people over 18. But many more people who are in the highest-risk groups — the elderly, the immune-compromised, those who have respiratory or cardiac conditions — certainly have died over the past few months from the flu.

The best protection against the flu is a flu shot. This year the efficacy of the flu shot is about 70%. That’s not a great number, but it’s good enough to require that doctors and nurses make sure that their patients are vaccinated.

Keep reading . . .