Opinion: The Hidden Horrors of Healthcare Reform

Oct 24, 2017
Abraham Schwab

The “self-fulfilling prophecy” was a term first coined by Robert Merton: “a false definition of the situation evoking a new behavior which makes the originally false conception come true." In my view, this term is perhaps overused. But in the case of the efforts of Donald Trump’s administration and the GOP members of Congress, well, if the shoe fits . . . 

Sol Danmeri / Flickr

I’ve never really gotten into gossip publications or TV shows. I can kind of understand the appeal—the desire to live vicariously through the rumored celebrations and, perhaps more so, the rumored failures of celebrities. Similarly, I don’t really care to see the medical records of Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Maybe if I could understand the reasoning behind seeing them, I’d have a different view.

Opinion: The Cognitive Dissonance of Marijuana

Aug 17, 2016
Talia Marisa / Flickr

You’d be forgiven for being confused about whether marijuana has medicinal qualities. On the one hand, 25 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized the use of marijuana specifically for medicinal purposes (Indiana isn’t one of them).

Now That the Primaries Are Over...

May 24, 2016
Courtesy / Andrew Downs

When it became apparent that the presidential primary in Indiana was going to matter, it dawned on me that many voters might think this is the norm.  For those who have looked at the past or who have lived through it, they know that 2008 and 2016 are not the norm.  The presidential primary in Indiana usually includes very little excitement.

Jacob Windham / Flickr

The Minimum Bar: Assign a Health Care Representative

Diego Delso via Wikimedia Commons

Two weeks ago, the Indiana legislature passed House Bill 1337, which amends the Indiana Code and increases the regulation surrounding both abortion and miscarriages.


Public domain

Imagine that you get into a car accident today and you end up in the hospital, unable to make decisions for yourself. Who would make decisions for you? As I’ve written about before, if you haven’t formally assigned a surrogate decision-maker to make decisions for you, current Indiana statute (IC 36-16-1-5) turns it into a committee of your spouse, children, parents, and siblings.

Putting a Price on Quality of Life

Dec 18, 2015
Abraham Schwab, PhD

My uncle needs a new heart. His medical history is rich in detail, but the only thing that matters to us is that he needs a heart transplant. 

And he’s not sure he wants it. He doesn’t use the terminology I do, but he’s not sure his quality of life is worth it. He doesn’t seem to want to continue living like he has, and he’s not sure he wants to live like he would have to after the transplant. His judgment about his quality of life remains unsettled, but last I heard, he was leaning against getting the transplant. 


When infants are born very early - 22, 23, 24, or 25 weeks into a pregnancy rather than at the full term of 40 weeks - they face a future of extreme uncertainty. Many die within 12 hours. In order to survive, all require active, aggressive treatments for problems with their lungs, hearts, and other organ systems.

Of those born at 22 weeks, 95% die without leaving the hospital. At 23 weeks, 74% never leave. By 25 weeks, the percentages have flipped: 75% leave the hospital alive. 

public domain

Jerry Brown recently signed legislation legalizing physician-assisted suicide for patients at the end of life. When I recently talked with the FRIENDS of IPFW about my work on Advance Care Planning in Indiana, this issue came up.