August 3, 2012, 5:21 pm
More than 30 years ago, Elisabeth Landes and Richard Posner provocatively observed that a “glut” in black babies exists in the United States foster care system. Their controversially framed assessment attracted ardent criticism, including charges of racism. Nonetheless, Posner and his colleague touched on urgent and yet unresolved problems, including how to (a) provide more meaningful life opportunities for child wards of the state by transitioning them into permanent home placements, (b) reduce the prevalence of black children in foster care, and (c) decrease state expenditures on foster care, while not sacrificing quality of care. There were other questions of great importance that arose in response to their research. However, the use of economic terms as analytical tools to describe the collision of both a terrible racial phenomenon and family law crisis launched the type of…
March 23, 2012, 10:15 am
Trayvon Martin was murdered last month, but this week the case gained national attention. Martin, an African-American teenager, was gunned down by George Zimmerman, an individual who identifies as a white male. The controversy in the case involves not only race: Zimmerman apparently left his car, stalked the youth, because he thought Martin looked suspicious and “out of place,” and gunned him down. Zimmerman’s supporters claim that had Trayvon—who was on his way back to a family member’s home, carrying a pack of Skittles and ice tea—answered Zimmerman by identifying himself and explaining why he was in the neighborhood, this tragedy might have been averted. But, there is no duty to explain oneself while walking down the street. As a constitutional matter, individuals need not answer the police: You have the right to remain silent.
But the case also brings into…
January 20, 2012, 1:46 pm
Organ transplant politics are once again in the news. Most recently, a parent, Chrissy Rivera, alleged that Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has refused to perform a kidney transplant for her child. She claims that hospital officials turned down performing the transplant because staff referred to her child as “mentally retarded” and questioned the value of implanting the organ into a child with such severe mental and physical disabilities. According to her, hospital officials expressed concern about the quality of life benefit to the child as well as whether the family (and later the child) would have the means to sustain the medication regimen necessary to avoid organ rejection. Inherent in these concerns are financial consideration as anti-rejection medication costs can be exorbitant.
The 3-year-old child, Amelia Rivera, was born with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a rare…
November 10, 2011, 2:29 am
Graham Spanier, one of the longest serving and highest-paid college presidents has resigned from the top post at Penn State University. Departing with him is Joe Paterno, the revered football coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions. Spanier’s resignation and Paterno’s firing came as the Penn State University Board of Trustees met Wednesday night to determine the fate of the two men in the wake of an unfolding sex abuse scandal involving Jerry Sandusky, the former assistant coach of the football team who allegedly molested at least 8 boys from his Second Mile charitable organization, which he founded in the 1970s.
Earlier in the week, the Board of Trustees signaled that the two men would need to step down before the week’s end, despite Paterno’s statement that he would leave at the end of the football season. Their departures reflect the seriousness and widespread…