Medicine and society in JAMA and NEJM

This week’s issues of the two leading U.S. medical journals have prominent sections which fall under the “medicine and society” rubric.

The New England Journal of Medicine is running a series of articles on organ donation and the ethics surrounding the use of “cardiac death” — rather than “brain death” — as a criteria for determining the point of death. The central article in the series is a report of heart transplants carried out on three infants, and it is accompanied by commentaries and a round-table discussion (available as a video) between bioethicists Arthur Caplan, Robert Truog and George Annas, moderated by Atul Gawande. The Washington Post also has a report on this story here.

The Journal of the American Medical Association is running a special issue on violence and human rights, with articles on topics ranging from mental health among former child soldiers in Nepal to domestic violence and HIV-infection among married women in India.