Hastings Center scholars Michael Gusmano and Nancy Berlinger have been named to a bioethics steering committee for a new White House initiative to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and care of people with cancer in sub-Saharan Africa.
Cancer is a leading cause of death in Africa in large measure because of a lack of pathologists and laboratory professionals for screening and diagnosis. As a result, “many cases of cancer go undiagnosed, or are diagnosed too late for effective care,”according to the White House.
The new initiative, which responds to a call to action issued by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, will establish pilot projects to improve pathology services, including the use of telepathology to diagnose cancers remotely. The initiative is a public-private partnership led by the American Society for Clinical Pathology.
The initiative raises numerous ethical questions, including how to create systems that can deliver fair, effective, and sustainable cancer care in resource-poor countries.