December 5th: What's On Today's Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, U.S. options in Syria, Herman Cain's decision to quit, and changing the culture of schools. In the second hour, actor John Lithgow on his new memoir, Drama, and the ethics of doctors refusing to treat unvaccinated children.
NPR logo December 5th: What's On Today's Show

December 5th: What's On Today's Show

On today's Opinion Page, New York Times ethicist Ariel Kaminer examines whether or not it's okay for doctors to turn away unvaccinated kids. hide caption

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What Should the U.S. Do About Syria?
Syria "responded positively" to the latest peace efforts by the Arab League, but a number of analysts fear the ongoing violence is a precursor to civil war. Syrian President Bashir Al-Assad agreed to previous measures to end the violence, only to renew attacks on anti-government protesters. The United States, European Union, Turkey and others have imposed sanctions on the Syrian regime. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week threatened to use military force to establish "safety zones" along the Syrian border. The rapid developments and escalating violence in the region leave many wondering what, if anything, the United States should do to stop the violence. Host Neal Conan speaks with NPR correspondent Peter Kenyon and foreign policy analyst Frederic Wehrey about the policy options available to the United States.

Herman Cain Call It Quits
Herman Cain quit the presidential primary over the weekend and an Atlanta TV station is reporting that he may endorse his former rival, Newt Gingrich, as early as today. The Republican businessman ended his bid for the GOP nomination after a series of allegations which included a thirteen-year extramarital affair. Cain denied the claims but acknowledged they are taking a toll on his family and campaign. Host Neal Conan speaks with Political Junkie Ken Rudin about Cain's decision to quit and what it means for the GOP primary field.

Changing The Culture Of A School

John Lithgow's 'Drama'
Actor John Lithgow first took the stage as a toddler. He's gone on to win five Emmy Awards, two Tony Awards, two Golden Globes and has received two Oscar nominations for his work in television, theater and film. Though he was born into a theater family, Lithgow writes that early on, he "had no intention of being an actor," and dreamed of painting instead. In his memoir, Drama: An Actor's Education, he focuses on the years before the fame — from his stage debut at the age of two and his college years at Harvard, right up to the moment when he moved out West and became a star. Neal Conan talks with Lithgow about the early struggles, discoveries and influences that shaped his career.

Must Doctors Treat Vaccine 'Refusers'?
An increasing number of parents are opting out of at least some routine vaccinations for their children, according to a recent Associated Press analysis. Many doctors complain that the few who refuse immunizations put all of their patients at risk. Some refuse to treat families if they won't vaccinate their children. New York Time's ethicist Ariel Kaminer responded to a question in her latest column, "is it ethical for pediatricians to refuse routine care to families that do not immunize their children?" Kaminer joins host Neal Conan on the Opinion Page.