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Canada Must Respect Physician Objectors Who Do Not Wish to Refer Patients for Assisted Death: Right to Die

Bioethics News - Wed, 11/25/2015 - 17:02

(Science Codex) – Assisted dying may become legal in Canada on Feb. 6, 2016, and we must respect physicians’ conscientious objections to assisted dying if it is against their principles. Dr. John Fletcher, Editor-in-Chief of CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) argues that just as we allow physicians in Canada to opt out of referring pregnant women for abortion, so too must we allow a similar option in the case of referrals for assisted death.

A Controversial Rewrite for Rules to Protect Humans in Experiments

Bioethics News - Wed, 11/25/2015 - 16:59

(NPR) – Throughout history, atrocities have been committed in the name of medical research. Nazi doctors experimented on concentration camp prisoners. American doctors let poor black men with syphilis go untreated in the Tuskegee study. The list goes on. To protect people participating in medical research, the federal government decades ago put in place strict rules on the conduct of human experiments. Now the Department of Health and Human Services is proposing a major revision of these regulations, known collectively as the Common Rule. It’s the first change proposed in nearly a quarter-century.

A New Edition of Neuroethics is Now Available

Bioethics News - Wed, 11/25/2015 - 10:03

Neuroethics (vol. 8, no. 3, 2015) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “The Ethics of Deep Brain Stimulation for the Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa” by Hannah Maslen, Jonathan Pugh, and Julian Savulescu
  • “Cognitive Enhancement and the Principle of Need” by Barbro Fröding & Niklas Juth
  • “Empirical Support for the Moral Salience of the Therapy-Enhancement Distinction in the Debate Over Cognitive, Affective and Social Enhancement” by Laura Y. Cabrera, Nicholas S. Fitz, and Peter B. Reiner
  • “The Myth of Cognitive Enhancement Drugs” by Hazem Zohny
  • “Moral Evaluations of Organ Transplantation Influence Judgments of Death and Causation” by Michael Nair-Collins and Mary A. Gerend
  • “Acceptance in Theory but not Practice—Chinese Medical Providers’ Perception of Brain Death” by Qing Yang, et al.
  • “Cosmetic Psychopharmacology for Prisoners: Reducing Crime and Recidivism through Cognitive Intervention” by Adam B. Shniderman and Lauren B. Solberg

A New Edition of The New England Journal of Medicine is Now Available

Bioethics News - Wed, 11/25/2015 - 09:43

The New England Journal of Medicine (vol. 373, no. 21, 2015) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Attacks on Health Care in Syria—Normalizing Violations of Medical Neutrality?” by M. Heisler, E. Baker, and D. McKay
  • “Measuring the Value of Prescription Drugs” by P.J. Neumann and J.T. Cohen
  • “Value-Based Cancer Care” by R.C. Young
  • “Challenges for Medicare at 50” by P.B. Ginsburg and A.M. Rivlin
  • “Becoming a Physician: Graduate Medical Education in the Freddie Gray Era” by S. Zakaria, et al.
  • “Toward Evidence-Based End-of-Life Care” by S.D. Halpem

Fellowship Opportunity: Brocher Foundation Residencies

Bioethics News - Tue, 11/24/2015 - 14:43

The Brocher Foundation is located on the shores of the Geneva Lake, in Hermance (Geneva – Switzerland).
The Brocher Foundation residencies last between one and four months. They give researchers the opportunity to work at the Brocher Centre on projects on the ethical, legal and social implications for humankind of recent medical research and new technologies. Every month a dozen of visiting researchers live and concentrate on their research project at the Foundation.

The Brocher Foundation offers to successful applicants an accommodation in the domain of the Brocher Foundation and work space with all facilities.
Developing a research project involving cooperation with a Swiss university, a European university, a governmental or non- governmental will be considered as an asset.
A researcher can apply with other researchers to work on a collaborative project.

Click here for more information or to apply.

Event: 2016 ASA Annual Meeting: 75th Anniversary Celebration

Bioethics News - Tue, 11/24/2015 - 14:39

American Scientific Affiliation
July 22–25, 2016
Azusa Pacific University
Azusa, California

Click here for more information.

Event: SIUT International Symposium: Celebrating 40 Years of Treatment Free with Dignity

Bioethics News - Tue, 11/24/2015 - 14:36

December 8–12, 2015
Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation
Civil Hospital
Karachi, Pakistan

Click here for more information.

Event: Caring for the Vulnerable: HDI’s 2016 Disaster Ministry Conference

Bioethics News - Tue, 11/24/2015 - 14:29

Humanitarian Disaster Institute, Wheaton College
June 7–10, 2016
Wheaton College
Wheaton, Illinois

Click here for more information.

Event: Summit on Animals, Public Health, and Ethics

Bioethics News - Tue, 11/24/2015 - 14:26

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
December 9–10, 2015
Feinstone Hall
Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland

Click here for more information.

New Method Can Detect Cancer Cells before They Form New Tumor

Bioethics News - Tue, 11/24/2015 - 12:47

(News-Medical) – Many tumors spread: Single cancer cells migrate with blood flow through the body before they settle in new tissue. In this way, metastases may be formed, even after the main tumor was treated successfully. It is difficult to detect cancer cells in the blood at an early stage: About one malignant cell is encountered per billion of healthy cells. Researchers of KIT and the Center for Nanotechnology (CeNTech), Münster, have now developed a clinical method to reliably detect and isolate single cancer cells in blood samples in cooperation with the University Hospital of Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE).

Despair Over Ban in India’s Surrogacy Hub

Bioethics News - Tue, 11/24/2015 - 12:30

(BBC) – India was among only a small number of countries that allowed commercial surrogacy – paying a woman to bear someone else’s child – and so it has become a major hub as thousands of couples flock to the country in the hope of having a baby. A majority of the women at a surrogacy home in Anand are carrying babies for foreign couples, which the government now wants to stop.

Stem Cell Biologist Dies

Bioethics News - Tue, 11/24/2015 - 12:20

(The Scientist) – Paolo Bianco, a stem cell biologist who fought against overhyped and understudied stem cell therapies, passed away November 7. He was 60. “Paolo made great contributions both in the science of stem cells itself and also in the area of advocating for responsible science,” Paul Knoepfler of the University of California, Davis, wrote on his blog this month (November 7). “It is challenging to do both and he did it incredibly well.”

NASA Study Finds Microgravity Reduces Regenerative Potential of Embryonic Stem Cells

Bioethics News - Tue, 11/24/2015 - 12:16

(Eurekalert) – A study performed on the NASA Space Shuttle Discovery showed that exposure of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) to microgravity inhibited their ability to differentiate and generate most cell lineages, needed for the development of bone, muscle, the immune system, and other organs and tissues.

Indian Doctor Takes Her Husband to Court after He ‘Tricked Her into Revealing the Sex of Their Unborn Girl Twins Then Pressured Her to Abort Them’

Bioethics News - Tue, 11/24/2015 - 12:12

(Daily Mail) – An Indian doctor has launched a legal battle after accusing her husband of tricking her into revealing the sex of her unborn girl twins – then pressuring her into aborting them. Mitu Khurana, who lives in Jaipur, claims her husband secretly asked doctors to take an ultra-sound of her babies while she was in hospital with a stomach complaint in 2004. The 39-year-old paediatrician refused to abort the twins and is now beginning a ‘landmark’ legal fight at India’s high court.

China Pursues Fraudsters in Science Publishing

Bioethics News - Tue, 11/24/2015 - 11:47

(Science) – China’s main basic research agency is cracking down on scientists who used fake peer reviews to publish papers, demanding that serious offenders return research funding. The move accompanies an announcement by the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) in Beijing, first reported by state media on 12 November, that it had investigated dozens of scientists involved in peer-review scams. The probe’s findings highlighted the role of China’s many unscrupulous paper brokers, which peddle ghostwritten or fraudulent papers.

A Doctor’s View of the Paris Attacks

Bioethics News - Tue, 11/24/2015 - 11:39

(Vox) – What is it like to work in a hospital when your city is being terrorized by gunmen and suicide bombers? The team of doctors who treated the wounded victims of the November 13 Paris attacks answer that question in The Lancet today. Paris’s public hospital system had been bracing for a terrorist attack since January, when gunmen massacred the staff at the Paris-based political satire journal Charlie Hebdo.

F.D.A. Targets Inaccurate Medical Tests, Citing Dangers and Costs

Bioethics News - Tue, 11/24/2015 - 11:34

(New York Times) – Inaccurate and unreliable medical tests are prompting abortions, promoting unnecessary surgeries, putting tens of thousands of people on unneeded drugs and raising medical costs, the Food and Drug Administration has concluded. Life-threatening diseases go undetected in some cases. In others, patients are treated for conditions they do not have.

With This Genetic Engineering Technology, There’s No Turning Back

Bioethics News - Tue, 11/24/2015 - 11:30

(MIT Technology Review) – More important than the eye color is that James’s mosquitoes also carry genes that stop the malaria parasite from growing. If these insects were ever released in the wild, their “selfish” genetic cargo would spread inexorably through mosquito populations, and potentially stop the transmission of malaria. The technology, called a “gene drive,” was built using the gene-editing technology known as CRISPR and is being reported by James, a specialist in mosquito biology, and a half dozen colleagues today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A Step Closer to the Defeat of Polio

Bioethics News - Tue, 11/24/2015 - 11:28

(New York Times) – Three years have passed since a case of Type 3 wild polio virus has been detected in the world, which means that particular viral subtype has most likely disappeared forever, the World Health Organization announced this month. Its demise could speed up the drive to eliminate polio, which has gone on for 27 years and now costs more than $1 billion a year. The last known Type 3 polio case was an 11-month-old boy in northern Nigeria who became paralyzed on Nov. 10, 2012.

The Audacity of Scandal’s Abortion Scene

Bioethics News - Mon, 11/23/2015 - 12:19

(The Atlantic) – Around this time of year, “Silent Night” typically evokes nativity scenes: a mother and child, in heavenly peace. Which made it all the more dissonant to hear the song near the end of Thursday’s mid-season finale of Scandal, as—spoilers ahead—Olivia Pope laid down on a table in a clinic to have an abortion.