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Dutch psychiatric patients may get euthanasia too easily, says US study

Sanctity of Life News - 10 hours 32 min ago
A new study in the journal JAMA Psychiatry has presented an alarming picture of physician evaluation of euthanasia requests in the Netherlands. Read more...

A Dutch report applies the brakes on ‘completed life’ euthanasia

Sanctity of Life News - 17 hours 21 min ago
"Complete life" is not sufficient reason, says the Schnabel report Read more...

Celebrating 15 years of Dutch euthanasia

Sanctity of Life News - 17 hours 54 min ago
Youth outreach is an important part of the program Read more...

Canada’s ‘euthanasia courts’

Sanctity of Life News - 18 hours 17 min ago
Canada's High Court has authorised provincial courts to arbitrate on requests for euthanasia. Read more...

IVF audit in Australia

Sanctity of Life News - 18 hours 24 min ago
An Australian consumer watchdog is conducting a wide-ranging investigation into the country’s IVF clinics. Read more...

Should we get rid of race in genetics?

Sanctity of Life News - 18 hours 35 min ago
Racial categories have long been used in genetics, though recently academics have been discouraging their use. Read more...

Cruelty at home and abroad

Sanctity of Life News - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 23:45
Parents love their daughters and think that FGM is good for them, like British parents who sent kids to boarding schools. Read more...

Clinton fumbles on end-of-life choices

Sanctity of Life News - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 22:23
No one had ever asked her about it before. Read more...

Zika: still wrapped in mystery

Sanctity of Life News - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 21:15
Some reports suggest that the situation is far more complex than reports in the media suggest. Read more...

Facing a Physician Shortage, Can We Leave Medical School Grads on the Sidelines?

Bioethics News - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 11:26

(Medical Xpress) – Last year, 52,860 U.S. and international medical graduates applied for residency positions in the U.S., yet only 26,252 actually matched into a program. The painful irony is that the U.S. now faces a substantial shortage of physicians, which is on track to worsen in the decades to come. Increased demand for physicians is driven by advances in medical science and technology, population growth and an aging population that uses more medical care. A study by the Association of American Medical College predicts that by 2025, the U.S. will face a shortfall of between 46,000 and 90,000 physicians.

Patients Unsure about Value of Cutting-Edge Gene Editing Technology

Bioethics News - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 11:19

(Scientific American) – The revolutionary gene-editing technology poised to reshape how researchers attack and prevent disease yesterday received a lukewarm reception from patient groups. Representatives from several patient advocacy organizations gathered in Washington, D.C., at a public meeting on gene editing to discuss if they would want researchers to one day tap this technology—first in the laboratory but eventually in the clinic—in an effort to prevent or treat serious inherited maladies including muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis and sickle-cell disease.

Targeting Opioid System May Help Treatment-Resistant Depression

Bioethics News - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 11:13

(UPI) – Buprenorphine is already approved by the FDA for use treating opioid addiction, while samidorphan is a drug under development by Alkermes. Both have similar effects on the endogenous opioid system — natural opioids released by the central nervous system — by blocking specific receptors. Previous research has shown reducing natural opioids in the central nervous system can help ease depression.

Researchers Present Inner Working of Ebola Vaccine Trial

Bioethics News - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 11:10

(Medical Xpress) – Their discussion will focus on interim results of a study published in The Lancet in July. The study examined an experimental Ebola vaccine as well as a way of deploying the vaccine. The strategy includes vaccinating people who had contact with people who contracted Ebola and also the close contacts of people who had that contact—an approach known as ring vaccination.

When the Hospital Fires the Bullet

Bioethics News - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 11:07

(New York Times) – Like Mr. Pean, patients seeking help at hospitals across the country have instead been injured or killed by those guarding the institutions. Medical centers are not required to report such encounters, so little data is available and health experts suspect that some cases go unnoticed. Police blotters, court documents and government health reports have identified more than a dozen in recent years.

STAT-Harvard Poll: Americans Say No to ‘Designer Babies’

Bioethics News - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 11:01

(STAT News) – Most Americans oppose using powerful new technology to alter the genes of unborn babies, according to a new poll — even to prevent serious inherited diseases. They expressed the strongest disapproval for editing genes to create “designer babies” with enhanced intelligence or looks. But the poll, conducted by STAT and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found that people have mixed, and apparently not firm, views on emerging genetic techniques. US adults are almost evenly split on whether the federal government should fund research on editing genes before birth to keep children from developing diseases such as cystic fibrosis or Huntington’s disease.

BBC Makes Last Minute Changes to Assisted Suicide Documentary, After Samaritans Complaint

Bioethics News - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 10:57

(The Telegraph) – Samaritans put pressure on the ?BBC to make last minute changes to documentary showing a man taking his own life. How to Die: Simon’s Choice, which aired on BBC Two last night, followed the final months of Simon Binner, a Cambridge graduate who suffered from motor neurone disease, and his eventual decision to kill himself, on October 19 last year.

Several States Seek to Block 2nd Trimester Abortion Method

Bioethics News - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 10:43

(ABC News) – Abortion opponents in Mississippi, West Virginia and several other states are filing bills to ban an abortion procedure commonly used in the second trimester that opponents describe as dismembering a fetus. Courts have already blocked similar laws that Kansas and Oklahoma enacted in 2015. The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents abortion providers in legal fights, says banning the dilation and evacuation method of abortion — commonly called “D&E” — is unconstitutional because it interferes with private medical decisions.

New Chip Opens Door for Low-Powered, Wireless Neural Implants

Bioethics News - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 10:37

(SciCasts) – Scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed a small smart chip that can be paired with neural implants for efficient wireless transmission of brain signals. Neural implants when embedded in the brain can alleviate the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease or give paraplegic people the ability to move their prosthetic limbs.

70% of Dutch Psychiatric Patients Who Received Physician-Assisted Suicide Were Women

Bioethics News - Fri, 02/12/2016 - 10:35

(Medical Daily) – Four American states, Canada, and four European nations legally permit assisted death, where a physician prescribes or directly administers life-ending drugs. Assisted suicide of psychiatric patients remains controversial: An investigation of such cases in the Netherlands finds 70 percent were women, while more than a quarter received the procedure from physicians new to them, generally doctors working at a mobile euthanasia clinic.