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On the front line of the war on Ebola

Sanctity of Life News - 6 hours 36 min ago
The war on Ebola is creating heroes. Read more...

Is fear of nursing homes a reason for Dutch euthanasia?

Sanctity of Life News - 8 hours 34 min ago
A Dutch euthanasia clinic is being investigated for helping an elderly woman to die because she did not want to live in a nursing home. Read more...

More surrogacy abandonment stories emerge

Sanctity of Life News - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 22:23
Aussies are not the only “heartless bastards” in the world of surrogacy. Read more...

What’s the real issue with commercial surrogacy?

Sanctity of Life News - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 21:23
In the wake of the recent Thai surrogacy scandals, commentators are debating how the practice of surrogacy should be reformed. Read more...

“Medicinal marijuana is bad medicine” - CMA president

Sanctity of Life News - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 19:56
The debate surrounding Canada’s marijuana laws has intensified, with Canadian Medical Association (CMA) president labeling medicinal marijuana “bad medicine”. Read more...

Jimmy Savile meets bioethics

Sanctity of Life News - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 19:41
As details continue to emerge of Jimmy Savile’s horrific crimes, a bioethicist is questioning the complicity of healthcare workers in allowing for the abuses. Read more...

Electrical Brain Stimulation ‘Boosts Memory’

Bioethics News - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:50

(BBC) – Exciting a specific part of the brain with electromagnetic pulses could boost our ability to remember certain facts, a study in Science suggests. The US trials involving 16 volunteers found they made 30% fewer mistakes in memory tests after the procedure. Scientists are now investigating whether the technique could help people with memory disorders and reduce memory loss in later life. Independent researchers describe the method as “ingenious”.

Injected Drugs Said to Kill Man in Flawed Execution

Bioethics News - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:45

(New York Times) – Clayton D. Lockett, the prisoner whose prolonged writhing during his execution on April 29 led Oklahoma to suspend executions and caused national questioning of lethal injection methods, was killed by the injected drugs and not by a heart attack as state officials originally announced, according to a state-commissioned autopsy report released Thursday.

Let’s Stop Trying to Cure Cancer, Says Cancer Professor

Bioethics News - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:44

(The Telegraph) – Most cancers cannot be cured and scientists should give up trying and, instead, look for ways to manage the disease, the director of the Centre for Evolution and Cancer at The Institute of Cancer Research, has claimed.  Professor Mel Greaves, an expert in childhood leukaemia, said developing more advanced cures would only lead to cancer cells becoming more resistant to treatment. He believes that scientists should focus on prevention, such as giving aspirin to all over 50s to stop the onset of stomach cancer, and stalling the disease once it has emerged.

Adam’s Story: When Prescription Drugs Are Deadly

Bioethics News - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:39

(CNN) – The Medical Board of California, and eventually the Drug Enforcement Administration, were called to investigate. That investigation resulted in a laundry list of charges against Diaz including the over-prescription of narcotics, prescribing narcotics when there was no medical need, and illegal distribution of a narcotic to a person under the age of 21. According to the DEA, there were a dozen overdose deaths associated with Diaz. Twenty-seven-year-old Adam Montgomery was one of them.

Ebola Outbreak: Senegal Confirms First Case

Bioethics News - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:34

(BBC) – Senegal’s health ministry has confirmed a first case of Ebola, making it the fifth West African country to be affected by the outbreak. Health Minister Awa Marie Coll Seck told reporters on Friday that a young man from Guinea was confirmed to have contracted the virus. The man was immediately placed in quarantine, she added. The current outbreak, which began in Guinea, has killed more than 1,500 people across the region.

Lack of Toilets Puts India’s Health and Rural Women’s Safety at Risk

Bioethics News - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:28

(The Guardian) – In the evening gloom of their dirt courtyard, Raj Beti and her six daughters are growing desperate. They last answered nature’s call 13 hours ago, but it’s not yet dark enough to venture into the fields. For generations, most of the 750 families in Katra, in Uttar Pradesh, northern India, have lived without toilets. They’ve grown used to holding their bladders and bowels, being stalked by wild boars and hyenas and, during the rainy season, watching out for snakes.

Artificial Virus Improves Delivery of New Generations of Pharmaceuticals

Bioethics News - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:26

(Health Canal) – Researchers from Wageningen UR, together with colleagues from the University of Leiden, Eindhoven University of Technology and Radboud University Nijmegen, have successfully developed an artificial virus.  This virus can potentially be used for the delivery of new generations of pharmaceuticals, consisting of large biomolecules, by ‘packaging’ them in a natural fashion and delivering them to diseased cells. The artificial virus was designed according to new theoretical insights into how viruses operate and offers prospects for the delivery of pharmaceuticals, write the researchers in the latest online edition of Nature Nanotechnology.

Stem Cell Study in Japan Planned for Newborns with Encephalopathy

Bioethics News - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:25

(The Japan Times) – A Japanese team plans to launch a clinical study in which stem cells contained in umbilical cord blood will be administered to newborns with encephalopathy to prevent severe complications like brain paralysis from occurring. The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry recently approved the study, to be led by Osaka City University Prof. Haruo Shintaku, it was learned Wednesday. The study, which may start as early as November, will cover newborns with encephalopathy caused by a lack of oxygen during labor.

‘No Change in Attitude Towards Women’

Bioethics News - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:23

(New Indian Express) – And now, she has released her latest book Baby Makers: The Story of Indian Surrogacy, tracing the role surrogacy plays, evolving from being a secretive and socially unacceptable procedure to becoming a multi-million dollar industry today. She states, “Couples from all over the world come to India to have their IVF procedure done and have the embryos planted in Indian surrogates. Surrogacy also has spin off industries like trade in other human genetic materials like eggs and sperm and even embryos.”

Japanese 24yo Who Fathered 15 Children Via Surrogacy Will Likely Take Them from Thailand

Bioethics News - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:22

(ABC.net) – Japanese national Mitsutoki Shigeta used his sperm to have the children with 11 surrogate mothers. He said his motives were pure and all he wanted was a large family. Most of the children are now in the care of Thai authorities but with Mr Shigeta not breaking any law, the ABC has been told it is likely he will be able to take them from the country. Thailand’s assistant national police chief, Korkiat Wongvorachat, says Mr Shigeta has no criminal record and has not broken any laws, but will need a court order to get sole custody of the children.

When do we lose our human life?

Sanctity of Life News - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 08:40
The academic conversation on brain death continues, with the American journal of Bioethics publishing a special issue on the status of death determined by neurological criteria (DDNC). Read more...

Tough sanctions for a blind eye

Sanctity of Life News - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 08:28
Doctors who failed to raise concerns about colleagues could be struck off, under new guidance being considered by the UK’s General Medical Council (GMC). Read more...

In Thailand’s Surrogacy Industry, Profit and a Moral Quagmire

Bioethics News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 17:31

(CNBC) – Soon after the first surrogate mother from this remote village gave birth, neighbors noticed her new car and conspicuous home renovations, sending ripples of envy through the wooden houses beside rice paddies and tamarind groves. “There was a lot of excitement, and many people were jealous,” said Thongchan Inchan, 50, a shopkeeper here. In the two years since, carrying babies for foreigners, mainly couples from wealthier Asian nations, quickly became a lucrative cottage industry in the farming communities around Pak Ok, a six-hour drive from Bangkok.

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