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Genes for Skin Color Rebut Dated Notions of Race, Researchers Say

Bioethics News - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 13:53

(New York Times) – “If you ask somebody on the street, ‘What are the main differences between races?,’ they’re going to say skin color,” said Sarah A. Tishkoff, a geneticist at the University of Pennsylvania. On Thursday, Dr. Tishkoff and her colleagues showed this to be a profound error. In the journal Science, the researchers published the first large-scale study of the genetics of skin color in Africans. The researchers pinpointed eight genetic variants in four narrow regions of the human genome that strongly influence pigmentation — some making skin darker, and others making it lighter.

Psychologists Are Facing Consequences for Helping with Torture. It’s Not Enough

Bioethics News - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 13:46

(Washington Post) – In August, two psychologists, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, settled a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of three former CIA detainees. The psychologists were accused of designing, implementing and overseeing the CIA’s experimental program of torture and abuse (for which their consulting firm received tens of millions of dollars). The evidence against them was compelling: a detailed Senate report, multiple depositions, newly declassified documents and even Mitchell’s memoir . Prior to settling, Mitchell and Jessen denied any legal responsibility, and their attorneys argued their inculpability by comparing them to the low-level technicians whose employers provided lethal gas for Hitler’s extermination camps.

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

Bioethics News - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 09:00

The New England Journal of Medicine (vol. 376, no. 23, 2017) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Bridging the Data-Sharing Divide — Seeing the Devil in the Details, Not the Other Camp” by L. Rosenbaum
  • “Whose Data Are They Anyway? Can a Patient Perspective Advance the Data-Sharing Debate?” by C. J. Haug


A New Edition of British Medical Bulletin Is Now Available

Bioethics News - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 09:00

British Medical Bulletin (vol. 122, no. 1, 2017) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Ethical Issues of CRISPR Technology and Gene Editing through the Lens of Solidarity” by John J. Mulvihill et al.


A New Edition of Qualitative Health Research Is Now Available

Bioethics News - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 09:00

Qualitative Health Research (Vol. 27, No. 8, 2017) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Toward a Better Understanding of Patient Health Literacy: A Focus on the Skills Patients Need to Find Health Information” by Sara Champlin, Michael Mackert, Elizabeth M. Glowacki, and Erin E. Donovan


A New Edition of Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine Is Now Available

Bioethics News - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 09:00

Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (vol. 110, no. 6, 2017) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “We’re Training Robots: We Need Humans” by  Kamran Abbasi
  • “”A Crisis in Caring’: A Place for Compassionate Care in Today’s Medicine” by Natasha Davendralingam, Meneka Kanagaratnam, and Indran Davagnanam


A New Edition of JAMA Is Now Available

Bioethics News - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 09:00

JAMA (vol. 317, no. 23, 2017) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Text Messaging and Protected Health Information: What Is Permitted?” by Brian C. Drolet


Trump’s health department takes a pro-life turn

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 08:02
A new strategic plan defends life from conception to natural death Read more...

‘Human dignity’ is not ‘useless’

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 06:37
Even if bioethicist object, patients complain that they are not treated with dignity. So it must mean something Read more...

If Trump moves on bioethics, what kind of commission should he create?

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 06:35
There are at least two different schools of thought: consensus commissions and non-consensus commissions Read more...

The emerging technology of ‘synthetic embryology’

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 06:29
Scientists are facing whole new set of ethical issues Read more...

Gene of the week: divorce

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 06:20
If divorce is genetic, counselling has to change

Nine out of ten Quebec caregivers support MAiD for the demented – new study

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 06:06
A new study claims that 91% of Quebec caregivers agree with MAiD for the demented. Read more...

Michigan mother jailed for refusing to vaccinate child

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 06:01
A 40-year-old Michigan anti-vaxxer has been sentenced to seven days jail. Read more...

Millions Die Suffering Amid Global Opioid Gap, Report Says

Bioethics News - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 14:29

(STAT News) – Nearly 26 million people around the world die each year with serious suffering in part because of a huge gap in pain relief: The U.S. may be awash in opioid painkillers, but they’re rare or unavailable in dozens of poor countries, says a new report. The challenge is to improve palliative care in low-income countries while avoiding mistakes that led to the U.S. addiction crisis. The report to be published Friday in The Lancet says one key is using off-patent morphine that costs pennies a dose — not profitable for drug companies that push pricier, more powerful opioids in rich countries, but critical to easing a health emergency.

An Anarchist Takes on the Drug Industry–by Teaching Patients to Make Their Own Meds

Bioethics News - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 14:16

(STAT News) – The de facto leader behind the leaderless collective Four Thieves Vinegar, Laufer is now on to his next project: He’s developing a desktop lab and a recipe book meant to equip patients to cook up a range of medicines, including a homemade version of the expensive hepatitis C drug Sovaldi, on their kitchen counters. Health professionals have strenuously warned against DIY pharmaceuticals, but Laufer sees his work as a moral crusade against the patent laws and market forces that let drug companies price vital remedies out of reach for many patients.

Dementia Patient at Center of Spoon-Feeding Controversy Dies

Bioethics News - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 14:01

(Kaiser Health News) -An Oregon woman with Alzheimer’s disease, whose husband claimed she was kept alive with spoon-feeding against her written wishes, has died. Nora Harris, 64, died early Wednesday at the Fern Gardens senior care center in Medford, Ore. Her husband, Bill Harris, said the death marks the end of an eight-year battle with the progressive, debilitating disease, which included an unsuccessful court fight to withdraw all food and liquid.

Sweden Won’t Prosecute Italian Stem Cell Scientist

Bioethics News - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 13:46

(San Francisco Chronicle) – Swedish prosecutors have abandoned an investigation against a disgraced Italian stem cell scientist suspected of involuntary manslaughter in connection with three patients who died after windpipe transplants. Prosecutor Jennie Nordin said it can’t be proven that Dr. Paolo Macchiarini would be guilty of either causing another’s death or causing bodily harm, so he is no longer a suspect.

Language as a Battlefield: How We Got from Euthanasia to Voluntary Assisted Dying

Bioethics News - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 13:32

(Sydney Morning Herald) – If it were a train, this debate would have set off from Euthanasia Central, stopped at Voluntary Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, moved on to Medically Assisted Death and Assisted Dying, before arriving at Voluntary Assisted Dying, the form of words that our parliamentarians have settled on (and which some would further reduce to the neutral acronym VAD). Call them dying words if you will, but the language around this issue has long been a battlefield, both here and in the handful of places worldwide where some form of euthanasia has already been legalised (Switzerland came first, in 1942).