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Religions and embryos

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 10/07/2017 - 08:43
From ensoulment to reincarnation

Bioethics in Nobel for Literature

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 10/07/2017 - 08:35
Kazuo Ishiguro discussed cloning and organ donation in his 2005 novel Read more...

Cosmetic surgery clowning to be discouraged

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 10/07/2017 - 08:17
Sleazy marketing tactics are popular in a competitive field Read more...

Children can write their own advance care directives in Victoria

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 10/07/2017 - 08:00
As long as they are competent, their requests will be binding Read more...

Your genes for sale: shouldn’t you get a return?

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 10/07/2017 - 07:55
There are ethical concerns about business practices of genomics companies Read more...

Embryo gene-editing: Canada v. China

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 10/07/2017 - 07:48
Two Canadian ethicists defend a moratorium on embryo gene-editing, arguing that it reflects an international consensus Read more...

An AI alternative to organised religion

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 10/07/2017 - 07:41
There are several quasi-religious organisations now operational in Silicon Valley Read more...

Research Assistantship Opportunity – Graduate Research Assistantships in Research Ethics: The Rotman Institute of Philosophy, Western University

Bioethics News - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 17:49

Job category: Graduate fellowship / Fixed term
AOS: Research ethics
AOS categories: Philosophy of Science, Applied Ethics, Biomedical Ethics, Ethics
AOC: Open
Workload: Part time
Vacancies: 2
Location: London, Ontario, Canada
Start date: September 2018


Job description

Graduate Research Assistantships in Research Ethics at Western University

We are seeking two doctoral students interested in the ethics of pragmatic randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to pursue their graduate education in the Department of Philosophy at Western University. The Graduate Research Assistantships in Research Ethics are research positions that run concurrently with the philosophy graduate programme. Students will be expected to contribute to a Canadian Institutes of Health Research funded project that includes a competitive stipend to supplement the funding package from Western University. The successful candidates will join our diverse research team, comprising philosophers, trialists and biostatisticians from five countries, who are developing guidance for the ethical design and conduct of pragmatic RCTs. Pragmatic RCTs test if an intervention works in real-world conditions and support decision-making by patients, providers and health system managers. A description of the project is available at the Rotman Institute of Philosophy website.

Core members of our research team have worked together for a decade. Previous work explored ethical issues in cluster randomized trials (CRTs). CRTs differ from conventional randomized trials in that intact social units—rather than individuals—are randomly allocated to study interventions. Our research team analyzed the ethical issues in CRTs in a series of articles in the journal Trials. Empirical studies included interviews with trialists, a systematic review of published CRTs and a survey of research ethics committees in three countries. In 2012, we published the world’s first ethical guidelines for CRTs, the Ottawa Statement on the Ethical Design and Conduct of Cluster Randomized Trials. Our trainees have benefitted from mentoring by diverse faculty members in the research team. Our trainees have gone on to research and faculty positions at Harvard University, the University of Oxford and other excellent institutions. Our new project will build and expand upon our previous work and address the clear need for ethics guidance for pragmatic RCTs.

Successful candidates will have a strong background in moral theory or philosophy of science, and will be expected to participate fully in the activities of our interdisciplinary research team. These activities include research on ethical issues specific to pragmatic RCTs, collaborations with scholars from other disciplines, presenting work at conferences, writing academic papers for philosophy and medical journals, and engaging the public through education and social media.

Given the interdisciplinary nature of the project, successful candidates must (1) be able to work within and across disciplinary boundaries, (2) communicate effectively, (3) be highly motivated and (4) demonstrate professionalism. A Master’s degree in applied ethics, bioethics or philosophy of science is preferred, but not required. Accomplished and exceptionally motivated individuals in relevant fields will also receive full consideration. Questions about the research positions may be addressed to Prof. Charles Weijer.

Applicants for the Graduate Research Assistantships in Research Ethics should send a cover letter, CV, university transcripts and writing sample to Prof. Charles Weijer on or before January 7, 2018. Applicants must (1) independently submit all required materials to the philosophy graduate programme by January 7, 2018 and (2) be selected for admission to the graduate program. Click here for more information on graduate studies in philosophy at Western University. Successful applicants for the Graduate Research Assistantships in Research Ethics will be notified in March 2018, and the positions begin in September 2018.


How to apply

Application type: Email
Instructions: Applicants for the Graduate Research Assistantships in Research Ethics should send a cover letter, CV, university transcripts and writing sample to Prof. Charles Weijer on or before January 7, 2018. Applicants must (1) independently submit all required materials to the philosophy graduate programme by January 7, 2018 and (2) be selected for admission to the graduate program.
Email to apply: cweijer@uwo.ca
Hard deadline: January 7, 2018, 11:59pm EST
Contact Web address for more information: www.rotman.uwo.ca/portfolio-items/pragmatic…
Contact name: Prof. Charles Weijer
Contact email: cweijer@uwo.ca


An Outbreak Waiting to Happen: Hepatitis A Marches through San Diego’s Homeless Community

Bioethics News - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 11:01

(STAT News) – The hepatitis A outbreak now roiling this well-heeled, coastal city may have had its roots in a baseball game — when the city cleaned up for the 2016 All-Star Game by pushing its homeless out of the touristy areas downtown and into increasingly congested encampments and narrow freeway onramps just east of downtown. The lines of tents stretched for blocks. At the same time, the city was locking and removing bathrooms to help control the rampant drug and prostitution trade they’d spawned. Hepatitis A is transmitted through contact with feces from an infected person, and in close, unsanitary conditions, the highly contagious virus can spread explosively. So it was only a matter of time, experts say, before cases would surge among the homeless.

Silicon Isn’t Just for Computers. It Can Make a Pretty Good Kidney, Too

Bioethics News - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:52

(Wired) – Now, after more than 20 years of work, one team of doctors and researchers is close to offering patients an implantable artificial kidney, a bionic device that uses the same technology that makes the chips that power your laptop and smartphone. Stacks of carefully designed silicon nanopore filters combine with live kidney cells grown in a bioreactor. The bundle is enclosed in a body-friendly box and connected to a patient’s circulatory system and bladder—no external tubing required.

Father Loses IVF Damages Claim

Bioethics News - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:37

(BBC) – A father has lost a damages claim against a London IVF clinic after his ex-partner forged his signature to use frozen embryos. The High Court found IVF Hammersmith was not negligent. The couple broke up in 2010 but some months later the woman asked the clinic to implant an embryo, which they had stored. The man, who can only be identified as ARB, said he did not give his consent and was tricked by his former partner.

Operating-Room Videos a Bad Idea, Medical Paper Says

Bioethics News - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:25

(Fox News) – Posting videos from the operating room may be a creative way for plastic surgeons to market their skills, but critics say some surgeons seem to place entertainment value ahead of medical ethics. A new paper published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery takes aim at surgical staffs who appear to be more interested in singing and dancing in the ER than in treating patients.

CardioBrief: Some Doctors Reluctant to Deactivate LVADs

Bioethics News - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:12

(MedPage Today) – Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are used increasingly as destination therapy instead of as a temporary bridge until a donor heart becomes available for transplantation. Now patients, their families, and their caregivers are forced to confront the extremely difficult question of when and how to turn off these devices at the end of life. “In the United States, the ethical and legal principles of LVAD deactivation are well-established,” Colleen K. McIlvennan (University of Colorado) and colleagues wrote in the Journal of Cardiac Failure.

The Murky Issue of Whether the Public Supports Assisted Dying

Bioethics News - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:09

(The Conversation) – There have been numerous surveys and opinion polls on public attitudes towards assisted dying in recent years. The British Social Attitudes (BSA) Survey, which has asked this question sequentially since the 1980s, has shown slowly increasing public support. Asked: “Suppose a person has a painful incurable disease. Do you think that doctors should be allowed by law to end the patient’s life, if the patient requests it?” in 1984, 75% of people surveyed agreed. By 1989, 79% of people agreed with the statement, and in 1994 it had gone up to 82%.

Fetal Tissue Research Is Essential for Scientific Discovery and Improving Human Health

Bioethics News - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:03

(STAT News) – Decades after the U.S. Congress repeatedly reaffirmed its support for publicly funded fetal tissue research, investigators find themselves facing efforts by this same body to prevent this kind of research. At issue is whether fetal tissue research continues to be necessary, whether it has the potential to contribute to new therapies, and whether sufficient safeguards are in place for the research to occur ethically. The answer to each of those is an unequivocal “yes.” Fetal tissue has been essential in research used to develop therapies that have saved millions of lives, and it continues to be necessary for the future of medicine.

Charlatans Threaten Stem Cell Research with Unproven Cures, Experts Say

Bioethics News - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:00

(The Guardian) – The credibility of stem cell research is at risk because of charlatans and dodgy clinics peddling unproven cures for diseases, according to a group of eminent scientists in the field. Stem cell research, or regenerative medicine, has great potential and has already delivered some breakthroughs, but its future is threatened by poor science, unrealistic hopes, unclear funding models and unscrupulous private clinics, they say in the Lancet medical journal. A special Lancet commission made up of leading experts has reviewed the progress to date in a field that was once thought to offer answers potentially to all forms of disease and disability.

CRISPR Nanoparticles Repair Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Gene

Bioethics News - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 09:59

(GEN) – cientists have developed a gold nanoparticle technology for delivering the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing system to cells that, when tested in the mdx mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), repaired the faulty DMD gene, leading to improved strength and agility and reduced fibrosis. Professor Niren Murthy, Ph.D., the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) researcher who led development of the CRISPR-Gold platform, suggested to GEN that human clinical gene-editing trials using the system could feasibly start within the next few years.

Poll: Adult Caregivers Undertrained and Overwhlemed

Bioethics News - Thu, 10/05/2017 - 14:56

(STAT News) – Adults in the United States who are providing long-term care for aging relatives and friends have little training for their stressful roles, but plenty of commitment, according to a poll. The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey finds that caregivers don’t just give rides to the doctor and go shopping. Nearly half provide some kind of medical care, from changing bandages (30 percent) to inserting catheters or feeding tubes (6 percent).

Study Questions European Approval Process for Cancer Drugs

Bioethics News - Thu, 10/05/2017 - 14:51

(STAT News) – Only about half of the cancer drugs approved by the European Medicines Agency in the last few years were later shown to help patients live longer or improved their lives, a new study says. Scientists in Britain and Latvia analyzed reports from the European regulator on cancer approvals from 2009 to 2013. Many of the approvals were based only on initial measures that suggested the drug might improve health, like tumor shrinkage.