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Swedish Ethics Review Board: Macchiarini Is Guilty

Bioethics News - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 14:11

(The Scientist) – The Expert Group on Scientific Misconduct at Sweden’s Central Ethics Review Board (CEPN) has found evidence of scientific misconduct in all six of Paolo Macchiarini’s synthetic trachea transplantation publications it reviewed. The papers reported on the implantations of three patients with artificial tracheae—all of whom died.

Bioethicist: History Tells Us CRISPR Fears Are Overblown

Bioethics News - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 14:01

(Medscape) – History tells us that fears about designer babies are exaggerated when it comes to the alteration, deletion, or swapping of genes in human embryos, renowned bioethicist Alta Charo, PhD, said during a TEDMED 2017 talk in Palm Springs, California. “In fact, we’ve now had 50 years of responsible and useful advances in genetic screening, genetic testing and, most recently, genetic treatment,” said Dr Charo, who is professor of law and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and a member of the National Academies’ Human Gene Editing Initiative.

The Public’s Distrust of Biotech Is Deepening. Commercialization May Be to Blame.

Bioethics News - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 13:48

(Undark) – Harvard medical geneticist Robert C. Green, reflective, cautious, and as decent as a scientist can sound, took to television last month to make people aware of an open trial at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, which uses genomic sequencing to screen for variants that can predict 1,800 genetic conditions in newborns. The cutting-edge study foreshadows what genetic science might bestow to human health, but the more interesting takeaway is that the failure of the study to connect with the public — very few are enrolling — may signify a deepening distrust of biotech.

Should Patients with Dementia Be Able to Decline Spoon-Feeding?

Bioethics News - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 13:34

(NPR) – People who abhor the thought of being kept alive with feeding tubes or other types of artificial nutrition and hydration have, for years, had a way out: They could officially document their wishes to halt such interventions using advance directives. Even patients diagnosed with progressive dementia who are able to record crucial end-of-life decisions before the disease robs them of their mental capacity could write advance directives. But caregivers and courts have rarely honored patients’ wishes to refuse food and fluids offered by hand.

Easing Burnout for Health Care Providers

Bioethics News - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 13:21

(U.S. News & World Report) – More than half of U.S. physicians have at least one symptom of professional burnout, Shanafelt said, and the problem is getting worse. “We are seeing increasing rates of distress,” he said, and that equates to decreased quality of care for the patient – burnout correlates with mortality rates. There are implications for the health care professional, too, such as increased odds of substance abuse, suicide and leaving the profession.

Is euthanasia for psychological suffering changing Belgian medicine?

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 11/04/2017 - 08:51
The national media is examining the topic after an exclusive appeared in the Washington Post Read more...

New Hippocratic Oath for doctors approved

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 11/04/2017 - 08:50
There are some subtle but significant differences

New study casts doubt on effectiveness of euthanasia regulation in the Netherlands

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 11/04/2017 - 08:30
Review committees struggle to judge if patients were eligible for PAS. Read more...

Saudi Arabia grants citizenship to a robot

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 11/04/2017 - 08:29
The Middle-East nation garnered criticism after the announcement.

Victorian euthanasia bill one step closer to passing

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 11/04/2017 - 07:56
The Victorian upper house continues to debate the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill. Read more...

Is there any difference between euthanasia and palliated starvation?

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 11/04/2017 - 07:45
VSED is ethically indistinguishable from assisted suicide, ethicists say. Read more...

Stem cell superstar crashes and burns

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 11/04/2017 - 02:31
Italian surgeon Paolo Macchiarini was once one of the world’s most feted doctors Read more...

New Hippocratic Oath for doctors approved

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 11/04/2017 - 00:58
There are some subtle but significant differences

Is euthanasia for psychological suffering changing Belgian medicine?

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 11/04/2017 - 00:10
The national media is examining the topic after an exclusive appeared in the Washington Post Read more...

Scientists Faked a Procedure on Patients to Find that Stents Don’t Actually Make them Feel Better

Bioethics News - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 11:33

(Quartz) – Researchers at Imperial College London conducted a study on 200 patients who had one severely blocked artery to the heart, which starves the heart of oxygen and causes chest pain, especially when someone with the condition tries to exert themselves. For six weeks, the research team gave the participants statins and blood pressure medication, and then each patient underwent a routine procedure to insert a stent into the affected arteries. Except only about half of the patients actually got a stent.

Why Plague Caught Madagascar Unaware

Bioethics News - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 11:31

(BBC) – Madagascar is facing the worst outbreak of plague in 50 years. There have been more than 1,800 cases and 127 deaths since the start of August, according to new figures. The island off the south-east coast of Africa is used to seeing about 400 cases of mostly bubonic plague in the same rural areas every year.  But this year it has developed into the deadlier pneumonic version and spread to much more populated areas, including the capital.

Heart Disease Death Rate Plummets, But Overdose Death Rate Rises, CDC Says

Bioethics News - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 11:28

(CNN) – Three new reports from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention bring both good and bad news about Americans’ health. Death rates for heart disease, cancer and HIV are all down in the United States in the year ending mid-2017 compared to the same period last year, according to one report published Friday by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. Despite these “wins,” the overall mortality rate has increased from the same time last year, the report also indicated. This overall uptick includes the death rate for drug overdoses.

MDMA’s Journey from Molly to Medicine

Bioethics News - Fri, 11/03/2017 - 11:26

(Scientific American) – The speed and effectiveness of the psychedelic experience Casey describes has caught the attention of the Food and Drug Administration, despite the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 1985 classification of MDMA as a Schedule I substance—the murderer’s row of illicit drugs that include heroin and are deemed to have no medical value. This past August the FDA granted MDMA “breakthrough therapy” status in the treatment of PTSD, meaning it may provide a substantial improvement over existing therapies. The agency will work closely with MAPS—a privately funded research institute founded 31 years ago in Santa Cruz, California—to design and conduct phase III trials starting next spring. This marks the first time psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy will be monitored in phase III trials for possible prescription use.