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Nanoparticles Used to Stop a Body Rejecting Organ Transplants

Bioethics News - Tue, 08/08/2017 - 14:48

(New Atlas) – Organ transplantation has undoubtedly been one of the greatest medical innovations of the last century. The development of modern immunosuppressive drugs has significantly reduced the rates of organ rejection, but these drugs often have dramatic side effects for the patient. A team from Yale has now developed an entirely new way of reducing organ transplant rejection by “hiding” the donated organ using targeted nanoparticles.

Healthcare Records Outlive Us. It’s Time to Decide What Happens to the Data Once We’re Gone

Bioethics News - Tue, 08/08/2017 - 14:42

(Australian Broadcasting Co) – Death is inevitable. The creation of healthcare records about every complaint and ailment we seek treatment for is also a near-certainty. Data about patients is a vital cog in the provision of efficient health services. Our study explores what happens to those healthcare records after you die. We focus on New Zealand’s legal situation and practices, but the issue is truly a global one.

The Creator of the Pig-Human Chimera Keeps Proving other Scientists Wrong

Bioethics News - Tue, 08/08/2017 - 14:39

(STAT News) – Early this year, seeking a way to grow human organs for transplant, his group announced it had created pig-human chimeras — fetal pigs with human cells mixed in. His Salk Institute lab has discovered two new kinds of stem cells, including one considered the pinnacle of stem cells because, in addition to being able to create every type of cell in the body, it can also form tissues like the placenta and amniotic sac that embryos need to survive. Last December, they used a technique in mice that may help reverse aging by reprogramming adult cells back to their youth.

Who Owns Pre-Embryos?

Bioethics News - Tue, 08/08/2017 - 14:33

(The New Yorker) – The technology to freeze pre-embryos has been around since the early nineteen-eighties. (In 1984, the first baby from a frozen embryo was born.) By current estimates, there are more than six hundred thousand—some say more than a million—frozen pre-embryos in the United States, and one of the many unanticipated questions stirred by developments in reproductive technology is what to do with them. What happens when couples split up? The frozen pre-embryos aren’t children, but they aren’t exactly property, either. Who decides what happens to them?

Should I Help My Patients Die?

Bioethics News - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 15:46

(New York Times) – I practice both critical and palliative care medicine at a public hospital in Oakland. In June 2016, our state became the fourth in the nation to allow medical aid in dying for patients suffering from terminal illness. Oregon was the pioneer 20 years ago. Washington and Vermont followed suit more recently. (Colorado voters passed a similar law in November.) Now, five months after the law took effect here in California, I was facing my first request for assistance to shorten the life of a patient.

Proportion of Drivers Killed While Under Influence of Opioids Shows Huge Spike

Bioethics News - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 15:06

(USA Today) – In one of the latest examples of the growing opioid epidemic, researchers found a seven-fold increase in the proportion of drivers killed while under the influence of prescription opioids since 1995. Researchers at Columbia University examined drug testing results for 36,729 drivers in California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and West Virginia who died within an hour of being in a car crash.

11 Organizations Urge Caution, Not Ban, on CRISPR Germline Genome Editing

Bioethics News - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 14:37

(Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News) – One day after publication of a landmark study detailing the first-in-the-U.S. use of CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) to repair a germline mutation in human embryos created through in vitro fertilization, 11 genetics-focused professional organizations are calling for researchers to use caution in applying the technology. The 11 organizations have issued a policy statement stopping short of calling for a ban on human germline genome editing.

Bishop Says Embryos Used in Landmark Study ‘Gave No Consent’

Bioethics News - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 14:29

(Irish Times) – The Catholic Church in Ireland has voiced its total opposition to the use of embryos in research following a breakthrough study by scientists who “edited” human genomes to remove mutations linked to heart failure. Scientists believe such “editing” could also work for other conditions caused by single gene mutations such as cystic fibrosis and some breast cancers. None of the research so far has involved the birth of babies from the modified embryos. However, Bishop Kevin Doran, chair of the Catholic Bishops’ Consultative Group on Bioethics and Life Questions, said – as part of the research – human embryos were “being deliberately generated under laboratory conditions with a higher than average risk of congenital heart disease”.

Doctor Told to Stop Marketing 3-Person Baby Technique

Bioethics News - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 14:17

(Yahoo! News) – U.S. regulators on Friday warned a New York fertility doctor to stop marketing an experimental procedure that uses DNA from three people — a mother, a father and an egg donor — to avoid certain genetic diseases. The doctor, John Zhang, used the technique to help a Jordanian couple have a baby boy last year. According to the Food and Drug Administration, Zhang said his companies wouldn’t use the technology in the U.S. again without permission, yet they continue to promote it.

A New Edition of Journal of Medical Ethics Is Now Available

Bioethics News - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 09:00

Journal of Medical Ethics (vol. 43, no. 5, 2017) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Withholding Treatment: What, Whom and Why?” by Jonathan Pugh
  • “Ethics of a Relaxed Antidoping Rule Accompanied by Harm-Reduction Measures” by Bengt Kayser and Jan Tolleneer
  • “Second Thoughts About Who Is First: The Medical Triage of Violent Perpetrators and Their Victims” by Azgad Gold and Rael D Strous
  • “Ethics and High-Value Care” by Matthew DeCamp and Jon C Tilburt
  • “Autonomy, Age and Sterilisation Requests” by  Paddy McQueen
  • “Should Healthcare Professionals Sometimes Allow Harm? The Case of Self-Injury” by Patrick J Sullivan
  • “The Role of Law in Decisions to Withhold and Withdraw Life-Sustaining Treatment from Adults Who Lack Capacity: A Cross-Sectional Study” by Benjamin P White et al.
  • “‘Hey Everybody, Don’t Get Pregnant’: Zika, WHO and an Ethical Framework for Advising” by Katie Byron and Dana Howard
  • “Highlights in Bioethics Through 40?years: A Quantitative Analysis of Top-Cited Journal Articles” by Pingyue Jin and Mark Hakkarinen


A New Edition of Res Publica Is Now Available

Bioethics News - Mon, 08/07/2017 - 09:00

Res Publica (vol. 23, no. 2, 2017) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Neuroethics and Brain Privacy: Setting the Stage” by Jesper Ryberg
  • “Privacy, Neuroscience, and Neuro-Surveillance” by Adam D. Moore
  • “Brain Privacy and the Case of Cannibal Cop” by Mark Tunick
  • “Neuroscience, Mind Reading and Mental Privacy” by Jesper Ryberg
  • “Brain Privacy, Intimacy, and Authenticity: Why a Complete Lack of the Former Might Undermine Neither of the Latter!” by Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen


Human embryos modified to eliminate a single-gene disease

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 08/05/2017 - 07:29
Is it time to begin talking about a revival of eugenics? Read more...

Commercial surrogacy still thriving in India

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 08/05/2017 - 07:04
Even if the government has banned overseas clients

New kid on the block: the bioethics of ageing

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 08/05/2017 - 06:11
A process which is "even more fundamental and ubiquitous than procreation" Read more...

Latest end-of-life statistics from the Netherlands

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 08/05/2017 - 05:21
Nearly 1 death in 20 is due to euthanasia Read more...

Avoiding the next Charlie Gard dispute

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 08/05/2017 - 01:17
What steps can be taken to avoid future conflicts between family and medical staff? Read more...

If infanticide is wrong, is abortion wrong?

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 08/05/2017 - 01:09
Should we abandon arguments for abortion if they also permit infanticide? Read more...

Australian surrogacy broker jailed in Cambodia

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 08/05/2017 - 00:37
An Australian nurse has been found guilty by a Cambodian Court of running an illegal surrogacy business. Read more...

The risk of a transhumanist future

Sanctity of Life News - Sat, 08/05/2017 - 00:27
A British PhD candidate has warned of the darker side of a transhumanist future. Read more...