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I Use a Wheelchair. And Yes, I’m Your Doctor.

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 14:14

(New York Times) – I have been a wheelchair user since early childhood, when I sustained a spinal cord injury in a farming accident. I am now a practicing physician in the field of rehabilitation and sports medicine. In my busy outpatient clinical practice, I witness the spectrum of patients’ reactions when they find out that their doctor is, herself, disabled. Typically those first few seconds after entering an exam room — before the patient’s guard goes up — are the most informative.

A New Edition of Journal of Genetic Counseling Is Now Available

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 09:00

Journal of Genetic Counseling (vol. 26, no. 5, 2017) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials to Assess Outcomes of Genetic Counseling” by Barbara A. Athens et al.
  • “Characterizing Clinical Genetic Counselors’ Countertransference Experiences: an Exploratory Study” by Rebecca Reeder et al.
  • “Reasons for Declining Preconception Expanded Carrier Screening Using Genome Sequencing” by Marian J. Gilmore et al.
  • “Experiences of Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) in Sweden: a Three-Year Follow-Up of Men and Women” by Stina Järvholm, Ann Thurin-Kjellberg, and Malin Broberg
  • “Attitudes Towards Prenatal Genetic Counseling, Prenatal Genetic Testing, and Termination of Pregnancy among Southeast and East Asian Women in the United States” by Ginger J. Tsai et al.
  • “Genetic Counselors’ Perception of the Effect on Practice of Laws Restricting Abortion” by Caitlin Cooney, Laura Hercher, and Komal Bajaj
  • “Should Genetic Testing be Offered for Children? The Perspectives of Adolescents and Emerging Adults in Families with Li-Fraumeni Syndrome” by Melissa A. Alderfer et al.


A New Edition of The Linacre Quarterly Is Now Available

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 09:00

The Linacre Quarterly (vol. 84, no. 3, 2017) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “A Guide for Religious for End-of-Life Decision Making” by Fr. James McTavish
  • “Is Medicine Losing Its Way? A Firm Foundation for Medicine as a Real
    Therapeia” by Willem Jacobus Cardinal Eijk
  • “Spiritual Care of the Sick” by Fr. Juan R. Vélez
  • “Why the Moratorium on Human-Animal Chimera Research Should Not Be
    Lifted” by Alan Moy
  • “Decision Making in Neonatal End-of-Life Scenarios in Low-Income
    Settings” by Fr. James McTavish
  • “Pulmonary Hypertension: Clinical Parameters of a Difficult Case in
    Pregnancy” by Byron C. Calhoun
  • “Moral Theological Analysis of Direct Versus Indirect Abortion” by John M. Haas
  • “Hormonal Contraception and the Development of Autoimmunity: A Review
    of the Literature” by William V. Williams


A New Edition of Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Is Now Available

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 09:00

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry (vol. 14, no. 3, 2017) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Stretching the Boundaries of Parental Responsibility and New Legal Guidelines for Determination of Brain Death” by Bernadette Richards and Thaddeus Mason Pope
  • “Futile Treatment—A Review” by Lenko Šari?, Ivana Prki? and Marko Juki?
  • “Are Wrongful Life Actions Threatening the Value of Human Life?” by Vera Lúcia Raposo
  • “Political Minimalism and Social Debates: The Case of Human-Enhancement Technologies” by Javier Rodríguez-Alcázar
  • “Including People with Dementia in Research: An Analysis of Australian Ethical and Legal Rules and Recommendations for Reform” by Nola M. Ries, Katie A. Thompson, and Michael Lowe
  • “Measles Vaccination is Best for Children: The Argument for Relying on Herd Immunity Fails” by Johan Christiaan Bester
  • “Medical Negligence Determinations, the “Right to Try,” and Expanded Access to Innovative Treatments” by Denise Meyerson
  • “Access to High Cost Cancer Medicines Through the Lens of an Australian Senate Inquiry—Defining the “Goods” at Stake” by Narcyz Ghinea, Miles Little, and Wendy Lipworth
  • “Exploring Vaccine Hesitancy Through an Artist–Scientist Collaboration” by Kaisu Koski and Johan Holst
  • “A Feminist Critique of Justifications for Sex Selection” by Tereza Hendl


A New Edition of Medico-Legal Journal Is Now Available

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 09:00

Medico-Legal Journal (vol. 85, no. 3, 2016) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Liability for Providing a Prognosis in Surgical Practice” by Alex de Costa and Amy Tam
  • “Judicial Oversight of Life-Ending Withdrawal of Assisted Nutrition and Hydration in Disorders of Consciousness in the United Kingdom: A Matter of Life and Death” by Mohamed Y Rady and Joseph L. Verheijde


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

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 09:00

The New England Journal of Medicine (vol. 377, no. 9, 2017) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Interprofessional Education — A Foundation for a New Approach to Health Care” by A. Dow and G. Thibault
  • “Abandonment” by R. Srivastava


Emergency Rooms Are Monopolies. Patients Pay the Price.

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 16:01

(Vox) – There are 141 million visits to the emergency room each year, and nearly all of them (including Saifan’s) have a charge for something called a facility fee. This is the price of walking through the door and seeking service. It does not include any care provided. Emergency rooms argue that these fees are necessary to keep their doors open, so they can be ready 24/7 to treat anything from a sore back to a gunshot wound. But there is also wide variation in how much hospitals charge for these fees, raising questions about how they are set and how closely they are tethered to overhead costs.

Pregnant Women Who Need Medications Face a Risky Guessing Game. A Federal Task Force Is Now Trying to Help

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 15:50

(STAT News) – Few drugs have been approved as safe and effective to use during pregnancy, and most of those are for conditions specific to pregnancy. As a result, almost every medicine given to a pregnant woman, from prescription antacids for acid reflux to biologic drugs to prevent epileptic seizures, is considered an off-label use. Some doctors even take women off medications as basic and important as those that help control blood pressure, because there’s no way of knowing if they’re safe.

Surgical Patients May Be Feeling Pain–and (Mostly) Forgetting It

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 15:48

(The Atlantic) – The amnesic effects of hypnotic drugs are nothing new. In fact, anesthesiologists—and patients—have long relied upon the fact that, along with erasing consciousness, many hypnotic drugs prevent or disrupt memory. Amnesia—forgetting—is a useful and, many would argue, desirable side effect. In recent years, however, there has been an increasing reliance on new short-acting intravenous anesthetic drugs with powerful amnesic side effects. Sometimes they are used alone, sometimes in combination.

Grow Your Own: The Race to Create Body Parts in the Lab

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 15:36

(The Guardian) – The ultimate goal remains to make synthetic organs from scratch using a synthetic scaffold, as Macchiarini tried and failed to do with tracheas. Pig scaffolds do not pose a risk, but manufacturing them does not readily scale up to treating hundreds or thousands of patients. However, De Coppi says that matching the quality of a natural scaffold is probably still 20 years away. “Despite [attempts at] synthetic organs, we are still far away from mimicking what mother nature has done,” he says.

IU, Regenstrief Study Finds Surrogate Decision Makers Experience Psychological Distress

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 15:18

(Eurekalert) – Nearly half of the 13 million older adults hospitalized annually in the United States are unable to make their own medical decisions and rely on surrogates, usually close family members, to make decisions for them. However little is known about how these surrogates respond to the demands put upon them. A new study from the Indiana University Center for Aging Research and the Regenstrief Institute explores predictors and frequency of surrogate decision-maker distress and has found high levels of both anxiety and depression.

Gene-Based Zika Vaccine Is Safe and Immunogenic in Healthy Adults

Tue, 12/05/2017 - 14:52

(NIH) – Results from two Phase 1 clinical trials show an experimental Zika vaccine developed by government scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, is safe and induces an immune response in healthy adults. The findings will be published on Dec. 4 in The Lancet. NIAID is currently leading an international effort to evaluate the investigational vaccine in a Phase 2/2b safety and efficacy trial.

Should Eye Surgeons Fulfill a Dying Man’s Wish to See His Family?

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 15:48

(NPR) – Our anesthesiologist and others on the operating room team were opposed to performing a surgery on a patient on hospice with only weeks to live. The anesthesiologist was trained in Britain and noted that Thomas’ cataracts would never be removed there, where committees decide on the utility of certain treatments and procedures. For someone who would only get a few weeks of “use” out of his surgery, the costs couldn’t be justified. Thomas’ oncologist was concerned about his health and had a serious discussion with him. However, Thomas understood the risks and decided it was worth it to undergo the surgery.

Fears for Women’s Health as Parents Reject HPV Vaccine

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 15:40

(The Guardian) – Health officials have become increasingly alarmed at campaigns aimed at blocking the take-up of the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, which protects women against cervical cancer. Three leading nations have now seen major reductions in the take-up of the vaccine and a growing number of doctors fear its use could be blocked elsewhere, despite its capacity to provide protection against a condition that kills hundreds of thousands of women a year.

Why Basement Biohackers Might Need to Start Fearing the FDA

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 15:37

(Gizmodo) – After the initial warning, Gizmodo reached out to the FDA for clarity on how it might affect the biohacking community. For one, the agency, made clear, it’s not just CRISPR: “Gene editing in humans by any method would be considered gene therapy regulated by FDA,” a spokesperson said, noting that it only mentioned CRISPR because it’s such a buzzy word. And the selling of kits, it seems, would be considered illegal because, in broad terms, the agency would consider it the sale of any unapproved “gene therapy product” akin to the sale of an unapproved drug. If someone wants to test an unapproved drug in humans, they must first clear a clinical investigation with the FDA.

Are Zinc Finger Nucleases Making a Comeback?

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 15:00

(Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News) – A few weeks ago, the first person ever had his genes edited from within to treat a genetic disorder. His veins were infused with the investigational genome editing therapy SB-913 to treat his disease, mucopolysaccharidosis type II (MPS II). MPS II, often called Hunter syndrome, is a rare genetic disorder caused by a mutation in the iduronate 2-sulfatase (IDS) gene and occurs almost exclusively among males. The therapy uses the gene-editing tool called zinc finger nucleases to cut out the IDS mutated gene and replace it with the healthy gene. The patient received the therapy as part of a Phase I/II clinical trial.

‘Another Woman Gave Birth to My Child’: Surrogate Sues Fertility Clinic

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 14:48

(Canadian Broadcasting Co) – A Vancouver woman who agreed to have a baby for an infertile friend is suing the fertility clinic involved — claiming one of her donated eggs was later used to “implant and impregnate” her friend directly, without her written consent. The lawsuit alleges her friend, identified only as “Jane Doe,” went on to give birth to a baby boy who is genetically half Chonn’s child. In an interview with CBC News, Alicia Chonn, 38, says she had no idea the second procedure was to be performed.

To Combat the Spread of Zika, a Nonprofit Is Using Drones and Sterile Mosquitoes

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 14:43

(Public Radio International) – Mosquitoes are, by far, the deadliest animals on Earth. More than 725,000 people die from mosquito-borne illnesses like malaria each year, and millions are affected by mosquito-borne illnesses, according to the World Health Organization. Now new technology is being used to try to reduce mosquito-borne illnesses. In particular, introducing sterile male mosquitoes to a population can increase competition for female mosquitoes, eventually reducing the population by as much as 90 percent, according to researchers. But introducing the mosquitoes to areas affected by mosquito-borne diseases can be a challenge.

S. Korea to Expand Stem Cell Research Range, Genetic Scissors Permission

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 14:32

(Business Korea) – The South Korean government will greatly ease regulations on embryonic stem cell research and gene therapy product development that the biotech industry has longed for. At the second meeting to break down regulations chaired by Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon at the Advanced Institute of Convergence Technology in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, on November 30, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said, “We will expand the allowable range of embryonic stem cell and genetic scissors research to the same level as advanced countries.”

Purdue University Mounted a Child Nutrition Study. It Went Very, Very Wrong.

Mon, 12/04/2017 - 14:26

(Undark) – The girl was one of 78 participants in a study called Camp DASH — short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension — which was being led by Purdue’s Department of Nutrition Science. Researchers, assessing the effects of a low sodium diet on 11- to 15-year-old boys and girls with elevated blood pressure, were set to host the children in campus housing for seven weeks over the summer. After the shower video was reported to police in mid-July, the Tippecanoe County Prosecutor began looking into several additional allegations of crimes among the adolescent study participants. At the same time, University President Mitch Daniels shut the study down two weeks early and launched a months-long investigation led by the university’s vice president for ethics and compliance, Alysa Christmas Rollock.