(CNN) – Recent wildfires in California and hurricanes in Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico have put a spotlight on vulnerable seniors — including a number of deaths that authorities have said were preventable. “The bulk of them are in their 70s and 80s, so there is that commonality,” Sonoma County Sheriff Rob Giordano said of the first wildfire victims to be identified during a press conference Thursday. The majority were found in their homes, reduced to “ashes and bones,” Giordano said. Several were identified using medical implants, such as a hip replacement, with unique serial numbers.
(STAT News) – en who received a blood transfusion from a woman who had ever been pregnant had a higher risk of dying prematurely than men who got blood from a man or a never-pregnant woman, scientists reported on Tuesday. Bizarre as this seems, researchers have seen hints of a “mother effect” on blood transfusions before. Half a dozen studies have found that recipients were more likely to die after receiving blood from a woman than from a man — though the biggest and most recent did not.
(UPI) – Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine were shocked to find that nearly half of all medical care in the United States is delivered at hospital emergency departments. In recent years, the percentage of care given at ERs has grown significantly, with a new study revealing a nearly 44 percent increase in visits over a 14-year period.
(BBC) – A drug-based therapy appears to restore breathing in rats paralysed from the neck down by a spinal injury, according to scientists. They hope their “exciting but early” findings could ultimately help free patients from ventilators. The pioneering work, in Cell Reports, suggests the brain may not be needed for respiration if a nerve pathway in the spine can be awakened.
(Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) on Tuesday won the reversal of a $72 million verdict in favor of the family of a woman whose death from ovarian cancer they claimed stemmed from her use of the company’s talc-based products like Johnson’s Baby Powder. The Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District said that given a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that limited where injury lawsuits could be filed, the case over Alabama resident Jacqueline Fox’s death should not have been tried in St. Louis.
(STAT News) – This view of post-human medicine may seem repulsive to those who see medicine as uniquely human. Some of that view is grounded in arrogance — surely nothing could ever do what we do as well as us. But as medicine confronts its limitations, modern providers are faced with a paradox: We want the precision and specificity of the machine yet we want to believe that we can still do it all with our hands and eyes and ears. We probably can’t. So we need to start redefining what the human doctor of the 21st century will do.
(New York Times) – Having conquered world markets and challenged American political and military leadership, China has set its sights on becoming a global powerhouse in a different field: scientific research. It now has more laboratory scientists than any other country, outspends the entire European Union on research and development, and produces more scientific articles than any other nation except the United States. But in its rush to dominance, China has stood out in another, less boastful way. Since 2012, the country has retracted more scientific papers because of faked peer reviews than all other countries and territories put together, according to Retraction Watch, a blog that tracks and seeks to publicize retractions of research papers.
JAMA (vol. 317, no. 22, 2017) is available online by subscription only.
- “Building a Broader Consensus for Health Reform” by James C. Capretta
- “Value-Based Payment Models for Community Health Centers: Time to (Cautiously) Take the Plunge?” by Jay Bhatia, Rachel Tobey, and Michael Hochman
- “Permanent GME Funding for Teaching Health Centers” by Shayla N. M. Durfey, Paul George, and Eli Y. Adashi
Indian Journal of Medical Ethics (vol. 2, no. 3, 2017) is available online by subscription only.
- “Sensitising Intern Doctors to Ethical Issues in a Doctor–Patient Relationship” by Nilima D Shah, Ritambhara Y Mehta, and Kamlesh R Dave
- “Harnessing the Medical Humanities for Experiential Learning” by Satendra Singh, Purnima Barua, Upreet Dhaliwal, and Navjeevan Singh
- “The Unfair Trade: Why Organ Sale is Indefensible” by Siby K. George
- “Authorship Criteria and Reporting of Ethical Compliance in Indian Biomedical Journals” by Pravin Bolshete
- “Ethical Issues in Death, Dying and Palliation: The IJME Sixth National Bioethics Conference” by Rakhi Ghoshal, Deepa V, and Sunita Simon Kurpad
The New Bioethics (vol. 23, no. 2, 2017) is available online by subscription only.
- “Sperm Donation and the Right to Privacy” by Oliver Hallich
- “Kinship Identities in the Context of UK Maternal Spindle Transfer and
Pronuclear Transfer Legislation” by Calum MacKellar
- ” A Gift or a Waste? Quintavalle, Surplus Embryos and the Abortion Act
1967″ by Lisa Cherkassky
- “Ethical Application of Precision Medicine to Schizophrenia Management” by Steven Daws
- “Beyond a Western Bioethics in Asia and Its Implication on Autonomy” by Mark Tan Kiak Min
- “Transhumanism: How Far Is Too Far?” by Joel Thompson
New Genetics and Society (vol. 36, no. 3, 2017) is available online by subscription only.
- “Regulatory Controls for Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Tests: A Case Study on How the FDA Exercised its Authority” by Margaret Curnutte
- “Testing the NHS: The Tensions Between Personalized and Collective Medicine Produced by Personal Genomics in the UK” by Teresa Finlay
- “Valley of the Unicorns: Consumer Genomics, Venture Capital and Digital Disruption” by Stuart Hogarth
- “Reading the Fine Print when Buying Your Genetic Self Online: Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing Terms and Conditions” by Andelka M. Phillips
- “Shifting Metaphors in Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: From Genes as Information to Genes as Big Data” by Paula Saukko
Nursing Philosophy (vol. 18, no. 3, 2017) is available online by subscription only.
- “Reconciling Concepts of Space and Person-Centred Care of the Older Person with Cognitive Impairment in the Acute Care Setting” by Carole Rushton and David Edvardsson
- “Against Compassion: In Defence of a “Hybrid” Concept of Empathy” by Alastair Morgan
- “Contract Theories and Partnership in Health Care. A Philosophical Inquiry to the Philosophy of John Rawls and Seyla Benhabib” by Sylvia Määttä, Kim Lützén, and Stina Öresland
(InSerbia News) – It looks like the ghoulish practice of abducting children and smuggling them across the Albanian-Kosovo border for subsequent use as organ donors has never ceased. Former Albanian President and Prime Minister Sali Berisha posted on his Facebook page a message from an unnamed police officer who claimed that children are being smuggled from Kosovo into Albania by criminals who use them as organ donors which they subsequently sell to the highest bidder.
(Los Angeles Times) – In fact, Iran offers people a legal way to sell their kidneys — and is the only country in the world to do so. A government foundation registers buyers and sellers, matches them up and sets a fixed price of $4,600 per organ. Since 1993, doctors in Iran have performed more than 30,000 kidney transplants this way. But the system hasn’t always worked as it’s been billed. Sellers have learned that they can cut side deals to earn up to thousands more from well-off Iranians eager to bypass the roughly yearlong wait for a transplant under the government system, or foreigners barred from the national program. In recent years, doctors have been caught attempting to perform transplants for Saudis who obtained forged Iranian IDs.
(MedPage Today) – Olympic and Paralympic athletes from the U.S. headed to Brazil in 2016 with Zika virus on their minds, but it turns out they might have missed the true mosquito-borne threats, researchers suggested at the IDweek meeting in San Diego. None of 457 athletes who attended the games in Brazil showed signs of Zika virus, but blood tests revealed that 48 (11%) appeared to have been infected with dengue, chikungunya, and/or West Nile viruses, according to Krow Ampofo, MD, of the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, and colleagues.
(Newsweek) – The risks women face from becoming egg donors are unknown. And we can’t know the risks because long-term studies with a large population of women who have donated eggs have not been done. Now, one woman is calling for a national registry to track these unrecognized risks.
(Quartz) – Psilocybin—the naturally occurring psychedelic compound in hundreds of kinds mushrooms—has been reported to show promise as a treatment for depression. Now researchers are trying to find out more about how that works. Scientists looking at how the brain responds to psilocybin gave 19 patients two doses each one week apart in a study approved by the National Research Ethics Service committee in London. The scientists were looking to study brain response before and after ingestion, and during the “after-glow” of tripping that is characterized by mood improvement and stress relief.
(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.
(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.
The New England Journal of Medicine (vol. 376, no. 23, 2017) is available online by subscription only.
- “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