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Walking a Tightrope: The Balance between Helping Patients Now without Risking the Future

January 11, 2017

(Science Daily) – Antibiotic use represents a special challenge, in which too much of a good thing can be dangerous to public health as a whole, and the overuse of antibiotics over the past few decades has led to resistant strains of bacteria. In other words, the bugs are getting stronger, and smarter, and the antibiotics we have can potentially stop working if we’re not careful about how we use them.

How Physician Surveys Impact Major Issues

January 11, 2017

(AMA News) – How many surveys have you been asked to take in the last year? Now, how many of those surveys seemed like they mattered? The Internet is flooded with surveys about anything and everything, but surveys directed toward physicians and focused on specific impact issues can actually make a difference. For the Colorado Medical Society, surveying physician members has brought a new element to advocacy efforts on major health care concerns.

A New Edition of Bioethics Is Now Available

January 11, 2017

Bioethics (vol. 31, no. 2, 2017) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “In Defense of a Social Value Requirement for Clinical Research” by David Wendler and Annette Rid
  • “Reconfiguring Social Value in Health Research Through the Lens of Liminality” by Agomoni Ganguli-Mitra, Edward S. Dove, Graeme T. Laurie, and Samuel Taylor-Alexander
  • “The Social Value of Knowledge and the Responsiveness Requirement for International Research” by Danielle M. Wenner
  • “The Social Value of Health Research and the Worst Off” by Nicola Barsdorf and Joseph Millum
  • “Should Social Value Obligations be Local or Global?” by Rahul Nayak and Seema K. Shah
  • “Participatory Bioethics Research and its Social Impact: The Case of Coercion Reduction in Psychiatry” by Tineke A. Abma, Yolande Voskes, and Guy Widdershoven

 

A New Edition of Briefings in Bioinformatics Is Now Available

January 11, 2017

Briefings in Bioinformatics (vol. 18, no. 1, 2017) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Translational Bioinformatics in the Era of Real-Time Biomedical, Health Care and Wellness Data Streams” by Khader Shameer, Marcus A. Badgeley, Riccardo Miotto, Benjamin S. Glicksberg, Joseph W. Morgan, and Joel T. Dudley

 

Alberta Nurse Practitioners Authorized to Provide Medical Assistance in Dying

January 10, 2017

(Edmonton Journal) – Nurse practitioners are registered nurses, with graduate education, who can order and interpret screening and diagnostic tests, perform procedures and prescribe medications and therapeutic interventions. There are 450 nurse practitioners in Alberta. The provincial cabinet approved last week the Medical Assistance in Dying Standards of Practice for Nurse Practitioners as standards of practice for CARNA. The regulations were developed in collaboration with Alberta Health, Alberta Health Services, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta and the Alberta College of Pharmacists.

Why the Patent Battle over CRISPR Matters (and Why It Doesn’t)

January 10, 2017

(Gizmodo) – By the time a panel of judges at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office gets around to deciding who owns the biggest biotechnology innovation of the century, CRISPR-Cas9 may have already lost its heavyweight title as the most precise tool for genetic engineering. In the bitter patent battle between the Broad Institute and U.C. Berkeley that reached a courtroom climax last month, both institutions are duking it out for the right to claim that they invented CRISPR-Cas9, along with the right to reap millions and millions of dollars for licensing their discovery.

Armenia Raises Alarm as Abortions of Girls Skew Population

January 10, 2017

(Medical Xpress) – The majority-Christian Caucasus country of some three million has the third highest rate of abortions of female foetuses in the world, a figure that rose sharply after the breakup of the Soviet Union. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has reported that there were 114 boys born to 100 girls in 2012. The natural norm would be 102-106 male births to 100 female ones. Sex-discriminatory abortions become more prevalent with second and subsequent children, and account for around 1,400 unborn girls each year.

 

Cleveland Clinic Reevaluating Alternative Medicine Offerings Amid Uproar over Vaccine Rant

January 10, 2017

(STAT News) – After the director of its Wellness Institute was forced to walk back an anti-vaccine blog post over the weekend, the Cleveland Clinic revealed Monday that it has already spent months reevaluating the institute’s focus and expects to halt the sale of some alternative medicine products. Clinic spokeswoman Eileen Shiel told STAT that hospital administrators are concerned that the institute’s focus has grown too unwieldy and less connected to the clinic’s broader mission of providing the best, evidence-based medicine and services to patients.

A Supplement Maker Tried to Silence This Harvard Doctor–And Put Academic Freedom on Trial

January 10, 2017

(STAT News) – The dietary supplements had ominous names, like Black Widow and Yellow Scorpion. They contained an illegal and potentially dangerous molecule, similar in structure to amphetamines. But when a Harvard researcher dared to point that out, in a scientific, peer-reviewed study and in media interviews, the supplement maker sued him for libel and slander. STAT has conducted the first detailed look at the legal showdown that followed by interviewing key players and reviewing hundreds of pages of trial transcripts and other court documents.

Organ Transplants in the US Are on the Rise, but the Reason Why Means It’s Not Exactly a Public Health Triumph

January 10, 2017

(Quartz) – Organ transplants in the United States reached a record high for the fourth consecutive year. In 2016, more than 33,600 organ transplants were performed in the US, according to preliminary data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). The total number of transplants increased nearly 9% from the year prior and a whopping 20% since 2012, when around 28,000 transplants were performed.

The Enduring Mystery of Pain Management

January 10, 2017

(The Atlantic) – There seemed to be a chasm of understanding in human discussions of pain. I wanted to find out how the medical profession apprehends pain—the language it uses for something that’s invisible to the naked eye, that can’t be measured except by asking for the sufferer’s subjective description, and that can be treated only by the use of opium derivatives that go back to the Middle Ages.

False Health News More Popular on Facebook

January 10, 2017

(SciDev Net) – The Zika epidemic that spread throughout the American continent last year was accompanied by another outbreak, one of rumours and false news about the disease. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin and Tulane University in the United States analysed 200 posts (in English) on Facebook. They found that rumours and conspiracy theories were more popular than trustworthy information.

Almost All the Doctors Who Treat Hormone Conditions Know Nothing about One of Today’s Important Hormone-Related Issues

January 10, 2017

(Quartz) – With growing public awareness of transgender identity, the demand for medical care for trans individuals in the US is burgeoning. Yet, a majority of endocrinologists—doctors who treat hormone conditions—are not trained to provide hormone treatments to trans individuals. A new study found that four out of five endocrinologists have never received formal training on care for transgender individuals. The research, carried out by the Endocrine Society and the Mayo Clinic, was published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism on Jan. 10.

White House Announces Review Process for Risky Virus Studies

January 10, 2017

(Science) – Federal officials today released a plan to help U.S. agencies decide whether to fund controversial studies that make viruses more dangerous. The guidance may finally bring an end to a moratorium that has kept a handful of experiments funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on hold for more than 2 years. The policy from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) essentially follows recommendations from last May from an advisory committee that attempted to define the riskiest experiments and spell out when they should be funded.

These Two Baby Boys Are Twins, But an Italian Court Says They Aren’t Brothers

January 9, 2017

(The Washington Post) – At first a judge ruled against them, but the couple appealed and a new court partially granted their request. Because the men used separate semen samples to fertilize the eggs, the court said that each of them can now register his biological son as his own. But the babies cannot be recognized as children of the couple, nor are they to be considered brothers, even though they share the same genetic mother, who donated both eggs.

Cleveland Clinic to Censure Doctor Who Promoted Anti-Vaccine Claims

January 9, 2017

(STAT News) – A Cleveland Clinic doctor who wrote a column laced with anti-vaccine rhetoric appeared to retract his commentary Sunday, but will face disciplinary action for publishing it without authorization, the health system said. Dr. Daniel Neides, whose column spouted a widely discredited theory that vaccines are linked to autism — and whose comments sparked an online uproar — issued a brief statement through a Cleveland Clinic spokeswoman.

Is IVF Really Worth the Effort? Leading Experts Suggest It’s Little Better Than Doing NOTHING

January 9, 2017

(Daily Mail) – THOUSANDS of women in Britain are having IVF unnecessarily, an infertility expert has claimed, when they are able to have a child naturally. Almost half of couples labelled infertile after trying unsuccessfully for a baby for a year will, studies show, fall pregnant in the next two years if they just keep trying. But many panic and pay thousands of pounds for IVF, a British Fertility Society conference heard, because they believe they have a medical problem and need treatment.

Gripping Interview: How One Addicted Doctor Recovered

January 9, 2017

(Medscape) – Hi. I am Art Caplan, head of the Medical Ethics Division at the New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City. Typically, I use these blogs to talk about an issue, give my opinions, or draw attention to something of importance. But I have a rare opportunity today. Dr Cheryl Karcher is with me. She is a dermatologist, an expert in aesthetic medicine, and a recovering addict.

Meet the First Humans to Sense Where North Is

January 9, 2017

(The Guardian) – Liviu Babitz opens his collar to reveal a small silicone gadget, the size of a matchbox, attached to his chest with two titanium bars that sit just under the skin. Most resembling a compact bike light, the North Sense that Babitz has attached is an artificial sense organ that delivers a short vibration every time the user faces North. Babitz and Scott Cohen, co-founder at Cyborg Nest, the company that created North Sense, are currently the only two using the product, which will soon be shipped out to clients who have pre-ordered it over the last few months.

Burnout High among Indian Doctors: Study

January 9, 2017

(Times of India) – Your seemingly disinterested doctor may be a part of a larger problem stalking the medical system: burnout among doctors. While medicine is seen as a coveted profession in India, a new study from a city medical college indicates that our doctors, like their western counterparts, suffer from burnout-associated symptoms such as emotional exhaustion, lack of feeling or dissatisfaction.

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