(Nanotechnology Now) – Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego developed a gel filled with toxin-absorbing nanosponges that could lead to an effective treatment for skin and wound infections caused by MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), an antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This “nanosponge-hydrogel” minimized the growth of skin lesions on mice infected with MRSA – without the use of antibiotics. The researchers recently published their findings online in Advanced Materials.
BMC Medical Ethics (vol. 16, 2015) is available online by subscription only.
- “The changing landscape of care: Does ethics education have a new role to play in health practice?” by Wintrup J
- “Reconsidering ‘ethics’ and ‘quality’ in healthcare research: The case for an iterative ethical paradigm” by Stevenson FA, et al.
Bioethics (vol. 29, no. 5, 2015) is available online by subscription only. Articles include:
- “Conscientious objection in medicine: Private ideological convictions must not supercede public service obligations” by Udo Schuklenk
- “Weaponizing principles: Clinical ethics consultations & the plight of the morally vulnerable” by Autumn M. Fiester
- “The nature and value of bioethics expertise” by Eric Vogelstein
- “Reproductive ‘surrogacy’ and parental licensing” by Christine Overall
- “Preventing ultimate harm as the justification for biomoral modification” by Timothy F. Murphy
(Nature) – Currently, morphine is produced from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). By providing a simpler — and more manipulable — means of producing opiates, the yeast research could ultimately lead to cheaper, less addictive, safer and more-effective analgesics. And in generating a drug source that is self-replicating and easy to grow, conceal and distribute, the work could also transform the illicit opiate marketplace to decentralized, localized production. In so doing, it could dramatically increase people’s access to opiates.
(UPI) – Radiotherapy is used in treatment for roughly half of all treatments for cancer, but it’s flawed because it affects all cells in an area of the body rather than just cancer cells. Scientists now believe that using carbon-based nanoparticles as part of the treatment could help focus radiotherapy on deadly cancer cells.
(ABC News) – Lawmakers in Maine are considering changes to the state’s policies regarding life-sustaining treatment for minors after an 18-year-old mother went to court last year to fight a state-imposed do-not-resuscitate order on her brain-damaged daughter. Legislators are examining a bill that would prevent the state from withholding life-sustaining treatment for a child in its custody unless the parent’s rights have been officially terminated.
(Los Angeles Times) – Today, Rader has a new title: “chief scientist” rather than “chief medical officer.” But his California company continues to operate, advertising and arranging injections that cost $30,000 apiece and are administered abroad, outside the reach of U.S. authorities. As long as the treatments never enter the country and Rader no longer represents himself as a licensed doctor, U.S. regulators are limited in their ability to stop him.
(Medscape) – New guidelines from the American Thoracic Society address crucial decision-making regarding the care of patients with critical illness. The policy statement aims to prevent conflicts and ensure cooperation between medical staff and family caregivers. “Neither individual clinicians nor families should be given unchecked authority to determine what treatments will be given to a patient,” guideline cochair Douglas White, MD, MAS, from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Critical Care Medicine in Pennsylvania, said in an ATS news release
(ABC News) – An ailing Chilean girl who got international attention by going on YouTube to make a public plea for permission to end her life has died of her illness. Cystic fibrosis sufferer Valentina Maureira had asked Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to allow her to be euthanized in the YouTube video earlier this year.
(Medical Xpress) – When it comes to developing ways to enhance human beings, we are increasingly fascinated by all things neurological. If the 20th century was all about the gene, the 21st is shaping up to be the century of the brain. This fascination has even produced a dedicated discipline of neuroethics, which includes the study of the moral case for using medicine to make changes to our personalities, feelings and beliefs.
(Daily Mail) – A UK woman has won special permission to use embryos created abroad with anonymous donor sperm, even though any resulting children can never know who their father was. A UK woman has won special permission to use embryos created abroad with anonymous donor sperm, even though any resulting children can never know who their father was. Under UK law, children born from sperm donated after April 2005 can contact their father at 18. To comply, both parents creating embryos imported into the UK must be known.
Neuroethics (vol. 8, no. 1, 2015) is available online by subscription only.
- “Ethical issues surrounding concussions and player safety in professional ice hockey” by Jeffrey G. Caron and Gordon A. Bloom
- “Sport-related neurotrama and neuroprotection: Are return-to-play protocols justified by paternalism” by L. Syd M. Johnson
- “On treating athletes with banned substances: The relationship between mild traumatic brain injury, hypopituitarism, and hormone replacement therapy” by Sarah Malanowski and Nicholas Baima
- “State of the concussion debate: From sceptical to alarmist claims” by Frédéric Gilbert
Age and Ageing (vol. 44, no. 3, 2015) is available online by subscription only.
- “Advanced care planning: Policy and real-life decision-making?” by Mary Godrey and Julia Hackett
- “Geriatric medicine and cultural gerontology” by Desmond O’Neill
- “A longitudinal cohort study evaluating the impact of a geriatrician-led residential care outreach service on acute healthcare utilisation” by A.F. Hutchinson, et al.
Journal of Medical Ethics (vol. 41, no. 5, 2015) is available online by subscription only.
- “Tsunami-tendenko and morality in disasters” by Satoshi Kodama
- “Can self-preservation be virtuous in disaster situations” by Justin Oakley
- “The transplantation of solid organs from HIV-positive donors to HIV-negative recipients: ethical implications” by Bram P. Wispelwey, Ari Z. Zivotofsky, and Alan B. Jotkowitz
- “Informed consent and ECT: How much information should be provided?” by Robert Torrance
Journal of Bioethical Inquiry (vol. 12, no. 1, 2015) is available online by subscription only.
- “Intergenerational global health” by David M. Shaw & Leigh E. Rich
- “Defining ‘Global Health Ethics'” by Catherine Myser
- “Ethical aspects of the Glasgow effect” by David M. Shaw
Dialog (vol. 54, no. 1, 2015) is available online by subscription only. Articles include:
- “The boundaries of human nature” by Ted Peters
- “Beyond the boundaries of current human nature: Some theological and ethical reflections on transhumanism” by James M. Childs Jr.
- “Going beyond the human: Christians and other transhumanists” by Ronald Cole-Turner
- “Bodies and persons: Theological reflections on transhumanism” by Calvin Mercer
- “Empathetic computers: The problem of confusing persons and things” by Noreen Herzfeld
NanoEthics (vol. 9, no. 1, 2015) is available online by subscription only. Articles include:
- “Animals and war: Anthropocentrism and technoscience” by Colin Salter
- “On clone as genetic copy: Critique of a metaphor” by Samuel Camenzind
- “Biotechnology as end game: Ontological and ethical collapse in the ‘biotech century'” by Zipporah Weisberg
- “Against anthropocentrism. Non-human otherness and the post-human project” by Roberto Marchesini
(New York Times) – The federal government opened the door to a new era of genetic medicine on Thursday by introducing a standard way to ensure the accuracy of DNA tests used to tailor treatments for individual patients. Scientists have identified hundreds of genetic mutations that appear to increase the risk of diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s and cystic fibrosis. But laboratories often report different results when they analyze genes obtained from samples of the same blood or tissue, because of variations in their testing equipment and methods.
(CNN) – The House of Representatives passed a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy on Wednesday. The measure passed mostly on a party line vote, 242-184, with one member voting present. Earlier this year House Republican leaders were forced to cancel a vote on the legislation, known as the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” when several female House Republican members rebelled against it. They argued some provisions dealing with exceptions for rape could threaten the party’s efforts to attract support from women and younger voters.
(Medical Xpress) – A new report by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics calls for a change in culture across all areas of children’s health research, so that children’s and young people’s views and opinions can help to shape how research is prioritised, designed and reviewed. Unless ethical concerns about asking children to take part in research are addressed, our understanding of childhood disorders and ability to provide evidence based care will remain limited.