Bioethics.com

Subscribe to Bioethics.com feed
Your global information source on bioethics news, issues, & events
Updated: 12 min 49 sec ago

FDA Scolds McKesson for Naproxen in Tampered Oxycodone Bottles, Calling Incidents ‘Simply Unacceptable’

February 12, 2019

(STAT News) – Highlighting concerns with the pharmaceutical supply chain, the Food and Drug Administration warned McKesson, one of the nation’s largest wholesalers, for failing to properly handle episodes where pharmacies received tampered medicines, including three instances in which bottles contained naproxen instead of oxycodone, the highly addictive painkiller.

No Increase in Cancer Among Children Conceived by IVF

February 12, 2019

(Medscape) – The first generation of children conceived through assisted reproductive technology (ART) — including in vitro fertilization (IVF) — show no increased risk of cancer compared with the general population or those conceived using other fertility methods, in the largest study of its kind in which offspring were followed from birth for a mean of 21 years.

Campus Vending Machines Offer Emergency Contraception Without the Stigma

February 12, 2019

(The Verge) – Thirteen years after a heated battle resulted in over-the-counter approval for emergency contraception, the product is finally shedding some of its stigma, and college campuses are leading the charge toward normalization.  In the fall of 2018, Yale’s Reproductive Justice Action League proposed a new plan to improve the health and wellness of its student population: emergency contraception vending machines.

Abortion Survivors on New Late-Term Abortion Bills: ‘Where Were My Rights in the Womb?’

February 12, 2019

(Fox) – Proponents of abortion bills say they are pushing for women’s reproductive rights, but three survivors of the procedure say it is a human rights issue. All three survived even though their birth mothers attempted to abort them. New York triggered a firestorm of debate after publicly celebrating a bill that allows abortion in many cases up to the point of birth and decriminalizing the act that can now be performed by a non-doctor. Then, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, amid a state abortion bill debate, made comments that were perceived as infanticide, saying the child, post-birth, would be “resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired.”

Controversial Experiments That Could Make Bird Flu More Risky Poised to Resume

February 11, 2019

(Science) – Controversial lab studies that modify bird flu viruses in ways that could make them more risky to humans will soon resume after being on hold for more than 4 years. ScienceInsider has learned that last year, a U.S. government review panel quietly approved experiments proposed by two labs that were previously considered so dangerous that federal officials had imposed an unusual top-down moratorium on such research.

Human Enhancement: Is It Good for Society?

February 11, 2019

(Science Daily) – Human enhancement technologies are opening up tremendous new possibilities. But they’re also raising important questions about what it means to be human. These technologies are currently geared towards upgrading or restoring physical and psychological abilities for medical purposes. An application is surfacing, however, that is designed with another goal in mind: embellishing performance. An international team of researchers has been examining the ethical issues arising from these experiments.

The Crisis in America’s Maternity Wards

February 11, 2019

(The Washington Post) – The Johnsons’ story depicts a blunt truth about women’s health in the United States — about 700 women die a year as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show. At a time when lawmakers in some states are trying to tighten access to reproductive care for women, the rate of maternal deaths in the United States is rising. The United States has the highest rate of pregnancy-related deaths among developed nations, a report from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) shows.

Tests Suggest Scientists Have Achieved First ‘in Body’ Gene Editing in Bid to Treat Rare Disease

February 11, 2019

(The Japan Times) – Scientists think they have achieved the first gene editing inside the body, altering DNA in adults to try to treat a disease, although it is too soon to know if this will help. Preliminary results suggest that two men with a rare disorder now have a corrective gene at very low levels, which may not be enough to make the therapy a success. Still, it’s a scientific milestone toward one day doctoring DNA to treat many diseases caused by faulty genes.

Organ Trafficking in Egypt: ‘They Locked Me in and Took My Kidney’

February 11, 2019

(The Guardian) – Dawitt’s story is more common than statistics suggest. According to a 2018 report, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has collected data on 700 incidents of organ trafficking, primarily from north Africa and the Middle East. Yet these figures are conservative, at best. The true scale of the industry is difficult to assess, as the majority of cases go unreported, with victims reluctant to come forward for fear of deportation, arrest or shame. The trade appears to be flourishing in Egypt, bolstered by an EU-funded clampdown on refugees by security forces.

An Overview of State Abortion Laws

February 11, 2019

(NPR) – This week, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked Louisiana from enforcing a restrictive abortion law. The court will likely hear a challenge to the merits of that law this fall. Many states are moving to pass a number of new abortion laws to prepare for the possible overturn of Roe v. Wade, that 1973 decision that legalized abortion in the United States. We’re going to turn now to Julie Rovner, chief Washington correspondent for Kaiser Health News. Jules (ph), thanks so much for being with us.

What’s the Difference Between Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia?

February 11, 2019

(BBC) – Before his death at Dignitas in Switzerland, Geoff Whaley talked openly about his decision to have an assisted death rather than endure the final stages of motor neurone disease. But what is assisted dying? How is it different from euthanasia or assisted suicide? And are any of these deaths legal in the UK? Euthanasia is the act of intentionally ending a life to relieve suffering – for example a lethal injection administered by a doctor.

How an Economist’s Idea to Create Kidney Transplant Chains Has Saved Lives

February 8, 2019

(PBS) – What happens if you need a kidney transplant and don’t know someone who is a biological match? A Nobel prize-winning economist has a solution: transplant chains. Donors agree to give to a stranger in exchange for a kidney for their loved one, but it has to start with someone willing to give without getting anything in return. Paul Solman has the story of two donors who volunteered to do just that.

OB-GYNs Remain Conflicted About Abortion, Survey Shows, But Pills May Be Changing Attitudes

February 8, 2019

(Los Angeles Times) – With the national abortion debate entering a new stage, a survey of U.S. obstetricians and gynecologists has found that while nearly 3 out of 4 had a patient who wanted to end a pregnancy in the past year, fewer than 1 in 4 were willing and able to perform one themselves. Among the doctors who answered questions about the procedure, 1 in 3 cited personal, religious or moral reasons for not providing abortion services.

Stanford Will Investigate Its Role in the Chinese CRISPR Baby Debacle

February 8, 2019

(MIT Technology Review) – Officials at Stanford University have opened an investigation into what several high-profile faculty members knew about a Chinese effort to create gene-edited babies led by a onetime researcher at the California school, He Jiankui. The investigation, according to people familiar with it, aims to understand what liabilities or risks Stanford may have in connection with the controversial medical experiment, which led last year to the birth of two girls whose genomes had been altered with a molecular tool called CRISPR to render them immune to HIV.

‘Three Identical Strangers’: It’s Not Too Late to Address the Ethical Violations

February 8, 2019

(STAT News) – Surprise turns to shock and then outrage. That’s the theme of “Three Identical Strangers,” a documentary film released last summer and now being screened by CNN. The film also has a less well-known precursor, “The Twinning Reaction.” Both chronicle twins and triplets born in the 1960s who were separated as infants and adopted by different families who had no idea of the other siblings’ existence. The separation and secrecy were unethical aspects of an experiment that sought to examine the contributions of genetics and environment to child development. The children (who are now adults), their families, and the public deserve answers to many unanswered questions.

The Long Wait for Legalized Surrogacy May Soon End in New York

February 8, 2019

(NBC News) – Commercial gestational surrogacy — the practice of paying a woman to carry a child that is not biologically related to her — is legal, or not expressly prohibited, in every state except New York, Louisiana and Michigan. Advocates say it’s a way of helping infertile and gay couples start families. But commercial surrogacy has a slew of detractors, many of whom say it amounts to women selling their bodies.

IVF Ups Risk of Severe Pregnancy Complications

February 8, 2019

(Medscape) – Women who undergo in vitro fertilization (IVF) are more likely to experience severe complications of pregnancy, including severe postpartum hemorrhage, admission to the intensive care unit, and sepsis, compared with women who conceived without assisted reproduction techniques. Published in the February 4 issue of CMAJ, the research examined the association between infertility treatment and severe maternal morbidity in pregnancy and the postpartum period.

ICE Detainees on Hunger Strike Are Being Force-Fed, Just Like Guantanamo Detainees Before Them

February 8, 2019

(The Conversation) – In mid-January, a federal court ordered ICE to force-feed the strikers. An ICE official stated: “For their health and safety, ICE closely monitors the food and water intake of those detainees identified as being on a hunger strike.” ICE policy states that the agency authorizes “involuntary medical treatment” if a detainee’s health is threatened by hunger striking. Force-feeding involves tying a detainee to a bed, inserting a feeding tube down the nose and esophagus and pumping liquid nutrition into the stomach. ICE detainees have reported rectal bleeding and vomiting as a consequence of being force-fed.

State Boards, Regulators Paralyzed on Physician Sex Assaults

February 8, 2019

(Med Page Today) – While common practice is to report these cases of misconduct and malpractice to state medical boards, there is no nationally established protocol, and cases of sexual violations are often not reported in the first place, or downplayed and categorized under terms that fail to convey their severity. Often, actions against a physician’s license only occur following a criminal conviction related to medical misconduct.

Chinese Bioethicists Respond to the Case of He Jiankui

February 7, 2019

(Hastings Center) – A preliminary investigation by Guangdong Province in China of He Jiankui, the scientist who created the world’s first gene-edited babies, found that “He had intentionally dodged supervision, raised funds and organized researchers on his own to carry out the human embryo gene-editing intended for reproduction, which is explicitly banned by relevant regulations.” As bioethics scholars in China, we would like to comment on the findings, as well as on three commentaries by Jing-Bao Nie and coauthors that appeared in Bioethics Forum, “He Jiankui’s Genetic Misadventure” (part 1, part 2, and part 3).

Pages