(NPR) – Around the U.S., a worsening heroin epidemic has more and more cities turning to the anti-overdose drug naloxone to reduce deaths from abuse. Also known as Narcan, the medication blocks the effects of opioids and reverses the respiratory depression that occurs during an overdose. Baltimore recently stepped up its naloxone training, focusing on drug users, and their families and friends. So far this year, city health workers have taught nearly 4,400 people how to use naloxone. That’s more than quadruple the number trained in 2014.
(Propublica) – To the best of his knowledge, Jim Smith never saw or handled Agent Orange on the Navy ship he served on during the Vietnam War. “I never sprayed the stuff, never touched the stuff,” said Smith, 65, who lives in Virginia Beach. “I knew later, vets started getting sick from it, but I didn’t think it had any impact on me.” It turns out, he might have been drinking it.
(News.com.au) – MORE Australians than ever before are turning to IVF treatment to ensure genetic diseases and chromosomal disorders that run in their family are not being passed onto their children. The latest report into IVF in Australia, released today, has shown the rate of genetic-based testing in In-Vitro Fertilisation treatments has risen by 20 per cent on the previous reporting period.
(Medscape) – Two recently passed laws, however, will allow women to skip the annual exam, if they wish, and still access birth control. Oregon and California passed legislation that will enable women to obtain hormonal birth control directly from pharmacies, without first undergoing a physical examination or consulting with a healthcare provider. Advocates of the laws applaud the move; increasing access to birth control by removing unnecessary and time-consuming barriers, they say, may increase contraceptive use and, ultimately, decrease the number of unintended pregnancies.
(Boston Globe) – Federal officials need to do more to prevent for-profit stem cell clinics from exploiting and potentially injuring patients, an article in a leading medical journal says. The New England Journal of Medicine commentary follows a May article by the Associated Press that identified 170 US clinics that charge between $5,000 and $50,000 for stem cell procedures that purport to treat dozens of diseases and conditions, including Alzheimer’s, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, and hair loss.
(The Guardian) – As MPs and peers we write further to the views expressed by Tanni-Grey Thompson, who argues that the assisted dying bill is unsafe (We must reject this intentional killing bill, 9 September). As the debate on assisted suicide intensifies, there is a real risk that the voice of the most vulnerable in our society is being drowned out. Evidence from around the world shows that many who chose assisted suicide cited feeling a burden on those around them as a reason for proceeding.
(The Daily Telegraph) – One year ago he was at the heart of an international surrogacy scandal; Baby Gammy, a Down syndrome boy with chronic health conditions, was abandoned in Thailand by his Australian biological parents, while his healthy twin sister was taken home by the couple. One Tuesday, the Australian charity providing care for the toddler said his transformation in 12 months was “nothing short of remarkable.”
(Nanotechnology Now) – A new Ebola test that uses magnetic nanoparticles could help curb the spread of the disease in western Africa. Research published in Biosensors and Bioelectronics shows that the new test is 100 times more sensitive than the current test, and easier to use. Because of this, the new test makes it easier and cheaper to diagnose cases, enabling healthcare workers to isolate patients and prevent the spread of Ebola.
Nursing Ethics (vol. 22, no. 5, 2015) is available online by subscription only.
- “Information-sharing Ethical Dilemmas and Decision-making for Public Health Nurses in Japan” by Chisato Suzuki, et al.
- “Some Ethical Conflicts in Emergency Care” by Maria F. Jiménez-Herrera and Christer Axelsson
- “Relational Interactions Preserving Dignity Experience: Perceptions of Persons Living with Dementia” by Oscar Tranvåg, et al.
(Science) – Notch another victory for synthetic biology. Researchers report today that they’ve engineered a common laboratory plant to produce the starting material for a potent chemotherapy drug originally harvested from an endangered Himalayan plant. The new work could ensure an abundant supply of the anticancer drug and make it easier for chemists to tweak the compound to come up with safer and more effective versions.
(Times of India) – Chinese and Italian transplant specialists are planning to conduct the world’s first human head transplant surgery on a Russian computer scientist that they claim would change the course of human history by curing incurable medical conditions. Italian Sergio Canavero will partner with Chinese surgeon Ren Xiaoping at a hospital affiliated to Harbin Medical University to carry out the operation.
(Medical Xpress) – Using “mini-brains” built with induced pluripotent stem cells derived from patients with a rare, but devastating, neurological disorder, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine say they have identified a drug candidate that appears to “rescue” dysfunctional cells by suppressing a critical genetic alteration. Their findings are published in the September 8 online issue of Molecular Psychiatry.
(U.S. News & World Report) – The state Assembly approved legislation Wednesday that would allow terminally ill patients to legally end their lives after an emotional and deeply personal debate, sending the proposal to the Senate that is expected to endorse it. It was the second effort by California lawmakers this year to allow doctors to prescribe life-ending medication following the highly publicized case of 29-year-old Brittany Maynard, a California woman with brain cancer who moved to Oregon to legally take her life.
(Time) – Scientists have long known that while our eyes do most of the heavy lifting of sight—taking in particles of light, bending and refracting them, turning them into electrical impulses—we actually “see” with our brains. Between the eye and the mind, however, a lot can go wrong, and until recently, if someone’s vision started to go or was never there to begin with, there wasn’t much doctors could do about it. Now, thanks to an explosion of new research, scientists at a stage in biology where they “know a heck of a lot about the causes of vision problems,” says Dr. Paul A. Sieving, director of the National Eye Institute at the National Institutes of the Health.
(Yahoo!) – They are among a growing number of Canadian women who are willing to offer their wombs to those who cannot conceive or carry their own children but who wish a genetic link. “There are more women joining… but there still isn’t enough to meet the need,” says Sally Rhoads-Heinrich, owner of Surrogacy in Canada Online, a website dedicated to connecting would-be surrogates to parents seeking their help. She has seen her client load at least double from a few years ago but there’s a big gap between the level of interest in a Canadian surrogate and the number of people who actually proceed, she says.
(The China Post) – HIV/AIDS patients are to become eligible to be transplant donors by next year, according to statements made by the Health and Welfare Ministry’s Department of Medical Affairs yesterday. The changes to the policy on organ transplantation were given the green light by the Medical Affairs Department, which is responsible for medical law amendments, after a meeting held by the Taiwan Organ Registry and Sharing Center (TORSC), experts and doctors.
(Science) – Genetic editing of human embryos “has tremendous value” to help solve important scientific questions, and should proceed despite potential worries about use of the technique in the clinic, an influential bioethics group said today in a statement. The Hinxton Group, which includes members from eight countries, called for more public discussion and careful policies to govern research using gene editing in embryos, but concluded that the insights such research could provide into early human development and disease was ethically justifiable.
(The World Post) – J. Craig Venter is the pioneering cartographer of the human genome, the sequence of which he and other scientists mapped in 2000. The WorldPost recently spoke with this modern Prometheus about the promises and perils of being able to read, write and edit the human genome.
The Hope and Healing Institute (Houston, TX) invites applications for the William K. McGee Jr. Fellowship in Bioethics and Aging. The goal of the William K. McGee Jr. Fellowship is to merge the heart of pastoral care with the academic curiosity of bioethics in the development of practical programs, training, and resources that facilitate humane, compassionate care for the aged and support for their families. In pursuit of this goal the McGee Fellow works directly with a number of constituencies including physicians, nurses, mental health care professionals, clergy, caregivers, and the elderly. Topics to be investigated within bioethics and aging at the Hope and Healing Institute (HHI) include end-of-life treatment and decisions, quality of life, confidentiality, mental competency, and faith/spirituality in medicine.
The successful candidate will pursue independent and interdisciplinary research relevant to bioethics and aging with a special emphasis on end-of-life decisions. Responsibilities of the Fellow will include the review and critique of relevant scientific, clinical, philosophical, legal, political, and/or ethical literatures, as well as the development and elucidation of new perspectives, programs and approaches. The Fellow will be expected to include public outreach in research dissemination strategies. Writing for lay journals, news media, and on-line publications and blogs is anticipated in addition to publishing in relevant peer-reviewed journals.
This is a 2-year position (with an option for a one year extension). Applicants must have completed their doctorate in a relevant area of study (e.g., psychology, theology, social work, philosophy). Review of applications will begin October 1, 2015 and continue until a successful candidate is hired. Applications must include a CV, (scanned) transcripts, a writing sample, a statement of research interests, and the names and contact information of three professional references. Applications should be submitted electronically to Matthew S. Stanford, Ph.D., CEO, Hope and Healing Center & Institute (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Nursing Ethics (vol. 22, no. 6, 2015) is available online by subscription only.
- “The Future of Ethics in Care: Some Reflections” by Ann Gallagher
- “Ethical Challenges in Older Patients Who Resist Help” by Kari Brodtkorb, et al.
- “Contextual Influences on Nurses’ Decision-Making in Cases of Physical Restraint” by Bernadette Dierckx de Casterlé, et al.
- “Nurses’ Perceptions and the Practice of Physical Restraint in China” by Hui Jiang, et al.
- “The Effect of Ethics Training on Students Recognizing Ethical Violations and Developing Moral Sensitivity” by Zehra Gocmen Baykara, et al.
- “Ethical Concerns of Visiting Nurses Caring for Older People in the Community” by Kwisoon Choe, et al.
- “Ethically Difficult Situations in Hemodialysis Care — Nurses’ Narratives” by Catarina E.C. Fischer, et al.