A Spate of Deadly Disasters for the Elderly; California Combats Deadly Hepatitis A Outbreak; FDA Approves a Game-Changer Treatment for Blood Cancer; Puerto Rico Investigates Post-Hurricane Disease Outbreak; Why We Need a Registry for the Long-Term Risks of Egg Donors and More …
October 20, 2017 Donate to CBHD
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RESOURCES & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Is Always On Always Good?
IS ALWAYS ON ALWAYS GOOD?
Have you recently upgraded your phone and wondered about the ethical and social issues raised by new technologies? In this piece from the Dignitas archives, CBHD Fellow Dónal O'Mathúna examines social networking and the pervasive use of technology in our everyday lives, discussing the illusion of friendship and intimacy and loss of privacy.
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Call for Proposals: Bioethics & Being Human
DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS APPROACHING
The deadline to submit paper and poster proposals for the upcoming CBHD summer conference, Bioethics & Being Human, is in less than two weeks. To be considered, submit a proposal by Wednesday, November 1, 2017.
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NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
FDA Approves a Game-Changer Treatment for Blood Cancer
(STAT News) — The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved a promising new treatment for a particularly deadly form of cancer, bringing hope to desperate patients while rekindling a global conversation about the escalating cost of new therapies. The treatment, made by Gilead Sciences, is made by extracting patients’ white blood cells and re-engineering them to home in on tumors. Called a CAR-T, the one-time treatment has shown unprecedented results for patients with dire diagnoses. …
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Where the Opioids Go
(The Atlantic) — The rate of death from opioid overdoses in the United States has more than doubled over the past decade. Amid a deluge of reports on the national crisis, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that in much of the world many people die in preventable pain, without access to morphine for end-of-life care. This is the finding of a global commission published in The Lancet, which includes analysis of the global distribution of narcotics. The above map shows a relative distribution of how much of the need for opioids is met in various places. …
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A Spate of Deadly Disasters for the Elderly
(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. …
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Fertility: Why We Need a Registry for the Long-Term Risks of Egg Donors
(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. …
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Sweden Won’t Prosecute Italian Stem Cell Scientist
(San Francisco Chronicle) — Swedish prosecutors have abandoned an investigation against a disgraced Italian stem cell scientist suspected of involuntary manslaughter in connection with three patients who died after windpipe transplants. Prosecutor Jennie Nordin said it can’t be proven that Dr. Paolo Macchiarini would be guilty of either causing another’s death or causing bodily harm, so he is no longer a suspect. …
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California Combats Deadly Hepatitis A Outbreak
(CNN) — As firefighters continue to battle blazes across the state of California, public health officials are dealing with another ongoing crisis: one of the largest person-to-person hepatitis A outbreaks in the country since the development of a vaccine, more than two decades ago. An update provided Thursday by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) raises the case count to 600. 395 people have been hospitalized and 19 have died since November 2016. …
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‘Kidney for Sale’: Iran Has a Legal Market for the Organs, but the System Doesn’t Always Work
(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. …
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Dementia Patient at Center of Spoon-Feeding Controversy Dies
(Kaiser Health News) — An Oregon woman with Alzheimer’s disease, whose husband claimed she was kept alive with spoon-feeding against her written wishes, has died. Nora Harris, 64, died early Wednesday at the Fern Gardens senior care center in Medford, Ore. Her husband, Bill Harris, said the death marks the end of an eight-year battle with the progressive, debilitating disease, which included an unsuccessful court fight to withdraw all food and liquid. …
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Note: News stories and events do not necessarily represent the Center's views. For additional commentary on many of the issues they raise, please see the CBHD web site at www.cbhd.org. Please visit www.bioethics.com for daily posts on bioethics news and issues.
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