Bioethicist nominated for supreme court; stem cells help brain cancer and down syndrome; price hikes for opioid overdose antidote; Vatican invites Chinese to organ trafficking talks and more…
Feburary 10, 2017 Donate to CBHD
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THE BIOETHIC WEEKLY THE CENTER FOR BIOETHICS & HUMAN DIGNITY
RESOURCES & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Genetic & Reproductive Technologies Conference
PROPOSALS DUE SOON
Thinking about presenting or know someone who should present a paper or poster at CBHD's upcoming summer conference, Genetic & Reproductive Technologies? Next Wednesday, February 15th is the deadline. All serious proposals relevant to the study of bioethics are welcome. To be considered for presentation, contributed papers and posters must be submitted as abstracts 250-300 words along with a CV/resume.
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Global Women's Health, Commodification, and the Abortion Debate
WOMEN'S GLOBAL HEALTH RESOURCE
We must "examine the ways in which we may have allowed the cultural values of individualism and autonomy to seep into the church and distort our own views of human dignity," declares Michelle Kirtley, PhD in her article "Global Women's Health, Commodification, and the Abortion Debate". Originally published in the Summer 2013 edition of Dignitas, the article was recently released to the public.
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OTHER BIOETHICS EVENTS
SERIES ON BIOETHICAL ISSUES FROM A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE
Trinity Graduate School
February 21 & March 21, 2017
Deerfield, IL
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CONFERENCE ON MEDICINE & RELIGION
Re-Enchanting Medicine
JW Marriott Galleria
March 24 – 26, 2017
Houston, TX
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NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
US Child-Health Study Rises from Ashes of High-Profile Failure
(Nature) — The ECHO project emerged from the ashes of the controversial National Children’s Study (NCS), a programme run by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) that aimed to track 100,000 children from before birth to age 21. The NIH cancelled that study in 2014, after spending more than a decade and US$1.2 billion trying to get it off the ground. ECHO organizers say that their project will be different. By using cohorts that are already under way, they hope to side-step some of the problems that plagued the NCS, which had trouble recruiting participants, defining its hypotheses and sticking to its budget …
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Vatican Defends Inviting Chinese Ex-Minister to Organ Trafficking Talks
(The Guardian) — Vatican officials have defended their decision to invite a Chinese former deputy health minister to a conference on organ trafficking despite concerns that China still relies on the organs of executed prisoners in its transplant programme. Medical ethics experts and human rights activists have decried the move by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences to invite Huang Jiefu to a two-day conference starting on Tuesday that aims to expose organ trafficking and seeks to find “moral and appropriate solutions” to the issue …
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Trump Picks a Bioethicist for the Supreme Court
(The Atlantic) — Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s pick for the U.S. Supreme Court, is deeply interested in matters of life and death. His most lasting legacy from his time on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals is likely Hobby Lobby vs. Sebelius, a case about religious objections to the rules on birth-control coverage in the Affordable Care Act, which later became a landmark Supreme Court decision. But he hasn’t confined his writing to briefs and rulings. In 2006—the year he joined the Tenth Circuit—he published a book called The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia, outlining the moral, legal, and logistical challenges that emerge at the end of life. The most remarkable thing about the book is its measuredness …
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China Looks at Making Surrogate Motherhood Legal
(South China Morning Post) — State media has published a rare, lengthy analysis on the possibility of legalising non-commercial surrogate motherhood to support the two-child policy. In the article, People’s Daily said many people believed relaxing regulations around surrogacy could help give more families a second child. It quoted experts who said surrogate motherhood should be considered an option in cases such as high-risk pregnancy and infertility …
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Stem Cells Beat the Clock for Brain Cancer
(New Atlas) — Glioblastoma is an aggressive form of brain cancer that kills most patients within two years of diagnosis. In tests on mice last year, a team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill showed that adult skin cells could be transformed into stem cells and used to hunt down the tumors. Building on that, they’ve now found that the process works with human cells, and can be administered quickly enough to beat the ticking time-bombs …
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CDC Seeks Controversial New Quarantine Powers to Stop Outbreaks
(NPR) — Federal health officials may be about to get greatly enhanced powers to quarantine people, as part of an ongoing effort to stop outbreaks of dangerous contagious diseases. The new powers are outlined in a set of regulations the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published late last month to update the agency’s quarantine authority for the first time since the 1940s. The outlined changes are being welcomed by many health lawyers, bioethicists and public health specialists as providing important tools for protecting the public. But the CDC’s increased authority is also raising fears that the rules could be misused in ways that violate civil liberties …
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Massive Price Hike for Life-Saving Opioid Overdose Antidote
(Scientific American) — First came Martin Shkreli, the brash young pharmaceutical entrepreneur who raised the price for an AIDS treatment by 5,000 percent. Then, Heather Bresch, the CEO of Mylan, who oversaw the price hike for its signature Epi-Pen to more than $600 for a twin-pack, though its active ingredient costs pennies by comparison. Now a small Virginia company called Kaleo is joining their ranks. It makes an injector device that is suddenly in demand because of the nation’s epidemic use of opioids, a class of drugs that includes heavy painkillers and heroin …
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Clinic Claims It Has Used Stem Cells to Treat Down Syndrome
(New Scientist) — A CLINIC claims it has used stem cells to treat Down’s syndrome in up to 14 people. “As far as we know, it’s the first time that stem cells have been used to treat Down’s syndrome,” says Jyoti Titus, manager at Nutech Mediworld clinic in New Delhi, India. The announcement has set alarm bells ringing. It’s not clear to independent stem cell or Down’s experts how stem cells – which can form many types of tissue – might treat Down’s, a genetic disorder caused by having an extra chromosome. “The use of these cells does not make biological sense and may place the babies at considerable risk of side effects,”says John Rasko of the International Society for Cellular Therapy …
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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.
THE CENTER FOR BIOETHICS & HUMAN DIGNITY TRINITY INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY
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