How to End a Life; China Cracks Down on Fake Data in Drug Trials; Babies from Skin Cells? Prospect Is Unsettling to Some Experts; For Tuskegee Syphilis Study Descendants, Stigma Hasn't Faded …
May 26, 2017 Donate to CBHD
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Conference Colloquium
This year's June conference will conclude with a colloquium exploring "Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox Approaches to Reproductive Technologies." Scott B. Rae, PhD; Marie T. Hilliard, JCL, PhD, RN; and Gayle E. Woloschak, PhD, will represent their respective traditions in this opportunity for ecumenical dialogue. One-day registration is available for those wanting to attend only the colloquium. You will not want to miss it!  
How to End a Life
(Toronto Life) — For some doctors, the aftermath is difficult. Just because doctors are regularly exposed to death doesn't mean they're comfortable performing euthanasia. A 2006 study on the emotional effects of physician-assisted death in the Netherlands and Oregon found that doctors often felt isolated and powerless after performing the procedure. At UHN, Li has seen physicians who deal with death on a daily basis break down after conducting a medically assisted death. Since MAID became legal, the number of willing providers in Ontario has shrunk, as nearly 30 doctors have pulled their names from the ministry's list …
Medicine Is Going Digital. The FDA Is Racing to Catch Up
(Wired) — When Bakul Patel started as a policy advisor in the US Food and Drug Administration in 2008, he could pretty much pinpoint when a product was going to land in front of the reviewers in his division. Back when medical devices were heavy on the hardware—your pacemakers and your IUDs—it would take manufacturers years to get them ready for regulatory approval. FDA reviewers could keep up pretty well. But as computer code took on more complex tasks, like spotting specious moles and quantifying blood flow, their duties began to accelerate …
Yemen Cholera Cases Could Hit 300,000 within Six Months: WHO
(Reuters) — Yemen could have as many as 300,000 cases of cholera within six months and an "extremely high" number of deaths, the World Health Organization said on Friday. "We need to expect something that could go up to 200,000-250,000 cases over the next six months, in addition to the 50,000 cases that have already occurred," Nevio Zagaria. WHO Yemen representative, told reporters in Geneva by phone. The cost in lives from this will be will be "extremely, extremely high", he said. …
For Tuskegee Syphilis Study Descendants, Stigma Hasn't Faded
(New York Times) — Decades later, it's still hard to grasp what the federal government did to hundreds of black men in rural Alabama — even if you're among their descendants, lighting candles in their memory. For 40 years starting in 1932, medical workers in the segregated South withheld treatment for unsuspecting men infected with a sexually transmitted disease simply so doctors could track the ravages of the horrid illness and dissect their bodies afterward …
First In Vivo Human Genome Editing to Be Tested in New Clinical Trial
(The Scientist) — Researchers have edited the human genome before, but always in cells outside the body. Now, biotech company Sangamo Therapeutics is recruiting participants for clinical trials in which patients with hemophilia B, Hurler syndrome, or Hunter syndrome will have the gene coding for one of the enzymes that is non-functional in them stitched into their genomes at double-stranded DNA breaks caused by zinc finger nucleases …
100-Year-Old Fertility Technique Reduces Need for IVF
(Eurekalert) — Infertile couples have a major opportunity to achieve a successful pregnancy without the need for IVF, thanks to new research into a 100-year-old medical technique. The now lesser known technique — which involves flushing the woman's fallopian tubes with an iodised poppy seed oil — has been proven to have significant benefits for fertility, according to the largest study undertaken by a team involving researchers in the Netherlands and Australia …
Babies from Skin Cells? Prospect Is Unsettling to Some Experts
(New York Times) — Nearly 40 years after the world was jolted by the birth of the first test-tube baby, a new revolution in reproductive technology is on the horizon — and it promises to be far more controversial than in vitro fertilization ever was. Within a decade or two, researchers say, scientists will likely be able to create a baby from human skin cells that have been coaxed to grow into eggs and sperm and used to create embryos to implant in a womb. The process, in vitro gametogenesis, or I.V.G., so far has been used only in mice. But stem cell biologists say it is only a matter of time before it could be used in human reproduction — opening up mind-boggling possibilities …
China Cracks Down on Fake Data in Drug Trials
(Nature) — The policy shift is one of a handful of measures that China is implementing both to speed up its notoriously slow drug-approval process and to keep dangerous and ineffective drugs off the market. This move "is the strongest signal yet, to all the drug developers, clinical-trial managers and principal investigators and physicians, that China is now very serious about clinical data", says Dan Zhang, executive chairman of Beijing-based Fountain Medical Development, which helps companies to carry out clinical trials and itself stands to be held accountable by the policy change …
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 Please visit for daily posts on bioethics news and issues.
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