September 30, 2009
Nanomaterials Under Study by the E.P.A.
Searching for a set of molecular characteristics common to all stem cells is, at best, a quixotic quest, argues a systems biologist in an opinion piece recently published in the Journal of Biology. This overly-simplified view of stem cells, the article notes, may be leading science down unfruitful paths and holding back clinical research. (New York Times)
Q&A: Is stem cell research misguided?
Searching for a set of molecular characteristics common to all stem cells is, at best, a quixotic quest, argues a systems biologist in an opinion piece recently published in the Journal of Biology. This overly-simplified view of stem cells, the article notes, may be leading science down unfruitful paths and holding back clinical research. (The Scientist)
Public health and its promotion
The loss of a child is the worst thing that could happen to a parent. For the bereavement to come suddenly and apparently arbitrarily can only compound the grief. The death of Natalie Morton, aged 14, after receiving the Cervarix jab to protect against cervical cancer will prompt the deepest sympathies for her family. Several other girls at Natalie’s school, in Coventry, have apparently suffered side-effects from the jab. The NHS in the city understandably has suspended the vaccination programme in local schools, and quarantined the batch used at Natalie’s school, while investigating urgently what happened. (Times Online)
New Issue of Theology and Science is Now Available
Theology and Science (Volume 7, Issue 4, 2009) is now available by subscription only.
- “Does Faith Contaminate Science? On the Appointment of Francis Collins” by Ted Peters, 307-309.
- “‘Of Mice and Men’: Making Babies from Stem Cells” by Ted Peters, 311-313.
New Issue of The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics is Now Available
The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics (Volume 37, Issue 3, Fall 2009) is now available by subscription only.
- “Dangerous Liaisons? Industry Relations with Health Professionals” by Robert M. Sade, 398-400.
- “Altruism and Self Interest in Medical Decision Making” by Paul H. Rubin, 401-409.
- “Better Regulation of Industry-Sponsored Clinical Trials Is Long Overdue” by Matthew Wynia and David Boren, 410-419.
- “More Regulation of Industry-Supported Biomedical Research: Are We Asking the Right Questions?” by Sigrid Fry-Revere and David Bjorn Malmstrom, 420-430.
- “Drug Reps Off Campus! Promoting Professional Purity by Suppressing Commercial Speech” by Lance K. Stell, 431-443.
- “DTC Advertising Harms Patients and Should Be Tightly Regulated” by Peter Lurie, 444-450.
- “Pharmaceutical Industry Financial Support for Medical Education: Benefit, or Undue Influence?” by Howard Brody, 451-460.
- “The Ethical Health Lawyer: An Empirical Assessment of Moral Decision Making” by Joshua E. Perry, Ilene N. Moore, Bruce Barry, Ellen Wright Clayton, and Amanda R. Carrico, 461-475.
- “Off-Label Prescribing: A Call for Heightened Professional and Government Oversight” by Rebecca Dresser and Joel Frader, 476-486.
- “Futility Clarified” by Eric Chwang, 487-495.
- “Data and Safety Monitoring Boards: Some Enduring Questions” by Charles J. Kowalski and Jan L. Hewett, 496-506.
- “Currents in Contemporary Ethics : Improve Privacy in Research by Eliminating Informed Consent? IOM Report Misses the Mark” by Mark A. Rothstein, 507-512.
- “Teaching Health Law : A Health Law Practice Workshop: Bridging Externship Placements and the Classroom” by Diane E. Hoffmann, 513-518.
- “Reviews : Justice Red in Tooth and Claw: A Review of Three Generations, No Imbeciles: Eugenics, the Supreme Court, and Buck v. Bell by Paul A. Lombardo” by John G. Browning, 519-522.
- “Recent Developments in Health Law” by Carmel Shachar and Pooja Nair, 523-530.
Event: Stem Cell Therapies: From the Lab to the Bedside
Stem Cell Therapies
“From the Lab to the Bedside”
“Demystifying” innovations and advancing the commercialization of Alberta’s emerging technologies
Calgary - November 25
Kerby Centre 7-9:30 pm
Edmonton - November 26
Central Lion’s Seniors Recreation Centre 7-9:30 pm
Each of the two public events are designed to engage Albertans in a patient-focused dialogue to demystify stem cell therapies. The forums have been designed to resolve three objectives:
1) to increase public and patient awareness of stem cell therapies, its implications on health care delivery and their potential in preventing and treating degenerative diseases,
2) to establish Alberta’s bio-tech sector as a world leader in the development of stem cell technologies, and
3) to prepare Alberta for the early delivery of stem cell therapy.
Registration begins October 1st
To register or for more information
September 29, 2009
Tell Me a Story About Synthetic Biology
More Americans know about synthetic biology, according to a survey from the Wilson Center Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies. Some 22 percent of adults indicate they have heard a lot or some about synthetic biology—that’s up from only 9 percent last year. But nearly half, 48 percent, have heard nothing at all about the technology. (Science Progress)
Health officials seek to vaccinate illegal immigrants against swine flu
With swine flu vaccinations set to begin in October, public health officials are mobilizing to ensure that the nation’s estimated 11 million-plus illegal immigrants are vaccinated to protect themselves and the public.
Unlike the debate over whether illegal immigrants should get federal health care, there is little dispute they should be included in the nation’s voluntary vaccination program. (USA Today)
23andme co-founder launches Alzheimer’s foundation
Linda Avey is leaving DNA-testing startup 23andme to start an Alzheimer’s foundation. A look back at the industry she helped grow and the future of consumer genetics testing. (CNN)
Guidance on patient confidentiality and genetic diseases
New guidance released by the UK General Medical Council (GMC) says that doctors may in some circumstances share confidential genetic information about patients with their relatives against the wishes of the patient. The guidance recognises that the obligation of confidentiality is not always absolute, and that information about an individual may be disclosed without their consent if (and only if) it is necessary to prevent serious harm to another person. (PHG Foundation)
British girl dies after cervical cancer vaccine
British health officials temporarily suspended a vaccination program in an English city Tuesday after a 14-year-old girl died a few hours after being vaccinated against the virus that causes cervical cancer. (AP News)
On Being A Scientist from the National Academies
New Issue of Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics is Now Available
Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics (Volume 18, Issue 4, 2009) is now available by subscription only.
- “Why Quality if Addressed So Rarely in Clinical Ethics Consultation” by George J. Agich, 339-346.
- “Dealing with the Normative Dimension in Clinical Ethics Consultation” by Stella Reiter-Theil, 347-359.
- “Clinical Ethics as Liaison Service: Concepts and Experiences in Collaboration with Operative Medicine” by Gerd Richter, 360-370.
- “Clinical Ethics Consultation and Ethics Integration in an Urban Public Hospital” by Mark P. Aulision, Jessica Moore, May Blanchard, Marcia Bailey and Dawn Smith, 371-383.
- “Is Consent Necessary for Ethics Consultation?” by Stuart G. Finder, 384-396.
- “Ethics Case Consultation in Primary Care: Contextual Challenges for Clinical Ethicists” by Anne Slowther, 397-405.
- “Evaluating Clinical Ethics Consultation: A European Perspective” by Margarete Pfafflin, Laus Kobert, and Setlla Reiter-Theil, 406-419.
- “How to Deal with Euthanasia Requests: A Palliative Filter Procedure” by Paul Schotsmans and Chris Gastmans, 420-428.
- “Adolescent Decisionmaking, Part II” by D. Micah Hester, 432.
- “Extortion and the Ethics of ‘Topping Up’” by Benjamin Sachs, 443-445.
New Issue of Journal of the American Medical Association is Now Available
JAMA (Volume 032, Number 11, September 16, 2009) is now available by subscription only.
- “The International Response to Climate Change: An Agenda for Global Health” by Lindsay F. Wiley and Lawrence O. Gostin, 1218-1220.
- “Bending the Cost Curve: A Critical Component of Health Care Reform” by Stephen M. Shortell, 1223-1224.
- “Tort Claims and Federal Regulation of Medical Devices vs. Pharmaceuticals” by Michael Green, 1169.
September 28, 2009
Doctors often register unconscious bias against blacks, study finds
Psychological testing shows white physicians have friendlier attitudes toward anonymous white people than toward black people. But is this linked to unequal treatment? (American Medical News)
Pregnancy Is No Time to Refuse a Flu Shot
Human clones, it is widely assumed, would be monstrous perversions of nature. Yet chances are, you already know one. Indeed, you may know several and even have dated a clone. They walk among us in the form of identical twins: people who share exact sets of DNA. Such twins almost always look alike and often have similar quirks. But their minds, experiences, and personalities are different, and no one supposes they are less than fully human. And if identical twins are fully human, wouldn’t cloned people be as well? (New York Times)
Op-Ed: Embrace Human Cloning
Human clones, it is widely assumed, would be monstrous perversions of nature. Yet chances are, you already know one. Indeed, you may know several and even have dated a clone. They walk among us in the form of identical twins: people who share exact sets of DNA. Such twins almost always look alike and often have similar quirks. But their minds, experiences, and personalities are different, and no one supposes they are less than fully human. And if identical twins are fully human, wouldn’t cloned people be as well? (Wired)
Lowly fat cells may hold key to healthier hearts
It’s a common refrain: Fat is bad for your heart. But locked inside the same substance that can clog arteries and add inches to your waistline are stem cells that promise to heal damaged hearts. Those stem cells are the subject of a decades-long quest by University of Louisville professor Stuart Williams that began when he became curious about leftover fat from a Nobel Prize-winning colleague’s research. (The Courier-Journal)
Fall Foliage Dinner Discussion: Physician-Assisted Suicide
October 9, 2009, 6:00 - 10:00 pm
Bioethics Topic: Physician-Assisted Suicide
Keynote Speaker: D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A.
D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A.
Former State Senator Thomas Colantuono
Colleen McCormick, CRNA, M.A. (Bioethics)
Radisson Hotel Manchester
700 Elm Street, Manchester NH 03101
To register, call 603-995-1182.
Dinner Discussion Sponsored by Cabrini Institute, Inc.
Co-Sponsored by The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity
September 25, 2009
Dying patient saved with his own stem cells and mechanical heart
The procedure – believed to be a world first – used stem cells in attempts to rebuild the damaged muscle in the heart. Experts welcomed the development, but said more research was necessary before it could be more widely used. (Scotsman)
Medical Ethics Experts Address Key Issues in H1N1 Pandemic
Topics include duty of healthcare workers to work during a serious flu pandemic; government restrictions on individual freedoms and privacy and their responsibilities administering vaccination programs; how to allocate limited medical resources; and the obligation of rich countries to share such resources with those less fortunate. (Infection Control Today)