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July 28, 2010

Event: 19th International Cleveland Clinic Epilepsy Symposia

19th International Cleveland Clinic Epilepsy Symposia
Ethics of Invasive Brain Testing: Limits and Responsibilities

Cleveland, OH
Sunday, October 3, 2010

Symposium Organizer – Paul Ford, PhD

Clinicians and researchers are faced with ethically intricate challenges with the continued advancement of invasive technologies for monitoring and testing brain functioning. These technologies allow us to localize seizure foci, map functional areas, and explore therapeutic stimulation with applications to epilepsy, tumors, neurodegenerative diseases, and psychiatric disorders. These tests are performed on patients who become unusually vulnerable to power differences and manipulation. We have great potential to manipulate a person’s cognition, mood, or mind through these processes. We need to have clear reasons and justifications for choosing:


•  Which technologies we use
•  Which patients we use them on
•  How we use them on patients
•  What research questions we tackle
•  How we tackle those research projects


Threaded through these challenges are deeply held value convictions about justice, professionalism, and responsibility. Please feel free to visit http://www.ccf.org/neuroethics and click on NeuroEthics Symposia for more information.

Call for Abstracts: 3rd National Bioethics Conference – Submission deadline: July 31, 2010

The Indian Journal of Medical Ethics NATIONAL BIOETHICS CONFERENCE, 2010

Venue: All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
Date: 17-20 November 2010
Theme: Governance of healthcare – ethics, equity and justice

Call for abstracts

The scientific committee of the Third Indian Journal of Medical Ethics National Bioethics Conference (NBC-3) seeks abstracts of papers, and proposals for holding workshops, on topics relevant to bioethics. These must be in line with the conference theme: “Governance of healthcare-ethics, equity and justice.”

The NBC provides a space for researchers, clinicians, ethics committee members, students, teachers and activists to build a productive dialogue on governance in healthcare. Over the four days of the conference, participants will listen to plenary speakers giving overviews on important issues; present papers and posters on their own work and share their experiences; engage in discussions, and participate in workshops for skills building, information sharing and development of guidelines. Please visit http://nbc3.ijme.in/ for information on the conference, fellowships, registration and abstract submissions.

The deadline for abstract submission is 31 July 2010

July 27, 2010

Infant mortality still a public health crisis

Persistent racial and class disparities in access to health care are the principal reasons Maryland’s infant mortality rate — the number of infant deaths per thousand live births — has remained disturbingly high over the years. And the tragedy is that most of these deaths are preventable. (Baltimore Sun)

Spanish clinic allows IVF embryo donation ‘without consent’

A fertility clinic in Spain is offering patients the option of using embryos ‘left-over’ from previous treatments without the donors’ explicit consent, the Telegraph reports. The Instituto Marques clinic near Barcelona, which provides fertility treatment to foreign couples, runs an ‘embryo adoption scheme’ whereby patients can adopt an embryo which has been left behind by couples who have not decided whether to donate it to other patients, to research, or to destroy it. (BioNews)

The Do-It-Yourself House Call

The idea is for heart patients to take readings like their weight, blood pressure and other key metrics using wireless and other technologies; the data are then transmitted to a case manager or medical care giver. That way health care givers can catch, and address, warning signs before the patient lands in the ER with shortness of breath or a heart attack. In the past, patients have found such technology difficult to use. But a number of managed-care companies are experimenting with electronic devices meant to make the process easier. (Wall Street Journal)

July 26, 2010

Event: Neurosociety… What is it with the brain these days?

Neurosociety… What is it with the brain these days?
Institute for Science, Innovation and Society (InSIS), and the
European Neuroscience and Society Network (ENSN)
Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, UK.
7-8 December, 2010

The last twenty years have seen unprecedented advances in the neurosciences, in fields such as psychopharmacology, neurology and behavioural genetics. A growing number of ethicists, social scientists, legal scholars and philosophers have begun to analyze the social, legal and ethical implications of these advances, from the use of fMRI imaging in legal cases, to the medical benefits and risks of the increasing prescription of psychotropic drugs such as Prozac and Ritalin. Some attention has been paid to the economic questions raised by the commercial development and application of new technologies, and the extent to which subfields such as neuroeconomics and neuromarketing are generating commercially and clinically valuable findings. The conference aims to bring together academics and practitioners from this wide range of disciplines to attempt a critical evaluation of the current state and future prospects for neuro thinking.

For more information

Event: The Science in Society Conference 2010

Second International Conference on Science in Society
Carlos III University of Madrid
Madrid, Spain
11 to 13 November 2010

This Conference will address disciplinary and interdisciplinary challenges in the sciences, and in particular the relationships of science to society.

Key themes addressed by the Conference include the social impacts of science, the values and ethics of science, the pedagogies of science, the knowledge-making processes of science, the politics of science and the economics of science. At first glance, the scope and concerns of the Conference are enormous. However, in contrast to conferences with a specialist disciplinary focus, this Conference aims to explore, in an interdisciplinary spirit, linkages between different areas of concern and practices of investigation. We welcome presentation proposals which range from broad explorations of philosophical, theoretical, methodological and policy questions, to proposals which present finely grained evidence of the connections of science to society in microcosms of research, teaching and practice.

For more information

July 23, 2010

Federal ‘Sting’ Slams Gene Tests

An undercover investigation of some firms that sell genetic test kits to consumers found misleading test results and “egregious examples of deceptive marketing,” according to a report published today by the Government Accountability Office. (New York Times)

UK health gap between rich and poor widest ever

Review of deaths between 1921 and 2007 shows inequality is increasing with the poorest more likely to die younger. (Guardian)

Can Nanotechnology Save Lives?

Harvard professor and scientific genius George Whitesides believes that nanotechnology will change medicine as we know it. (Smithsonian Magazine)

New rules make it easier for public to appeal denials of health insurance claims

Patients will find it easier to appeal the denials of health insurance claims under rules being issued Thursday by the Obama administration, which is trying to boost political support for the new health-care law by highlighting advantages for consumers. (Washington Post)

Hundreds of IVF embryos donated ‘without consent’

Hundreds of leftover IVF embryos from British couples have been given away to other people without their knowledge or explicit consent, in a controversial scheme at a clinic in Spain, it can be disclosed. (Telegraph)

Event: 8th Annual Quandaries in Health Care Conference

8th Annual Quandaries in Health Care Conference
“A Need to Confess?: Writing About the Healthcare Experience

September 30 – October 2, 2010
The Given Institute of the University of Colorado
Aspen, Colorado

Quandaries in Health Care is an annual conference series in which keynote discussants, guest faculty and conference participants gather at the Given Institute in Aspen, Colorado, for two and one-half days of large and small group discussions revolving around a single theme.  This year’s theme explores the literary trend among healthcare professionals to publish narratives which reveal the pressures faced and felt by them, often by focusing upon breaches in expectations as well as the shame, guilt and anxiety that such breaches evoke.

The keynote discussants will examine the appropriateness and possible effects of such “confessional” writing, including the effects it may have on patients, the professions, and the connection between professionals and the communities they serve.

For more information

Event:19th International Cleveland Clinic Epilepsy Symposium

19th International Cleveland Clinic Epilepsy Symposium
Ethics of Invasive Brain Testing:  Limits and Responsibilities
Sunday October 3

Symposium Organizer – Paul Ford, PhD
Clinicians and researchers are faced with ethically intricate challenges with the continued advancement of invasive technologies for monitoring and testing brain functioning. These technologies allow us to localize seizure foci, map functional areas, and explore therapeutic stimulation with applications to epilepsy, tumors, neurodegenerative diseases, and psychiatric disorders. These tests are performed on patients who become unusually vulnerable to power differences and manipulation. We have great potential to manipulate a person’s cognition, mood, or mind through these processes. We need to have clear reasons and justifications for choosing:
* Which technologies we use
* Which patients we use them on
* How we use them on patients
* What research questions we tackle
* How we tackle those research projects
Threaded through these challenges are deeply held value convictions about justice, professionalism, and responsibility. Audience: This one-day symposium is intended to engage neurologists, neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, advance care nurses, physician assistants, and ethicists in addressing practical ethical challenges related to invasive brain testing.

For more information

Call for Applications for Research Ethics Workshop Scholarships

The Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics, University of Witwatersrand (WITS) will be running a 3 day training workshop on Research Ethics “Conducting Research Responsibly” between 3-5 October 2010. The workshop is funded by an unrestricted educational grant from PFIZER. The objective of the training program is to build research ethics capacity in Africa and is led by Prof A Dhai, Director of the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics and Dr Norma Tsotsi, Director Undergraduate Programs at the Centre and is co-chaired by Professors Dhai and Joseph Mfutso-Bhengu, College of Medicine, Malawi.

Scholarships covering travel and accommodation will be provided for by the Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics from the educational grant. Research Ethics Committee members, research regulators and researchers who have not previously been exposed to research ethics training programs are invited to apply for scholarships. Applicants will need to be residing in Africa and are required to send through a motivation for funding, together with a brief CV. Applications and supporting documents should be emailed to both Professor A Dhai at amaboo.dhai@wits.ac.za  and Dr Norma Tsotsi at norma.tsotsi@wits.ac.za .

Workshop venue: Panari Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya

Closing date for applications: Friday, 20th August 2010

Queries: Professor Dhai at amaboo.dhai@wits.ac.za  or Dr Norma Tsotsi at
norma.tsotsi@wits.ac.za

July 22, 2010

DNA factory builds up steam

Six months since it launched, the world’s first factory for making professional-quality biological DNA ‘parts’ is beginning to stock its shelves. (Nature News)

Brain-imaging programme suspended after violations

The work of a leading brain-imaging centre has been suspended after an investigation found that researchers had injected impure psychiatric drugs into clinical-trial volunteers. (Nature News)

Stem cells for doggies? Super-expensive pet medical treatments revealed

Stem cell transplants, state-of-the-art image-guided radiation, sophisticated diagnostic procedures to pinpoint everything from cancer to lung disease. New and improved health care for the uninsured or underinsured? Nope. Medical treatment for the nation’s pets, some of whom have a better shot at being healed than people living in the same state. (Medical Daily)

Assessing the Readability of Non-English-Language Consent Forms: The Case of Kiswahili for Research Conducted in Kenya

A large body of literature supports the notion that the language used in informed consent forms is not comprehensible to most research participants. Creating comprehensible informed consent forms for international research presents a further challenge because they are generally written first in English and then translated into the local language. The Kenya Medical Research National Ethical Review Committee determines readability of English consent forms before translation; however, it is neither their policy nor practice to determine whether the forms, once translated into Kiswahili, are of comparable readability to the English forms. Thus, the aim of this study is to measure and compare the text difficulty in 10 pairs of English informed consent forms and their translated Kiswahili forms. The results show that a readable English-language consent form does not necessarily result in a readable form once translated into Kiswahili. [Abstract (The Hastings Center)]

Robot Pills

A voyage through the human body is no longer mere fantasy. Tiny devices may soon perform surgery, administer drugs and help diagnose disease. (Scientific American)

Event: Reason, Theology, and the Genome

Reason, Theology, and the Genome: A Conference on the Ethics of Human Enhancement
Christ Church, University of Oxford
October 9, 2010

What is the place of theology in the growing debate over genetic engineering and human enhancement? Are theological reasons of interest only to believers? Or, as Michael Sandel and Jürgen Habermas have both suggested, might they be important for society generally, for secular and religious alike? Reason, Theology and the Genome brings together a distinguished international panel of speakers, representing many different disciplines and points of view, to consider the relevance of theology to one of the most important questions of our time.

For more information or to register

 

The Bioethics Poll
Should individuals and/or institutions be allowed to patent human genes?
Yes
Yes, with some qualifications
No
Undecided


View results

Which area of research should more money be invested in:
Animal-Human Hybrids
Gene Therapy
Reproductive Technology
Stem Cell Research
"Therapeutic" Cloning
None of the above


View results
 
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