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July 29, 2011

North Carolina lawmakers pass abortion law over veto

Women seeking an abortion in North Carolina will have to wait 24 hours, receive counseling and be presented with an ultrasound image of the fetus under an informed consent law passed on Thursday over the governor’s objections. (Reuters)

Parents in northern Nigeria risk jail by preventing kids from getting polio vaccines

Parents who do not allow their children to be vaccinated against polio now risk jail time for defying a government order aimed at ensuring that the disease is eradicated from Africa’s most populous nation, authorities said Friday. (Washington Post)

Myriad can patent breast cancer genes: court

A U.S. federal appeals court has affirmed the right of Myriad Genetics to patent two human genes that form the basis of a widely used genetic test for breast and ovarian cancers. (Reuters)

Underwire Taking the Pulse of Pop Culture Previous post Next post Bioart: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Using Living Tissue as a Medium

In 1995, an anesthesiologist named Charles Vacanti from the University of Massachusetts and his MIT colleague, chemical engineer Linda Griffith-Cima, implanted a lab-grown cartilage structure in the shape of a human ear under the skin of a hairless mouse. (Wired)

New Issue of New England Journal of Medicine is Now Available

New England Journal of Medicine (Volume 364, Issue 26, June 30, 2011) is now available on-line and by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “A Model Health Care Delivery System for Medicaid” by Richard E. Rieselbach, M.D., and Arthur L. Kellermann, M.D., M.P.H., available on-line.

July 28, 2011

Uncle Sam to Pay More of the Tab for Health

Almost half the nation’s health-care spending will come from government coffers by 2020, up four percentage points from 2010, according to new federal spending figures to be released Thursday. (Wall Street Journal)

Reprogrammed Kidney Cells Could Make Transplants And Dialysis Things Of The Past

Approximately 60 million people across the globe have chronic kidney disease, and many will need dialysis or a transplant. (Medical News Today)

Study of Medical Device Rules Is Attacked, Unseen

Allies of the medical device industry are waging an extraordinary campaign in Washington to discredit a coming report by one of the country’s pre-eminent scientific groups that examines possible new regulations on the industry. (New York Times)

Federal judge allows stem-cell research to continue

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit Wednesday that tried to block funding of stem-cell research on human embryos. (CNN)

Illegal children will be confiscated

“BEFORE 1997 they usually punished us by tearing down our houses for breaching the one-child policy…After 2000 they began to confiscate our children.” Thus Yuan Chaoren, a villager from Longhui county in Hunan province, describing in Caixin magazine the behaviour of family-planning bureaucrats. (The Economist)

July 27, 2011

New Issue of Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy is Now Available

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy (Volume 14, Issue 3, August 2011) is now available by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Diversity and Bioethics” by Henk ten Have and Bert Gordijn, 227-228.
  • “Respect for Cultural Diversity in Bioethics. Empirical, Conceptual and Normative Constraints” by Tomislav Bracanovic, 229-236.
  • “Health and Human Rights: Epistemological Status and Perspectives of Development” by Emmanuel Kabengele Mpinga, Leslie London, and Philippe Chastonay, 237-247.
  • “Promote the General Welfare to Ourselves and Our Posterity: The Founding Documents of the United States and the Nation’s Health Care Debate” by Bengt-Ola S. Bengtsson, 249-255.
  • “The Significance of Lifeworld and the Case of Hospice” by Lisbeth Thoresen, Trygve Wyller, and Kristin Heggen, 257-263.
  • “Content of Health Status Reports of People Seeking Assisted Suicide: A Qualitative Analysis” by Lorenz Imhof, Georg Bosshard, Susanne Fischer and Romy Mahrer-Imhof, 265-272.

33 Percent of Nose Job Patients Have Body Dysmorphic Symptoms

Most people looking to get a nose job, or rhinoplasty, hope for a better-looking nose, but a new study found that 33 percent of them show signs of body dysmorphic disorder, or BDD, a chronic mental illness characterized by excessive worry over appearance that interferes with daily life. (ABC News)

Calorie counts on menus ‘prompt healthy choices’

Putting calorie information on menus encourages healthy eating – but only in a limited way, a review of the scheme in the US shows. (BBC News)

Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer: Doctors Not Following Prevention Guidelines, CDC Study Reveals

Despite evidence showing that medical interventions can significantly decrease the likelihood of breast and ovarian cancer in high-risk women, some doctors still are not adhering to guidelines referring these patients to genetic testing and counseling. (ABC News)

Rule Changes Proposed for Research on Humans

The government is proposing sweeping changes in the rules covering research involving human subjects, an effort officials say would strengthen protections while reducing red tape that can impede studies. (New York Times)

New Tests for Newborns, And Dilemmas for Parents

The familiar heel prick that newborns receive is revealing more about a baby’s health than ever before. But, as technology opens the possibility of screening newborns for hundreds of diseases, there is controversy over how much parents need to know. (Wall Street Journal)

July 26, 2011

New Issue of Journal of Medical Ethics is Now Available

Journal of Medical Ethics (Volume 37, Issue 8, August 1, 2011) is now available by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Women’s Views on the Moral Status of Nature in the Context of Prenatal Screening Decisions” by Elisa García, Danielle R. M. Timmermans, and Evert van Leeuwen, 461-465.
  • “What Constitutes Consent When Parents and Daughters Have Different Views about Having the HPV Vaccine: Qualitative Interviews with Stakeholders” by Fiona Wood, Lucy Morris, Myfanwy Davies, and Glyn Elwyn, 466-471.
  • “Disclosure of Terminal Illness to Patients and Families: Diversity of Governing Codes in 14 Islamic Countries” by Hunida E. Abdulhameed, Muhammad M. Hammami, and Elbushra A. Hameed Mohamed, 472-475.
  • “A Kantian Argument Against Comparatively Advantageous Genetic Modification” by David Jensen, 479-482.
  • “Can We Accredit Hospital Ethics? A Tentative Proposal” by Min-Hua Wu, Chih-Hsien Liao, Wen-Ta Chiu, Ching-Ying Lin, and Che-Ming Yang, 493-497.
  • “Assessment of Children’s Capacity to Consent for Research: A Descriptive Qualitative Study of Researchers’ Practices” by Barbara E Gibson, Elaine Stasiulis, Shawna Gutfreund, Maria McDonald, and Lauren Dade, 504-509.
  • “Ethical Evaluation of the Website-based Promotion and Advertisements for in vitro Fertilisation Services in Turkey” by M. Karatas, M. Sehiralti, S. Gorkey, and T. Guven, 510-511.
  • “British Transplant Research Endangered by the Human Tissue Act” by Antonia J. Cronin, Marlene L. Rose, John H. Dark, and James F. Douglas, 512-514.

Hospitals make palliative care a priority to improve patients’ quality of life

In the controlled chaos of an hospital emergency department, ensuring that patients are pain-free and can make informed choices about their care often takes a back seat to assessing and stabilizing them and moving them through the system as fast as possible. (Washington Post)

Big Pharma wants to ‘friend’ you

Married with three children, Mary Ellen lives in the Bronx, N.Y., and likes hiking in the Adirondacks. But until she learned how to manage her Type 2 diabetes, she was tired and hungry all the time. (Globe and Mail)

Anti-addiction drugs face more than medical issues

Should drug addicts be vaccinated to help them recover? Some authorities, such as bioethicist Arthur Caplan of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, have suggested coercing addicts into taking drugs like naltrexone, which curb the highs they crave. (New Scientist)

For Countries, Wealth May Not Buy Happiness

The old adage that money can’t buy happiness may be true not only for individuals, but for society as a whole, according to new international research on depression. (ABC News)


The Bioethics Poll
Should individuals and/or institutions be allowed to patent human genes?
Yes, with some qualifications

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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

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