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July 26, 2011

Federal Auditors Will Soon Review Health Insurance Rates in 10 States

The Obama administration will soon take over the review of health insurance rates in 10 states where it says state officials do not adequately regulate premiums for insurance sold to individuals or small businesses. (New York Times)

Lawsuit Says Drugs Were Wasted to Buoy Profit

One of the nation’s largest providers of kidney dialysis deliberately wasted medicine in order to reap hundreds of millions of dollars in extra payments from Medicare, a former clinic nurse and a doctor are charging in a whistle-blower lawsuit. (New York Times)

July 25, 2011

New Issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association is Now Available

The Journal of the American Medical Association (Volume 306, Issue 3, July 20, 2011) is now available by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Hepatitis C Virus Infection and Coinfection With Human Immunodeficiency Virus: Challenges and Advancements in Management” by Colleen Hadigan and Shyamasundaran Kottilil, 294-301.

Unprecedented wave of drug patents ending, bringing patients huge savings on prescription meds

The cost of prescription medicines used by millions of people every day is about to plummet. (Chicago Tribune)

More states crack down on late-term abortions

nspired by a contentious Nebraska law, abortion opponents in five other states have won passage of measures banning virtually all abortions after five months of pregnancy. (Boston Globe)

THIRTY embryos created for every baby born by IVF… and thousands are thrown away

More than 30 human embryos are created for every successful birth by IVF, official figures have revealed. (Daily Mail)

150 human animal hybrids grown in UK labs: Embryos have been produced secretively for the past three years

Scientists have created more than 150 human-animal embryos in British laboratories. The hybrids have been produced secretively over the past three years by researchers looking into possible cures for a wide range of diseases. (Daily Mail)

Scientific Advances on Contraceptive for Men

Steve Owens had always left birth control to his wife, who took the pill. After all, male methods were vasectomy, which he did not want, and condoms, which he described as: “Well, condoms are condoms.” (New York Times)

Better Protection Of Human Subjects Involved In Research Proposed By HHS, USA

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is proposing some new regulations aimed at improving the safety for human subjects in scientific experiments. (Medical News Today)

July 22, 2011

Going into hospital far riskier than flying: WHO

Millions of people die each year from medical errors and infections linked to health care and going into hospital is far riskier than flying, the World Health Organization said on Thursday. (Reuters)

Regulations Proposed for Animal-Human Chimeras

The increasingly sophisticated blending of different species to create chimeras is pushing biology into a new ethical dimension. Last year, scientists used new stem-cell technologies to create a mouse with a functioning pancreas composed entirely of rat cells. So might it soon be possible to create a monkey with a brain composed entirely of human neurons? (Scientific American)

Where Do (Some) Babies Come From? In Washington, a New Law Bans Anonymous Sperm and Egg Donors

Traditionally, the identities of egg and sperm donors have been tightly guarded secrets, numbers with no names attached, making it difficult for their biological offspring to ever make contact. (TIME)

July 21, 2011

Pediatrics group issues policy on sex abuse by doctors; parents can ask for chaperoned exams

The nation’s largest pediatricians’ group has issued its first policy on protecting children from sexual abuse by doctors, citing a recent Delaware case and urging medical facilities to screen employees for previous abuse. (Washington Post)

Disease Charities Bargain for New Drug Profits

Early next year, a drug for cystic fibrosis is expected to come before the US Food and Drug Administration for approval. It is a moment that the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) will have waited 12 years and invested US$75 million to witness. (Scientific American)

New report says health officials not on track to eradicate polio by the end of 2012

The world is not on track to wipe out polio by the end of 2012, a group of independent health experts warned Wednesday. (Washington Post)

Sperm Donor’s 24 Kids Never Told About Fatal Illness

Rebecca Blackwell and her 15-year-old son Tyler were curious about his sperm donor father, whose identity had been anonymous since the moment of conception. Through good detective work, they were eventually able to find “John” three years ago. (ABC News)

Method To Create Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Improved

University of Minnesota Medical School researchers have developed a new strategy to improve the development of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS). (Medical News Today)

July 20, 2011

Doctors want the right to refuse to treat patients, British study says

The next generation of doctors believe they should have the right to refuse to treat certain patients based on personal, moral and religious beliefs. A survey of more than 700 British medical students found nearly half felt they should be entitled to make conscientious objections to carrying out procedures, including abortions and treating drunk patients. (The Australian)

Young Breast Cancer Patients Fight to Stay Fertile After Chemotherapy

Carly Byrd’s worst fear isn’t dying from the cancer that has claimed both her breasts and invaded her immune system; it’s that the treatment she needs to live might crush her dreams of having children. (ABC News)

GAO urges tighter antibiotic resistance checks

The federal government should step up monitoring of antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance to help stem overuse of the drugs, which is rendering them ineffective, says a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. (American Medical News)

Informed-Consent Documents Should Be Shortened, Simplified

An in-depth review of consent forms provided to volunteers for HIV/AIDS research in the United States and abroad about study procedures, risks and benefits has found that the forms were extremely long and used wording that may have been complex enough to hinder full understanding, according to bioethicists at The Johns Hopkins University. (Medical News Today)


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

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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