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August 31, 2011

Iowa Girl Conceived After Father’s Death Not Entitled to Benefits, Appeals Court Rules

An 8-year-old girl born two years after her father died is not entitled to his Social Security benefits, a federal appeals court ruled this week, reversing a lower court’s decision in a case that could be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Fox News)

Panel Blasts Ethics, Science of 1940s Guatemala Studies

An exhaustive high-level review of unethical syphilis experiments conducted in Guatemala by U.S. researchers in the 1940s has found little to redeem the work or its lead researcher. The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues concluded that the study was shoddy scientifically and did not meet ethical standards at the time. (Science)

The Night-Weekend Effect: Why Medical Outcomes Can Be Worse Depending on What Day You Get Sick

You’ve crashed your car on rural road at 2 a.m. on a rainy Saturday. Seriously injured and in pain, you are hauled into a noisy ambulance, then, because you’re so far from the nearest trauma center, into a waiting helicopter. (TIME)

Microchip implant monitors tumour growth

Researchers in Germany have developed a microchip sensor that can be implanted close to a tumour to monitor its growth. (BBC News)

‘Anti-cancer virus’ shows promise

An engineered virus, injected into the blood, can selectively target cancer cells throughout the body in what researchers have labelled a medical first. (BBC News)

Syphilis Experiments Shock, But So Do Third World Drug Trials

A commission set up last year by President Barack Obama has revealed that 83 Guatemalans died in U.S. government research that infected hundreds of prisoners, prostitutes and mental patients with the syphilis bacteria to study the drug penicillin — a project that the group called “a shameful piece of medical history.” (ABC News)

New Issue of Journal of Internal Medicine is Now Available

Journal of Internal Medicine (August 2011) is now available by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Epigenetics and Assisted Reproductive Technology” by AN Iliadou, PCJ Janson and S Cnattingius.

New Issue of Nature Genestics is Now Available

Nature Genestics (Volume 43, Issue 9, September 2011) is now available by subscription only.

Articles include:
“Learning to Think Continentally” available on-line.

August 30, 2011

Course: 2011-2012 Introduction to the Prinicples and Practice of Clinical Research

October 17, 2011 through March 13, 2012

Classes will be held on the NIH campus on Monday and Tuesday evenings from 5:00 p.m. to approximately 6:30 p.m.  There is no charge for the course.  Approximately 1,664 students registered for the 2010-2011 course which was also broadcast live or via web to 36 domestic and international locations.

For additional information or to register

New Issue of Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics is Now Available

Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics (Volume 20, Issue 4, October 2011) is now available by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “A Call for Contextualized Bioethics: Health, Biomedical Research, and Security” by Margit Sutrop and Kadri Simm, 511-513.
  • “Informed Consent: Its History, Meaning, and Present Challenges” by Tom L. Beauchamp, 515-523.
  • “Limits of Autonomy in Biomedical Ethics? Conceptual Clarifications” by Theda Rehbock, 524-532.
  • “Changing Ethical Frameworks: From Individual Rights to the Common Good?” by Margit Sutrop, 533-545.
  • “The Communitarian Turn: Myth or Reality?” by Ruth Chadwick, 546-553.
  • “The Concepts of Common Good and Public Interest: From Plato to Biobanking” by Kadri Simm, 554-562.
  • “A Social Justice Framework for Health and Science Policy” by Ruth Faden and Madison Powers, 596-604.
  • “Health Ideologies, Objectivism, and the Common Good: On the Rights of Dissidents” by Roger Strand, 605-611.

New Issue of New England Journal of Medicine is Now Available

New England Journal of Medicine (Volume 365, Issue 7, August 18, 2011) is now available on-line and by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Global Health: Pediatric HIV — A Neglected Disease?” by Marc Lallemant, M.D., Shing Chang, Ph.D., Rachel Cohen, M.P.P., and Bernard Pecoul, M.D., M.P.H., available on-line.
  • “Single Payer Ahead — Cost Control and the Evolving Vermont Model” by Anya Rader Wallack, available on-line.
  • “The Doctor’s Dilemma — What Is “Appropriate” Care?” by Victor R. Fuchs, available on-line.
  • “Higher First Amendment Hurdles for Public Health Regulation” by Kevin Otterson, available on-line.

Fabry Disease Patients Get Sicker as Drugs Go Overseas

Jerry Walter, a semi-retired Army colonel who lives in North Carolina, said he has led a “charmed life,” surviving the terrorist attack on the Pentagon in 2001 and two life-threatening bacterial infections. (ABC News)

Most doctors face lawsuits, but few lose them

Most physicians will be sued at least once during their career, but the majority of cases will end in their favor. (American Medical News)

Clinical Trials Neglect the Elderly

The randomized clinical trial, long the gold standard of medical research, supposedly provides the most reliable data regarding which drugs, devices and procedures prove effective on real patients and which don’t. But when the people enrolled in the trial are quite different from those who will actually use the drug or device or undergo the procedure, the data are far less reliable. (New York Times)

Drugmakers must allow visitor comments on Facebook pages

Some pharmaceutical companies shut down Facebook pages, while others monitored and deleted visitor comments, after the social media site on Aug. 15 stopped giving drug companies the option of preventing public comments on their pages. (American Medical News)

Clinical trial results should be public: CMAJ

Health Canada should publicly release results of clinical trials and allow greater access to safety and efficacy information about drugs and other health products to protect the public from harm, according to a new analysis in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. (Globe and Mail)

Drug Testing the Poor: Bad Policy, Even Worse Law

Under a new Florida law, people applying for welfare have to take a drug test at their own expense. If they pass, they are eligible for benefits and the state reimburses them for the test. If they fail, they are denied welfare for a year, until they take another test. (TIME)

New Issue of Journal of Medical Ethics is Now Available

Journal of Medical Ethics (Volume 37, Issue 9, September 2011) is now available by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Bioethics in a Clinic for Women with Psychosis” by Mary V Seeman, Bob Seeman, 518-522.
  • “Patients’ Perspectives of the Substitute Decision Maker: Who Makes Better Decisions?” by Komeil Mirzaei, Alireza Milanifar, Fariba Asghari, 523-525.
  • “Just Health: On the Conditions for Acceptable and Unacceptable Priority Settings with Respect to Patients’ Socioeconomic Status” by Kristine Bærøe, Berit Bringedal, 526-529.
  • “The ‘Patient’s Physician One-step Removed’: The Evolving Roles of Medical Tourism Facilitators” by Jeremy Snyder, Valorie A Crooks, Krystyna Adams, Paul Kingsbury, Rory Johnston, 530-534.
  • “Rethinking Paternalism: An Exploration of Responses to the Israel Patient’s Rights Act 1996″ by Simon Waltho, 540-543.
  • “Why Do Parents Enrol their Children in Research: A Narrative Synthesis” by Helen R Fisher, Christopher McKevitt, Annette Boaz, 544-551.
  • “Human Dignity and Human Tissue: A Meaningful Ethical Relationship?” by David G Kirchhoffer, Kris Dierickx, 552-556.

Event: 2011 Annual Meeting of the International Neuroethics Society

November 10-11, 2011
Carnegie Institution for Science

Confirmed speakers include Helen Mayberg, Michael Chorost, Husseini Manji, Alan Leshner, Pat Churchland, Jonathan Moreno, Steve Greenberg, Jorge Moll, Hank Greely, Martha Farah, and others.

For more information

August 29, 2011

Event: Community-Engaged Research: Exploring the Unique Community-Academic Relationship

September 26 and 27, 2011
St. Louis Missouri

The conference will have a Community Engaged Research theme that includes exploring the community-academic partnerships, addressing regulations, best practices, and current trends. This event is being hosted by: Washington University School of Medicine’s Human Research Protection Office, Office of Human Research Protections, Meharry Medical College and the Washington University Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences.

For more information

Parents in India bank on stem-cells, not the ‘tooth fairy’

For the past seven years, the Sethys had a faint but haunting feeling that they had let their daughter down. Danya, 10, is their only child and the Sethys strive for the best for her: She takes Japanese language, traditional Indian dance and keyboard lessons. They take her for checkups with Delhi’s best doctors; they have all kinds of insurance policies. (Globe and Mail)


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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