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February 29, 2012

Quadruple Limb Transplant Patient Dies

The Turkish man who would have been the world’s first recipient of a quadruple limb transplant died Monday after doctors had to amputate the limbs because of “metabolic imbalance,” the hospital said in a statement. (ABC News)

New Issue of The New England Journal of Medicine is Now Available

The New England Journal of Medicine (Volume 366, Issue 6, February 9, 2012) is now available on-line and by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “The Emerging Threat of Untreatable Gonococcal Infection” by G.A. Bolan, P.F. Sparling, and J.N. Wasserheit, 485-487.
  • “Fair Enough? Inviting Inequities in State Health Benefits” by J.P. Ruger, available on-line.
  • “The Value of Federalism in Defining Essential Health Benefits” by A. Weil, available on-line.
  • “Gene Therapy Meets Stem Cells” by R.A. Sandhaus, 567-569.

Disabled Adults More Likely to be Victims of Violence

Adults with disabilities are more likely to be victims of violence than adults who are not disabled, according to a new study published online in The Lancet. (ABC News)

Sex Work Among Medical Students On the Rise?

Sex work among medical students is on the rise, claims a new editorial, published in the journal Student BMJ. The UK-based publication noted that students are likely seeking extreme measures to deal with their financial hardship. (ABC News)

Edinburgh scientists grow human brain cells to study mental illness

Scientists are growing brain cells from people in families with a history of mental illness to test new treatments. (BBC News)

Mobiles and medicine: The brave new world of mHealth

AT&T and Vodafone are names we generally associate with calling plans rather than with healthcare. But with the rise of “mobile health” — the use of mobile communications technology in healthcare — some of the world’s best-known telecoms brands are partnering with health-sector companies to enter the medical fray. (CNN)

Senate Set to Vote on Contraception

The heated battle over insurance coverage for contraception is shifting to Capitol Hill, with the Senate due to vote Thursday on a measure to let employers opt out of covering any health treatment they find morally objectionable. (Wall Street Journal)

February 28, 2012

Free HIV treatment on NHS for foreign nationals

Foreign nationals are to be offered free treatment for HIV on the NHS under plans backed by the government. (BBC News)

More Americans Seek Dental Treatment at ER

More Americans are turning to the emergency room for routine dental problems — a choice that often costs 10 times more than preventive care and offers far fewer treatment options than a dentist’s office, according to an analysis of government data and dental research. (ABC News)

The Genetic Ripple Effect of Hardship

Our experiences in life don’t just affect how we learn and behave, they can also mark our genes and influence our children, a growing body of research suggests. (Wall Street Journal)

76% of patients neglect end-of-life care planning

More than 80% of patients believe it is important to have their end-of-life wishes in writing, yet less than a quarter of them have accomplished that planning, said a survey of nearly 1,700 California adults released in February. (American Medical News)

Britain’s Biggest Surrogate Mom: 10 Babies and Counting

Jill Hawkins, a single, childless 47-year-old who lives with two cats, has has given birth to eight babies and given them up to infertile couples. Now, she is expecting twins, her ninth and 10th children. (ABC News)

New Issue of Bioethics is Now Available

Bioethics (Volume 26, Issue 3, March 2012) is now available by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Developments in Stem Cell Research and Therapeutic Cloning: Islamic Ethical Positions, A Review” by Hossam E. Fadel, 128-135.
  • “A Zygote Could Be a Human: A Defense of Conceptionism Against Fission Arguments” by Benjamin L. Curtis, 136-142.
  • “Uninformed Consent: Mass Screening for Prostate Cancer” by Stewart Justman, 143-148.
  • “The Ethics of Managing Affective and Emotional States to Improve Informed Consent: Autonomy, Comprehension, and Voluntariness” by Hillel Braude and Jonathan Kimmelman, 149-156.
  • “Withdrawal of Artificial Nutrition and Hydration for Patients in a Permanent Vegetative State: Changing Tack” by Catherine Constable, 157-163.

Event: Announcing the First Annual Regional Clinical Ethics Conference

March 30, 2012

DC, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) region

The Center for Ethics and the Bioethics Committee of MedStar Washington Hospital Center are hosting the first of a series in conferences relating to clinical ethics issues faced by clinicians

This one-day conference on clinical ethics is focused on hospital clinicians and other professionals throughout the metropolitan region. Most hospitals have ethics committees made up of physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, clinical ethicists and other clinicians and administrators who address the clinical ethics needs of their own institution. This conference is designed to be the first in a series of annual meetings to bring together members of these hospital ethics committees and other health professionals to 1) establish a regional network of hospital professionals dedicated to elevating the quality of clinical care within each institution, 2) to work together to develop solutions to common ethical problems and 3) to determine whether such a network will improve the ethical quality of healthcare . This Inaugural DMV Regional Hospital Clinical Ethics Conference will be focused on how hospital ethics committees can contribute to improving end-of-life care for patients at each participant’s own hospital.

For registration and more information

February 27, 2012

Triumph, Then Failure in First Four-Limb Transplant

A 27-year-old Sevket Cavdar was almost the first person  in the world to undergo a successful transplant of two arms and two legs at Hacettepe University Hospital in Ankara, Turkey,  on Friday. (ABC News)

A new purpose for tattoos: warning about important health conditions, end-of-life wishes

Tattoos have long served as fashion statements, but a small number of Americans are now relying on them for a more practical, potentially lifesaving purpose: to warn first responders about important medical conditions. (Washington Post)

HEALTHBEAT: Research just beginning to uncover why autism diagnosed later in minority children

Early diagnosis is considered key for autism, but minority children tend to be diagnosed later than white children. Some new work is beginning to try to uncover why — and to raise awareness of the warning signs so more parents know they can seek help even for a toddler. (Washington Post)

Life, With Dementia

Secel Montgomery Sr. stabbed a woman in the stomach, chest and throat so fiercely that he lost count of the wounds he inflicted. In the nearly 25 years he has been serving a life sentence, he has gotten into fights, threatened a prison official and been caught with marijuana. (NY Times)

Awareness: Hepatitis C Death Rate Creeps Past AIDS

More people in the United States now die from hepatitis C each year than from AIDS, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 3.2 million people are currently infected with hepatitis C. (NY Times)

Abortion: Gender claims probed by Department of Health

The Department of Health has launched an inquiry into claims that doctors agreed to carry out abortions on the grounds of the sex of unborn babies. (BBC News)

Egg-making stem cells found in adult ovaries

It’s time to rewrite the textbooks. For 60 years, everyone from high-school biology teachers to top fertility specialists has been operating under the assumption that women are born with all the eggs they will ever produce, with no way to replenish that supply. (Nature News)


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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