Bioethics Blog Posts Tagged culture

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How to Keep HIV Cure-Related Trials Ethical: The Benefit/Risk Ratio Challenge

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Source: Journal of Medical Ethics Blog, by BMJ.

Excerpt:

Guest Post by Nir Eyal

Re: Special Issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics on the ethics and challenges of an HIV cure

For most patients with HIV who have access to antiretroviral treatment and use it properly, that treatment works well. But the holy grail of HIV research remains finding a cure. Sometimes that means a literal, sterilizing cure that would remove HIV from the body. But increasingly the aim is to find a mere functional cure that would send HIV into sustained remission during which antiretrovirals would be unnecessary.

Early successes in cure-related research, most notably the apparent cure of ‘Berlin patient’ Timothy Brown, prompted the International AIDS Society and the US National Institutes of Health to declare cure-related research a high priority. Recent successes in animal models have re-kindled hopes, and cure-related research is ongoing.

But there is a catch. Many of the early-phase cure-related studies that are currently planned or under way carry risks that are either very high or hard to quantify. These risks come from toxicity (e.g., of stem cell transplantation in an immunocompromised population), necessary interruptions to antiretroviral treatment (either short ‘pauses’ or intentionally longer breaks), or invasive physical exams. They affect study subjects and, sometimes, third parties like sexual partners or foetuses.

While high or unknown risks are a mainstay of early-phase trials in areas like cancer research, cure study participants typically have a safe and efficacious alternative to those risks: remaining on antiretrovirals. Can we justify asking patients who are doing well on antiretrovirals to accept the risk and uncertainty of many HIV cure-related trials?

Read more at blogs.bmj.com
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors / blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Artificial Intelligence Has Brought “Doubt and Suspicion” to the Ancient World of Japanese Chess

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Source: Bioethics.com.

Source: Bioethics.com.

February 17, 2017

(Quartz) – “Shogi players are very respected in Japan. There is a real fear that their status in Japan could be threatened by AI,” said Noboru Kosaku, a shogi player and a researcher on the amusement industry at the Osaka University of Commerce. Kosaku explained that Japan’s reverence for shogi dates back to the Heian period (794 to 1185), when it was played by monks and samurai alike, and was a symbol of intelligence that was also loved by commoners. There is something “profound,” he said, in shogi culture’s emphasis on respect for ones opponents, whether one wins or loses.

This article was originally published on Bioethics.com under a Creative Commons License.

This article was originally published on Bioethics.com under a Creative Commons License.


The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors / blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.