Tag: developing countries

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Stoking the Flames of Competitiveness on an Overheating Planet

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STUDENT VOICES

By: Michael Aprea

This essay is in response to the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs video “Climate Protectionism and Competitiveness.”  

Steam put the world in motion. It lit up the night, and tightened humanity’s grasp on the forces of nature. Nature, however, has eluded the human race and has forced civilization to reconsider its power in the most fundamental sense. Scientist, politicians, and citizens now face the heat as they scramble to address a cycle of global warming spawned by the progress of the industrial revolution that threatens to unhinge the fragile balance of Earth’s ecosystems. Reducing carbon emissions has been the answer to the problem. This standard that has taken hold in developed nations has morphed into a global economic crusade against carbon emissions through regulation, taxation and sanctions seeking to curb the emissions of the developing world. Although consumer responsibility and global collaboration in an endeavor to reverse global warming trends are laudable, it is important to recognize the risks these steps pose on global trade, the citizens of developing countries, and the debt developed nations have as beneficiaries of the first fruits of fossil fuels.

The United States owes its status as an economic superpower to the progress of the industrial revolution; a revolution fueled by carbon emitting fossil fuels. The rapid growth of nations such as Unites States reliant on fossil fuels came at price–rising global temperatures. Carbon doesn’t only heat up cold economies, it also has the ability to raise average global temperatures as it gets trapped in the atmosphere and captures solar radiation.

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

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Latest global abortion figures suggest measures to prevent them and make known their true meaning

Latest global abortion figures suggest the necessity to spread the meaning of an abortion, which is nothing other than ending the life of a human being

Knowing the incidence of abortion in different parts of the world is important in order to promote measures to prevent it. In a recent article by our Observatory (see HERE), we discussed an extensive study in The Lancet that addressed this issue.

In 2010-2014, the annual incidence of abortions was 35 per 1000 women aged between 15 and 44 years, 5 points less than in 1990-1994. As a result of population growth, however, the total number of abortions worldwide increased by 5.9 million in this period of time, from 50.4 million in 1990-1994 to 56.3 million in 2010-2014.

While the number of abortions fell by 19 points in developed countries, from 46 to 27 per 1000 women, there was a decline of only 2 points in developing countries, from 39 to 37.

vector nasciturus 1ª semanasAround 25% of pregnancies ended in abortion in 2010-2014; of these abortions, 73% were performed in married women and 27% in unmarried women.

These data show that abortion rates have declined significantly since 1990 in developed but not developing countries.

Analysis of the latest global abortion figures discussed here suggests a need to implement measures to prevent them that should not only include facilitating access to reproductive health services — as in the article cited and accompanying editorial (The Lancet 16 July 2016) — but should also be aimed at spreading the meaning of an abortion, which is nothing other than ending the life of a human being.

The figure of 56.3 million abortions annually in 2010-2014 should be a wake-up call for the moral conscience of those of us who presently have the chance to live.

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

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Latest global abortion figures suggest measures to prevent them and make known their true meaning

Latest global abortion figures suggest the necessity to spread the meaning of an abortion, which is nothing other than ending the life of a human being

Knowing the incidence of abortion in different parts of the world is important in order to promote measures to prevent it. In a recent article by our Observatory (see HERE), we discussed an extensive study in The Lancet that addressed this issue.

In 2010-2014, the annual incidence of abortions was 35 per 1000 women aged between 15 and 44 years, 5 points less than in 1990-1994. As a result of population growth, however, the total number of abortions worldwide increased by 5.9 million in this period of time, from 50.4 million in 1990-1994 to 56.3 million in 2010-2014.

While the number of abortions fell by 19 points in developed countries, from 46 to 27 per 1000 women, there was a decline of only 2 points in developing countries, from 39 to 37.

vector nasciturus 1ª semanasAround 25% of pregnancies ended in abortion in 2010-2014; of these abortions, 73% were performed in married women and 27% in unmarried women.

These data show that abortion rates have declined significantly since 1990 in developed but not developing countries.

Analysis of the latest global abortion figures discussed here suggests a need to implement measures to prevent them that should not only include facilitating access to reproductive health services — as in the article cited and accompanying editorial (The Lancet 16 July 2016) — but should also be aimed at spreading the meaning of an abortion, which is nothing other than ending the life of a human being.

The figure of 56.3 million abortions annually in 2010-2014 should be a wake-up call for the moral conscience of those of us who presently have the chance to live.

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

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In the Journals – December 2016, Part I by Livia Garofalo

Here is the first part of our December article roundup. Three journals have special issues this month (abstracts in the post below):

Enjoy reading (and what’s left of the holidays)!

American Anthropologist

The Contingency of Humanitarianism: Moral Authority in an African HIV Clinic

Betsey Behr Brada

One consequence of the recent expansion of anthropological interest in humanitarianism is the seeming obviousness and conceptual stability of “humanitarianism” itself. In this article, I argue that, rather than being a stable concept and easily recognizable phenomenon, humanitarianism only becomes apparent in relation to other categories. In short, humanitarianism is contingent: it depends on circumstance and varies from one context to another. Furthermore, its perceptibility rests on individuals’ capacity to mobilize categorical similarities and distinctions. One cannot call a thing or person “humanitarian” without denying the humanitarian character of someone or something else. Drawing on research conducted in clinical spaces where Botswana’s national HIV treatment program and private US institutions overlapped, I examine the processes by which individuals claimed people, spaces, and practices as humanitarian, the contrasts they drew to make these claims, and the moral positions they attempted to occupy in the process. More than questions of mere terminology, these processes of categorization and contradistinction serve as crucibles for the larger struggles over sovereignty, inequality, and the legacies of colonialism that haunt US-driven global health interventions.

Scripting Dissent: US Abortion Laws, State Power, and the Politics of Scripted Speech

Mara Buchbinder

Abortion laws offer a point of entry for “the state” to intervene in intimate clinical matters.

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

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Organ Traffickers Lock Up People to Harvest Their Kidneys. Here Are the Politics Behind the Organ Trade.

December 8, 2016

(The Washington Post) – The organ trade typically takes place in developing countries whose hospitals are advanced enough to offer transplant services. It originated in India in the 1980s; in the following years, Pakistan, the Philippines, Egypt and China (where the organs were alleged to have come from executed prisoners) became hubs of commercial transplants. Such illegal transplants are also known to have been done in Turkey, Kosovo, South Africa and other sites. The patients typically come from the rich countries of East Asia (e.g., Japan and Taiwan), the rich countries of the Middle East (e.g., Saudi Arabia and Israel), as well as the United States and Western Europe.

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

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Rwanda Feels the Pinch as Donors Slash Health Aid

(Nature) – The declining foreign aid is part of two broader trends in development: redirecting money to countries that have the highest number of sick people, and urging developing countries to fund more of their own development work. The former has reduced aid to Rwanda, a small country that has slashed the incidence of diseases such as HIV. Like many other developing nations, Rwanda doesn’t have the resources to move money from priority areas such as education into health, says Nsanzimana, citing a study by Anna Vassall, an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

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

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Is climate change denial a crime?

Free speech is one of the most treasured rights in Western democracy. However, ethicists are constantly making exceptions for points of view which they regards as particularly destructive and evil. In the latest issue of the Nordic Journal of Applied Ethics, Trygve Lavik, a philosopher at the University of Bergen, argues that climate change denial is a crime and that it should be made illegal. He does not specify what penal sanctions should be imposed.

Climate denialism is not beneficial because its main goal is to produce doubt, and not truth. Climate denialism is not sincerely meant, which is a necessary condition for Mill to accept utterances. Climate denialists bring harm, by blocking necessary action on climate change. Primarily they harm future generations and people in developing countries.

Lavik attempts to distinguish between skepticism and denialism. Relying upon renowned sceptic Michael Shcrmer, he says that “denialism is typically driven by ideology and religious belief”. A refusal to accept the overwhelming preponderance of evidence is insincere if it masquerades as skepticism. It is simply and plainly denialism.

Lavik acknowledges that “The common view is … that free discussion is always a good thing.” Even though this comes straight from John Stuart Mill, the patron saint of utilitarianism, Lavik denies it. Mill did not foresee that modern psychology would discover that people are often unmoved by debate; they stick to their guns.

These findings challenge Mill’s utilitarian justification of the liberty principle. If free discussion does not work, if more debate does not lead to more truth, then free speech is not useful.

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

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Cambodia bans commercial surrogacy

Cambodia has become the latest South East Asian nation to ban commercial surrogacy, with the country’s government issuing a proclamation late last month outlawing the practice.

The Cambodian health ministry distributed a letter this week to about 50 surrogacy providers and brokers operating in Phnom Penh, informing them of the new ban and asking all medical professionals to comply with the injunction.

“Surrogacy, one of a set of services to have a baby by assisted reproductive technology, is completely banned,” the letter said.

The ministry said commercial sperm donation is also banned and clinics and specialist doctors providing in-vitro fertilisation services will require ministry permission to operate.

The government did not specify what, if any, penalties would be incurred for violating the ban.

Sam Everingham, global director of the consultancy Families Through Surrogacy, slammed the “abrupt” ban and said it would likely trigger panic among expectant parents and surrogates now facing an uncertain future.

“This sudden change does no favours to surrogates or children given the lack of information and lack of clarity,” he told AFP.

The Cambodian ban will likely increase surrogacy costs globally, driving foreigners to countries like Ukraine, Georgia, Greece, Canada and the US which have protective laws in place.

However surrogacy costs in the US can be as high as $200,000 while agencies charge far less in developing countries like Cambodia.

This article is published by Xavier Symons and BioEdge under a Creative Commons licence. You may republish it or translate it free of charge with attribution for non-commercial purposes following these guidelines.

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

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Mouse Study Finds Microbe Might Protect against Food Poisoning

Caption: Scanning electron microscopy image of T. mu in the mouse colon.
Credit: Aleksey Chudnovskiy and Miriam Merad, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Recently, we humans have started to pay a lot more attention to the legions of bacteria that live on and in our bodies because of research that’s shown us the many important roles they play in everything from how we efficiently metabolize food to how well we fend off disease. And, as it turns out, bacteria may not be the only interior bugs with the power to influence our biology positively—a new study suggests that an entirely different kingdom of primarily single-celled microbes, called protists, may be in on the act.

In a study published in the journal Cell, an NIH-funded research team reports that it has identified a new protozoan, called Tritrichomonas musculis (T. mu), living inside the gut of laboratory mice. That sounds bad—but actually this little wriggler was potentially providing a positive benefit to the mice. Not only did T. mu appear to boost the animals’ immune systems, it spared them from the severe intestinal infection that typically occurs after eating food contaminated with toxic Salmonella bacteria. While it’s not yet clear if protists exist that can produce similar beneficial effects in humans, there is evidence that a close relative of T. mu frequently resides in the intestines of people around the world.

The discovery comes from Miriam Merad at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, and colleagues, including graduate student Aleksey Chudnovskiy and postdoctoral fellow Arthur Mortha.

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

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DRUG UTILIZATION PATTERN DURING PREGNANCY IN ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT

Dr Sara A. Hanafy

Pharmacist, Public Health Specialist, PhD candidate, Department of Epidemiology, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Egypt.

Dr Sara would like to share her study that was done for the fulfillment of her Master degree in Public Health (MPH) at the High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University.

Drug use (DU) in pregnancy is a global public health concern in both developed and developing countries. Concern about the safety of drugs prescribed to pregnant women has been increasingly evident since the thalidomide tragedy in the 1960s. Pregnant women consume drugs including prescription and non-prescription (OTC) medications as well as herbal products and dietary supplements. A cross-sectional study was carried out among 600 pregnant women in Alexandria, Egypt, in the duration 2012 – 2015 to assess the magnitude and pattern of DU during pregnancy. Medications taken by pregnant women were evaluated based on the pregnancy risk classification system of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA risk classification (A, B, C, D, or X) was assigned to individual medications. Category A (adequate and well-controlled human studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus), category B (animal reproduction studies have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus and there are no adequate controlled studies in humans), category C (animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate controlled studies in humans), category D (positive evidence of human fetal risk is confirmed), and category X (studies in animals or humans have demonstrated fetal abnormalities).

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