Tag: health

Bioethics News

Berman Institute Bioethics Bulletin

Berman Institute Bioethics BulletinBerman Institute Bioethics BulletinVirus Hunters Map Zika’s Spread with DNAHow to End a LifeUsers’ Guide to Integrating Patient-Reported Outcomes in Electronic Health RecordsWhen the Patient Is a Gold Mine: The Trouble With Rare-Disease DrugsGraduation 2017The Messy Relationship Between Food Stamps and HealthPutting A Lid On WasteCuts to AIDS Treatment Programs Could Cost a Million LivesMedicine Is Going Digital. The FDA Is Racing to Catch UpWorld Health Organization Elects a New Director General from Ethiopia

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http://bioethicsbulletin.org Bioethics News & Analysis from Johns Hopkins Thu, 25 May 2017 15:02:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 http://bioethicsbulletin.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/cropped-faviconBI-32×32.png http://bioethicsbulletin.org 32 32 http://bioethicsbulletin.org/archive/virus-hunters-map-zikas-spread-with-dna http://bioethicsbulletin.org/archive/virus-hunters-map-zikas-spread-with-dna#respond Thu, 25 May 2017 15:02:27 +0000

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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.

Bioethics Blogs

New Health Workforce Action Plan Dodging the Difficult Questions

Mit Ohilips and Marielle Bemelmans of  Médecins Sans Frontières discuss the looming issue of how to afford an expanded health workforce in the countries that need it most The Seventieth World Health Assembly is currently underway

Source: Speaking of Medicine, blog of the Public Library of Science.

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.

Bioethics Blogs

Radical Technology, Bodyhacking, & Medicine

Michele Battle-Fisher calls on conventional medical to consider how acts of healing will change in the context of transhumanism.

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Humanness is in flux as human bodies are being hacked (altered) by transhumanists and others in their quest for super wellness, super intelligence and super longevity.

Bodyhacking refers to changing the human body in appearance and function using a “device, technique or procedure that an individual CHOOSES to utilize, augment, modify or improve their body.” Examples of bodyhacking include implanting magnets under one’s skin to be able to open a garage door, and implanting an engineered human ear on one’s arm to gain hypersensory abilities. Typically, such ‘hacks’ are not approved by governmental agencies or traditional medical insurance. According to Body Hacking Con, while bodyhacking is typically considered fringe, bodyhackers are “simply people who hack (alter) their bodies.”

Bodyhacking is part of a counterculture movement that is often called transhumanism. Transhumanists believe that the body is obsolete and that death is a cruel end to be avoided. In their view, the time is ripe for taking advantage of fast-paced technologies to improve our imperfect bodies and eventually cheat death.

Recent revolutionary innovations such as CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology are helping to further push the boundaries of bodyhacking by fighting the genetic causes of death. While the medical community has accepted the idea of somatic cell gene editing, germline gene editing remains controversial.  There is much excitement in the transhumanism community that biohacks such as CRISPR will move from the purvue of controlled medical settings to the at-home, do-it-yourself labs.

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.

Bioethics Blogs

Factory farming, human health, and the new WHO Director General

Last week, over 200 experts called on the next Director General of the World Health Organization to prioritize factory farming in an open letter. Announced in articles in the New York Times and The Lancet, the letter argues that factory farming is a major … Continue reading

Source: Bill of Health, examining the intersection of law and health care, biotech & bioethics.

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.

Bioethics News

Virus Hunters Map Zika’s Spread with DNA

According to new genetic evidence published today, public health efforts to contain and fight the disease could have—and should have—gotten underway much sooner. Zika, it turns out, had established itself in Brazil as early as 2013

Source: Bioethics Bulletin by the Berman Institute of Bioethics.

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.

Bioethics News

Users’ Guide to Integrating Patient-Reported Outcomes in Electronic Health Records

This Users’ Guide facilitates integration of patient-reported outcomes in the electronic health record, enabling use of PRO data for multiple clinical, research, and administrative applications, and thereby promoting patient-centered care. Authors include our Joe Ali

Source: Bioethics Bulletin by the Berman Institute of Bioethics.

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.

Bioethics Blogs

Snapshots of Life: Fighting Urinary Tract Infections

Source: Valerie O’Brien, Matthew Joens, Scott J. Hultgren, James A.J. Fitzpatrick, Washington University, St. Louis

For patients who’ve succeeded in knocking out a bad urinary tract infection (UTI) with antibiotic treatment, it’s frustrating to have that uncomfortable burning sensation flare back up. Researchers are hopeful that this striking work of science and art can help them better understand why severe UTIs leave people at greater risk of subsequent infection, as well as find ways to stop the vicious cycle.

Here you see the bladder (blue) of a laboratory mouse that was re-infected 24 hours earlier with the bacterium Escherichia coli (pink), a common cause of UTIs. White blood cells (yellow) reach out with what appear to be stringy extracellular traps to immobilize and kill the bacteria.

Valerie O’Brien, a graduate student in Scott Hultgren’s lab at Washington University, St. Louis, snapped this battle of microbes and white blood cells using a scanning electron microscope and then colorized it to draw out the striking details. It was one of the winners in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology’s 2016 BioArt competition.

As reported last year in Nature Microbiology, O’Brien and her colleagues have evidence that severe UTIs leave a lasting imprint on bladder tissue [1]. That includes structural changes to the bladder wall and modifications in the gene activity of the cells that line its surface. The researchers suspect that a recurrent infection “hotwires” the bladder to rev up production of the enzyme Cox2 and enter an inflammatory state that makes living conditions even more hospitable for bacteria to grow and flourish.

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.

Bioethics News

Ten years since the discovery of iPS cells. The current state of their clinical application

Photo Neurons derived from human iPS cells Stem Cells Australia

Background

Few biomedical discoveries in recent decades have raised so many expectations as the achievement of adult reprogrammed cells or induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells.1

Pluripotent cells are obtained from adult cells from various tissues that, after genetic reprogramming, can dedifferentiate to a pluripotency state similar to that of embryonic cells, which allows for subsequent differentiation into different cell strains.2,3

In our opinion, this discovery is relevant not only to biomedical issues but also to ethical ones, given that iPS cells could replace human embryonic stem cells (see HERE) – whose use raises numerous ethical problems – in biomedical experimentation and in clinical practice. However, after the last 10 years, the use of iPS cells has still not been clarified. A number of expectations have been met, but other mainly clinical expectations are still far from being achieved.

Current research limitations with iPS cells

There is a notable low efficacy in the techniques employed for obtaining a sufficient proportion of iPS cells, which represents a difficulty in its clinical application.4  Another limitation is the incomplete reprogramming, which depends on the type of cell employed,5 and the problems of mutagenesis resulting from inserting exogenous transcription-factor coding genes, which can cause tumors in the employed cells used.6 Recent studies aim to mitigate this effect.7 A clinical trial for treating macular degeneration with retinal pigment epithelium cells derived from autologously obtained iPS cells has recently been halted.8 After an initially successful experience with the first treated patient, the genetic sequencing of the iPS cells obtained from the second patient revealed mutations in 3 different genes, one of which was classified as oncogene in the Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer.

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.

Bioethics Blogs

A Backup Plan for Solo Seniors: Health Care Decision Making for People Aging Alone

Check out this free webinar by Linda J. Camp on June 12: “A Backup Plan for Solo Seniors: Health Care Decision Making for People Aging Alone.”  


Talking about the last life chapters isn’t easy for anyone, but it is especially difficult for “solos;” older adults who lack the traditional family support structure.  When crafting wills, trusts, Powers of Attorney and Advance Care Directives, members of this group struggle with who to designate as a surrogate. Solos “with capacity,” are a largely invisible but growing group.  Come hear about and discuss the foundational work on this issue that is underway in Minnesota.


Objectives:

  • Gain awareness and understanding of the diverse personal circumstances and diverse perspectives of solo older adults
  • Explore the unique issues, needs, gaps, and barriers faced by solos in planning for late-life
  • Learn about replicable work in Minnesota directed toward implementing practical solutions for solos
  • Discuss opportunities to contribute to current research

Source: bioethics.net, a blog maintained by the editorial staff of The American Journal of Bioethics.

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.

Bioethics Blogs

A Backup Plan for Solo Seniors: Health Care Decision Making for People Aging Alone

Check out this free webinar by Linda J. Camp on June 12: “A Backup Plan for Solo Seniors: Health Care Decision Making for People Aging Alone.”  


Talking about the last life chapters isn’t easy for anyone, but it is especially difficult for “solos;” older adults who lack the traditional family support structure.  When crafting wills, trusts, Powers of Attorney and Advance Care Directives, members of this group struggle with who to designate as a surrogate. Solos “with capacity,” are a largely invisible but growing group.  Come hear about and discuss the foundational work on this issue that is underway in Minnesota.


Objectives:

  • Gain awareness and understanding of the diverse personal circumstances and diverse perspectives of solo older adults
  • Explore the unique issues, needs, gaps, and barriers faced by solos in planning for late-life
  • Learn about replicable work in Minnesota directed toward implementing practical solutions for solos
  • Discuss opportunities to contribute to current research

Source: bioethics.net, a blog maintained by the editorial staff of The American Journal of Bioethics.

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.