Tag: menstruation

Bioethics News

Patient’s own menstrual blood stem cells used to treat Asherman’s syndrome

Infertility treatment.”The best option for endometrial regeneration in patients with Asherman’s syndrome.”

Asherman’s syndrome is an acquired uterine abnormality characterised by the presence of intrauterine adhesions, and which clinically causes infertility, recurrent miscarriages and menstrual changes. Its prevalence ranges between 2% and 22% of infertile women.

Several surgical and medical treatments have been proposed, but outcomes have been unsatisfactory. Now, a study published in Human Reproduction has proposed treating the condition with adult stem cells obtained from the patient’s own menstrual blood.

To date, seven infertile women with Asherman’s syndrome have been treated. All patients were of reproductive age (33.7 ± 1.5 years) and had suffered infertility for 4.8 ± 1.2 years.

Menstrual blood stem cells. The blood stem cells obtained on day 2 of menstruation were transplanted to the uterus, followed by hormone stimulation.

Another successful cell therapy with no ethical difficulties

Endometrial thickening and return to its normal morphology were observed in all patients. One patient became pregnant spontaneously; four others underwent embryo transfer and two of these became pregnant.

The findings of this study suggest that transplantation of adult stem cells obtained from the patient’s own menstrual blood may be one of the best options for endometrial regeneration in patients with Asherman’s syndrome.

This practice — from a bioethical point of view — merits a favourable assessment, since adult stem cells are used which, as we know, present no ethical difficulties for use.

La entrada Patient’s own menstrual blood stem cells used to treat Asherman’s syndrome aparece primero en Bioethics Observatory.

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

Nepal Failing to Protect Women? 15-Year-Old Dies in ‘Menstruation Hut’

December 23, 2016

(CNN) – As well as being isolated in tiny “menstruation huts” — small, ramshackle buildings with small doors and often no windows and poor sanitation and ventilation — women and girls are forbidden from touching other people, cattle, green vegetables and plants, and fruits, according to a 2011 United Nations report.  They are also not allowed to drink milk or eat milk products and their access to water taps and wells is limited.

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

The Clickbait Candidate

By James Williams (@WilliamsJames_)
Note: This is a cross-post with Quillette magazine.

While ‘interrobang’ sounds like a technique Donald Trump might add to the Guantanamo Bay playbook, it in fact refers to a punctuation mark: a disused mashup of interrogation and exclamation that indicates shock, surprise, excitement, or disbelief. It looks like this: ‽ (a rectangle means your font doesn’t support the symbol). In view of how challenging it seems for anyone to articulate the fundamental weirdness of Trump’s proximity to the office of President of the United States, I propose that we resuscitate the interrobang, because our normal orthographic tools clearly are not up to the task.

Yet even more interrobang-able than the prospect of a Trump presidency is the fact that those opposing his candidacy seem to have almost no understanding of the media dynamics that have enabled it to rise and thrive. Trump is perhaps the most straightforward embodiment of the dynamics of the so-called ‘attention economy’—the pervasive, all-out war over our attention in which all of our media have now been conscripted—that the world has yet seen. He is one of the geniuses of our time in the art of attentional manipulation.

If we ever hope to have a societal conversation about the design ethics of the attention economy—especially the ways in which it incentivizes technology design to push certain buttons in our brains that are incompatible with the assumptions of democracy—now would be the time.

Trump’s cynical and dangerous candidacy should be prompting urgent late-night video conferences among leaders in the technology industry.

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

In the Journals – April 2016 Part I by Michelle Pentecost

Welcome to the first stack of ‘In the Journals’ for April! It’s a bumper crop, so find a cosy corner and some coffee to comb through it all. Happy reading!

Medicine Anthropology Theory

Is the 21st century the age of biomedicalization?

Eileen Moyer and Vinh-Kim Nguyen

(Excerpt from editorial )

The diverse contributions that make up this issue of MAT, we gingerly suggest, could initiate a provocative conversation in response to the following question: what if biomedicine, or to be more precise ‘biomedicalization’(Clarke 2003), is to the twenty-first century as industrialization was to the nineteenth? …. The question of whether biomedicalization will be the twenty-first-century equivalent to industrialization sprang to mind in reading Catherine Waldby and Melinda Cooper’s important book, Clinical Labor, reviewed in this issue by Neil Singh (and is also raised by another important volume, Lively Capital, edited by Kaushik Sunder Rajan). Singh underlines the central argument of the book: surrogacy, participation in clinical trials, donation of body parts, and other practices enabled by a global regime of biomedicine can be theorized together as forms of clinical labour that are derived from the body’s inherent potential for regeneration. There is, in this, a parallel to the assemblage of machines in factories, which enabled the emergence of a working class united by their engagement in industrial labour. Industrialization signed the transformation of the relationship between consciousness, embodiment, and human engagement with the material world, increasingly subsumed into raw material for transformation through industrialized labour into the commodity form.

 

Biomedical packages: Adjusting drugs, bodies, and environment in a phase III clinical trial

Charlotte Brives

Clinical trials are a fundamental stage in a drug’s biography for they provide the standard by which a molecule’s therapeutic status is determined.

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

Top of the Heap: Elly Teman by Hannah Gibson

For this installment of the Top of the Heap series, I spoke with Elly Teman, a medical anthropologist specializing in the anthropology of reproduction and a senior lecturer in the Department of Behavioural Science at Ruppin Academic Center in Israel.

Elly Teman

The top of my heap this past summer has been stacked with a list of documentary films on topics related to the anthropology of reproduction while preparing syllabi for the coming year. I find that students engage much closer through film than through reading only, and that incorporating films in my courses makes for lively discussion. Thus, I am constantly on the lookout for new films to add to my collection. Most of the films I use are available on YouTube, Vimeo, or the director’s website, so I ask the students to watch the film on their own the week before a specific class. They submit a paragraph the night before class about their reaction to the film and its connection to class readings, or in response to a question I pose regarding the film. In class we discuss the film together with the lecture and readings for that day; this gives them a lot of vivid examples to illustrate theoretical concepts and to make cross-cultural comparisons.

Some of the films below are ones I have not yet seen or have not yet been able to obtain a copy of. Others are “musts” on my list for any course on the anthropology of reproduction or for a section on reproduction for a medical anthropology course.

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

In the Journals, September 2015 (Part 1) by Anna Zogas

Here is the first round of “In the Journals” for September. Happy autumn reading!

American Anthropologist

Commitments of Debt: Temporality and the Meanings of Aid Work in a Japanese NGO in Myanmar
Chika Watanabe

The rise of debt as a mechanism of development troubles many scholars and aid practitioners. Contrary to these concerns, however, ethnographic research at a Japanese NGO in Myanmar showed that Japanese and Burmese aid workers found value in moral and monetary debt relations. In this article, I argue that these aid workers viewed indebtedness as a precondition for the making of voluntary actors, willing and committed to aid work. What they problematized was not indebtedness but, rather, competing understandings of the appropriate temporality of a debt’s repayment. The fault lines did not appear along cultural or moral-monetary boundaries; they existed in the ways that people conceptualized voluntary actors as emerging from either long-term forms of indebted gratitude or sequences of short-term contractual agreements. While the entrapment of the poor in cycles of debt remains an increasing concern in the world, I here ask how we might understand local aid workers’ professional commitments when they do not question indebtedness as a moral framework.

Rich Sentiments and the Cultural Politics of Emotion in Postreform Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Allen L. Tran

Linking socioeconomic and personal transformations, recent scholarship on neoliberalism in East and Southeast Asia has examined the role of various emotional experiences in reconfiguring selfhood toward values of personal responsibility and self-care. However, studies rarely focus on how such experiences come to be understood as specifically emotional themselves.

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

In the Journals, August 2015 by Aaron Seaman

In addition to special issues highlighted earlier this month on Somatosphere — Limn (on “Ebola’s Ecologies“), the Annals of Anthropological Practice (on “Community Health Workers and Social Change: Global and Local Perspectives“), and Social Theory & Health (entitled “Theorising Health Inequalities” — the month provided, as always, a bevy of good reading, including a special section of Social Studies of Science on the ontological turn (see below). Enjoy!

American Ethnologist

Biomedicine, the whiteness of sleep, and the wages of spatiotemporal normativity in the United States
Matthew Wolf-Meyer

The racialization of individuals in the contemporary United States is increasingly accomplished through institutional actors, including scientists and physicians. As genetic health risks, chronic disease treatments, and pharmaceuticals come to define Americans’ understanding of themselves, a fundamental shift is occurring in the way medicine is practiced and its role in the production of subjectivity. Underlying these changes is an expectation of orderly bodies—of “white” bodies that exemplify social and cultural norms of biology and behavior. Fundamental to U.S. medical ideas of normativity is that the white heteronormative subject is the standard against which disorderly and nonwhite subjects are to be judged. I explore these ideas through the history and contemporary world of sleep: the clinical production and interpretation of related scientific data, advertising use of images of sleep-disordered patients who have been “cured,” and experiences of nonwhite Americans within mainstream sleep medicine.

The doctor’s political body: Doctor–patient interactions and sociopolitical belonging in Venezuelan state clinics
Amy Cooper

Patients of Venezuelan state clinics ascribe meanings to doctor–patient interactions that reverberate beyond the immediacy of the clinical encounter to shape political subjectivities.

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

Flibanserin and Feminism

Adriane Fugh-Berman and Alessandra Hirsch consider the sexist roots and implications of flibanserin.

__________________________________________

On August 18th, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Sprout Pharmaceuticals’ flibanserin (brand name Addyi), commonly called “female Viagra.” Flibanserin had previously failed to achieve FDA approval for “Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder” on two separate occasions. The third time was the charm. Less than 48 hours after approval, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Canada’s largest company by market value, acquired Sprout for one billion dollars.

This may be the first drug approved through a public relations campaign. The FDA had rejected flibanserin in 2010 and 2013, because the purported benefits of this libido-boosting drug did not outweigh the substantial risks. At an FDA Advisory Committee meeting in June 2015, no new data on benefits were presented, but new data on risks raised serious concerns about sudden prolonged unconsciousness and serious interactions with drugs and alcohol. Given these new data, what convinced a government regulatory body to approve this drug?

The answer is: A brilliant, misleading public relations campaign by Sprout Pharmaceuticals and its public relations firm, Blue Engine Message and Media. “Even the Score” accused the FDA of sexism by claiming that there are 26 FDA-approved sexual dysfunction drugs for men and zero for women. In fact, the FDA has approved eight drugs for sexual dysfunction in men and three for women – and (until now) had never approved a single libido-boosting drug for either men or women.

How feminist is the company?

Sprout’s entire board of directors is male except for Cindy Whitehead, who replaced her husband as CEO several months ago (perhaps because the company realized it had a credibility problem crying sexism with only men in charge).

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

iPhone App Will Track Sexual Activity and Reproduction

Apple recently announced that they will update their health app, HealthKit, to include reproductive health. Many were critical of the original app because although it can track a wide range of health indicators, such as BMI, sleep, sodium intake, number of falls, etc., it neglected reproductive health. Specifically, it is problematic that the app includes some obscure health indicators, like selenium intake, but not menstrual cycle, which affects half of the population. While there are other apps that are specifically geared toward women’s reproductive health, it is troubling that an iPhone app that comes standard with the phone would exclude something so central to women’s health as menstruation. Some believe that the omission of reproductive health from HealthKit is due to the fact that the tech world, including Apple, is dominated by men.  
The new the updated app is a huge improvement because it includes a variety of reproductive health indicators like menstruation, basal body temperature, and spotting. The broad range of reproductive health indicators helps women keep track of their reproductive health in general and specifically for women looking to prevent pregnancy and for women looking to achieve pregnancy. This is an important addition because too often reproductive health is overlooked or not considered part of “real” healthcare. The addition of the reproductive health category in HealthKit technology not only acknowledges the reproductive health issues specific to many women, but also normalizes them.
Included in the new reproductive health category of the HealthKit app is sexual activity. Users can indicate when they have sexual activity and whether they used protection each time.

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

Family Update on Jahi McMath

This was posted to Facebook today:

“MESSAGE FROM JAHI’S MOTHER, NAILAH:
Hello Everyone, I wanted to take this time out to thank you all for every donation every prayer and every positive thought you send Jahi’s way. Jahi is physically stable. All of her organs are fully functional, her skin is flawless and all of her joints are nice and loose. She is a real life sleeping beauty.”

“She is alot more responsive to my voice now than what she used to be. If you catch her at the right time she confirms that she knows left from right a leg from an arm a thumb from an index finger ect…… Once she follows the command it seems to just wipe her out so I try not to over do it but sometimes I’m so excited I can’t help but to keep pushing her. It is amazing to me how something so small as a wiggle of a finger can mean so much!!!”

“I love my daughter very much and I have watched her progress from December until now. There is definitely an improvement. She recently just had an MRI done and it does show damage but it also shows brain structure and blood flow. She had a lot of other test done as well and they confirmed what I already knew. JAHI CAN HEAR ME!!! Her EEG shows brain waves which I was told she didn’t have when she was in California.”

“I can not express the happiness I felt when I seen with my own eyes that my daughter had a brain with structure.

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.