Tag: notification

Bioethics News

A Clinic Mix-Up Leaves Pregnant Woman In Dark About Zika Risk

June 21, 2017

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Andrea Pardo, 33, of Issaquah, Wash., was tested for the virus in October, after becoming pregnant while living in Mexico. The results were ready by December, but Pardo wasn’t notified until April — 37 weeks into her pregnancy, just before she delivered her daughter, Noemi.

So far, the baby appears healthy. But the delay, blamed on a mistake at the University of Washington clinic where Pardo received care, deprived her of the chance to make an informed choice about her pregnancy, she said.

“Nothing would have changed for me,” she said. “But if I had found out around 20 weeks, I guess I could have made some decisions there.”

Dr. Timothy Dellit, a UW Medicine infectious-disease expert, told Kaiser Health News he called Pardo to explain the error.

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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

Where to publish and not to publish in bioethics – the 2017 list

Allegedly, there are over 8.000 so called predatory journals out there. Instead of supporting readers and science, these journals serve their own economic interests first and at best offer dubious merits for scholars. We believe that scholars working in any academic discipline have a professional interest and a responsibility to keep track of these journals. It is our job to warn the young or inexperienced of journals where a publication or editorship could be detrimental to their career and science is not served. We have seen “predatory” publishing take off in a big way and noticed how colleagues start to turn up in the pages of some of these journals. While many have assumed that this phenomenon mainly is a problem for low status universities, there are strong indications that predatory publishing is a part of a major trend towards the industrialization of misconduct and that it affects many top-flight research institutions (see Priyanka Pulla: “In India, elite institutes in shady journals”, Science 354(6319): 1511-1512). This trend, referred to by some as the dark side of publishing, needs to be reversed.

Gert Helgesson, Professor of Medical Ethics, Karolinska InstitutetThus we published this blog post in 2016. This is our first annual update (the previous version can be found here). At first, we relied heavily on the work of Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado, who runs blacklists of “potential, possible, or probable” predatory publishers and journals. His lists have since been removed although they live on in new form (anonymous) at the Stop predatory journals site (SPJ) and they can also be found archived.

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 [Customer] Patient is Always Right?”

I recently received email notification of the 2016 update of the “Medscape Ethics Report: Life, Death, and Pain.”  Follow the link to view a slide set summarizing the results from 7505 surveyed physicians, 63% of whom were female: Physician-assisted suicide (PAS) for “terminally ill patients”: DOCTORS now favor it, 57%-29%, up from 46%-41% in 2010. The proportion saying “it depends” remains at 14%.  What’s driving… // Read More »

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

Our Devices, Our Selves: How to Avoid Practicing Distracted Doctoring

By Laura Vearrier

Americans check their phones an average of 46 times per day, (Eadicicco 2015) and they do so no matter what they are doing, including while driving, while at church, during sex, or out to dinner. (Rodriguez 2013) Are healthcare providers any different?  In a survey of medical students, 46 % reported texting, checking email, or making a call on their personal devices during a patient encounter, and 93% had seen a senior resident or attending do so. (Tran et al. 2014)  The answer to this problem is not as simple as turning off the device.  Improvements to medical care afforded by personal devices include efficient access to electronic text books, up-to-date literature, medical apps such as dosing calculators, and improved provider connectedness, among others.  The flip side is that the inevitable distraction created by smartphones creates a threat to professionalism in healthcare…

“Distracted doctoring” is considered a disturbing trend as consequences can be as fatal as distracted driving.  Most hospitals operate under a “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) policy that allows employees to use their personal devices in the healthcare setting.  Personal devices create a constant source of distraction – even when a phone is not buzzing due to an incoming call, text message, app notification, or email, the compulsion to check the phone, and possibly browse social media or the news, remains for many.  Even if a provider takes out his or her phone for a professional purpose, such as to look up medication interactions, smartphone designs makes it almost impossible to ignore the texts or alerts that have appeared since the user last looked at the phone.

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

Should Junior Doctors Still Strike?

Guest Post by Adam James Roberts

In early July, the British Medical Association’s junior members voted by a 16-point margin to reject a new employment contract negotiated between the BMA’s leadership and the Government. The chair of the BMA’s junior doctors committee, Johann Malawana, stood down following the result, noting the “considerable anger and mistrust” doctors felt towards the Government and their concerns about what the contract would mean “for their working lives, their patients and the future delivery of care” in the National Health Service (the NHS).

The BMA pressed the Government to reopen negotiations and to reverse its decision to impose the contract unilaterally. Those appeals having been rebuffed, the BMA announced two months later a new programme of strikes, citing concerns about the impacts on part-time workers, “a majority of whom are women”; on those doctors who already work the greatest number of weekends, “typically in specialties where there is already a shortage” of staff; the contract’s implications for the ability of the NHS to “attract and keep enough doctors” into the future; and the lack of an answer as to how the Government would manage to staff and fund the extra weekend care which was so often drawn on to justify pushing that new contract through.

Earlier this year, Mark Toynbee and colleagues argued in the JME that the earlier rounds of strikes by British juniors were probably ethically permissible, noting that emergency care would continue to be available, that the maintenance of patient well-being was apparently a goal, and that the strikers felt they were treating industrial action as a last resort.

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

Do the EPA Exposure Studies Violate Do No Harm and Informed Consent?

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D

A government agency recruits elderly and sick patients for an important research study. In a controlled environment, subjects are exposed to airborne pollutants at levels many times higher than found in the real world. Some pollutants are considered so dangerous that the FDA considers any exposure to be dangerous.

Such a scenario may sound like a historical case study of human subjects abuse, but such studies are actually the subject of an 18-month review by the EPA on ethical conduct of research. Such studies are not a secret. In fact, a 2000 article in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives talks about the benefit of exposing people to pollutants at controlled doses in controlled environments. The last meeting of the review committee was August 24, 2016.

Subjects are consented to participate in the experiments, but the EPA’s own inspector general has questioned whether potential subjects truly understood the risks and whether researchers immediately and properly reported all adverse events. Specifically, the inspector general refers to a study of 81 subjects, exposing them to airborne particles and diesel exhaust fumes in 2010 and 2011. The concerns range from lack of review board approval and notification of study modifications, to addressing risks differently to different subjects in the same study, to a lack of procedures for reporting and acting on adverse events.

The public health benefits of this research are important for answering how much exposure is safe as well as what are the effects of exposure at various levels to a diverse pool of people (based on age, ethnicity, health status).

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

Announcement: 2016 Effective Altruism Global Research Meeting Call for Abstracts

Location: August 5th to 7th, University of California, Berkeley

Abstract Deadline: July 10th

Contact: researchmeeting@centerforeffectivealtruism.org

Overview

The 2016 Effective Altruism Global Research Meeting is an opportunity for Postgraduate students and early stage academics from a variety of disciplines to present research relevant to Effective Altruism. The meeting will take place on August 5th to 7th, 2016 at UC Berkeley alongside the Effective Altruism Global conference. The meeting will consist of two events, an academic poster session and a number of short oral presentations. Presentations will be awarded to the most exceptional submissions. Participants selected for presentations will still have the option to present a poster.

The Effective Altruism movement, which promotes the use of reason and evidence to determine the most effective ways to improve the world, has grown rapidly over the last three years. It is an interdisciplinary movement which has gained traction amongst academics in a wide range of fields, including Philosophy, Economics and Health. Last year’s Effective Altruism Global conference welcomed renowned philosopher Peter Singer and behavioral economist Dan Ariely, as well as 1000 attendees. This year, our speakers include Philip Tetlock (author of Superforecasting), Cass Sunstein (legal scholar and former Administrator of the White House OIRA), Thomas Kalil (Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation at the White House OSTP), Jaan Tallinn (Co-Founder of Skype) and Irene Pepperberg (noted animal cognition scientist).  

Effective Altruism Global’s featured topics include discussions of the replication crisis, prediction markets, decision making under uncertainty, CRISPR, our obligations to the global poor, as well as a number of other topics that are important to shaping the future.

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

Bioethics & Health Law at the Intersections – AABHL 2016

The Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law will hold its 2016 conference in Melbourne from 24 to 26 November.  

Key dates:

  • Call for abstracts opens: March 11, 2016
  • Deadline for submission of abstracts: June 6, 2016
  • Notification of acceptance of abstracts: July 29, 2016

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

Ethnographic presents and futures of ‘health’—a summary of the Ethnographies and Health workshop by Emma Garnett

In this report we offer an overview of a two-day workshop entitled Ethnographies and Health that was held in October at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), and present personal reflections on the discussions and debate from four participants. Critically engaging with ethnography as a practice, methodology, and theoretical orientation, the aim of the workshop was to explore our fieldwork choices and the kinds of knowledge(s) they generate across and within fields of health research (broadly defined). We invited submissions for the workshop from early career researchers from a range of disciplines, acknowledging from our own experiences that while ethnography has increasing presence and recognition within health research, those conducting ethnography may be thinly spread across multiple academic settings, both traditional disciplinary departments in the social sciences and, increasingly, more bio-medically oriented health sciences departments.

The diversity of disciplines and fields of research represented by the 26 people selected to participate in the workshop was matched by the diversity of contemporary modes of ethnographic engagement with, of, and through ‘health’. The workshop encouraged a rich array of questions, focusing on the multiplicity and heterogeneity of ‘healths’ which ethnography opens up and details, and the nuanced ways in which our own entanglements with research settings always encourage additional queries and uncertainties. The opening speakers, Simon Cohn (LSHTM) and Tiago Moreira (Durham University), illuminated in different ways just how ethnography as a practice and mode of making knowledge may come into tension with, for example, biomedical framings of health and/or with the expectations of funders and others in the field.

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

Mandatory submission of patient information about FGM: a pointless, damaging, discriminatory mess

Brenda Kelly and Charles Foster

Female Genital Mutilation (‘FGM’) is a term covering various procedures involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons (WHO, 2012). It can be associated with immediate and long-term physical and psychological health problems. FGM is prevalent in Africa, Middle East and South East Asia as well as within diaspora communities from these countries

The Government, keenly aware of the political capital in FGM, has come down hard. The Serious Crime Act 2015 makes it mandatory to report to the police cases of FGM in girls under the age of 18. While we have some issues with that requirement, it is at least concordant with the general law of child protection.

What is of more concern is the requirement, introduced by the cowardly device of a Ministerial Direction and after the most cursory consultation (in which the GMC and the RCOG hardly covered themselves in glory), by which healthcare professionals, from October 2015, are legally obliged to submit patient-identifiable information to the Department of Health (‘DOH’) on every female patient with FGM who presents for whatever reason, through the Enhanced Dataset Collection (EDC). The majority of these women will have undergone FGM in their country of origin prior to coming to the UK.

The DOH has given disturbingly weak reassurances that the information will not be transmitted to third parties (such as the police or the Crown Prosecution Service).

We can see no evidence that this constitutionally troubling data collection is likely to produce any benefit.

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.