Tag: renal transplantation

Bioethics News

The Future of Bioethics: Organ Transplantation, Genetic Testing, and Euthanasia

By Ana Lita

When you think of bioethics, some of the first hot-button topics you may consider are organ transplantation, fertility and genetic engineering, and end-of-life-care. The Global Bioethics Initiative serves as a platform to address many bioethical questions and engages in public debates to develop resolutions to present and emerging issues.

Dr. Ana Lita, founder of the Global Bioethics Initiative, discusses the various areas GBI addresses and highlights the organization’s contributors in their prospective fields. She acknowledges the valuable contribution of the current president of GBI, Dr. Bruce Gelb, in the field of organ transplantation. She also addresses the original co-founder of GBI, Dr. Charles Debrovner, and his lifelong passion in the field of fertility and genetic engineering. Lastly, Dr. Lita offers a brief insight into the future of Bioethics in these uncertain times.

ORGAN MARKETS AND THE ETHICS OF TRANSPLANTATION 

Recent developments in immunosuppressive drugs and improved surgical techniques have now made it much easier to successfully transplant organs from one human body to another. Unfortunately, these developments have led to the rise of black-markets in human organs. This underground market is where people who need kidneys to survive or to improve the quality of their lives, for example, purchasing such organs from impoverished persons in the developing world. In January 2017, scientists announced that they successfully created the first human-pig hybrid and a pig embryo with some human characteristics. Given the increasing need for transplant organs, should such markets be regulated and legalized?  Could the success of therapeutic cloning eliminate the need to consider this option?

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

GBI excited to ​announce new President, Dr. Bruce Gelb

Global Bioethics Initiative is pleased to announce the election of Dr. Bruce Gelb, M.D., F.A.C.S, as President of the Board of Directors. Dr. Gelb is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center, School of Medicine, and the Surgical Director of Renal Transplantation of the NYU Langone Transplant Institute. He also performs liver transplant surgery and is a key member of the Face Transplant team. He has a vested interest in the field of bioethics, especially the ethics of transplantation.

“As a transplant surgeon, bioethics encompasses virtually every aspect of my work. I had the honor of joining GBI’s Board of Directors three years ago and served as the Interim President of the organization since July 2016. It has been an honor to serve as a lecturer in both Manhattan and Dubrovnik schools and symposiums on the ethics of organ transplantation alongside with world experts in various other fields. I am strong supporter of the mission and educational programs of this young organization.”

Since March 2016, he serves as the Chair of the Quality Improvement Committee at the NYU Langone Medical Center and holds an appointment as a Representative of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Ethics Committee for a three-year term. Dr. Gelb has received the multiple clinical awards, including: Castle Connolly Top Doctor, New York 2016, NY Top Docs 2015, Super Doctors “Rising Star” 2013 and 2014, and Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honors Society. He holds board certification in General Surgery and is certified in Liver, Kidney, and Pancreas transplantation, and Living Donor Surgery.

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

May 2016 Newsletter

Global Bioethics Initiative (GBI) is dedicated to fostering public awareness and understanding of bioethical issues, and to exploring solutions to bioethical challenges.
Through its events and activities, which include annual summer school programs on global bioethics, GBI seeks to keep the international community, policy decision-makers, the media, and the general public informed and aware of important bioethical issues. Such awareness is essential for making informed decisions and fostering public debate. Using various platforms, we at GBI are able to promote our motto “Doing bioethics in real life!
GBI is an active member of the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), a global initiative that aligns institutions of higher education with the United Nations to further the realization of the mandate of the organization. GBI enjoys a special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the UN’s central platform for debate, reflection, and innovative thinking on sustainable development.
 Summer Programs in Bioethics in Manhattan and Dubrovnik
The registration fees are 100% tax deductible as GBI is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code in the US
Students may intern with GBI as well as attend the programs. See our current students here.

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

Face transplant in an American firefighter. Ethical assessment and a brief historical review

By far the most extensive performed successfully

Patrick Hardison is a 41-year-old former American firefighter who suffered facial burns while trying to save the life of a woman in a fire. The burns resulted in severe facial disfigurement, causing him major problems with vision, breathing and eating, and of course, his aesthetic image, which made social relationships difficult. The possibility of resolving those problems therefore seemed highly advisable for compelling quality-of-life reasons.

The 26-hour surgery took place on 15th August 2015, and involved more than 100 professionals. It was performed in Langone Medical Center in New York, led by Dr. Eduardo D. Rodríguez. The operation not only gave the patient a new face, it also gave him a new scalp, ears, ear canals, part of the chin bones, cheekbones, a whole nose and new eyelids, even the muscles that control blinking.

Before this latest surgery, Mr. Hardison had undergone more than 70 operations, which, apart from that mentioned above, gives some indication of the patient’s poor quality of life, and was undoubtedly a critical factor in the decision to perform the transplant.

The most recent reports on 17th November state that the patient has progressed well and is gradually resuming his usual daily routines. Nevertheless, he will have to continue rehabilitation to improve the strength of his facial muscles and speech, and of course, like most transplant patients, will have to take immunosuppressive therapy for life, so that the transplant is not rejected.

by coincidence the donor had wanted to be a firefighter.

By coincidence the face donor had wanted to be a firefighter.

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

Stop Futile Treatment – Be Surgeons, Not Sissies

At a recent panel discussion on geriatric medicine at Westmead Hospital (in Sydney) several leading specialists agreed doctors should be “surgeons not sissies” and objectively evaluate the prospects of successful treatment.

One surgeon, Henry Pleass, remarked:  “I work quite closely with physicians in renal transplantation and I’m amazed sometimes these people are still being dialysed. . . .  I think: ‘Why on earth are they doing that?’ because they are dialysing a corpse, so to speak.”

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 We Perform Kidney Transplants on Foreign Nationals?

The title of the article in the Journal of Medical Ethics
asks this question.
[1]  The authors from the University of Montreal consider
this subject while the topic of “illegal aliens” or foreign nationals (FN’s) has
been a hot topic in the United States.
 
They however attempt to answer the problem from an international
perspective.
  The FN that we hear about
is usually in the country illegally, but may be in the country as a legal non-citizen,
visitor, non-permeant resident, refuge claimant, resettled refugee and in rare
cases a person detained by the government.

A patient who arrives at the emergency room requiring
hemodialysis would likely rapidly be started on renal replacement therapy.
  This is an emergency and since this is considered,
an emergency there would likely not be a question about the provision of such therapy.
What then about transplantation of a kidney?
 
Is renal transplantation an emergency treatment?  We usually consider transplantation to be a
more economical form of treatment of the acute renal failure in the end, but the
lack of long term funding for medical care of the FN puts a different spin on
the subject. It is not just the procurement of the organ and the surgery but
also provision of and management of the immunotherapy necessary to prevent
rejection of the kidney and the technology to manage the therapy.
   A foreign national that returns to their
home country where there is not an infrastructure that can provide the drug
therapy or monitoring will reject the kidney.

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.