Bioethics Blog Posts Tagged transplantation

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How to Keep HIV Cure-Related Trials Ethical: The Benefit/Risk Ratio Challenge

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Source: Journal of Medical Ethics Blog, by BMJ.

Excerpt:

Guest Post by Nir Eyal

Re: Special Issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics on the ethics and challenges of an HIV cure

For most patients with HIV who have access to antiretroviral treatment and use it properly, that treatment works well. But the holy grail of HIV research remains finding a cure. Sometimes that means a literal, sterilizing cure that would remove HIV from the body. But increasingly the aim is to find a mere functional cure that would send HIV into sustained remission during which antiretrovirals would be unnecessary.

Early successes in cure-related research, most notably the apparent cure of ‘Berlin patient’ Timothy Brown, prompted the International AIDS Society and the US National Institutes of Health to declare cure-related research a high priority. Recent successes in animal models have re-kindled hopes, and cure-related research is ongoing.

But there is a catch. Many of the early-phase cure-related studies that are currently planned or under way carry risks that are either very high or hard to quantify. These risks come from toxicity (e.g., of stem cell transplantation in an immunocompromised population), necessary interruptions to antiretroviral treatment (either short ‘pauses’ or intentionally longer breaks), or invasive physical exams. They affect study subjects and, sometimes, third parties like sexual partners or foetuses.

While high or unknown risks are a mainstay of early-phase trials in areas like cancer research, cure study participants typically have a safe and efficacious alternative to those risks: remaining on antiretrovirals. Can we justify asking patients who are doing well on antiretrovirals to accept the risk and uncertainty of many HIV cure-related trials?

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

Why You Should Donate Your Data (As Well As Your Organs) When You Die

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Source: Bioethics Bulletin by the Berman Institute of Bioethics.

Source: Bioethics Bulletin by the Berman Institute of Bioethics.

Most people are aware they can donate their organs when they die. Doing so is very important: Each deceased donor can save several lives if he donates his organs and tissue and they are used for transplantation. …. But organs aren’t the only thing that you can donate once you’re dead. What about donating your medical data?


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