Tag: women

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

European Parliament document announced, as one of its priority, defend women right to abortion

The European Parliament recently announced its “priorities” for its next Commission on the Status of Women are “universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.” The EU document implies that limiting access to abortion is an infringement of women’s rights. The EU Recommendation invites the EU Council to “counter the impact of the gag rule”, a term used by abortion advocates have used to denigrate Reagan-era policy which ensures US taxpayer only funds groups that promise not to promote or perform abortions. The text was drafted by the Committee on Women’s Rights (FEMM). FEMM’s rapporteurs described the policy as forms of “sexism and Trumpism”, and said somebody “in the Oval Office wants us to… stop repeating the claim ‘Our bodies – our rights‘”.

Critics of the document underline that the EU Council and Commission have repeatedly affirmed ‘that the organization lacks competence on abortion, a subject left to member states’ legislatures. Furthermore, the EU cannot adopt policies and actions on reproductive and sexual health and rights in developing countries that include abortion. “No support is to be given… to encourage sterilization or abortion”. The relevant rules on foreign aid must also provide that the EU cannot promote abortion as a method of family planning and that it most provide post-abortion counseling, which helps “to avoid repeat abortions”  (C-Fam – Washington USA, February 23, 2017).

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Source: Bioethics Observatory.

This article was originally published by the Bioethics Observatory of the Catholic University of Valencia

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

Mother-child HIV transmission falls. Thailand example

From the early to mid-1990s, an epidemic wave of HIV-infected women and infants occurred. Heterosexual HIV transmission, as described in the Asian Epidemic Model, was the major mode of spread in Thailand, causing an increasing number of HIV-infected pregnant women a consequently raising Mother-child HIV transmission.

Mother-child HIV transmission

The early and concerted multi-sectoral response of Thai society reduced the prevalence of HIV infection in pregnant women from 2% in the mid-1990s to 0.6% in 2015 and mother-to-child transmission of HIV (MTCT) from an estimated 20-40% to 1.9%.  (see more HERE). For these reasons, has now been announced that this type of HIV transmission has been eradicated in Thailand, apparently making it the first Asian country to do so. The WHO considers that vertical transmission of HIV has been eliminated when the percentage of HIV-positive children is less than 2% ( Faculty of Medicine, Department of Paediatrics, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand – 2017 Feb 8).

See STD global report HERE

Photo 26 Doctors

 

La entrada Mother-child HIV transmission falls. Thailand example aparece primero en Bioethics Observatory.

Source: Bioethics Observatory.

This article was originally published by the Bioethics Observatory of the Catholic University of Valencia. Up-to-date news and reports from the Bioethics Observatory at the Catholic University of Valencia (Spain), covering a wide range of bioethical issues including stem cell research, abortion, assisted suicide and much more. General interest and specialised topical articles with ethical implications, based on the latest research findings from some of the world's top medical and scientific journals.

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

Women Opt To Skip Pelvic Exams When Told They Have Little Benefit

One group of doctors, represented by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, recommends yearly pelvic exams for all women 21 years of age and older, whether they have symptoms of disease or not. In March, the influential U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded there just wasn’t adequate evidence to recommend for or against annual exams

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

The Ethics of In Vitro Gametogenesis

Françoise Baylis comments on the ethics of using gametes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells for future human reproduction.

__________________________________________

A recent New York Times article, provocatively titled “Babies from Skin Cells? Prospect is Unsettling to Some Experts,” has once again drawn attention to controversial research by scientists at Kyushu University in Japan who succeeded in making fertile mouse pups using eggs created through in vitro gametogenesis (IVG). This is a reproductive technology that involves creating functional gametes (sperm and eggs) from induced pluripotent stem cells. Induced pluripotent stem cells are cells derived from adult body cells (such as skin cells) that have the ability to become other body cells including reproductive cells (sperm and eggs).

Supporters of this reproductive technology eagerly anticipate similar research in humans. Indeed, enthusiasts are quick to trumpet the potential benefits of in vitro gametogenesis. These benefits fall into three general categories.

First, we are told that research to derive human gametes from induced pluripotent stem cells is important for basic science. It will advance our understanding of gamete formation, human development, and genetic disease. In turn, this increased understanding will create new options for regenerative medicine.

Second, we are told that this research will allow clinicians to improve fertility services. For example, with in vitro fertilization (IVF), women typically have to undergo hormonal stimulation and egg retrieval. This can be onerous in terms of the time required for interviews, counseling, and medical procedures. It can also be harmful. Potential psychological harms include significant stress and its sequelae.

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

Silence = Death

May 18, 2017

by Sean Philpott-Jones, Chair, Bioethics Program of Clarkson University & Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Silence = Death

As Donald Trump fights for his political life following new revelations about wholly inappropriate disclosure of classified materials and potential obstruction of justice, he has quietly issued new orders that will condemn thousands of women and children around the world to death.

Largely overlooked given the media frenzy about the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate Russian interference in the US Presidential election was an announcement that the TrumpAdministration will vastly expand the scope of the “Global Gag Rule”, the international anti-abortion policy first enacted by Ronald Reagan in 1984.

Also known as the Mexico City Policy, the rule prohibits organizations that receive family planning money from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from providing or promoting abortion. This is true even if they do so with private money. In fact, if they take so much as a single dollar from the US, they can’t even mention the word ‘abortion’ regardless of whether or not these organizations actually provide such services.

Every time a Democrat is in the White House, the global gag rule is rescinded. Every time a Republican enters the Oval Office, it is reinstated. President Trump himself did so just three days after assuming office. Until now, family planning organizations around the world have largely learned to deal with this ebb-and-flow. That is all about to change.

On Monday, Trump announced a new policy called Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance. That policy expands the scope of the Global Gag Rule.

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 review of Table 19: Reinforcing the dominant cultural narrative that all unintended pregnancies are wonderful and wanted

A friend and I recently watched the movie Table 19 because we were looking for a
fun comedy. Unfortunately, the movie was neither fun nor funny. Indeed, the
movie did not deliver on a number of fronts, which is why I do not recommend
it. I want to focus on a specific plot line that this movie employed—one that
is common in movies and books—and that I find problematic. In case you are
interested in watching this movie despite my warnings, there are spoilers
ahead.

The basic plot is that Eloise McGarry, played by Anna
Kendrick, ends up sitting at the table of “rejects” at a wedding. She was
originally the maid of honor to the bride, but she and the bride’s brother,
Teddy, broke up after two years of dating and she was consequently demoted from
the bridesmaids’ table to the “loser” table, Table 19. As the movie progresses,
we find out that the reason Eloise and Teddy broke up is because of an argument
surrounding an unintended pregnancy. Eloise was upset with Teddy when she told
him she was pregnant because he did not immediately respond positively.
Instead, he asked her what she wanted to do about the pregnancy. His lack of
enthusiasm enraged her and she told him that they would be ridiculous parents,
which angered him, causing him to break up with her via text message. Because
this is a typical Hollywood movie, it has a happy ending with Eloise and Teddy
getting back together and happily welcoming their baby into the world.

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 review of Table 19: Reinforcing the dominant cultural narrative that all unintended pregnancies are wonderful and wanted

A friend and I recently watched the movie Table 19 because we were looking for a
fun comedy. Unfortunately, the movie was neither fun nor funny. Indeed, the
movie did not deliver on a number of fronts, which is why I do not recommend
it. I want to focus on a specific plot line that this movie employed—one that
is common in movies and books—and that I find problematic. In case you are
interested in watching this movie despite my warnings, there are spoilers
ahead.

The basic plot is that Eloise McGarry, played by Anna
Kendrick, ends up sitting at the table of “rejects” at a wedding. She was
originally the maid of honor to the bride, but she and the bride’s brother,
Teddy, broke up after two years of dating and she was consequently demoted from
the bridesmaids’ table to the “loser” table, Table 19. As the movie progresses,
we find out that the reason Eloise and Teddy broke up is because of an argument
surrounding an unintended pregnancy. Eloise was upset with Teddy when she told
him she was pregnant because he did not immediately respond positively.
Instead, he asked her what she wanted to do about the pregnancy. His lack of
enthusiasm enraged her and she told him that they would be ridiculous parents,
which angered him, causing him to break up with her via text message. Because
this is a typical Hollywood movie, it has a happy ending with Eloise and Teddy
getting back together and happily welcoming their baby into the world.

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

Are Incentives Corrupting? The Case of Paying People to be Healthy.

Written by Dr Rebecca Brown

Financial incentives are commonplace in everyday life. As tools of states, corporations and individuals, they enable the ‘tweaking’ of motivations in ways more desirable to the incentiviser. A parent may pay her child £1 to practice the piano for an hour; a café offers a free coffee for every nine the customer buys; governments offer tax breaks for homeowners who make their houses more energy efficient. Most people, most of the time, would probably find the use of financial incentives unobjectionable.

More recently, incentives have been proposed as a means of promoting health. The thinking goes: many diseases people currently suffer from, and are likely to suffer from in the future, are largely the result of behavioural factors (i.e. ‘lifestyles’). Certain behaviours, such as eating energy dense diets, taking little exercise, smoking and drinking large amounts of alcohol, increase the risk that someone will suffer from diseases like cancer, heart disease, lung disease and type II diabetes. These diseases are very unpleasant – sometimes fatal – for those who suffer from them, their friends and family. They also create economic harms, requiring healthcare resources to be directed towards caring for those who are sick and result in reduced productivity through lost working hours. For instance,the annual cost to the economy of obesity-related disease is variously estimated as £2.47 billion£5.1 billion and a whopping $73 billion (around £56.5 billion), depending on what factors are taken into account and how these are calculated. Since incentives are generally seen as useful tools for influencing people’s behaviour, why not use them to change health-related behaviours?

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

Australian assisted reproduction clinics accused of misleading success rate

This is a topic that we have addressed in depth in our Observatory [see HERE], (especially on the European and American data and the content of the brochures of most clinics), having drawn attention to how many Spanish assisted reproduction clinics claim birth rates of close to 100% on their websites, which is far from the reality. In other words, they are offering false advertising, an ethically highly reprehensible practice.

Australian assisted reproduction clinics and ACCC

Now, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has presented similar findings (see HERE), after evaluating the claims made on the websites of the major assisted reproduction clinics in Australia.

The main source of error is that the vast majority of these websites present the number of pregnancies achieved as if they were live birth rates, when it is well known that these are not comparable, since the live birth rate is always lower than the pregnancy rate.

Another source of error is that some of these clinics maintain that they offer an 85% success rate after two stimulation cycles when they do not take into account that quite some patients will have previously attended another clinic; thus, they do not include failed cycles in other centers in their statistics.

Overall, however, the ACCC review is a warning of the possible misleading advertising presented by many Australian clinics regarding the likelihood that women attending them will achieve their goal of having a child.

Poto MyCreativeShop

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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.