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A Pill for Compassion or Misunderstood Science?

03/25/2015

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

For at least a decade, studies have shown that empathy and compassion decline in medical students. The response is often more curricula dedicated to ethics, humanities, communication skills, and patient contact. But what if the answer was simply medicating the students.

An article in Time magazine reported that a study from researchers at the University of California Berkeley and University of California San Francisco have found “that by manipulating a brain chemical, people can become more compassionate and act in prosocial ways to equalize differences.”

Compassion is “a sympathetic consciousness of other’s distress with a desire to alleviate it.” According to the article, the study of 35 subjects found that when taking a drug a person’s desire to alleviate inequity increased.…

Btn Rss Bioethics News.

03/25/2015
Could Smoggy Air Raise Your Anxiety Level?

Air pollution may take a toll not only on physical health, but mental well-being as well, two new studies suggest.

03/24/2015
Parental smoking increases risk of future heart disease for kids

The new study, published in Circulation, adds to the growing evidence demonstrating that parents smoking can have a long-term effect on their children’s cardiovascular health.

03/23/2015
Reimburse doctors for helping patients plan end of life care, experts say

Physician incentives are needed to improve end of life care in the U.S., health experts said Friday at an Institute of Medicine (IOM) forum.

03/23/2015
Worldwide Use Of Antibiotics In Livestock Is Fueling Risk Of Drug-Resistant Super Bugs Reuters Posted: 23/03/2015 05:31 IST Updated: 5 hours ago LIVESTOCK Share 19 Tweet 33 Comment 2 By Chris Arsenault ROME, March 23 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Developing countries are pumping livestock full of antibiotics at such a startling rate that they are dramatically increasing the risk of creating drug-resistant “super bugs,” scientists warned on Monday. Antibiotic use in animals is expected to surge by two thirds globally between 2010 and 2030, while doubling in emerging giants like China, Brazil, India and Russia, according to a Princeton University study. It warned that the practice is pushing us closer to a time when common infections could become a death sentence because they will no longer respond to drugs. Consumption of meat, milk and eggs is growing fast in many developing and middle-income countries. Urbanization, increased wealth and changing diets mean industrial livestock producers are expanding rapidly. They are relying on antibiotics to keep disease at bay in the short-term, said co-author Tim Robinson, a scientist with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). But the systematic use of low doses on livestock is creating “perfect conditions to grow resistant bacteria,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Bacteria like E. coli and salmonella are already becoming resistant to antibiotics, Robinson said, increasing fears that these diseases will endanger humans. Passed from animals to people through food contamination, direct contact or the broader environment, antibiotic resistant bacteria will make it harder for doctors to treat basic infections or other ailments, he said. The study by experts from Princeton, ILRI and the National Institutes of Health is the first to measure global antibiotic consumption by livestock. Asia is the main region of concern as this is where demand for livestock products is growing dramatically while regulations governing antibiotic use in animals are either non-existent or not publicly available, scientists say. China’s livestock industry alone could soon be consuming nearly one third of the world’s antibiotics. The five countries with the largest projected increases in antibiotics consumption are Myanmar (205 percent), Nigeria (163 percent), Peru (160 percent) and Vietnam (157 percent). Increasing food production for the estimated 805 million people who go to bed hungry every night will require a new approach that is less reliant on intensive, antiobiotic-fueled breeding, Robinson said. “Poor livestock producers aren’t responsible for this problem, it’s the big firms rushing to meet demand in the growing cities,” he added. But the poor will be worst affected if resistant bacteria transfer to humans more often, he said, because they will be the least able to afford the bigger and more frequent doses of drugs required to fight infections. (Reporting By Chris Arsenault, Editing by Emma Batha) Also on HuffPost: Close  Meat-Free Protein 1 of 10   Flickr: little blue hen Lentils Greek Yogurt Beans Tofu Tempeh Spinach Quinoa Peanuts Related Video Next Previous Next More: Reuters Super Bug Antibiotic Resistant Super Bug Antibiotics in Livestock Antibiotics in Animal Agriculture Suggest a correction Around the Web Stop the Spread of Superbugs – NIH News in Health, February 2014 Superbug: An Epidemic Begins – Harvard Magazine Antibiotic resistance – Wikipedia Skyrocketing use of antibiotics in animals fuels ‘super bug’ fears Chlorine in Water Treatment May Be Breeding Drug-Resistant ‘Superbugs’ Antibiotic Resistance In Pets Linked To Superbug Rise, Experts Blame Overuse …

Developing countries are pumping livestock full of antibiotics at such a startling rate that they are dramatically increasing the risk of creating drug-resistant “super bugs,” scientists warned on Monday.