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Author Archive: Blog Editor


by Vera Lúcia Raposo, Ph.D.

Last December it was made public that He Jiankui was sentenced to 3 years in prison and a fine of 3M yuan due to the genetic modification of two twin babies. This story is an epic science-fiction drama that might dictate the future of gene editing in China.

Let’s go back in time, however, to late November 2018, when He Jiankui announced the birth of the first genetically modified babies in the entire world. The twin girls, Nana and Luna, were born in the aftermath of a scientific experiment (this is the proper designation for what happened) involving several couples in which the male was an HIV carrier.…

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by Craig Klugman, Ph.D. and Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

The end of the year usually brings a media blitz of top ten lists for the year that is ending. Thus, it seems appropriate for a list of the top ten (actually eleven) bioethics stories of 2019. This is not a scientific list, it is simply for entertainment and is constructed based solely on the opinion of the blog editors at bioethics.net. However, this is not a hierarchical list, but merely the order in which we thought of the topic. Some of these topics focus on public health and social justice, areas that are not traditionally part of bioethics, but should be.…

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by Barbara Ross Rothweiler, Ph.D., ABPP & Ken Ross

In the coming year, we celebrate the 50th publication anniversary of On Death and Dying, by Elisabeth Kübler Ross M.D. As her children, we are privileged that she is remembered, that we continue to hear her voice in the voices of others, and that we had the opportunity to learn from such a compassionate teacher and example. We appreciate the opportunity to share some thoughts about her work and her legacy.

On Death and Dying describes five stages commonly encountered as a person faces his or her own imminent mortality. This came to be known as DABDA: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.…

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by Mark Siegler, MD

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross graduated from the University of Zurich Medical School, did her residency training at several hospitals in New York City, and then did fellowship training in psychiatry at the University of Colorado. On completing fellowship training, she stayed on as a faculty psychiatrist at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. In 1965, she was recruited to the University of Chicago as an assistant professor of psychiatry. Her first assignment at the University was as Acting Director of the Psychiatric Inpatient Service. One year later, she became Assistant Director of the Psychiatric Consultation and Liaison Service.…

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by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

A commentary in Nature this past week suggested that bioethics may no longer be relevant. The author argues that the pace of technological change is so fast that bioethics can’t keep up: “Bioethics, once a beacon of principled pathways to policy, is increasingly lost, like Simba, in a sea of thundering wildebeest.” The author is Sarah Franklin, a sociologist and director of the Reproduce Sociology Research Group at the University of Cambridge (UK). Her work has focused on the development of assistive reproductive technology. She holds degrees in Women’s Studies (MA), Anthropology (MA), and Cultural Studies (PhD).…

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You can read this editorial and other articles in this month’s issue of The American Journal of Bioethics.

by Tom Beauchamp, Ph.D. & James Childress, Ph.D.

We are pleased to join the editors of AJOB in marking the 40th anniversary of our Principles of Biomedical Ethics (PBE). In this editorial, we will reflect back on the book’s original publication, its development over four decades, some of its major themes, and some persistent misunderstandings. To us the publication of PBE seems like an event that happened yesterday; to the bioethics community it likely seems like a history that stretches back to the beginning of bioethics.…

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You can read this editorial and other articles in this month’s issue of The American Journal of Bioethics.

by José R. Maldonado, MD, FAPM

 “Because donated organs are a severely limited resource, the best potential recipients should be identified. The probability of a good outcome must be highly emphasized to achieve the maximum benefit for all transplants.”  (From: OPTN/UNOS Ethics Committee General Considerations in Assessment for Transplant Candidacy White Paper–2010)

The number of transplant surgeries has risen steadily in the last 30 years in the United States (US), while the availability of donated organs has not kept pace with the clinical demands.…

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A new feature on bioethics.net is to post videos of authors talking about the articles they wrote for The American Journal of Bioethics. Let us know what you think!

Authors Brent Kious & Margaret Peggy Battin discuss their recently published Target Article, Physician Aid-in-Dying and Suicide Prevention in Psychiatry. The article is available here.

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This post is presented in collaboration with the American Journal of Bioethics.
You can read the entire issue by clicking here
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by Sheldon Krimsky

In late November 2018, Chinese scientist Dr. He Jiankui announced at the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing in Hong Kong that he had used CRISPR/Cas 9 gene editing on two female embryos that were brought to term through an in vitro fertilization (IVF) pregnancy. The world scientific community was ill-prepared for the announcement since the moral issues surrounding the editing of human embryos were under discussion but hardly resolved. The recommendation of the 12-member organizing committee of the 2015 International Summit on Human Gene Editing in Washington, DC, stated that it would be irresponsible to undertake any clinical use of germline editing unless and until the safety and efficacy issues were resolved and there was a broad consensus on the specific application, and that such use could proceed only under appropriate regulatory oversight.…

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by Suzanne van de Vathorst

In 2018, 6126 cases of physician aid in dying (PAD) (4.4% of all deaths) were reported in the Netherlands. Of these 6126 cases, 67 involved patients with a psychiatric disease. Psychiatrists reported 34 of these, general practitioners (part of the Netherlands’ extensive system of family physicians) reported 20. The Netherlands has universal health care insurance, and equitable access to good quality health care, including psychiatric care. The Dutch generally trust their doctors and assume they are doing their job with our best interest in mind. Some general practitioners may know their patients for their whole lives.…

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