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Bioethics news.

As mass shootings rise, experts say high-capacity magazines should be the focus
Limiting the number of bullets in gun magazines won’t stop mass attacks, but it could bring down their death tolls, experts say. The odds that Congress or state legislatures will act still appear relatively remote.
Ohio family using DNA kit learns dad and daughter not related, sues fertility clinic
An Ohio family using a home DNA test found that their 25-year-old daughter is not related to her father, according to a lawsuit they filed against a hospital and two fertility practices. Joe Cartellone said his family made the discovery earlier this year after buying an Ancestry DNA kit to learn more about their Italian heritage, the family’s...
Nation’s fertility clinics struggle with a growing number of abandoned embryos
Dr. Craig Sweet’s fertility clinic in Fort Myers, Florida, has resulted in nearly 3,000 pregnancies. The pregnancies, he said, have been the upside to his 28 years in the business of helping patients fulfill their dreams of having babies. But there’s a downside: Hundreds of embryos sit in a frozen state of limbo, abandoned in the center’s storage tanks by in...
I’m an ICU nurse. I know I need an end-of-life directive. So why can’t I bring myself to write it?
Few want to think about their own deaths. And forms rarely capture the complexity of real-life medical decision-making. But there are ways to tackle these and other roadblocks.
FDA raises accuracy questions over trial data of gene therapy drug
More than two months after the Food and Drug Administration approved an expensive new gene therapy drug for a rare disease in children, the agency said it has major questions about the accuracy of some of the testing data. The FDA said Tuesday that the drug maker — AveXis, which is owned by Novartis — was aware of...
No, Lyme disease is not an escaped military bioweapon, despite what conspiracy theorists say
Some tick-spread bacteria could be weaponized — but this would be a pretty useless choice.
Elderly couple found dead in apparent murder-suicide, left notes about high medical bills
An elderly husband and wife died in an apparent murder-suicide in Washington state, and police say they found notes about the couple’s struggles to afford needed medical care.
Novartis C.E.O. Defends Company’s Decision to Withhold False Data From the F.D.A.
Responding to the agency’s stern rebuke, Vas Narasimhan, the company’s executive, tried to reassure investors that Novartis did not intentionally deceive the F.D.A. while seeking approval for its $2.1 million gene therapy.
American With No Medical Training Ran Center For Malnourished Ugandan Kids. 105 Died
Ten years ago, Renee Bach left her home in Virginia to set up a charity to help children in Uganda. One of her first moves was to start a blog chronicling her experiences. Among the most momentous: On a Sunday morning in October 2011, a couple from a village some distance away showed up at Bach’s center carrying a small...
Why Are These Medical Instruments So Tough to Sterilize?
Duodenoscopes have sickened hundreds of patients in hospital outbreaks. Now some experts are demanding the devices be redesigned or taken off the market.
Novartis C.E.O. Defends Company’s Decision to Withhold False Data From the F.D.A.
Responding to the agency’s stern rebuke, Vas Narasimhan, the company’s executive, tried to reassure investors that Novartis did not intentionally deceive the F.D.A. while seeking approval for its $2.1 million gene therapy.
Pain Rescue Team Helps Seriously Ill Kids Cope In Terrible Times
The Benioff Children’s Hospital at the University of California, San Francisco is a sleek new building with state-of-the-art facilities — a place where the sickest children go for leading-edge treatments. Which is why it might be surprising to find Robyn Adcock, who practices acupuncture and acupressure, walking the halls.
States Clash With Cities Over Potential Opioids Settlement Payouts
As lawyers for cities and counties push a plan for a nationwide settlement of opioid lawsuits, states push back, saying they should lead the way.
What Drives People to Mass Shootings?
There may be as many explanations as there are killers. But over the decades, scientists have seen some patterns emerge.
Tainted Pork, Ill Consumers and an Investigation Thwarted
Drug-resistant infections from food are growing. But powerful industry interests are blocking scientists and investigators from getting information they need to combat the problem.
With $2.1 million price tag, families fight to get lifesaving drug for babies covered
When the Food and Drug Administration approved Zolgensma, a lifesaving medication to treat spinal muscular atrophy, parents of young children with the rare and fatal disease rejoiced. But that relief was quickly tempered by the price tag: $2.1 million — the most expensive ever for a single dose of a drug.
Newly unsealed exhibits in opioid case reveal inner workings of the drug industry
Drug companies repeatedly wrestled with suspicious orders and large shipments, documents show.
In A 1st, Doctors In U.S. Use CRISPR Tool To Treat Patient With Genetic Disorder
For the first time, doctors in the U.S. have used the powerful gene-editing technique CRISPR to try to treat a patient with a genetic disorder.
Is routine genetic profiling coming closer?
Genome sequencing projects around the world are revealing promising new health insights.
Warning of ‘Pig Zero’: One Drugmaker’s Push to Sell More Antibiotics
Overuse of antibiotics in livestock has given rise to drug-resistant germs. Drugmakers say they want to be part of the solution. But a recent campaign urged farmers to administer the drugs to healthy animals daily.
Your Data Were ‘Anonymized’? These Scientists Can Still Identify You
Your medical records might be used for scientific research. But don’t worry, you’re told — personally identifying data were removed. Information about you gathered by the Census Bureau might be made public. But don’t worry — it, too, has been “anonymized.” On Tuesday, scientists showed that all this information may not be as anonymous as...
Juul Targeted Schools, Camps and Youth Programs, House Panel Claims
Lawmakers grilled company officials about financing programs aimed at appealing to young people that familiarized them with Juul’s products.  
OTA making a comeback? House Dems eye shuttered office to combat Silicon Valley
Democratic members of the House are renewing a push to reopen a government office dedicated to providing expertise and analysis on new technologies, an effort made timely by efforts from both parties to rein in the power of major tech companies.
ESPN’s Dan Le Batard Was Right To Talk About President Trump And Politics, Despite Company Policy
Radio show hosts bashing words and behaviors promoted by President Donald Trump can be found over most airwaves these days. So, it no longer makes too much news when one or another uses airtime for calling out the president. But that is not the case for Dan Le Batard and ESPN. The issue started late last week, after the...
Fitbits and other wearables may not accurately track heart rates in people of color
An estimated 40 million people in the United States have smartwatches or fitness trackers that can monitor their heartbeats. But some people of color may be at risk of getting inaccurate readings.
Opioid death rates soared in communities where pain pills flowed
An analysis of previously undisclosed DEA data reveals corresponding spikes in deaths and pill shipments at the height of the epidemic.
America’s Opioid Crisis
America’s largest drug companies saturated the country with 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pain pills from 2006-2012
Facial Recognition Tech Is Growing Stronger, Thanks to Your Face
Dozens of databases of people’s faces are being compiled without their knowledge by companies and researchers, with many of the images then being shared around the world, in what has become a vast ecosystem fueling the spread of facial recognition technology.
As trial ends, state urges judge to make Johnson & Johnson pay for drug epidemic
Lawyers for the state of Oklahoma urged a judge Monday to find health-care conglomerate Johnson & Johnson culpable for the consequences of the state’s opioid epidemic and assess the company as much as $17.5 billion to help clean up the damage.