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Bioethics news.

Perspectives in Biology and Medicine: Special Issue on CRISPR
A special issue on CRISPR in Perspectives in Biology and Medicine adds to the rich corpus of ideas and arguments that will inform a technology bound to influence generations to come.
Medically Assisted Dying and Suicide: How Are They Different, and How Are They Similar?
The practice of medically assisted dying has long been contentious, and the question of what to call it has become increasingly contentious as well. Particularly among U.S. proponents of legalizing the practice, there has been a growing push away from calling it “physician‐assisted suicide,” with assertions that medically assisted dying is fundamentally different from suicide.
With Test Kits in Short Supply, Health Officials Sound Alarms
Despite efforts by President Trump and others to reassure the public that tests are getting disseminated quickly, several states, doctors and patients complained that access was limited.
Public Trust In Health Authorities Is Key To Fighting Coronavirus — Is It At Risk?
During infectious disease outbreaks, public trust in the government and health agencies becomes critical. Officials need to convince millions of people that they are telling the whole truth, and that their guidance on what to do — and not do — should be followed.
As Coronavirus Numbers Rise, C.D.C. Testing Comes Under Fire
Federal health officials botched an initial diagnostic test and restricted widespread screening. Missteps may have raised the risks to Americans, critics say.
F.C.C. to Fine Cellphone Carriers for Selling Customers’ Locations
The Federal Communications Commission is set to propose about $200 million in fines against four major cellphone carriers for selling customers’ real-time location data, according to three people briefed on the discussions.
‘They lied to us’: Mom says police deceived her to get her DNA and charge her son with murder
A murder case raises the question: Is it OK for police to lie to get an innocent person’s DNA?
Trust, Risk, and Race in American Medicine
There is ample evidence that patient mistrust toward the American medical system is to some extent associated with communal and individual experiences of racism. For groups who have faced exploitation and discrimination at the hands of physicians, the medical profession, and medical institutions, trust is a tall order and, in many cases, would be naive. Nevertheless, trust is often...
WHO’s malaria vaccine study represents a “serious breach of international ethical standards”
Experts are troubled by the apparent lack of informed consent in a large, cluster randomised study of the malaria vaccine.
German Court Overturns Ban on Assisted Suicide
The decision came after a group of doctors, patients and proponents sued, arguing that a 2015 law infringed on their constitutional right to make decisions about their own lives.
Canada opens door to expanding assisted dying
The Canadian government has put forward a bill to make medically-assisted death available to people who are not terminally ill. The bill opens the door to allowing Canadians with degenerative illnesses like cerebral palsy to seek medically-assisted death.
Who Decides? Medical Intervention for Transgender and Intersex Children
Who should decide whether medical intervention on a child’s body is necessary? Ideally, the person who will undergo the treatment should have a say in these decisions. Patients themselves, even if they are children, should understand all their options and assent to whatever procedures are on the table.
‘Open, Insert, Squirt.’ In This Town, Children Are Taught to Administer Narca
In rural Carter County, Tenn., health officials have embraced a strategy for stemming addiction: Teaching children as young as 6 how to reverse an overdose.
‘I brainwashed myself with the internet’
Nearly 45 weeks pregnant, she wanted a “freebirth” with no doctors. Online groups convinced her it would be OK.
Hidden Beneath the Hospital Gown
In contrast to the authority and protection the doctor’s white coat confers, hospital gowns make patients exposed, vulnerable and stripped of their identity.
Globalized Science in a Deglobalizing World
The arrest of Harvard chemist and nanobiologist Charles Lieber on charges of lying about his research funding from China encapsulates two phenomena currently in tension: the global nature of modern science and attempts to nationalize the fruits of science.
Edit Embryo Genome? Ethics Experts Weigh In
You voted, now see the results and expert discussion.
She Didn’t Want a Pelvic Exam. She Received One Anyway.
Medical schools and students are grappling with an unsettling practice: Performing pelvic exams on unconscious, non-consenting patients.
The coronavirus outbreak exposes the U.S.’s pharma supply chain vulnerability
In October 2019, Dr. Janet Woodcock, the director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, testified before Congress that the United States “has become a world leader in drug discovery and development, but is no longer in the forefront of drug manufacturing.” The use of foreign-sourced materials “creates vulnerabilities in the U.S. supply chain,” Woodcock concluded.
When Your Ancestry Test Entangles Others
Today’s DNA kits can reveal secrets that affect not just your own family but strangers as well. Should one person’s right to know take precedence over another’s life narrative?
Packing ethics into medical students’ global health trips
Medical trainees want to help in less-resourced countries. But short-term programs can misread local needs, overburden hosts, and send students into situations they’re not prepared to handle. Here’s how leaders are ensuring ethical, effective experiences.
A lottery like no other offers up a cutting-edge medicine — with lives on the line
The lottery that began this week was not about money, or about choosing a school, or about obtaining a visa. It was about a child’s life. In this case, the children selected would receive a drug that otherwise was not available.
Deciding When Enough is Enough in Providing Intensive Care for a Child
Tinslee Lewis, a critically ill 1-year-old girl born with a rare heart defect and severe lung disease, has spent her entire life in the ICU and undergone multiple surgeries in attempts to save her life. Tinslee’s care team has determined that she has no chance for any meaningful survival and that ongoing intensive care is harmful and causing her...
Super-precise CRISPR tool enhanced by enzyme engineering
A super-precise version of the CRISPR genome-editing tool just got even better. Researchers have boosted the accuracy of a technique based on the popular but error-prone CRISPR–Cas9 system by engineering enzymes that can precisely target DNA without introducing as many unwanted mutations.
Love as a drug: can romance be medically prescribed?
Love drugs could soon be a reality and used alongside therapy to help heal broken relationships, claims a new book.
Critics Say China Has Suppressed And Censored Information In Coronavirus Outbreak
China’s state censors have clamped down this week on digital items related to the outbreak of a new coronavirus, removing local news reports that expose the dire circumstances in the city of Wuhan, epicenter of the outbreak, and scrubbing social media platforms of posts from Wuhan residents who say they are ill and desperate for medical care and supplies.
Clearview AI hit with cease-and-desist from Google, Facebook over facial recognition collection
In an interview with CBS This Morning, Clearview AI’s founder says it’s his right to collect photos for the facial recognition app.
Huduma Namba: Kenya court halts biometric ID over data fears
Kenya’s High Court has halted a controversial biometric ID scheme until new data protection laws are enacted.
Too many tests, too little time: Doctors say they face ‘moral injury’ because of a business model that interferes with patient care
Many people frame physician burnout as a character weakness, but the term “moral injury” correctly identifies that the problem lies with the system, rather than the physician.
Clarifying the Language of Clinician Distress
A National Academy of Medicine report, released in October 2019, acknowledged, “The evidence for system interventions that significantly address clinician burnout is limited,” noting that “the study committee was not able to provide specific recommendations for system interventions.” In the wake of more than a decade of assessments and interventions focused on burnout, none of which has proven to systematically...