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Blog Posts (104)

November 27, 2018

Artist's Note

Original art and artist’s blurbs are presented in collaboration with the students of the University of Illinois Chicago program in Biomedical Visualization. 

November 16, 2018

BioethicsTV (November 13-16): #TheGoodDoctor, #ChicagoMed

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Jump to The Good Doctor (Season 2; Episode 7): Directed donation; Jump to Chicago Med (Season 4; Episode 8): DNR Tattoos and Ethics Committees

As many of our favorite medical dramas head to their fall finales, they focused more on sentimental stories in the personal lives of characters, or feel good cases that did not raise any ethical issues.…

October 26, 2018

Ethics and Society Newsfeed – October 26, 2018

Politics With Migrant Caravan, Trump Stokes a Familiar Fire: Immigration “Barely two weeks away from an election that threatens to sweep Republicans from power in the House of Representatives and dash any lingering hope of conservative immigration reform, the party, led by President Trump, is leaning more aggressively into dark portrayals of undocumented immigrants in […]
July 24, 2018

Newspaper Op-Eds Should Disclose Authors’ Industry Ties

Earlier this month, The Seattle Times published an op-ed by Samuel Browd, medical director of Seattle Children’s Sport Concussion Program, on the risks of brain injury in youth sports. Dr. Browd acknowledged troubling research on the dangers of repetitive brain trauma, but also emphasized that millions of children “have played contact sports without overt symptoms” and… Read more

The post Newspaper Op-Eds Should Disclose Authors’ Industry Ties appeared first on The Hastings Center.

July 23, 2018

Ethics of War AI: Keep the Humans in Charge

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In 1967, the original Star Trek premiered “A Taste of Armageddon” wherein the U.S.S. Enterprise visits a planet that has ended the destructive nature of war.…

July 11, 2018

Secret Twin Experiments & Bioethics.net 15 seconds of fame

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

On the advice of a family friend, I went to see the new documentary, Three Identical Strangers.

July 9, 2018

Social Media, Privacy, and Research: A Muddled Landscape

The advent of social media technology has opened many new avenues of research in population health, demographics, psychology, and the social sciences. It is crucial to consider whether researchers conducting observational research using social media need to obtain consent from their research subjects, and whether the current research regulations in the United States establish effective,… Read more

The post Social Media, Privacy, and Research: A Muddled Landscape appeared first on The Hastings Center.

May 8, 2018

Speaking to the Media about Antimicrobial Resistance: A Deeper Description of How I Wear Many Hats as a Bioethicist

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Last week, I was interviewed by an academic news serviceabout antimicrobial resistance (AMR) after a study reported that giving antibiotics to children in selected African towns led to a decreased mortality rate.  …

May 4, 2018

Ethics and Society Newsfeed – May 4, 2018

Bioethics/Medical Ethics Bioethics group to study technology behind ‘three-parent babies’ “Mitochondrial genome replacement technology involves combining the genetic material (DNA) of a couple – who would otherwise be unlikely to have healthy children of their own – with that of a female egg donor.” Ethicists Call for More Scrutiny of ‘Human-Challenge’ Trials “In an article […]
May 3, 2018

Artist's Note

Original art and artist’s blurbs are presented in collaboration with the students of the University of Illinois Chicago program in Biomedical Visualization. 

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Published Articles (8)

AJOB Primary Research: Volume 9 Issue 3 - Nov 2018

Freezing fertility or freezing false hope? A content analysis of social egg freezing in U.S. print media Lisa Campo-Engelstein, Rohia Aziz, Shilpa Darivemula, Jennifer Raffaele, Rajani Bhatia & Wendy M. Parker

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 18 Issue 2 - Feb 2018

The Quantified Relationship John Danaher, Sven Nyholm & Brian D. Earp

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 18 Issue 2 - Feb 2018

I, My Love, and Apps Craig Klugman

AJOB Primary Research: Volume 8 Issue 4 - Dec 2017

Ethical and regulatory challenges of research using pervasive sensing and other emerging technologies: IRB perspectives Camille Nebeker, John Harlow, Rebeca Espinoza Giacinto, Rubi Orozco-Linares, Cinnamon S. Bloss & Nadir Weibel

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 17 Issue 3 - Mar 2017

Studying “Friends”: The Ethics of Using Social Media as Research Platforms Sandra Soo-Jin Lee

AJOB Primary Research: Volume 8 Issue 1 - Feb 2017

Online public reactions to fMRI communication with patients with disorders of consciousness: Quality of life, end-of-life decision making, and concerns with misdiagnosis Jennifer A. Chandler, Jeffrey A. Sun & Eric Racine

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 16 Issue 11 - Nov 2016

Diagnosis by Documentary: Professional Responsibilities in Informal Encounters Alistair Wardrope & Markus Reuber

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 13 Issue 1 - Jan 2013

100th Issue Anniversary Editorial David Magnus

News (92)

December 14, 2018 11:43 am

Gene editing: who should decide? (Nature)

Last month’s announcement claiming the birth of the world’s first genome-edited babies has sparked a furore over how to regulate this cutting-edge technology (see Nature 563, 607–608; 2018, and Nature564, 5; 2018). In our view, piling up scientist-led conferences modelled on Asilomar in 1975 (see Nature 526, 293–294; 2015) without any clear consensus is futile.

December 11, 2018 9:15 am

The CRISPR Baby Scandal Gets Worse by the Day (The Atlantic)

Before last week, few people had heard the name He Jiankui. But on November 25, the young Chinese researcher became the center of a global firestorm when it emerged that he had allegedly made the first crispr-edited babies, twin girls named Lulu and Nana. Antonio Regalado broke the story for MIT Technology Review, and He himself described the experiment at an international gene-editing summit in Hong Kong. After his talk, He revealed that another early pregnancy is under way.

It is still unclear if He did what he claims to have done. Nonetheless, the reaction was swift and negative. The crispr pioneer Jennifer Doudna says she was “horrified,” NIH Director Francis Collins said the experiment was “profoundly disturbing,” and even Julian Savulescu, an ethicist who has described gene-editing research as “a moral necessity,” described He’s work as “monstrous.”

December 9, 2018 12:47 pm

Why Are Scientists So Upset About the First Crispr Babies? (The New York Times)

A Chinese scientist recently claimed he had produced the world’s first gene-edited babies, setting off a global firestorm. If true — the scientist has not yet published data that would confirm it — his actions would be a sensational breach of international scientific conventions. Although gene editing holds promise to potentially correct dangerous disease-causing mutations and treat some medical conditions, there are many safety and ethical concerns about editing human embryos.

Here are answers to some of the numerous questions swirling around this development.

December 7, 2018 9:15 am

Policy Recommendations: Control and Responsible Innovation of Artificial Intelligence (The Hastings Center)

A major international project at The Hastings Center released policy recommendations for the development of artificial intelligence and robotics to help reap the benefits and productivity gains and minimize the risks and undesirable social consequences.

“Research, innovation, and the deployment of AI and robotic systems are proceeding rapidly, and so, too, is the emergence of a transdisciplinary community of researchers in AI and the social sciences dedicated to AI safety and ethics,” states the executive summary to the final report. “The Hastings AI workshops played a seminal role in catalyzing the emergence of this worldwide network of organizations and individuals.” The Hastings Center’s project, Control and Responsible Innovation in the Development of AI and Robotics, was funded by the Future of Life Institute and led by Wendell Wallach, a senior advisor at The Hastings Center and a scholar at Yale University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics. Wallach is an internationally recognized expert on the ethical and governance concerns posed by emerging technologies, particularly artificial intelligence and neuroscience. Project participants included Stuart Russell, of the University of California, Berkeley; Bart Selman, of Cornell University; Francesca Rossi, of IBM; and David Roscoe, a Hastings Center advisory council member.

December 6, 2018 4:15 pm

Should We Edit the Human Germline? Is Consensus Possible or Even Desirable? (The Hastings Center)

On the one hand, reports of a rogue scientist, He Jiankui, who contravened the scientific and ethical norms that should guide the development of human genome editing reinforces the need for clarity about those norms and international monitoring of advances in the field. On the other hand, it shows the weaknesses and limitations of voluntary efforts – like the summit – to guide scientists’ practices. They lack any real enforcement power on their own, and have largely served to ensure that human genome editing research can continue, rather than promote reflection on whether we should edit the human germline in the first place.

December 6, 2018 9:00 am

If you’re single with cancer, you may get less aggressive treatment than a married person (The Washington Post)

If you are divorced, widowed or never married and develop cancer, watch out. You may get less aggressive treatment than your married friends.

We’ve often heard about studies showing that married adults are more likely to survive cancer than singles. But buried in those same studies is another finding that hasn’t made the headlines. When surgery or radiotherapy is the treatment of choice, patients with spouses are more likely to get it.

December 2, 2018 9:00 am

Battle Against Ebola in Congo Pits Medical Hope Against Local Chaos (The New York Times)

A vaccine and new treatments are on hand, but the outbreak is in an area rife with unpredictable gunfire, bandits and suspicion of outsiders.

December 1, 2018 9:00 am

This high school was rocked by an HIV scare 10 years ago (The Washington Post)

Ten years ago, Jennifer Wyms was a 17-year-old junior at Normandy High School in Wellston, Mo. She was the captain of her school’s hip-hop dance team and enjoyed going to the mall with friends. But when a health scare engulfed her St. Louis community, it cast a shadow on her high school experience.

A letter from school officials sent to parents and guardians in October 2008 relayed the news that epidemiologists with the St. Louis County Department of Health had grounds to believe that HIV may have been transmitted among some students — as many as 50 students at Normandy High School could have been exposed, it said.

“Everybody wanted to know, who had it? Where it came from? Why our school?” Wyms told The Washington Post.

November 30, 2018 11:59 am

China Halts Work by Scientist Who Says He Edited Babies’ Genes (New York Times)

BEIJING — China said on Thursday that it had suspended the work of a scientist who claims to have created the world’s first genetically edited babies, saying his conduct appeared to be unethical and in violation of Chinese law.

The scientist, He Jiankui, announced on Monday that he had used the gene-editing technique Crispr to alter embryos, which he implanted in the womb of a woman who gave birth to twin girls this month. At an international conference on Wednesday, he asserted that he was proud of what he had done.

November 30, 2018 9:00 am

‘Landmark study’ shows brain cells revamp their DNA, perhaps sparking Alzheimer’s disease (Science)

Unlike most cells in our bodies, the neurons in our brain can scramble their genes, scientists have discovered. This genome tampering may expand the brain’s protein repertoire, but it may also promote Alzheimer’s disease, their study suggests.

“It’s potentially one of the biggest discoveries in molecular biology in years,” says Geoffrey Faulkner, a molecular biologist at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, who wasn’t connected to the research. “It is a landmark study,” agrees clinical neurologist Christos Proukakis of University College London.

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