Hot Topics: Science

Blog Posts (56)

November 16, 2018

Ethics and Society Newsfeed – November 16, 2018

  Climate Change Ethics Death toll rises to 56 in California wildfires “The death toll from the wildfires burning in Northern and Southern California has risen to 56 people, authorities announced, making it the deadliest wildfire in a century. An additional 287 people have been assigned to comb through the rubble for bodies, authorities told […]
November 2, 2018

Could an ELF Have Saved Baselga?

by Lisa Kearns, MS, MA, and Arthur Caplan, PhD

A few months ago we called for a new conflict of interest (COI) disclosure policy.…

October 22, 2018

The One Health Approach to Zoonotic Emerging Infectious Diseases

The following post can also be found in the October 2018
issue of the American Journal of Bioethics.

by Ariadne Nichol and David Magnus, Ph.D.

October 12, 2018

BioethicsTV (October 8-12, 2018): #TheResident #TheGoodDoctor #ChicagoMed #GreysAnatomy

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

“Exploring ethical issues in TV medical dramas”

Jump to The Resident (Season 2; Episode 3): Saline shortage, pressure to bill; Jump to The Good Doctor (Season 2; Episode 3): Structural discrimination against women; surrogate decision-making; Jump to Chicago Med (Season 4; Episode 3): Best interest of a child; faith versus science; Jump to Grey’s Anatomy (Season 15; Episode 4): Fraud, assault, lies, and the ethics police

Medical dramas this week seemed to focus on two themes: 1.…

October 9, 2018

A Little Dab Will Do Ya: Fact and Fiction of the Radiation Debate

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

My father tells the story of how when he was a child, shoe stores had boxes into which you could slide your feet, shod in potential new shoes.…

September 27, 2018

Europe is Pounding on the Paywalls of Research Publishing—Will USA Join Forces?

by Katrina A. Bramstedt, PhD

The 2015 headline was startling: “[US] Taxpayers spend $140 billion funding science each year — but can’t access many of the results.” In fact, gaining access to research results is costing universities and government organizations in the US $10 billion per year.…

August 24, 2018

Ethics and Society Newsfeed – August 24, 2018

Bioethics/Medical Ethics Jahi McMath, Teen At Center Of Medical And Religious Debate On Brain Death, Has Died Jahi McMath, a brain-dead patient who had been on life support since 2013, died on June 22, 2018 because of liver failure. McMath’s situation sparked a debate over whether brain-dead patients are considered physically dead. Though McMath is […]
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.

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.  …

April 26, 2018

War Against Science 3.0: The EPA, Doublespeak, and Obfuscation

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Transparency is a good thing. In ethics courses, we teach that doctors should be transparent to their patients, being truthful and disclosing information.…

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Published Articles (4)

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 16 Issue 2 - Feb 2016

The Porosity of Autonomy: Social and Biological Constitution of the Patient in Biomedicine Jonathan Beever & Nicolae Morar

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 4 - Apr 2015

Ideology and Microbiology: Ebola, Science, and Deliberative Democracy Joseph J. Fins

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 13 Issue 11 - Nov 2013

If I Could Just Stop Loving You: Anti-Love Biotechnology and the Ethics of a Chemical Breakup Brian D. Earp, Olga A. Wudarczyk, Anders Sandberg & Julian Savulescu

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 13 Issue 11 - Nov 2013

The Difficult Case of Voluntariness as Autonomy in Anti-Love Biotechnology Hywote Taye

News (183)

November 20, 2018 10:39 am

Adverse reactions to antibiotics land thousands of kids in the ER each year. What parents should know (The Washington Post)

Nearly 70,000 children end up in emergency rooms every year after experiencing adverse reactions to antibiotic drugs, according to an analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published in August in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.

About 74 million antibiotic prescriptions are doled out to kids each year, the study notes, and past research has indicated that at least one-third of these pediatric antibiotic prescriptions are unnecessary.

November 15, 2018 9:00 am

What if the Placebo Effect Isn’t a Trick? (The New York Times)

But as ubiquitous as the phenomenon is, and as plentiful the studies that demonstrate it, the placebo effect has yet to become part of the doctor’s standard armamentarium — and not only because it has a reputation as “fake medicine” doled out by the unscrupulous to the credulous. It also has, so far, resisted a full understanding, its mechanisms shrouded in mystery. Without a clear knowledge of how it works, doctors can’t know when to deploy it, or how.

November 14, 2018 9:00 am

F.D.A. Plans to Seek a Ban on Menthol Cigarettes (The New York Times)

In a landmark move bound to further shake the tobacco industry, the Food and Drug Administration plans to propose a ban on menthol cigarettes next week as part of its aggressive campaign against flavored e-cigarettes and some tobacco products, agency officials said.

November 13, 2018 9:00 am

Genetics research 'biased towards studying white Europeans' (The Guardian)

People from minority ethnic backgrounds are set to lose out on medical benefits of genetics research due to an overwhelming bias towards studying white European populations, a leading scientist has warned.

Prof David Curtis, a geneticist and psychiatrist at University College London, has called on funding bodies to do more to address the emerging issue that genetic tests developed using samples from white Europeans can give meaningless results when applied to other ethnic groups. The problem could intensify as the clinical applications of genetics expand over the next decade.

November 12, 2018 9:00 am

A systematic literature review of individuals’ perspectives on privacy and genetic information in the United States (PLOS)

The picture of genetic privacy that emerges from this systematic literature review is complex and riddled with gaps. When asked specifically “are you worried about genetic privacy,” the general public, patients, and professionals frequently said yes. In many cases, however, that question was posed poorly or only in the most general terms. While many participants expressed concern that genomic and medical information would be revealed to others, respondents frequently seemed to conflate privacy, confidentiality, control, and security. People varied widely in how much control they wanted over the use of data.

November 9, 2018 1:00 pm

23andMe’s genetic test for how you’ll react to medication is ahead of its time (The Verge)

The doctor still isn’t supposed to suggest changing medication until they have you genetically tested again by an independent lab. “It seems to me that if a patient has an interest in their pharmacogenetic profile that could impact medication decisions, they’re probably better off just asking the physician about what testing can be done

November 9, 2018 9:00 am

Dogs Can Detect Malaria. How Useful Is That? (The New York Times)

small pilot study has shown that dogs can accurately identify socks worn overnight by children infected with malaria parasites — even when the children had cases so mild that they were not feverish.

November 8, 2018 9:00 am

F.D.A. Approves Powerful New Opioid Despite Warnings of Likely Abuse (The New York Times)

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved a new form of an extremely potent opioid to manage acute pain in adults, weeks after the chairman of the advisory committee that reviewed it asked the agency to reject it on grounds that it would likely be abused.

November 7, 2018 9:00 am

In Congo’s Ebola Outbreak, Experimental Treatments Are Proving Effective (The New York Times)

Effective treatments, combined with a new vaccine, may revolutionize efforts to turn back Ebola, one of the world’s deadliest plagues. The vaccine itself protects health care workers tending to patients, as well as family members and others who have been in contact with them and may be infected.

November 6, 2018 9:00 am

Was I part British, part Dutch, a little bit Jewish? The oddness of DNA tests. (The Washington Post)

Companies such as Ancestry and National Geographic are taking a snapshot of various DNA markers, said Robert Green, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School who serves as an adviser for Helix. From that snapshot comes a statistical inference, he said. In other words, “Given this pattern, it’s likely that you came from this region,” Green said. “But it’s not a certainty, and shouldn’t be read as a certainty.”

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