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The title does not mean societal or legal control of gene editing technology.  Rather, it speaks of controlling, or shutting off, a specific gene editing process.  In retrospect, it had to be the case that there is a resistance, or control, mechanism for the CRISPR system, the gene-editing machinery that functions as a way for …

Continue reading "Controlling gene editing"

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“Exploring ethical issues in TV medical dramas”

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The Good Doctor (Season 3; Episode 11): Anesthesia and addiction; the limits of compassion; The Resident (Season 3; Episode 12): Dying (or not) on your own terms; Suing patients for medical debt; Chicago Med (Season 5; Episode 11): Quid pro quo—switched embryos, safe injection sites; surrogate withdrawal of life support

The Good Doctor (Season 3; Episode 11): Anesthesia and addiction; the limits of compassion

Carrie is a patient who arrives with a complicated leg fracture after falling while mountain biking. The patient refuses pain meds, saying that Vicodin makes her sick.…

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Health care in America is at a critical juncture. The number of people who need it continues to grow and costs have skyrocketed. But instead of being a beacon of healing, many health care organizations are beleaguered and overwhelmed. Burnout has become a rallying cry for nurses and doctors because it impedes their ability to uphold the foundational values of their professions and to serve in accordance with them. These realities have eroded the fundamental humanity of health care.

The post To Restore Humanity in Health Care, Address Clinician Burnout appeared first on The Hastings Center.

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While all ten MAID jurisdictions in the United States follow the Oregon model, they do not follow it exactly. There are key variations in (1) the waiting periods, (2) the manner of drug administration, (3) opt-out rights, and (4) other dimensions. Haw...

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Ben White and Lindy Willmott argue in the Australian Health Review that legislators need evidence-based law making as they deliberate proposed voluntary assisted dying laws. There has been limited recognition of the value of evidence-based approaches i...

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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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Twenty-five years ago, Zeke Emanuel and Peggy Battin estimated that widespread access to MAID would save $1 billion (in 2020 dollars). This was a high estimate, because (among other reasons) they assumed a MAID usage rate between 2.7% and 7.0%. I...

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by Anu Antony   I am a plastic surgeon, a profession that involves understanding women’s aspirations not only in the corporeal sense, but also being cognizant and mindful of their psyche – the inner thoughts and feelings that drive them to choose plastic surgery. While choosing plastic surgery can be an empowering undertaking, many women […]

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Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics will publish a collection of personal stories from patients who have navigated challenges in creating transition plans for discharge from acute or post-acute care hospitals. Elizabeth Pendo will edit the symposium: "Ethical Challenges in Discharge Planning: Stories from Patients."

Discharge plans are meant to ensure a safe transition home or to another care facility. Patient goals, values, preferences, financial resources, abilities, support systems, and other resources available in the community should be considered. While many discharge decisions go smoothly, conflicts can arise. If not resolved, conflicts can harm patient health and well-being. Harms can include withdrawal, loss of trust, or being kept in institutional settings they do not want or need. 

NIB seeks first-person stories from people who, as patients, are currently or have negotiated challenges in discharge planning about their experience. We want true, personal stories in a form that is interesting and easy to read. Please share this invitation and guide sheet. In writing your story, consider these questions: 

• What surprised you about the experience of developing a plan to leave the hospital? Were there things you did not anticipate? 

• How has the experience affected you physically, emotionally, or economically? 

• What conversations did you have with your doctor, nurse, or discharge team about the plan for discharge? Did they have the information needed to create an appropriate plan? Did you feel your wishes and perspectives were taken into appropriate consideration? 

• Did a doctor, nurse, or member of the discharge team raise concerns in the planning process? Did you raise concerns? What were they? Were those concerns addressed? 

• Were you comfortable with the discharge plan offered? If not, what were the barriers to your preferred plan? 

• What would you like to tell doctors, nurses, and others involved in discharge planning? • What would you like people who develop policies and laws to know about discharge planning? 

You do not need to address each of these questions—write about the issues that you think are most important to share. If you are not a writer, tell your story in your own words and our editorial staff will help you. If you are interested in submitting a story, NIB asks you first to submit a 300-word proposal—a short description of the story you want to tell. Inquiries or proposals should be sent to the editorial office via email:

NIB will give preference to story proposals received by February 24th. If your story is invited, NIB will ask you to submit it within 6 weeks of the invitation. Final stories are 4 – 10 double-spaced pages or 800 – 2000 words. For more information about the journal Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, the guidelines for authors, and privacy policies, visit our webpage at: 

NIB plans to publish 12 stories on this topic in its print edition; additional stories may be published as online only supplemental material. NIB also publishes 3 – 4 commentary articles that discuss the stories that are published in the journal. To see a finished symposium, please visit Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics' page on Project MUSE and click on the unlocked, open-access issue.

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Diane Rehm's second book on medical aid in dying will be available next month: When My Time Comes - Conversations about Whether Those Who Are Dying Should Have the Right to Determine When Life Should End.

Through interviews with terminally ill patients, and with physicians, ethicists, spouses, relatives, and representatives of those who vigorously oppose the movement, Rehm gives voice to a broad range of people who are personally linked to the realities of medical aid in dying. 

The book presents the fervent arguments–both for and against–that are propelling the current debates across the nation about whether to adopt laws allowing those who are dying to put an end to their suffering. With characteristic even-handedness, Rehm skillfully shows both sides of the argument, providing the full context for this highly divisive issue.

With a highly personal foreword by John Grisham, When My Time Comes is a response to many misconceptions and misrepresentations of end-of-life care; it is a call to action–and to conscience–and it is an attempt to heal and soothe our hearts, reminding us that death, too, is an integral part of life.

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