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Bioethics news.

Harms Linked to Unapproved Stem Cell Interventions Highlight Need for Greater FDA Enforcement
What harms do unapproved stem cell interventions bring to patients? There is debate on how these interventions should be managed by the FDA. “Many of these unapproved interventions have led to life-threatening infections, chronic pain, and even death.”
Medical Journals Blind to Racism as Health Crisis, Critics Say
Medical journals publish many studies that link racism to socioeconomic or biological factors. “Less often do their editors, mostly white and male, accept papers that explore how systemic racism shapes the health care experiences of Black and brown people.”
Limit on lab-grown human embryos dropped by stem-cell body
“The international body representing stem-cell scientists has torn up a decades-old limit on the length of time that scientists should grow human embryos in the lab, giving more leeway to researchers who are studying human development and disease.”
With Legal Challenges to Abortion, Whither Prenatal Diagnosis?
Abortion law interacts greatly with prenatal diagnosis that gives parents information about their child. If laws change, “what role will prenatal diagnosis be left to play?” How can we think about prenatal diagnosis moving forward?
Prominent GI oncologist Axel Grothey was forced out of Mayo Clinic for unethical sexual relationships with women he mentored
“”The aftermath of sexual misconduct at premier medical institutions rarely leaves visible traces: HR is brought in, confidentiality invoked, deals made. The case of Axel Grothey’s exit from Mayo Clinic is a notable exception.”
Make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory
Should COVID-19 vaccines be mandatory? “Lawmakers in more than 40 states have proposed legislation to prohibit mandates requiring employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Sponsors of such measures argue that vaccination should be a choice.”
Speech Rights of Health Workers Bolstered by Appeals Court Ruling
Many employees have spoken out against their company’s policies especially during the pandemic. “The appeals court ruled Wednesday that a hospital worker shouldn’t have been fired for complaining to a newspaper about staffing practices.”
Vaccine makers pledge 2.3B doses to less wealthy nations
“A global health summit that underlined the growing disparity between rich and poor countries during the pandemic closed Friday with pledges by pharmaceutical companies to deliver more than 1.3 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to LMICs this year”
Should Kids Be Able to Get COVID-19 Vaccine Without Parental Consent?
Should children be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine without parental consent? Listen here as Arthur Caplan, bioethicist, discusses if permission should be considered as a necessity if children want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Gov. Greg Abbott signs into law one of nation’s strictest abortion measures, banning procedure as early as six weeks into a pregnancy
“Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Wednesday a measure that would prohibit in Texas abortions as early as six weeks — before some women know they are pregnant — and open the door for almost any private citizen to sue abortion providers and others.”
Decades after a tragic failure, gene therapy successfully treats a rare liver disease
How can we think about the future of ethical gene therapy research and practice? Past medical practice has impeded these efforts. “Now, a fresh effort to cure Gelsinger’s disease is bearing fruit, in the latest sign of the field’s resurgence.”
‘It’s a minefield’: COVID vaccine safety poses unique communication challenge
“Vaccines represent a way to end the COVID-19 pandemic and protect individuals, so authorities would like people to sign up for them. But the shots come with risks that need to be communicated transparently to maintain trust and uphold scientific ethics”
How COVID is changing the study of human behaviour
How do we now study human behavior? “The pandemic’s global scope has brought groups together from around the world as never before. And with so much simultaneous interest, researchers can test ideas and interventions more rapidly than before.”
Supreme Court to Review Mississippi Law Limiting Abortion Rights
“The Supreme Court said it would consider the legality of a Mississippi abortion law that sought to ban the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy, a case that gives the justices an opportunity to revisit precedents protecting abortion rights.”
How COVID broke the evidence pipeline
How do we see evidence and COVID-19? “With the pandemic now deep into its second year, it’s clear the crisis has exposed major weaknesses in the production and use of research-based evidence — failures that have inevitably cost lives.”
Fully Vaccinated People Can Stop Wearing Face Masks and End Physical Distancing in Most Settings, CDC Says
The CDC has new guidance for COVID-19. “Fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear a mask or physically distance during outdoor or indoor activities, large or small, federal health officials said, the broadest easing of pandemic recommendations so far.”
F.D.A. Authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine for Children 12 to 15
“The Food and Drug Administration on Monday authorized use of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds in the United States, a crucial step in the nation’s steady recovery from the pandemic.”
One More Argument Against Vaccine Mandates Crumbles
How can we look at the ethics of workplace vaccine mandates? “Employer vaccines mandates are not new, and there is a broad consensus they are legal….employers have a duty to provide their employees with a safe place to work”
Vote by Germany’s doctors paves way for assisted suicide
“Germany has made a further step towards legal assisted suicide after the country’s doctors’ association deleted from its code of conduct a ban on the practice” What does this mean for the future of assisted suicide in Germany and in other countries?
Ethical Challenges in Discharge Planning
“Millions of patients are discharged from a hospital each year and that “the individual and systemic forces that shape discharge planning and care transitions” frequently lead to “failures that compromise patient health and well-being.””
Why Some Hospitals Lack the Oxygen to Keep Patients Alive
Scarcity and allocation are huge problems during the COVID-19 pandemic. How do we approach this? “The latest horror of the pandemic is that large numbers of people around the world are dying for lack of access to medical oxygen, especially in India.”
Psychiatry Confronts Its Racist Past, and Tries to Make Amends
“Acknowledging “appalling past actions” on the part of the profession, the A.P.A’s governing board committed the association to “identifying, understanding, and rectifying our past injustices,” and pledged to institute “anti-racist practices”
After the Anniversary of Covid, Reckoning with Many New Normals
“New normal is a term I often heard and offered as a clinical psychologist and clinical ethicist…After a life-altering event or series of events, how do you accommodate, adapt, plan, and respond to circumstances that have undoubtedly changed your path?”
Medical Ethicist Weighs In On Connecticut Vote To End Religious Exemptions For Vaccines
“Connecticut’s state Senate voted Tuesday night to ban religious exemptions on vaccines for school-aged children.” Listen here to an interview with Arthur Caplan, medical ethicist, as they discuss the medical ethics of vaccination.
US to share AstraZeneca shots with world after safety check
“The U.S. will begin sharing its entire stock of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines with the world once it clears federal safety reviews…U.S. has also been under mounting pressure in recent weeks to share more of its vaccine supply with the world”
Creation of First Human-Monkey Embryos Sparks Concern
Concern continues to grow over the first human-monkey embryos earlier this month. “The use of primates so closely related to humans raises concerns about unintended consequences, animal welfare and the moral status of hybrid embryos.”
Covid-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in Rural Communities? Checking Our Assumptions
“To plan effective public health action for next steps in vaccine distribution, we need a clearer understanding of why doses distributed to rural areas remain unclaimed. We must check our assumptions to prevent a false narrative…”
Here’s just how unequal the global coronavirus vaccine rollout has been
Bioethics considers justice in vaccine distribution. “Nearly half — 48 percent — of all vaccine doses administered so far have gone to just 16 percent of the world’s population in what the World Bank considers high-income countries.”
Africa’s vaccines revolution must have research at its core
“A continent of 1.2 billion people should not have to import 99% of its vaccines. But that is the tragic reality for Africa. Fixing the lack of home-grown manufacturing capacity has become a top priority for Africa’s policymakers.”
J.&.J. Vaccine Will Be Available Again Soon
The J&J vaccine pause has been a source of recent debate and concern. “Use of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine will resume within days, but with a warning added to its label about the risk for a rare blood-clotting disorder.”