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Bioethics news.

Taxpayers paid to develop remdesivir but will have no say when Gilead sets the price
Critics say government deserves more credit for tens of millions in public money spent to develop coronavirus treatment.
Covid-19 Underscores Racial Disparity in Advance Directives
Conversations about advance directives are important to ensure dignity in life and in death. In one nationally representative survey, however, older black Americans were half as likely as older whites to have advance directives.
AI systems are worse at diagnosing disease when training data is skewed by sex
The artificial intelligence model showed great promise in predicting which patients treated in U.S. Veterans Affairs hospitals would experience a sudden decline in kidney function. But it also came with a crucial caveat: Women represented only about 6% of the patients whose data were used to train the algorithm, and it performed worse when tested on women.
When a Covid-19 vaccine becomes available, who should get it first?
The development of a vaccine is bound to raise ethical questions like these: Who should get it first? How will we judge claims to it? How will we give priority to different groups or communities?
Covid-19 Crisis Triage—Optimizing Health Outcomes and Disability Rights
Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, Hastings Center president Mildred Solomon and two Hastings Center fellows address concerns that crisis triage protocols aimed at allocating scarce health care resources to save the most lives could be biased against people with disabilities.
5,368 dead and counting: An investigation of state failures as crisis rampaged through N.J. nursing homes
More than four in ten deaths linked to the pandemic were in the state’s long-term care facilities. What went wrong?
I Accept Death. I Hope Doctors and Nurses Will, Too.
Medical workers remain devoted to curing and easing the pain of the desperately ill during the COVID-19 pandemic. But what can be done about their pain?
Ethics questions swirl around historic Parkinson’s experiment
A secretive experiment revealed this week, in which neurosurgeons transplanted brain cells into a patient with Parkinson’s disease, made medical history. It was the first time such “reprogrammed” cells, produced from stem cells that had been created in the lab from the man’s own skin cells, had been used to try to treat the degenerative brain disease. But it was also a...
Apple and Google are building a virus-tracking system. Health officials say it will be practically useless.
The tech giants have refused officials’ pleas to allow the collection...
DHS begins collecting DNA from undocumented immigrants after whistleblower complaints
The Department of Homeland Security is inching toward implementation of a decades-old law directing it to collect DNA from the undocumented immigrants arrested by its officers.
Is it ethical to give someone coronavirus to create a vaccine? Yes
The political spin promising a quick vaccine for COVID-19 is false. The average time to make a vaccine is 20 years.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Overturns The State’s Stay-At-Home Orders
Wisconsin’s Supreme Court has overturned the state’s “Safer at Home” orders and mandated that all future statewide restrictions to battle the coronavirus must be approved by the legislature’s rule-making committee before they could be implemented.
Should New Mothers With Covid-19 Be Separated From Their Newborns?
The Covid-19 pandemic has been characterized by many unknowns, chief among them in the world of pediatric ethics is the question of separating mothers who are infected or suspected of being infected from their newborns after delivery to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission. Guidance on this issue is conflicting.
Lockdown protesters have a moral duty to forgo medical care in favor of those who followed the rules | Opinion
Imagine it is two weeks from now and you live in one of the dozens of cities—including Harrisburg—that have recently seen anti-lockdown protests. Your immunocompromised parent or child becomes sick with COVID, so you take them to the hospital because they cannot breathe. How will you feel when you find out that all of the hospital’s ventilators are being...
Routine vaccinations for U.S. children have plummeted during the Covid-19 pandemic
Routine vaccination of children in the United States appeared to have declined dramatically in March and April, in the weeks after Covid-19 was declared a pandemic and the United States government declared a national emergency, a new study published Friday shows.
Covid-19 Raises Questions About the Value of Personalized Medicine
A group of medical dissenters argues that tailoring treatment to the genetic profiles of individuals, a longstanding goal for researchers, is less important than the old-fashioned public health measures being used against the pandemic.
Show Me Your Passport: Ethical Concerns About Covid-19 Antibody Testing as Key to Reopening Public Life
Around the world, governments are looking for safe ways to lift unprecedented restrictions on public activities to curb the spread of  Covid-19. So-called immunity passports could be key to the effort to selectively ease restrictions for people presumed to be immune to the virus.
The fight over facial recognition technology gets fiercer during the Covid-19 pandemic
The long-simmering debate over facial recognition technology is taking on new urgency during the pandemic, as companies rush to pitch face-scanning systems to track the movements of Covid-19 patients.
Do Not Resuscitate
We need to be honest with ourselves and our patients. We can’t “do everything” and “save everyone.”
China’s Coronavirus Vaccine Drive Empowers a Troubled Industry
By some measures, it is winning the race, with four companies already testing their vaccine candidates on humans.
Infect volunteers with Covid-19 in the name of research? A proposal lays bare a minefield of issues
The idea of controlled human infection trials, as they are also called, for Covid-19 research was first raised in late March in an article in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. Since then, the proposal has gained momentum, with other experts making a similar proposal.
When to Reopen the Nation is an Ethics Question—Not Only a Scientific One
As the world reels from the Covid-19 pandemic, two things have become very clear: the health impacts of the disease are devastating, but the aggressive social distancing policies currently being used to flatten the curve also have serious costs. As a result, the question of when and how to reopen the nation is on everyone’s mind. Do we open...
A Scramble for Virus Apps That Do No Harm
Dozens of tracking apps for smartphones are being used or developed to help contain the coronavirus pandemic. But there are worries about privacy and hastily written software.
Women academics seem to be submitting fewer papers during coronavirus. ‘Never seen anything like it,’ says one editor.
Six weeks into widespread self-quarantine, editors of academic journals have started noticing a trend: Women — who inevitably shoulder a greater share of family responsibilities — seem to be submitting fewer papers.
The right words matter when talking about advance directives
We are being told to do a lot of things these days: Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Wear a mask outside. Stock the house with two weeks of food. Dust off your will. And make sure to complete your advance directive and talk to the people who matter in your life about your wishes for end-of-life...
Denying Ventilators to Covid-19 Patients with Prior DNR Orders is Unethical
When deciding which patients with Covid-19 should get scarce ventilators, should hospitals consider a person’s DNR status – the previously stated wish not to receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to restart the heart and breathing after cardiac arrest? This would seem irrelevant to ventilator allocation, and yet some existing and proposed guidelines for triage during a public health emergency put...
‘No Evidence’ Yet That Recovered COVID-19 Patients Are Immune, WHO Says
The World Health Organization has pushed back against the theory that individuals can only catch the coronavirus once, as well as proposals for reopening society that are based on this supposed immunity.
Bundesliga gears up to be first professional sports league to return after pandemic shutdown
On Thursday, the German Football League (DFL) announced the top divisions (Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga) are planning to resume their seasons as early as May 9, pending final approval next week from the German government.
Vaccine Rates Drop Dangerously as Parents Avoid Doctor’s Visits
Afraid of Covid-19, parents are postponing well-child checkups, including shots, putting millions of children at risk of exposure to preventable deadly diseases.
Structural Racism, White Fragility, and Ventilator Rationing Policies
The inequitable racial landscape of the United States is hardly deniable. The effects of racism on health status and on access to health care are well documented. Comprehensive race/ethnicity data relevant to Covid-19 will likely affirm inequitable patterns in exposure, testing, and treatment, patterns that are already being observed by practitioners in some facilities and officials in some states.