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Bioethics news.

Should US share its COVID-19 vaccine supply with the world? The White House says it will – but not yet.
With the pandemic, vaccine supplies have been limited. “Global leaders and residents of other countries voice increasing criticism of the United States and other wealthy nations for buying up most of the world’s supply of COVID-19 vaccines.
Scientists Race To Develop Next Generation Of COVID Vaccines
Where do we go from here in fighting COVID-19? “Now, researchers are racing to develop the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines, utilizing a variety of innovative technologies to produce more convenient and more potent options.”
OPINION: 5 Ways To Make The Vaccine Rollout More Equitable
As states begin to vaccinate more people, “everyone needs to grapple with questions of equity — how to improve vaccine access for all Americans, especially for groups historically made most vulnerable to severe illness.”
How mRNA Technology Could Change the World
Is mRNA a potential future in biotechnology? We have seen mRNA technology used in groundbreaking COVID-19 vaccines distributed all over. Now that we have used this technology in vaccines, what are the possibilities or challenges of future use?
‘I’m empty.’ Pandemic scientists are burning out—and don’t see an end in sight
“From academic research centers to intensive care units (ICUs) to scientific journals to government agencies, scientists fighting the pandemic say they are hitting a wall, 15 months after the first report of a cluster of cases introduced the virus “
What it will take to vaccinate the world against COVID-19
Can we work faster to make vaccines? How can we get vaccines distributed across the world? What are the ethical challenges of vaccine distribution? All these questions need to be considered for what it takes to vaccinate the world against COVID-19.
Thinking Beyond “The Border”: American Bioethics and the Repair of U.S. Immigration Policy
“In a vision of bioethics that is oriented toward health justice, moving from crisis to repair will involve thinking beyond the border, to sustained practices of learning from migrant communities and from our colleagues in Global South.”
Surrogate Decision-Making for Incarcerated Patients: A Pandemic-Inspired Call to Action
Surrogate decision-making process for incarcerated persons lack state/national standards. “Failure to address this inadequacy with well thought-out practical protocols further perpetuates the known disparities in care suffered by this group.”
Explicit Consent for Pelvic and Prostate Exams: A Case for CT House Bill 5067
“In order to heal long-standing divides between patients and doctors, medicine needs to be responsive to persistent calls for change. Obtaining explicit permission for examination of a patient’s sexual organs is one such area.”
Scientists Create Living Entities In The Lab That Closely Resemble Human Embryos
“The goal is to gain important insights into early human development….. But the research, which was published in two separate papers Wednesday in the journal Nature Portfolio, raises sensitive moral and ethical concerns.”
Scientists plan to drop the 14-day embryo rule, a key limit on stem cell research
“The end of the self-imposed limit could unleash impressive but ethically charged new experiments on extending human development outside the womb.” What are the ethical challenges that would arise from this end to the limit?
How to Make It Right: Covid Reparations
Justice during COVID-19 is needed. “Establishing accountability and recommendations to prevent repeating the Covid disaster is not sufficient. Reparations in various forms of compensation to the American victims of preventable Covid, who may experience lifelong health effects, is obligatory.”
Global rise in childhood mental health issues amid pandemic
TW: suicide, eating disorders//Children are a vulnerable population. Under current pandemic conditions, we see an increase in childhood mental illnesses that will require necessary focus for support long-term.
Inside The Fight For The Right To Die: Logistical And Ethical Challenges
What are the ethics of end-of-life care? “‘Most people who choose to end their lives at a preplanned moment are more concerned with things like dignity … autonomy…They’re worried less about the physical pain than the loss of themselves, though that’s not to say that pain doesn’t enter the equation.'”
Covid-19 Vaccination Certificates: Prospects and Problems
“It is imperative that governments are explicit about the ethical commitments that support any vaccination certification policy. Motivations rooted in neocapitalism and individual liberalism are at odds with public health ethics.”
Push Is On for States to Ban Organ Transplant Discrimination
What are the ethical challenges of organ transplantation? “Denying organ transplants to people with intellectual and neurodevelopmental disabilities is common, even though it is illegal under the Americans with Disabilities Act.”
Undocumented Immigrants and Covid-19 Vaccination
Justice, an important pillar of bioethics, addresses inequities and disparities, especially with COVID-19. “The medically vulnerable population of undocumented immigrants should be protected in the process of being vaccinated for Covid-19.”
Working Around the System: Vaccine Navigators and Vaccine Equity
Mass vaccination reveals barriers to vaccine equity that exist in society. “Vaccine navigators have a role in improving vaccine equity: the challenge of responding to underlying inequalities that create barriers to health and health care.”
Why We Need a Covid-19 Commission
What can we do moving forward address disparities from COVID-19? Possibly, “a Covid Commission can help to untangle the scope and role government-sanctioned misinformation played in the U.S. death toll from the pandemic”
Regulation of Software as a Medical Device: Opportunity for Bioethics
How can bioethics help software in medicine? “Bioethicists can help strengthen ethical, legal, and social analyses that identify the questions to create a good mix of both precautionary and permissive regulation.”
Vulnerable Inmates Left in Prison as Covid Rages
A bioethical approach necessitates justice for all populations, especially those most vulnerable. “Nearly 2,800 inmates and guards have died, making correctional facilities among the most significant battlefronts of the pandemic.”
Give African research participants more say in genomic data, say scientists
Autonomy, a bioethics principle. How does autonomy look in the context of genomic data sharing? “A panel of researchers in Africa says that [little data control] can fuel distrust between researchers and participants, and needs to change.”
Closing in on a complete human genome
What will be the possibilities once we know the full human genome? “Challenging as it has been to build, a single end-to-end genome offers researchers limited value without other genomes from diverse individuals against which to compare it.”
The Dark Side of CRISPR
What are some opinions on the ethics of CRISPR? “Doudna herself recognizes that CRISPR carries with it “great risk….but she warned of the unknown consequences of embryo editing, cautioning researchers to wait to use CRISPR for these ends.”
How a Black bioethicist makes the case for vaccination to people of color
Vaccination is hard. “It’s a debate that gets at fundamental questions about individual liberty, bodily autonomy, and communal obligation.” Check out this interview with Keisha Ray, a bioethicist speaking on the obligations for the COVID vaccine.
A U.S. Vaccine Surge Is Coming, With Millions of Doses Promised
A vaccine surge is coming, but also poses many questions to solve. How can we ensure doses are going to those in need? With growing doses available, many factors need to be considered.
Vaccinating Homeless Patients Against COVID-19: ‘All Bets Are Off’
“People experiencing homelessness are especially vulnerable to disease and often live in close quarters. Reaching them for COVID-19 vaccination is crucial, public health officials say, yet also presents some unique challenges.”
‘I put my life on hold:’ Disability groups plead for vaccine
“Though many people with disabilities are more vulnerable to COVID-19, in some U.S. states they fear being left behind in a massive effort to get limited vaccines into the arms of those who need them most.”
Overloaded schedules and ‘Covid cowbells’: For pharmacists, the Covid-19 vaccine rollout brings exhaustion, but some relief
“Working with limited supplies and imperfect scheduling systems, many pharmacists are drowning under a flood of inquiries. Wait lists, where they exist, are getting longer. And even creative solutions are succumbing to the cold realities of the day.”
Neanderthal-like ‘mini-brains’ created in lab with CRISPR
Are brain-like organoids a future in research? “The findings, published in Science on 11 February, could help scientists to understand the genetic pathways that allowed human brains to evolve.”