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Bioethics news.

Exhortations to Trust Biomedical Experts: What’s Missing?
“When people are asked simply to trust biomedical experts, there seems to be a discounting of the real possibility and the appropriateness of scientific disagreements. The exhortations might leave people confused, skeptical, and unsure.”
Biden administration scraps human fetal tissue research restrictions
A notice released on Apr. 16th officially “by the U.S. National Institutes of Health does away with both a ban on such studies by researchers within NIH and a layer of ethical review that had torpedoed funding applications from external researchers.”
Opinion: You’re free to skip the vaccine, but your boss can fire you for it
“So, if you are or are not vaccinated can your boss know? The answer, despite a lot of rhetoric to the contrary, is yes.” Check out this opinion piece by Arthur Caplan on mandatory vaccination and employment, and how this reality may be one that manifests itself in many ways moving forward.
Officials’ mixed messaging more than blood clot risks are undermining COVID vaccine rollout
Mixed messaging can cause problems in the pandemic. “Blood clot-scare risks setting vaccination campaigns back. Public confidence in the vaccine is plummeting in France, Germany and Spain.” What can we do to help this issue?
First monkey–human embryos reignite debate over hybrid animals
Recently, scientists have succeeded in growing monkey embryos with human cells. “Combining human cells with closely related primate embryos prompts questions about the status and identity of the resulting hybrids.”
Beyond “Just Sign Here”–A New Model of Consent for Primary Care
Can we imagine a new model for informed consent in primary care? Informed consent is a crucial aspect of patient autonomy and currently may be functioning with a wide variety across the United States. What model can address this?
Biden administration poised to change Trump restrictions on fetal tissue research
What are the ethics of fetal tissue research? The Biden administration plans ” to alter Trump-era restrictions on federal funding of research that uses fetal tissue…potentially allowing a resumption of thwarted scientific studies.”
States Struggle With Vaccine Pause as Federal Officials Reassure Public
Vaccine rollout of the Johnson & Johnson has paused in the United States, ” a “pause” that now looks indefinite and threatens to upend vaccination efforts overseas and in some of the most marginalized communities in the United States.”
US colleges divided over requiring student vaccinations
Can universities require COVID-19 vaccination in the coming year without making the vaccine accessible to all students? This central question is dividing many U.S colleges, many of which are debating the role of COVID-19 vaccination next school year.
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.”