Click here for a deeper conversation on this topic led by Hastings Director of Research Josephine Johnston.
Should scientists pursue research that would enable prospective parents to edit the genes of their future children in ways that could be passed onto subsequent generations? Not for now, according to the organizers of a summit held in Washington DC at the end of 2015. The three day International Summit on Human Gene Editing was… Read more
BIOETHICS FORUM ESSAY
Scientists acknowledge biological, behavioral, and psychological similarities between human and nonhuman primates; hence their use as proxies in biomedical research. At the same time, primates are denied many ethical considerations and basic protections afforded to humans participating in research. The National Institutes of Health recently had an excellent opportunity to consider the moral arguments for… Read more
The 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States live in all 50 states and rely on local safety-nets and state-level provisions for health care. Launched in 2011, The Hastings Center’s Undocumented Patients project has focused on understanding ethical and policy challenges in providing health care access for this low-income population, which is excluded from… Read more
Mainstream research ethics rests on an incomplete foundation. For the most part, human subjects regulations and guidelines reflect the views of professionals and others who have never been subjects themselves. The knowledge that comes from personal experience is largely missing from research ethics decision-making. Recognizing this problem, researchers and ethicists have turned to empirical investigations… Read more
On December 13th, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act, a bipartisan, multidimensional health research and development bill. The act allocates $4.8 billion to the National Institutes of Health and $500 million to the Food and Drug Administration over the next 10 years for research and treatment development, and mandates reforms of clinical trials… Read more
Health care access is local; creating, financing, expanding, or restricting health care access for a low-income population involves local, state, and federal policies. During the Obama administration, health insurance for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States remained severely restricted by this population’s broad exclusion from federally financed public benefits such as Medicare,… Read more
The recent report by the National Center for Health Statistics showing a decline in life expectancy in the U.S. in 2015 highlights a point largely overlooked in post-election discussions about health policy under the Trump Administration. The significant increases in health insurance coverage under the ACA have not resulted in population-wide improvements in life expectancy.… Read more
The smoke and the Sturm und Drang haven’t cleared from the greatest upset since Harry Truman defeated Tom Dewey in 1948 but it’s still possible to read some tea leaves about the role of bioethics in the new administration. To start at the top, one feature of bioethics that has set it apart from other… Read more
Academic bioethics has never been popular with Republicans. Libertarians dislike academic bioethics because it seems too elitist and anti-free market. Religious thinkers worry it is technocratic, soulless and crassly utilitarian. Now with Trumpism add a populist disdain for expertise, experts and the scientific method and you have a stew that means few of you reading… Read more
Health apps, wearables, and other digital technologies that collect personal health data are profoundly changing the ways that biomedical research is conducted and the role of research participants. These technologies are challenging well-established norms, rules, and principles of medical ethics for the management of personal data in health databases and biobanks. The World Medical Association… Read more
Telemedicine is becoming more widespread. This is care at a distance, where patient and clinician are connected by information technology that may include video, audio, and monitoring equipment linked by computer. Telemedicine has many advantages. It can bring expert care and support to people in remote locations. It can help empower patients by giving them… Read more
About eight years ago, as the controversy about research involving human embryonic stem cells was winding down and Barack Obama was about to take office, I had one of my regular lunches with a respected conservative policy expert. We had come to be friends who respectfully disagreed about embryonic stem cell research and other bioethics… Read more
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