A New York Times special report on euthanasia of a Paralympics champion in Belgium was ethically problematic for several reasons.
BIOETHICS FORUM ESSAY
The American species of the common house mouse (Mus musculus) does an odd thing when going through opioid withdrawal. It jumps involuntarily, rearing up on its hind legs and leaping 3-to-4 feet in the air. I was a spectator to this phenomenon this summer, while working at a research hospital in New York City.
The Kings County Medical Society in New York recently hosted a brunch with New York State legislators. One of the guests was Richard Gottfried, chair of the New York State Assembly Health Committee, who is cosponsoring A2694, a bill legalizing medical aid in dying (MAID). As a medical oncologist with 30 years’ experience treating seriously ill patients, I have concerns about it, and I expressed them to Gottfried.
Are we ethically obliged to eat less meat? Bioethicists consider that question, and their role in addressing it.
The National Institutes of Health recently announced that it will retire-in-place the remaining 44 chimpanzees at the Alamogordo Primate Facility in Alamogordo, New Mexico, rather than transfer them to a sanctuary as originally planned. NIH’s decision is disappointing for those who believe that the chimpanzees—many of whom have spent decades in research—should experience the freedom and quality of life a sanctuary would provide.
Last week, the Trump Administration proposed a new rule that would “require DNA-sample collection from individuals who are arrested, facing charges, or convicted, and from non-United States persons who are detained under the authority of the United States.” Collecting DNA of people detained under the Department of Homeland Security is not permitted under U.S. law. The proposed rule aims to change that.
Why do citizen science projects get started, and what are the ethical challenges facing them? These questions underlie “When Citizens Do Science: Stories from Labs, Garages, and Beyond,” published in Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, which explores the world of science happening outside the carefully regulated bubble of academic research. “This is not to imply,” writes… Read more
Neither one of us expected to be talking about Hannah Arendt at the Vatican. We had been invited to give talks at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on the scientific and ethical challenges posed by personalized medicine. Walking across the cobblestones of St. Peter’s Square we began to discuss how society regulates biomedical research. Are institutional review boards capable of dealing with innovations like personalized medicine? Are they too bound by regulations? Can they ask larger questions of meaning when simply following the rules won’t suffice? And most worrisome, has their bureaucratic function caused them to mistake regulatory compliance for ethical reflection?
Amazon.com made waves in health care when it announced that its Alexa Skills Kit, a suite of tools for building voice programs, would be HIPAA compliant. Using the Alexa Skills Kit, companies could build voice experiences for Amazon Echo devices that communicate personal health information with patients. Alexa’s various roles in health care stand to confuse (or potentially exploit) users.
Many survivors of sexual assault are not receiving the justice they deserve. For one thing, an estimated hundreds of thousands of rape kits are left unused, reducing the odds that the perpetrators will be identified and prosecuted. When rape kits are used, many survivors are flooded with bills, in some cases for many years. This system is unethical and illegal.
Last month, an international commission convened to consider whether and how germline editing – changing the genes passed on to children and future generations — should proceed. The discussions focused mainly on the safety risks of the technology, which, while important, are not the only issues to consider. Any conversation regarding germline editing must also honestly and thoroughly assess the potential benefits of the technology, which, for several reasons, are more limited than generally acknowledged.
Last week, the Department of Homeland Security announced the final public charge rule, which revises the interpretation of “public charge” in the Immigration and Nationality Act. Under the Final Rule, DHS may find applicants ineligible for a visa for admission to the U.S. or a green card granting legal permanent resident status if it determines… Read more
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