Bioethics @ TIU

A Bump on the Road to “3-Parent Babies”

Posted May 26th, 2016 by Jon Holmlund

As described in my post of February 25, and at other times on this blog, efforts are proceeding to apply “mitochondrial replacement techniques” (MRTs) to prevent severe, maternally-inherited mitochondrial disease from being passed on to children of affected women.  MRTs involve attempting to put the nucleus of an egg or embryo from an affected woman into a cell or embryo from an unaffected mom, so… // Read More »

Brain Cancer Awareness Month

Posted May 23rd, 2016 by Neil Skjoldal

Watching “60 Minutes” last week reminded me of why I pursued a degree in bioethics. The segment was on Duke University’s experimental treatment of glioblastoma patients and its surprising success treating this deadly cancer. There is a cautious optimism associated with this new treatment, which was granted “breakthrough status” by the FDA earlier this month. Immediately I was thrown back to 2010 when my wife’s… // Read More »

Roundup Ready® Humans

Posted May 20th, 2016 by Mark McQuain

Everyone is familiar with Roundup®, arguably the most well-known of any herbicide in the world and my favorite gardening tool. What may be less well known is that Monsanto has created a line of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which are resistant to their famous herbicide. Called Roundup Ready®, soybeans in this product line can essentially take a bath in Roundup and still grow up to… // Read More »

Fabricating Man

Posted May 19th, 2016 by Jon Holmlund

It has been reported that last week, a group of scientists met in a closed-door session at Harvard Medical School to discuss concrete steps and industry involvement to achieve the goal of synthesizing—creating in the laboratory—an entire human genome, and putting it into a cell, within 10 years.  Reportedly led by Harvard’s George Church, a leader and chief enthusiast of the technical prospects of genetic… // Read More »

Doctors Push the PAS Envelope

Posted May 12th, 2016 by Jon Holmlund

Over at his “Human Exceptionalism” blog, Wesley Smith has had a steady stream of recent posts about physician-assisted suicide (PAS), also called “physician-aid-in-dying” or “medical-aid-in-dying” (MAID).  “Hat tip” to Mr. Smith for the story that introduced me to the “MAID” acronym.  It is reported that Ontario’s College of Physicians and Surgeons think that the proposed law being considered by the Canadian federal government to allow… // Read More »

Medical errors and more medical errors

Posted May 8th, 2016 by Joe Gibes

Last week the BMJ reported that annually, there are 251,000 hospital deaths due to preventable medical errors in the US. There’s some debate about the calculations that they used to arrive at that number, and about what exactly constitutes a medical error. However, rather than quibble over the fine points, let’s acknowledge that medical errors are an ethical problem that must be addressed. In this… // Read More »

A Step Toward Ex Vivo Gestation?

Posted May 5th, 2016 by Jon Holmlund

The biggest news of the week has nothing to do with the U.S. presidential election.  The bigger scoop is that scientists have grown human embryos in the lab for 13 days after fertilization.  The previous record was 9 days.  The work was stopped after 13 days’ maturation because many societies ban research on human embryos that are more than 14 days old, the latest point… // Read More »

Caring for people with gender dysphoria

Posted May 4th, 2016 by Steve Phillips

Every once in a while something shows up on Facebook that is worth reading. The other day I ran across a link to the article “Transgenderism: A Pathogenic Meme” by Dr. Paul McHugh. Dr. McHugh is the University Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins. Over his long career he has cared for and studied patients with gender dysphoric disorder who present with the… // Read More »

Slouching Towards Gattaca

Posted April 30th, 2016 by Joe Gibes

Genetics is the determinism of our age (“Your destiny is determined by your genes”). It appears more scientific than the determinisms of previous ages such as astrology (“Your destiny is in the stars”) or Marxism (“Your destiny is in economics”), and thus has much greater appeal to the people who look to science for The Answers. News headlines breathlessly report the discovery of the “gene… // Read More »