Bioethics @ TIU

More on genetic medicine

Posted May 3rd, 2018 by Jon Holmlund

The third and final installment from The Code, a series of 3 short documentaries on the internet about the origins of genetic medicine, is entitled “Selling the Code.”  This is about genetic testing to try to predict risks of diseases, among other things.  Doctors use some of this testing in clinical care and a burgeoning amount of research.  A number of companies, such as 23andMe,… // Read More »

Belgian Euthanasia: Volunteers No Longer Necessary?

Posted March 6th, 2018 by Mark McQuain

A recent resignation letter by one member of Belgium’s Euthanasia Commission suggests the slippery slope of who meets the criteria for legal euthanasia is becoming even more slippery. Dr. Ledo Vanopdenbosch sent his resignation letter to members of the Belgian Parliament who oversee the commission. His concern was with one of the main requirements of the law, which demands that the individual patient formally request… // Read More »

Parkland & Bioethics

Posted March 5th, 2018 by Neil Skjoldal

I have lived in South Florida over 20 years now, and I do not remember anything grabbing and holding our community’s consciousness more than the February 14 shooting at the Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida (in Broward County).  In its aftermath, the more we hear about the events of that day, the more alarming it becomes.  This is the sort of tragedy that… // Read More »

Reviewing the ethics of paying human research subjects

Posted February 22nd, 2018 by Jon Holmlund

Sometimes it is both necessary and proper to pay a person to participate in a clinical trial, of a drug or some other medical intervention, or a data-collection study, or something else that involves people.  An article in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine reviews many of the relevant ethical issues. A link to the article is here.  Correction to initial post:  subscription or… // Read More »

Stem Cell Clinics & the FDA

Posted November 6th, 2017 by Neil Skjoldal

When any business over-promises and under-delivers, it is well on its way to failure.   Does this principle also hold true in the world of stem-cells?  In the last few months the promise of stem cell treatment has met the reality of government oversight. Does the government have the responsibility to rein in the larger-than-life claims of stem cell treatment clinics? In a letter dated August 24, 2017… // Read More »

Selective data collection – what do we know about the risks of IVF?

Posted October 18th, 2017 by Steve Phillips

A recent article in Newsweek reports on a physician, Dr. Jennifer Snyder, who is calling for the formation of a registry of egg donors to help determine the risks to women who “donate” eggs to other women undergoing IVF for monetary compensation. Her motivation in calling for this registry was the death of her daughter at age 31 from cancer after donated eggs on three… // Read More »

Is Obfuscation Ever Helpful in Science or Ethics?

Posted October 3rd, 2017 by Mark McQuain

Obfuscation and science would seem to be polar opposites. The scientific method hinges upon correctly identifying what one starts with, making a single known alteration in that starting point, and then accurately determining what one ends up with. Scientific knowledge results from this process. Accidental obfuscation in that three-step process necessarily limits the knowledge that could potentially be gleaned from the method. Peer review normally… // Read More »

Fetal tissue and commerce

Posted August 24th, 2017 by Jon Holmlund

You may have seen in the general press that Indiana University is asking a federal judge to declare unconstitutional that state’s law banning research on the remains of aborted fetuses.  I noticed an article in the Wall Street Journal (subscription required).  An open-access account can be found here. I oppose abortion, but I can imagine for the sake of argument that, if one allows for… // Read More »

Is Involuntary Temporary Reversible Sterilization Always Wrong?

Posted August 1st, 2017 by Mark McQuain

Ever since Janie Valentine’s blog post last week I have been thinking about the problem of repeat drug offenders and their children. My home state is also Tennessee so I read Judge Sam Benningfield’s order (to reduce prison sentences by 30 days for any drug offender willing to “consent” to voluntary temporary sterilization) with particular local and regional interest. My office practice is on a… // Read More »

More about Charlie Gard

Posted July 20th, 2017 by Jon Holmlund

Dr. Robert Truog, the bioethicist and transplant physician who has pushed the envelope on the definition of death, has weighed in on the Charlie Gard case in a “Perspectives” piece that is generally available (i.e., without a subscription) from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).   By all means read it. Dr. Truog approaches the case from the standpoint of limiting medical research—indeed, that’s… // Read More »