Professional and conscience-based refusals: the case of the psychiatrist’s harmful prescription

JME 2017;43:841-844.
Author: Morten Magelssen
“By way of a case story, two common presuppositions in the academic debate on conscientious objection in healthcare are challenged. First, the debate typically presupposes a sharp division between conscience-based refusals based on personal core moral beliefs and refusals based on professional (eg, medical) reasons. Only the former might involve the moral gravity to warrant accommodation. The case story challenges this division, and it is argued that just as much might sometimes be at stake morally in refusals based on professional reasons.”
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Judgments of moral responsibility in tissue donation cases

Bioethics. 2017;00:1–11.
Authors: John Beverley, James Beebe
“If a person requires an organ or tissue donation to survive, many philosophers argue that whatever moral responsibility a biological relative may have to donate to the person in need will be grounded at least partially, if not entirely, in biological relations the potential donor bears to the recipient. We contend that such views ignore the role that a potential donor’s unique ability to help the person in need plays in underwriting such judgments. If, for example, a sperm donor is judged to have a significant moral responsibility to donate tissue to a child conceived with his sperm, we think this will not be due to the fact that the donor stands in a close biological relationship to the recipient. Rather, we think such judgments will largely be grounded in the presumed unique ability of the sperm donor to help the child due to the compatibility of his tissues and organs with those of the recipient.”
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Ethics of fertility preservation for prepubertal children: should clinicians offer procedures where efficacy is largely unproven?

JME Blog, 15 November 2017
Authors: Rosalind J McDougall, Lynn Gillam, Clare Delany, Yasmin Jayasinghe
“These were the kinds of questions that doctors brought to our clinical ethics service. They wanted ethical advice about offering surgical procedures for young children with cancer, aimed at preserving fertility. This is an area of rapidly developing science, but there is currently little evidence that the fertility preservation process works for very young patients.”
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Designing Ethical Trials of Germline Gene Editing

N Engl J Med 2017; 377:1911-1913
Author: Bryan Cwik
“Much of the biomedical ethics literature on gene editing has focused on broad social issues related to how it should be done, such as questions about using it for enhancing human cognitive abilities. Comparatively little has dealt with more ground-floor ethical issues about the design of clinical trials and use of gene editing in reproductive medicine. The time for that discussion has now come: foreseeable use of gene editing in reproductive medicine is no longer science fiction, and it’s important to consider seriously what would be required for the conduct of ethically sound clinical trials of this new technology.”
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The evolution of public health ethics frameworks: systematic review of moral values and norms in public health policy

Med Health Care and Philos, 2017, 1-16
Authors: Mahmoud Abbasi, Reza Majdzadeh, Alireza Zali, et al.
“Given the evolution of the public health (PH) and the changes from the phenomenon of globalization, this area has encountered new ethical challenges. In order to find a coherent approach to address ethical issues in PH policy, this study aimed to identify the evolution of public health ethics (PHE) frameworks and the main moral values and norms in PH practice and policy.”
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The strange case of Mr. H. Starting dialysis at 90 years of age: clinical choices impact on ethical decisions

BMC Medical Ethics 2017 18:61
Authors: Giorgina Barbara Piccoli, Andreea Corina Sofronie, Jean-Philippe Coindre
“Starting dialysis at an advanced age is a clinical challenge and an ethical dilemma. The advantages of starting dialysis at “extreme” ages are questionable as high dialysis-related morbidity induces a reflection on the cost- benefit ratio of this demanding and expensive treatment in a person that has a short life expectancy. Where clinical advantages are doubtful, ethical analysis can help us reach decisions and find adapted solutions.”
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Ethical aspects of brain computer interfaces: a scoping review

BMC Medical Ethics 2017 18:60
Authors: Sasha Burwell, Matthew Sample, Eric Racine
“Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) is a set of technologies that are of increasing interest to researchers. BCI has been proposed as assistive technology for individuals who are non-communicative or paralyzed, such as those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or spinal cord injury. The technology has also been suggested for enhancement and entertainment uses, and there are companies currently marketing BCI devices for those purposes (e.g., gaming) as well as health-related purposes (e.g., communication). The unprecedented direct connection created by BCI between human brains and computer hardware raises various ethical, social, and legal challenges that merit further examination and discussion.”
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A meta-science for a global bioethics and biomedicine

Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 2017 12:9
Author: David S. Basser
“I assert that pondering unified principles of biomedicine derived from the Western model of integrative systems biology may: (1) provide the scientific foundation for an internationally relevant (global) neuroethics to become synonymous with, rather than a sub-field of, an internationally relevant (global) bioethics; (2) lead to a meta-science as a means for facilitating an inclusive, pluralist discussion that transcends culture, language, discipline and philosophical boundaries and; (3) lead to a philosophical language framework to facilitate the integration of inter-, multi- and transdisciplinarity beyond any imperialist boundaries including hegemony and absolutism. The resulting unified principles may then address new and future ethical issues arising from emerging biomedical understandings and biotechnologies, including neurotechnologies.”
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The emergence of ethical issues in the provision of online sexual health outreach for gay, bisexual, two-spirit and other men who have sex with men: perspectives of online outreach workers

BMC Medical Ethics 2017 18:59
Authors: Sophia Fantus, Rusty Souleymanov, Nathan J. Lachowsky, David J. Brennan
“Mobile applications and socio-sexual networking websites are used by outreach workers to respond synchronously to questions and provide information, resources, and referrals on sexual health and STI/HIV prevention, testing, and care to gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GB2M). This exploratory study examined ethical issues identified by online outreach workers who conduct online sexual health outreach for GB2M.”
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Can options make us worse off? Choice, pressure, and paid kidney donation

JME Blog, 7 November 2017
Author: Julian J. Koplin
“Paying people to donate a ‘spare’ kidney might help alleviate the current shortage of transplantable organs. However, doing so would conflict with a principle widely accepted within the medical community since the earliest days of organ transplantation: that bodily organs should not be bought and sold. My paper focuses on one important facet of the organ market debate: the question of whether it can be bad to have the option of selling one’s kidney.”
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