WHO issues ethics guidance to protect rights of TB patients

WHO, 22 March 2017
“New tuberculosis (TB) ethics guidance, launched today by the World Health Organization (WHO), aims to help ensure that countries implementing the End TB Strategy adhere to sound ethical standards to protect the rights of all those affected.”
Find news release here.

Study shows healthcare in Syria now a target of war

Reuters, 14 March 2017
Author: Kate Kelland
“The international community must do more to protect healthcare in Syria as medical services become targets of war, according to a study published in The Lancet medical journal on Tuesday. Published to mark the sixth anniversary of the Syrian crisis, the study used data from multiple sources to assess the conflict’s impact on health care and health workers. Researchers said there were almost 200 attacks on health centers last year alone and said a key feature of the weaponisation of healthcare is the repeated targeting of medical facilities with the aim of shutting them down.”
Find article here.

How traditional medicine can play a key role in Latino health care

The Conversation, 5 March 2017
Author: Courtney Parker
“In the U.S., many undocumented individuals and other vulnerable groups in the Latino immigrant population, such as indigenous language speakers, are already marginalized from mainstream health services. Traditional or indigenous medicine, commonly referred to as TM, can bridge some of these barriers to health care because their methods stem from the unique values, cultural systems and specific health needs of these populations. In its latest report on traditional medicine, WHO acknowledges TM as a “mainstay of health and health care delivery.””
Find article here.

The campaign to eradicate Zika has trampled over women’s rights

The Conversation, 9 February 2017
Author: Pia Riggirozzi
“The delivery of health care programmes in Latin America should be anchored in an understanding of the inequalities, discrimination and power relations that prevent many people from accessing them. Governments should remember that they have legal and ethical obligations under international law to ensure the best possible provision of services for all.”
Find article here.

Human rights violations in organ procurement practice in China

BMC Medical Ethics 2017 18:11
Authors: Norbert W. Paul, Arthur Caplan, Michael E. Shapiro, Charl Els, Kirk C. Allison, Huige Li
“Over 90% of the organs transplanted in China before 2010 were procured from prisoners. Although Chinese officials announced in December 2014 that the country would completely cease using organs harvested from prisoners, no regulatory adjustments or changes in China’s organ donation laws followed. As a result, the use of prisoner organs remains legal in China if consent is obtained.”
Find article here.

Mr. Trump’s ‘Gag Rule’ Will Harm Global Health

NYT, 26 January 2017
Author: The Editorial Board
“With a single memorandum, President Trump may well have made it harder for health workers around the world to fight cancer, H.I.V., Zika and Ebola. The memorandum, signed on Monday, reinstates and expands a policy barring health organizations abroad, many of which provide an array of services, from receiving federal funds if they even talk to women about abortion as a method of family planning.”
Find article here.

Dutch commit $10 million to replace lost U.S. abortion funding

Reuters, 28 January 2017
Author: Stephanie van den Berg
“The Netherlands has committed $10 million for an initiative to replace funding for abortion services in developing countries that will be lost due to U.S. President Donald Trump’s ban on financing foreign groups that provide abortions.”
Find article here.

Why doctors need to speak out against female genital cutting in India

The BMJ Blog, 20 January 2017
Author: Aarefa Johari
“What is a doctor’s responsibility, then, in the face of such a ritual? Two of the most basic pillars of medical ethics are to do no harm and to act in the best interests of a patient. Female circumcision has no health benefits and can potentially harm girls and women. For a patient, it serves no scientific or medical interest. In fact, since khatna is not a medical procedure at all, girls being brought to get cut can hardly be called patients. Besides, a seven-year-old is not capable of giving informed consent to the procedure.”
Find article here.

Revised CIOMS International Ethical Guidelines for Health-Related Research Involving Humans

JAMA. 2017; 317(2):135-136
Authors: Johannes J. M. van Delden, Rieke van der Graaf
“CIOMS recently released a new version of its International Ethical Guidelines for Health-Related Research Involving Humans. These guidelines were developed in collaboration with WHO and based on authoritative ethical guidance documents, such as the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Helsinki and UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights. The aim of the guidelines is to provide internationally vetted ethical principles and detailed commentary on how these principles should be applied, with particular attention to conducting research in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).”
Find article here.

Egypt busts organ trading racket, arrests 45 people

Reuters, 6 December 2016
Author: Mahmoud Mourad, Lin Noueihed
“Egypt has uncovered a network accused of illicit international trafficking in human organs, arresting 45 people and recovering millions of dollars in a dawn raid on Tuesday, the health ministry said. Among those held were doctors, nurses, middlemen and organ-buyers, involved in what the ministry described as the largest organ-trafficking network exposed in Egypt to date.”
Find article here.