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 libertarian right to test genetically

JME Blog, 3 November 2017
Author: Michele Loi
“Should individuals be permitted to access their own genetic data without the mediation of a medical professional? In ‘Direct to Consumer Genetic Testing and the Libertarian Right to Test‘, I argued that they should, provided that they bear the associated costs. I provided a libertarian justification for this position, one grounded in a person’s right to self-ownership. Individuals are the sole legitimate moral owners of the DNA inside their bodies, just as they are the sole legitimate owners of their eyes and kidneys.”
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Bioethicists raise alarm about conflicts of interest in Australia’s IVF industry

SMH, 2 November 2017
Author: Esther Han
“A team of Australian bioethicists has found that conflicts of interest are leading to fertility doctors making decisions that financially benefit them and their employer, at the expense of their patients.”
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Let us talk about eggs! Professional resistance to elective egg vitrification and gendered medical paternalism

Med Health Care and Philos (2017), p1-13
Authors: Judit Sándor, Lilla Vicsek, Zsófia Bauer
“In this paper, by applying a feminist bioethical perspective, we identify a new form of medical paternalism that still shapes contemporary legal policies on human egg cryopreservation performed without medical reasons. The fear of negligent, careless women who opt to delay their pregnancy for mere convenience is a widely known gender biased stereotype. Nevertheless, the opinions and judgments of medical professionals on this issue have not yet been sufficiently explored by in-depth research. In this essay, therefore, first we look at the broader bioethical, legal, and social aspects of human egg cryopreservation. In the second part of the paper we discuss a unique qualitative study conducted with professionals working at Hungarian IVF clinics.”
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Ethics of patient activation: exploring its relation to personal responsibility, autonomy and health disparities

Journal of Medical Ethics 2017; 43: 670-675.
Authors: Sophia H Gibert, David DeGrazia, Marion Danis
“Discussions of patient-centred care and patient autonomy in bioethics have tended to focus on the decision-making context and the process of obtaining informed consent, leaving open the question of how patients ought to be counselled in the daily maintenance of their health and management of chronic disease. Patient activation is an increasingly prominent counselling approach and measurement tool that aims to improve patients’ confidence and skills in managing their own health conditions. The strategy, which has received little conceptual or ethical analysis, raises important questions about how clinicians ought to foster confidence and a sense of control in their patients without exposing them to blame, stigma and other harms. In this paper, we describe patient activation, discuss its relationship to personal responsibility, autonomy and health disparities, and make recommendations regarding its use and measurement.”
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Why health services research needs bioethics

Journal of Medical Ethics 2017; 43: 655-656.
Author: Lucy Frith
“Health services research brings together a wide variety of disciplines and would seem ideally placed to include ethics. However, if you search health services research journals and conference programmes there is very little consideration of ethics as a substantive topic and often scant attention paid to the ethical issues that might be raised by an intervention or policy. Ethics and ethical issues are generally confined to discussions over priority setting, and occasionally health technology assessment, with other areas of health service research seldom engaging in ethical debate.”
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The case for an Indigenous Bioethics

Global Bioethics Blog, 25 June 2017
Author: Stuart Rennie
“Indigenous communities in the Americas experience a disproportionate incidence of illness and disease compared to the general population. They also possess sophisticated ethical traditions which diverge and not infrequently conflict with Western-oriented bioethics. This culture gap between patient, provider and ethicist is no small public health concern—it can foster feelings of alienation and distrust which compromise the relationship between those in need of care and those able to offer it. Research ethicists have already made considerable efforts to bring sensitivity for aboriginal cultural mores into their discipline, but bioethicists have been slower out of the gate.”
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Medical ethics in Israel—bridging religious and secular values

The Lancet, May 2017, 2584-2586
Authors: Alan B Jotkowitz, Riad Agbaria, Shimon M Glick
“Peter Berger, a sociologist of religion, once stated that “the theme of individual autonomy is perhaps the most important theme in the worldview of modernity”. Although modern bioethics was relatively late in accepting the value of personal autonomy in medical decision making, this autonomy is now universally recognised as the core value of western medical ethics. Principilism, as proposed by Beauchamp and Childress, lists autonomy along with beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice as the four cardinal principles of bioethics.”
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Development of a consensus operational definition of child assent for research

BMC Medical Ethics 2017 18:41
Authors: Alan R Tait, Michael E Geisser
“While research participation for most children requires the permission of parent(s)/guardian(s), the bioethical principle of “respect for persons” requires that children also provide their assent to participate to the degree that they are deemed “capable of providing it,” taking into account the child’s “age, maturity, and psychological state”. While this regulatory framework is designed to allow children to express their burgeoning autonomy, foster moral growth, and develop decision-making skills, it provides absolutely no practical guidance with respect to what actually constitutes assent and which children are capable of providing it.”
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On classifying the field of medical ethics

BMC Medical Ethics 2017 18:30
Authors: Kristine Bærøe, Jonathan Ives, Martine de Vries, Jan Schildmann
“In 2014, the editorial board of BMC Medical Ethics came together to devise sections for the journal that would (a) give structure to the journal (b) help ensure that authors’ research is matched to the most appropriate editors and (c) help readers to find the research most relevant to them. The editorial board decided to take a practical approach to devising sections that dealt with the challenges of content management. After that, we started thinking more theoretically about how one could go about classifying the field of medical ethics. This editorial elaborates and reflects on the practical approach that we took at the journal, then considers an alternative theoretically derived approach, and reflects on the possibilities, challenges and value of classifying the field more broadly.”
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