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Michael Drash
This paper explores ethical considerations for active studies of circumcision, i.e., the amputation of the foreskin, in the form of a case study of three major trials performed in African countries in the early 2000s. The paper outlines the function of the foreskin and method and history of its amputation as well as its current use in attempting to combat the global AIDS crisis. These trials are then interrogated in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. In particular, the irreversible nature of amputation is given great consideration...
January 9, 2019: Bioethics
Lars Sandman, Jan Liliemark
In healthcare priority settings, early access to treatment before reimbursement decisions gives rise to problems of whether negative decisions for cost-effectiveness reasons should result in withdrawing treatment, already accessed by patients. Among professionals there seems to be a strong attitude to distinguish between withdrawing and withholding treatment, viewing the former as ethically worse. In this article the distinction between withdrawing and withholding treatment for reasons of cost effectiveness is explored by analysing the doing/allowing distinction, different theories of justice, consequentialist and virtue perspectives...
December 7, 2018: Bioethics
Marie Fox, Michael Thomson, Joshua Warburton
Female genital cutting (FGC) is generally understood as a gendered harm, abusive cultural practice and human rights violation. By contrast, male genital cutting (MGC) is held to be minimally invasive, an expression of religious identity and a legitimate parental choice. Yet scholars increasingly problematize this dichotomy, arguing that male and female genital cutting can occasion comparable levels of harm. In 2015 this academic critique received judicial endorsement, with Sir James Munby's acknowledgement that all genital cutting can cause 'significant harm'...
December 4, 2018: Bioethics
Derrick Aarons
Guideline 20 of the updated International Ethics Guidelines for Health-related Research Involving Humans (2016) by the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS) provides guidance on research in disasters and disease outbreaks against the background of the need to generate knowledge quickly, overcome practical impediments to implementing such research, and the need to maintain public trust. The guideline recommends that research ethics committees could pre-screen study protocols to expedite ethical reviews in a situation of crisis, that pre-arrangements be made regarding data sharing and biomedical sample sharing, and that sponsors and research ethics committees seek to minimize risk to researchers conducting research during a disaster...
December 4, 2018: Bioethics
Jason Hanna
According to the causal theory of parenthood, people incur parental obligations by causing children to exist. Proponents of the causal theory often argue that gamete donors have special obligations to their genetic offspring. In response, many defenders of current gamete donation practices would reject the causal theory. In particular, they may invoke the 'too many parents problem': many people who causally contribute to the existence of children - for instance, fertility doctors - do not thereby incur parental obligations...
November 27, 2018: Bioethics
Skott Brill
Some critics of Don Marquis's 'future-like-ours' anti-abortion argument launch what has been called the Identity Objection. The upshot of this objection is that under a psychological theory of personal identity, a non-sentient fetus lacks precisely what Marquis believes gives it a right to life - a future like ours. However, Eric Vogelstein, in a recent article, has argued that under this theory of personal identity a non-sentient fetus, in fact, has a future like ours, which he believes dissolves the Identity Objection...
November 27, 2018: Bioethics
Angeliki Kerasidou
Collaborations in global health research are on the rise because they enhance productivity, facilitate capacity building, accelerate output and make tackling big, multifactorial research questions possible. In this paper, I examine the concepts of trust and reliance in scientific collaborations in general, but also in the particular context of collaborations in global health research between high-income countries and low-and-middle income countries (LMIC). I propose and defend the argument that given the particular characteristics of collaborations and demands of trust relationships, reliance is a better relational mode for successful collaborations...
November 27, 2018: Bioethics
Perry Hendricks
Much of the debate about the ethics of abortion has centered on whether the fetus is a person. In an attempt to sidestep this complex issue, I argue that, even if the fetus is not a person, abortion is immoral. To arrive at this conclusion, I argue that giving a fetus fetal alcohol syndrome is immoral, and that if this is so, then killing the fetus is immoral. Roughly, this is because killing the fetus impairs it more than giving it fetal alcohol syndrome. Since abortion (in most cases) amounts to killing the fetus, this means that abortion (in most cases) is immoral...
November 27, 2018: Bioethics
Erik Gustavsson
There is a growing body of literature which suggests that decisions about healthcare priority setting should take into account the extent to which patients are worse off. However, such decisions are often based on how badly off patients are with respect to the condition targeted by the treatment whose priority is under consideration (condition-specific severity). In this paper I argue that giving priority to the worse off in terms of condition-specific severity does not reflect the morally relevant sense of being worse off...
November 27, 2018: Bioethics
Wybo Dondorp, Guido de Wert
Many European countries uphold a 'high risk of a serious condition' requirement for limiting the scope of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). This 'front door' rule should be loosened to account for forms of PGD with a divergent proportionality. This applies to both 'added PGD' (aPGD), as an add-on to in vitro fertilization (IVF), and 'combination PGD' (cPGD), for a secondary disorder in addition to the one for which the applicants have an accepted PGD indication. Thus loosening up at the front has implications at the back of PGD treatment, where a further PGD rule says that 'affected embryos' (in the sense of embryos with the targeted mutation or abnormality) should not be transferred to the womb...
November 26, 2018: Bioethics
Laura Specker Sullivan
Ethical analyses of the effects of neural interventions commonly focus on changes to personality and behavior, interpreting these changes in terms of authenticity and identity. These phenomena have led to debate among ethicists about the meaning of these terms for ethical analysis of such interventions. While these theoretical approaches have different criteria for ethical significance, they agree that patients' reports are concerning because a sense of self is valuable. In this paper, I question this assumption...
November 26, 2018: Bioethics
Jake Greenblum, Ryan Hubbard
Laura Odwazny and Benjamin Berkman have raised several challenges regarding the new reasonable person standard in the revised Common Rule, which states that informed consent requires potential research subjects be provided with information a reasonable person would want to know to make an informed decision on whether to participate in a study. Our aim is to offer a response to the challenges Odwazny and Berkman raise, which include the need for a reasonable person standard that can be applied consistently across institutional review boards and that does not stigmatize marginal groups...
November 26, 2018: Bioethics
Giovanni Rubeis, Florian Steger
The notion of being a burden to others is mostly discussed in the context of care-intensive diseases or end-of-life decisions. But the notion is also crucial in decision-making at the beginning of life, namely regarding prenatal testing. Ever more sophisticated testing methods, especially non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), allow the detection of genetic traits in the unborn child that may cause disabilities. A positive result often influences the decision of the pregnant women towards a termination of the pregnancy...
November 21, 2018: Bioethics
Kyoko Wada, Louis C Charland, Geoff Bellingham
There are reasons to believe that decision-making capacity (mental competence) of women in labor may be compromised in relation to giving informed consent to epidural analgesia. Not only severe labor pain, but also stress, anxiety, and premedication of analgesics such as opioids, may influence women's decisional capacity. Decision-making capacity is a complex construct involving cognitive and emotional components which cannot be reduced to 'understanding' alone. A systematic literature search identified a total of 20 empirical studies focused on women's decision-making about epidural analgesia for labor pain...
October 25, 2018: Bioethics
Bryanna Moore
Patients and families are increasingly turning to crowdfunding to help them cover the cost of medical care. The ethics of crowdfunding has garnered some attention in the bioethical literature. In this paper I examine an ethical aspect of medical crowdfunding (MCF) that has received limited attention: the role of donors. I defend a virtue ethical approach to analyzing the role of donors in MCF. Vicious donation, where donors do not exercise the relevant virtues, can compound some of the ethical risks associated with MCF, as seen in the several recent, high-profile cases...
October 20, 2018: Bioethics
Bruce P Blackshaw, Daniel Rodger
Ectogenesis, or the use of an artificial womb to allow a foetus to develop, will likely become a reality within a few decades, and could significantly affect the abortion debate. We first examine the implications for Judith Jarvis Thomson's violinist analogy, which argues for a woman's right to withdraw life support from the foetus and so terminate her pregnancy, even if the foetus is granted full moral status. We show that on Thomson's reasoning, there is no right to the death of the foetus, and abortion is not permissible if ectogenesis is available, provided it is safe and inexpensive...
October 20, 2018: Bioethics
Jens Greve
This paper considers Habermas' model of a post-secular political order in the light of the debate on male circumcision that arose in Germany after a court ruled that male circumcision was an unjustifiable act of bodily harm. Central to this model is the idea that religious reasons can only become effective in central legal institutions when they are translated into secular reasons. My paper demonstrates that there are two distinguishable readings of this proviso. On the one hand, there is a broad reading according to which it is only necessary to reach a conclusion that is in line with the democratic principle stating that all citizens can be regarded as co-legislators even if non-generalizable value orientations might then shape the interpretation of fundamental rights (in the case of circumcision, the right to bodily integrity)...
October 20, 2018: Bioethics
Rieke van der Graaf, Indira S E van der Zande, Johannes J M van Delden
As early as 2002, CIOMS stated that pregnant women should be presumed eligible for participation in research. Despite this position and calls of other well-recognized organizations, the health needs of pregnant women in research remain grossly under-researched. Although the presumption of eligibility remains unchanged, the revision of the 2002 CIOMS International ethical guidelines for biomedical research involving human subjects involved a substantive rewrite of the guidance on research with pregnant women and related guidelines, such as those on fair inclusion and vulnerability...
October 20, 2018: Bioethics
Jonathan Beever, Nicolae Morar
This paper argues that the practical reach and ethical impact of the One Health paradigm is conditional on satisfactorily distinguishing between interconnected and interdependent factors among human, non-human, and environmental health. Interconnection does not entail interdependence. Offering examples of interconnections and interdependence in the context of existing One Health literature, we demonstrate that the conversations about One Health do not yet sufficiently differentiate between those concepts. They tend to either ignore such distinctions or embrace bioethically untenable positions...
October 20, 2018: Bioethics
Ruth Chadwick
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 2019: Bioethics
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