First principles: The need for ethical guidance for pragmatic trials

Post authors: Dean Fergusson, Monica Taljaard and Charles Weijer [authors listed alphabetically] Paper: Thinking clearly about the FIRST trial: addressing ethical challenges in cluster randomised trials of policy interventions involving health providers Recently, members of our research team published an ethical analysis of the Flexibility in Duty Hour Requirements for Surgical Trainees (FIRST) trial in the Journal […]

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Guest Post: The eternal life of the biobank participant

Authors: Maria Stuifbergen, Lars Ursin Paper: The Ethics of dead participants: policy recommendations for biobank research Have you ever been operated at a hospital, donated blood, or participated in a health survey? Then you might have agreed to let health information and tissue samples from you be stored in a research biobank. You gave your […]

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Protection by Exclusion? Capacity as a Gatekeeper to Research

Authors: Victoria Shepherd, Richard Griffith, Mark Sheehan, Fiona Wood, Kerenza Hood Paper: Healthcare professionals’ understanding of the legislation governing research involving adults lacking mental capacity in England and Wales: a national survey  People who lack capacity to provide informed consent are often excluded from medical research, leading to concerns that there is an evidence-bias in the […]

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Moving Towards a New Ethical Governance Framework for Research-Clinical Hybrid Genomic Medicine

Authors: Gabrielle Samuel, Sandi Dheensa, Anneke Lucassen, Bobbie Farsides Paper: Towards a national genomics medicine service: the challenges facing clinical-research hybrid practices and the case of the 100 000 genomes project [OPEN ACCESS] The Chief Medical Officers’ 2017 report Generation Genome calls for a move towards integrated research and clinical practice in genomic medicine (i.e., research-clinical […]

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Unethical World Medical Association Standards for Placebo Trials?

  Guest post by Jeremy Howick  Trials show that drugs called ‘interferon alpha’ extend life in people with advanced skin cancer (by a bit). If we invented a new drug to treat advanced skin cancer, most patients would want to know whether the new drug was better than interferon alpha. It would be less useful […]

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Surrogacy, Obstetric Risk and the Kardashian Wests

  Guest post by Nathan Hodson Kim Kardashian West and her husband Kanye West announced the birth of their third child, named Chicago, last month. Chicago West was born via surrogate. All the significant events of Kardashian West’s life have been documented season by season on Keeping Up With The Kardashians and naturally her surrogacy […]

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The Real Problem With Human Head Transplantation

Guest Post: Michael S. Dauber, MA * Note: this article is being cross-posted at the Practical Ethics blog.  In 2015, Sergio Canavero announced that he would perform a therapeutic head transplant procedure on a human subject by December 2017. Since then, he has recruited the assistance of surgeon Xiaoping Ren and switched from Valery Spiridonov to an […]

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Ethical Issues when Modelling Brain Disorders in Non-human Primates

Guest Post: Carolyn Neuhaus, Ph.D. Paper: Ethical issues when modelling brain disorders in non-human primates   In early 2016, Nature published a letter from a group of Chinese researchers reporting that they had created rhesus macaques with “autism-like” behaviours. The macaque was bred with a mutation in the MeCP2 gene. Overexpression of MeCP2 occurs in MeCP2 Duplication Syndrome, a […]

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Advances in Neuroscience Strengthen Ethical Opposition to Harmful Experiments on Dogs

Guest Post: Jarrod Bailey, Cruelty Free International, London, UK. Paper: Advances in Neuroscience Imply that Harmful Experiments in Dogs are Unethical More than 200,000 dogs are used in harmful experiments every year worldwide, in research into human and animal diseases and in the testing of new drugs and agrochemicals. This continues despite significant public opposition […]

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Can We Trust Research in Science and Medicine?

By Brian D. Earp  (@briandavidearp) Readers of the JME Blog might be interested in this series of short videos in which I discuss some of the major ongoing problems with research ethics and publication integrity in science and medicine. How much of the published literature is trustworthy? Why is peer review such a poor quality control mechanism? How can we judge […]

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