What should Investigators be Doing with Unexpected Findings in Brain Imaging Research?

Guest Post by Caitlin Cole Incidental findings in brain imaging research are common. Investigators can discover these unexpected findings of potential medical significance in up to 70% of their research scans. However, there are no standards to guide investigators as to whether they should actively search for these findings or which, if any, they should […]

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Is Age a Determinant Variable in Forgoing Treatment Decisions at the End of Life?

Guest post by Sandra Martins Pereira, Roeline Pasman and Bregje Onwuteaka-Philipsen Decisions to forgo treatment are embedded in clinical, socio-cultural, philosophical, religious, legal and ethical contexts and beliefs, and they cannot be considered as representing good or poor quality care. Particularly for older people, it is sometimes argued that treatment is aggressive, and that there may […]

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Animal Liberation: Sacrificing the Good on the Altar of the Perfect?

For my money, one of the best papers at the nonhuman animal ethics conference at Birmingham a couple of weeks ago was Steve Cooke’s.*  He was looking at the justifications for direct action in the name of disrupting research on animals, and presented the case – reasonably convincingly – that the main arguments against the permissibility of […]

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Animals in US Laboratories: Who Counts, Who Matters?

Guest post by Alka Chandna How many animals are experimented on in laboratories? It’s a simple question, the answer to which provides a basic parameter to help us wrap our heads around the increasingly controversial and ethically harrowing practice of locking animals in cages and conducting harmful procedures on them that are often scary, painful, and […]

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Growing a Kidney Inside a Pig Using your own DNA: The Ethics of ‘Chimera Organs’

Guest post by David Shaw Imagine that you’re in dire need of a new kidney. You’re near the top of the waiting list, but time is running out and you might not be lucky enough to receive a new organ from a deceased or living donor. But another option is now available: scientists could take […]

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Saatchi Bill – Update

Damn. Damn, damn, damn. It turns out that the version of the Medical Innovation Bill about which I wrote this morning isn’t the most recent: the most recent version is available here.  Naïvely, I’d assumed that the government would make sure the latest version was the easiest to find.  Silly me. Here’s the updated version […]

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An Innovation Too Far?

NB – Update/ erratum here.  Ooops. One of the things I’ve been doing since I last posted here has involved me looking at the Medical Innovation Bill – the so-called “Saatchi Bill”, after its titular sponsor.  Partly, I got interested out of necessity – Radio 4 invited me to go on to the Sunday programme to talk […]

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Advance Directives, Critical Interests, and Dementia Research

Guest post by Tom Buller, Illinois State University In my paper, “Advance Directives, Critical Interests, and Dementia Research”, I investigate whether advance directives can be applied in the context of dementia research. Consider, for the sake of argument, the following fictional case. William, a 77-year-old man who has moderate to severe dementia. When he was first […]

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Consigned to the Index

There’re probably times when all of us have had a solution, and just had to find a problem for it.  It’s an easy trap; and it’s one into which I suspect Gretchen Goldman may have fallen in an article in Index on Censorship about scientific freedom and how it’s under threat from disputes about Federal funding in the […]

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The Definition of Mental Disorder: Evolving but Dysfunctional?

Guest post by Rachel Bingham In 1973 the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the official classification of ‘mental disorders’.  This was the result of a successful public campaign and changing political views.  Yet, if homosexuality could be (wrongly) diagnosed as a mental disorder – using an official classification – what does this say about […]

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