What’s the best way to put the brakes on current research?
Scientists and ethicists have called for a five-year moratorium on editing human genes that will pass on to future generations. Yes, society needs to figure out how to proceed – but is this the best way?
Genetic information is relevant not only for an individual, but also their blood relatives, because it’s often hereditary.
Because genetic changes that cause cause health complications can be hereditary, the information affects not only the person with the mutation but also their biological relatives.
Editing just one gene in an embryo could create many unanticipated side-effects once the baby is born.
Genome editing technology has, and will always have, limits. Limits that are related not to the technology itself but to the intrinsic complexity of the human genome.
Embryos with eight cells.
China is pushing hard to lead a genome editing race.
A team of Canadian therapists have filed an application with Health Canada seeking permission to provide psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy to patients with terminal cancer.
Research shows therapeutic psilocybin to be a safe and effective antidote to end-of-life anxiety and depression. Does prohibition therefore violate our right to "life, liberty and security?"
Starting new conversations.
As part of a new strategy to combat loneliness GPs will be able to prescribe social activities. But is this ethical?
Researchers have grown groups of brain cells in the lab – known as ‘organoids’ – that produce brain waves resembling those found in premature infants.
Science is creating new living matter – like stem cells grown to create brain tissues in the lab. With power comes responsibility and what matters is an ethical question, not a scientific one.
Academics from different disciplines come Head to Head in this series to tackle topical debates.
Everyone was up in arms about a lack of privacy with the My Health Record, but the privacy is the same for other types of patient data.
New laws mean My Health Record data is more protected than other patient data. Privacy policies should be the same across the board.
Telomeres, a part of DNA that hold the key to biological aging.
Several companies are trying to develop life extension methods that could enable some people to live far longer. There are some ethical dilemmas.
Microplastics in the Mediterranean Sea.
By Dirk Wahn/shutterstock.com
Microplastics are everywhere--our water, soil, and even the air we breathe. The consequences of this exposure on human health is unknown. But studies in animals give us reason to worry.
Big data research could improve medical outcomes and reduce the waste of resources.
If we want My Health Record data to be made available for medical research we need to make it opt in, not opt out. We'll have a smaller dataset, but at least it will be ethically defensible.
High fees are prohibitive for many people who need to see a specialist.
Yes, doctors' fees should be transparent, but that requirement alone doesn't go far enough to combat "bill shock". Specialists should also be required to set fees that are "fair and reasonable".
I joined a Facebook group about organ donation. Within two days an Indian man offered to sell me his kidney.
The debate about the pros and cons of genetically screening embryos is deeply entrenched. Perhaps we should let couples decide.
Research shows that money and meals from the pharmaceutical industry do increase the amount doctors prescribe the drugs being marketed.
Big Pharma in Canada is far behind the curve when it comes to disclosing what payments to health-care professionals are for.
By In The Light Photography/shutterstock.com
We now have the capacity to quickly and cheaply sequence an individual's genome and scour it for disease-causing genes. But how much, and what type, of information does a parent-to-be want to know?
Australian scientist David Goodall photographed in Basel, Switzerland, on May 8, 2018 ended his life in with assisted suicide.
(AP Photo/Jamey Keaten)
Recent stories in the media highlight the idea of suicide tourism to Switzerland. But what does that mean? How is the Swiss view of assisted dying different from the Canadian one?
Hackers exploited a weakness in the web-based booking system of Family Planning NSW to infect the system with ransomware.
Medical practices have special requirements under the Privacy Act, but the security and privacy systems some providers currently have in place may be inadequate.
It all begins with spitting in a tube like this one.
Scott Beale/Laughing Squid
More people are sending off saliva samples to find out about their genetic roots. But the raw DNA results go way beyond genealogical data – and could deliver unintended consequences.