Articles on Medical ethics

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Human challenge studies can be useful to test new vaccines and are increasingly being used internationally. Yet there are several ethical issues to consider. from www.shutterstock.com

Infecting healthy people in vaccine research can be ethical and necessary

Deliberately infecting people with a disease-causing agent as part of carefully considered medical research can be ethically acceptable or even necessary.
On May 16, 2019, Madeleine Munier Apaire (shown here in June 2014), lawyer for Vincent Lambert’s nephew, considered that all remedies were “exhausted”. Eric Feferberg/AFP

Vincent Lambert: what are the legal and ethical issues?

The debate over Mr. Vincent Lambert's decision to discontinue his care overshadowed equally important judicial and ethical issues. A look back at a complex situation that will set a precedent.
What’s the best way to put the brakes on current research? Okrasyuk/Shutterstock.com

A case against a moratorium on germline gene editing

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. Joshua Reddekopp/Unsplash

Can (and should) a doctor tell my biological relative my genetic results without my consent?

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.
A team of Canadian therapists have filed an application with Health Canada seeking permission to provide psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy to patients with terminal cancer. (Shutterstock)

What if psychedelics could revolutionize the way you die?

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?"
Researchers have grown groups of brain cells in the lab – known as ‘organoids’ – that produce brain waves resembling those found in premature infants. from www.shutterstock.com

Fresh urgency in mapping out ethics of brain organoid research

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.
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. from www.shutterstock.com

If privacy is increasing for My Health Record data, it should apply to all medical records

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. Lightspring/Shutterstock.com

Want to live longer? Consider the ethics

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

We are guinea pigs in a worldwide experiment on microplastics

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.
Research shows that money and meals from the pharmaceutical industry do increase the amount doctors prescribe the drugs being marketed. (Shutterstock)

What Big Pharma pays your doctor

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

What’s in your genome? Parents-to-be want to know

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?

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