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Posts by D. Joy Riley MD, MA (Ethics)

Who is Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte?

Gene Editing to Make Better Human Beings? September 14, 2017

Dr. Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte is trained in pharmacy and biochemistry and is a professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, in the Gene Expression Laboratories. He has been at the Salk Institute since 1993. He also held a position in Spain during 10 of those years. He helped found the Barcelona Regenerative Medicine Center (CMRB), a stem cell research institution, in 2004. He left the CMRB director’s post in 2014, citing lack of funding and support from the government. Of the center’s 21 projects, he took 18 with him, for they were his intellectual property.

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In Favor of Organ Donation?

In Favor of Organ Donation? June 20, 2019

The Department of Health & Social Care of GOV.UK recently notified its email subscribers of a new law regarding organ donation in England. Beginning in 2020, “Everyone in England over the age of 18 will be considered to be in favour of donating their organs and tissues after death unless: They have said they don’t want to donate their organs (they have ‘opted out’). They have appointed a representative to decide for them after their death. They are in one of the excluded groups – under the age of 18, ordinarily resident in England for less than 12 months before their death, or lack mental capacity for a significant period before their death.”

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Who Are We?

Photo credit: MDGovpics on VisualHunt / CC BY

“We started it,” Dr. Atul Gawande told Vox interviewer Sarah Kliff in 2017 when he was asked about the opioid epidemic. Dr. Gawande, a surgeon and author, was referring to the role healthcare professionals played in producing the staggering number of opioid overdose deaths in the United States.

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No Politics in the Exam Room?

No Politics in the Exam Room? February 21, 2019

One of the many reasons I entered the medical field was because I innocently thought medicine was apolitical. It did not take very long to see—even as a medical student—how very wrong-headed that idea was! So it was with some surprise that I read recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) the article about Leana Wen, MD, entitled, “New Planned Parenthood President: No Politics in the Exam Room.”

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A Wrong Turn on the Right Path?

A Wrong Turn on the Right Path? December 20, 2018

An international outcry occurred after Chinese scientist He Jiankui announced that he and his team had edited human embryos in an attempt to produce children who are resistant to HIV, cholera and smallpox. In this week’s blog post, Dr. Joy Riley explores this topic from an ethical perspective.

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What’s in a Name?

10/17/2018 POINT BLOG

In this week’s blog post, Dr. Joy Riley discusses how verbiage makes a big difference in how physician-assisted suicide is promoted and transformed to make it more palatable to the general population.

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Genome Editing: Social and Ethical Issues

Genome Editing: Social and Ethical Issues August 16, 2018

On July 17, 2018, the Nuffield Council released its report on “Genome Editing and Human Reproduction: Social and Ethical Issues.” The report lists several situations in which genome editing would be desired in order to have a genetically related child who did not have a given condition. Dr. Joy Riley discusses the ethical concerns raised by this report.

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The Rise of Blastoids

New Chinese Study Opens Ethical Can of Worms October 19, 2017

Dr. Joy Riley raises several ethical questions introduced by the production of “blastoids,” embryo-like structures from stem cells in a recent study.

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Reporting on IVF Incidents

Reporting on IVF Incidents December 21, 2017

In the United Kingdom, patients pay for 60 percent of the 76,000 annual in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments rendered. Britain’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the regulatory body overseeing both fertility treatment and embryo research, released in December its State of the Fertility Sector: 2016-17, a report detailing the health of the fertility sector in the UK.

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New Chinese Study Opens Ethical Can of Worms

New Chinese Study Opens Ethical Can of Worms October 19, 2017

A recent report of a “serious blood disorder” corrected by “chemical surgery” sounds like a dream come true. Ian Sample’s article in The Guardian also made the process sound efficient and clean, even sterile. However, a look behind the headline reveals some important facts to consider. Dr. Joy Riley explores the ethical issues in this week’s blog.

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Applying Pressure to the 14-Day Rule

Photo: Pixabay

Conducting research on embryos beyond 14 days’ gestation is against the law in 12 countries, including the United Kingdom; the U.S. has only “guidelines” recommending the 14-day limit. Now researchers and others are pushing against that limit. They find it too confining. Where did this rule/guideline originate?

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Applying Pressure to the 14-Day Rule

Photo: Pixabay

Conducting research on embryos beyond 14 days’ gestation is against the law in 12 countries, including the United Kingdom; the U.S. has only “guidelines” recommending the 14-day limit. Now researchers and others are pushing against that limit. They find it too confining. Where did this rule/guideline originate?

Read More