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Articles related to bioethics

Feature: The Ethics of Online Genomics Tests
There is a significant difference between the expectation and reality of direct-to-consumer personal genome testing, creating a gap where interesting tensions and ethical dilemmas sit.
Cover Story: Will Enhanced Soldiers Fight a Just War?
Technologies may be able to enhance a soldier’s strength, endurance, stress tolerance and cognitive ability, but could they reduce their moral capacity to follow the laws of armed conflict?
Feature: Personal Genomics: What Do Consumers Want?
Are Australian consumers excited or cynical about the promises of personal genome tests, and are they adequately prepared for the information they’ll receive?
Feature: The Changing Role of IP in Genomics
Recent court decisions have overturned previous rulings about genetic patents, but other intellectual property regimes are already taking their place.
Feature: Biobanks Go Global
Global networks of depositories for biological samples open a range of scientific, legal and ethical challenges.
Credit: nobeastsofierce
Cover Story: Should Australia Allow Mitochondrial Donation?
Is there any ethical reason why legislation should prevent the use of donor mitochondria in cases where children are likely to inherit mitochondrial disease from their mothers?
Feature: The Stem Cell “Sell”
The unfettered commercial environment that has allowed stem cell tourism to flourish must be challenged, and the professionals who enable it should be held to account.
Expert Opinion: Designer Baby Patent Makes Scientists Uneasy
A private company, 23andMe, has patented a method of creating “designer” babies by allowing the selection of sperm and eggs that are most likely to produce traits chosen by the parents, such as eye colour or athleticism, and also allows screening out of sperm and eggs likely to lead to genetic disease.
Expert Opinion: Second Genetically Modified Human Embryos Created
A second case of gene editing of human embryos has attempted to introduce resistance to HIV infection, but only four of the 26 embryos were modified successfully.
Expert Opinion: Human Embryos Edited
Scientists have used CRISPR to edit human embryos, removing a mutation linked to a heritable heart condition.
Expert Opinion: Call for a Moratorium on Human Genome Editing
Scientists and ethicists from seven countries have called for a global moratorium on all clinical uses of human germline editing. The suggested moratorium would not hamper research or editing of non-germline cells, but would set a period that no clinical use of editing sperm, eggs or embryos would be allowed.
Naked Skeptic: Stem Cell Promises Give Way to Abuses
Stem cell tourism employs the same tactics as the cancer quackery industry to exploit the hopes of people desperate for cures of serious medical conditions.
Quandary: Is the End Coming for Embryonic Stem Cells?
Embryonic stem cell research is looking increasingly like a dead end as clinical trials are cancelled in favour of adult stem cells.
Quandary: The Bioethics of Geoengineering
Ethical guidelines are urgent when considering high-risk technologies to avert the climate crisis.
Quandary: Eugenics Tackles Climate Change
Can a proposal to genetically modify children that are smaller to reduce their carbon footprint be taken seriously?
Quandary: Is It Better Never to Have Been Born?
Bioethicists are questioning legal judgements that dismiss “wrongful birth” cases by challenging the belief that it is better to be born than not born.
Quandary: Boosting Performance at the Paralympics
Up to one-third of Paralympians in London may have harmed themselves to boost blood flow.
Quandary: Care in Ancient Societies
Archaeologists are documenting evidence that ancient humans cared for disabled members of their community.
Quandary: Déjà Vu All Over Again
In vitro eugenics could soon make Huxley’s Brave New World a reality.
Quandary: Third World Bioethics
Poverty overcomes informed consent in India, where nearly 2900 people died in India during clinical trials of drugs between 2005 and 2012.
Quandary: What If Computers Have Feelings, Too?
If software becomes intelligent, what are the ethics of creating, modifying and deleting it from our hard drives?
Quandary: Married at First Sight
Reality TV has added a fresh perspective to the bioethical debate about the use of love drugs.
Quandary: Mars Mission Bioethics 101
A one-way trip to Mars, funded from the rights to a reality TV show, raises many bioethical issues.
Quandary: Pinker Takes on Bioethics
Steven Pinker has attacked bioethics as “moralistic grandstanding” that restricts research. Is he right?
Quandary: Life in the Fridge
Cryonics technologies have captured the imagination of some of the brightest minds in Silicon Valley, but what about the rest of us?
Quandary: Royal Paternity Tested in the Modern Age
A royal paternity test in Belgium has far-reaching implications for fertility clinics.
Quandary: Adventures on the Dark Side
Cases of sexual attraction are bound to grow as “genetic orphans” seek out their missing parents.
Quandary: Acting Absolutely Beastly
Charles Foster has tried to reconnect with the animal world by living as a badger, a fox, a swift, a deer and an otter.
Quandary: Frozen Stiff
Cryonics is a growing industry even if its feasibility is questionable and its ethics murky.
Quandary: Locked-in’s Challenge to Autonomy
Four patients with locked-in syndrome have communicated that they are happy as long as they receive adequate care at home.
Quandary: Turning Psychopaths into Nice Guys
If moral bioenhancement of psychopaths becomes obligatory, who will benchmark standards?
Quandary: The Facts About Surrogacy
The dismal death of Brooke Verity illustrates the need for longitudinal studies of the long-term outcomes of surrogacy.
Quandary: Ethics for an Edited Embryo
Editing of a gene in a human embryo may have ticked some regulatory boxes but this does not address some huge ethical issues.
Quandary: Get Your Head Screwed on Right
Claims of the successful transplant of a human head may have been met by derision but they also reveal bioethical blindspots among ambitious surgeons.
Quandary: The Man with the DNR Tattoo
Should doctors follow the instructions of a tattoo when facing end-of-life decisions?
Quandary: Ethical Challenges About Voluntary Assisted Dying
Much of the focus on new voluntary assisted dying laws is centred on patient autonomy, but it is only one of the four pillars. Does the legislation also satisfy the other three tenets of beneficence, non-maleficence and justice?
Quandary: The Unspoken Limits of Liquid Biopsies
Liquid biopsies promise early detection of cancer, but some of their current limitations risk being overlooked.
Quandary: Molecular Life Extension
Alongside the question of whether we can treat ageing is the question of whether we should.
Quandary: Should Scientists Declare Non-Financial Conflicts of Interest?
Conflicts of interest are rife in scientific research, but non-financial conflicts of interest are often overlooked.
Quandary: Antibiotics: Which Lives Matter?
Resistance to antibiotics is growing. Are you prepared to go without them to save the lives of future generations?
Quandary: The Wild West of Biotech Innovation
The failure of a US$9 billion health technology start-up provides a stark example of how venture capitalists can let market potential overrule evidence of efficacy.
Quandary: Values in Science Affect What Your Doctor Recommends
Should a GP recommend exercise to chronic pain patients when the evidence doesn't match patient experience?
Quandary: Can We (Ethically) Disinvest from Healthcare Interventions?
The withdrawal or reduction of a medication or surgical technique can make healthcare safer, cheaper and more effective. However, practical and ethical challenges mean that we can't solely rely on this to ensure a fair distribution of healthcare.
Up Close: Making nice: Julian Savulescu and the case for moral bioenhancement
Philosopher and bioethicist Julian Savulescu joins host Peter Mares for a conversation on the potential for moral bioenhancement through direct brain stimulation, pharmacology or genetics, and the ethical implications of such interventions.
Up Close: Cell Sell: The ethics of the transnational human tissue market
Stem cell expert Megan Munsie and bioethicist Dominique Martin discuss medical tourism and the hidden transnational trade in transplant organs and stem cells, considering their ethics, legislative implications and what the future might hold.
Up Close: Hello, Pet! Our love can hurt our animal friends
Bioethicist Peter Sandøe discusses our complicated relationship with animals and the associated moral dilemmas, including how our love for companion animals can actually cause harm and the difference between society’s treatment of pets and production animals.
Up Front: Transplant Studies Execute “Ethics Dump”
The organs of executed Chinese prisoners have been widely used to bypass ethical guidelines restricting Western researchers.
Up Front: Germline Editing Faces a Speed Bump
Will a moratorium on germline editing simply be sidestepped?
Odd Spot: Bioethics for Halloween
Should zombies be euthanased?
Online Feature: Care and consent: the fraught ethics of international clinical trials
Online Feature: The ethics of "gifted" genes: the road to Gattaca?