14 Stories

5-Year-Old Gets Her 'Heaven or Hospital' Wish, Dies at Home

Girl with terminal illness wanted to spend final days at home, not in a medical facility

(Newser) - It started with a conversation last year that Michelle Moon had with her terminally ill daughter, Julianna, about where she'd want to be if she got sick again: in the hospital or at home. Julianna picked home , even if it meant she'd die there, and that's where... More »

Woman Denied the Chance to Carry Her Grandchild

Court rules UK mother can't use dead daughter's eggs

(Newser) - When a UK woman was diagnosed with bowel cancer at age 23, her parents say there was one thing she wanted if she didn't survive: to have her mom carry her babies . But the High Court in London has dashed that dream after ruling that the fertilized eggs of... More »

65-Year-Old Expecting Quadruplets Defends Choice

Annegret Raunigk is being 'irresponsible,' bioethicist says

(Newser) - A lot of 65-year-olds are looking forward to new challenges in their lives—but only one is looking forward to giving birth to quadruplets . In an interview with German channel RTL, Annegret Raunigk says it is "quite a strain battling against the cliches" about her age, the Guardian reports.... More »

Ethicists: Killing Babies Should Be Legal

Authors get death threats for controversial opinion

(Newser) - Two Oxford bioethicists are taking heat for their assertion that there is nothing morally wrong with infanticide—or, as they call it, "after-birth abortion." In an article published in the Journal of Medical Ethics , Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva argue that babies, like fetuses, are only "potential... More »

Scientists to Pentagon: Map Every Soldier's Genome

Report prompts fears over flaws in process, discrimination

(Newser) - A secretive group of top scientists is pushing the Pentagon to map the genomes of all military personnel, the Huffington Post reports. Such mapping could reveal information about troops' "responses to battlefield stress"—for example, how well they can tolerate "sleep deprivation, dehydration, or prolonged exposure to... More »

Ethicists Call Foul on Baseball's DNA Testing

(Newser) - Major League Baseball's DNA testing of Latin American rookies has bioethics experts worried, the New York Times reports. League officials say the genetic tests are necessary after a string of cases in which prospects lied about their age or identity, but experts fear the tests may be used to weed... More »

Obama Promises Pope He'll Work to Cut US Abortions

(Newser) - President Obama told Pope Benedict XVI yesterday that he would make every effort to reduce the number of abortions in the US, according to a Vatican spokesman. Bioethics and life issues were the focus of the men's 40-minute talk yesterday. The pontiff gave the president a booklet explaining the church's... More »

Third Emanuel Brother Key to Health Reform

The eldest, Zeke, goes from bioethicist to administration guru

(Newser) - Zeke Emanuel may not get the press brothers Rahm and Ari do, but he’s a figure to watch as the health-care reform debate heats up, the New Republic reports. As head of the National Institute of Health’s bioethics division, Emanuel became one of the most influential bioethicists in... More »

Half of US Docs Prescribe Placebos

Many physicians believe in psychological impact of prescriptions

(Newser) - Half of US doctors admit prescribing drugs to patients just for the placebo effect—to make them think they are taking something beneficial, reports the Chicago Tribune. As many as 56% prescribed antibiotics, painkillers, vitamins, and sedatives in cases where they didn't expect them to have any benefit physically, but... More »

Organ Donors Breathe Life Into Death Debate

Bioethicists weigh ethical, organ-transplant concerns

(Newser) - The art of extracting human organs has revived a debate about when a person is actually dead, the Economist reports. Forty years ago, the Catholic Church agreed with scientists that brain dead meant dead. But now that doctors are skirting that rule, harvesting organs from horribly brain-damaged donors who are... More »

Bush Rule Shields Docs Who Deny Women Abortions, Pill

New regulation lets health care workers refuse 'immoral' work

(Newser) - Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care workers would have the right to refuse to provide abortion services, contraception or even information on preventing or ending pregnancies under a controversial new regulation issued by the Bush administration. The proposed rule would force hospitals, clinics and other health care providers to... More »

Human-Animal Embryos Created

Controversial cow-human creation lived for three days

(Newser) - In a brave new world breakthrough, British scientists for the first time have created animal-human hybrid embryos, the London Times reports. The nuclei of cow eggs were removed and replaced with ones from a human cell, creating "admixed" embryos—or "cybrids" whose genetic material is 99.9% human.... More »

Environment, Bioethics Under Vatican's Scrutiny

Church updates Catholic morality for modern, globalized life

(Newser) - Catholics must guard against "new sins" such as polluting the environment and using genetic modification, the Vatican says. Their church has updated the concept of sin for the contemporary world, paying special attention to the expanding and morally murky world of bioethics, a top official from the Apostolic Penitentiary,... More »

Lab Creates Speedy, Lean Mighty Mouse

Modified critters have voracious appetites but manage to stay thin

(Newser) - Scientists have made speedy super mice by flipping a genetic switch, reports the Guardian. The mice can run 30 times as far as regular mice, and they live longer and breed later. They also eat 60% more food than average mice but manage to stay leaner and possibly more resistant... More »

14 Stories