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Posts Tagged "bioethics"

Molecules to Medicine

Quarantines: Chaos and Confusion

Will history repeat? The Plague Doctor

There has been a quantum change in the past few days as to how healthcare workers (HCW) returning from the West African countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are being treated. This was prompted by two cases. First, Dr. Craig Spencer, a physician with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, aka Doctors Without Borders) developed a [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Ebola – the World’s Katrina

A staff member at the MSF's Ebola management center in Monrovia - Caroline Van Nespen/MSF

To anyone who follows infectious disease outbreaks, it is no great surprise that the most immediate, looming threat, Ebola, has received scant attention until recently. Even now, the world’s response has been incomprehensibly and seemingly irresponsibly slow. Why is this the case? Likely because of disparities in the power and wealth of people affected by [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Covert Operations vs. Public Health: What is the Government Thinking?

Graffiti on USAID poster - David Lisbona/flickr

My attention having been riveted by Ebola, I missed this startling news last week: U.S. Agency for International Development sent young people undercover to Cuba to incite anti-government activism. Their cover was an HIV prevention workshop. This short-sighted idiocy was apparently aimed at making Cuba more “democratic,” by overthrowing Raul Castro, though that small nation [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Ebola and Priorities in Drug Development

Ebola in Guinea (flickr Euro Comm DG ECHO)

News is rapidly changing regarding Ebola. Even as I’ve been writing this post, we’ve gone from “There is no treatment except supportive care” to NIH’s Dr. Fauci saying a potential vaccine “could be given to health workers in affected African countries sometime in 2015.”⁠ This optimistic projection was a surprise to me, as normally it [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

UMN: How many deaths have occurred during your clinical trials?

Angel of Grief

This series uses the story of Dan Markingson’s participation in a clinical trial of anti-psychotic drugs at the University of Minnesota, his suicide in 2004 while participating on the study, and subsequent events as a case study in which to explore various aspects of clinical trial conduct. In previous posts, I’ve looked at issues of [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Muddled about MERS? Here’s A Quick Guide

MERS coronavirus

While I was working on the “H1N-What?” post, I also knew there would soon be questions about MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), just as there were about SARS. So here are the essentials of what we know and don’t know about MERS—which has just been reported in the U.S.—as well as intriguing tidbits that remain [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

UMN agrees to outside review of clinical research practices—but what parts and by whom?

Delivering petition to Gov. Dayton's office-Photo by Jeff Baillon, Fox 9 News

This research ethics series uses the story of Dan Markingson’s participation in a clinical trial of anti-psychotic drugs at the University of Minnesota, his suicide 2004 while participating on the study, and subsequent events as a case study in which to explore various aspects of clinical trial conduct. In previous posts, I’ve looked at issues [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

A Clinical Trial and Suicide: What do the UMN and Disney Have in Common?

Disneys Cinderella castle by Childzy-Wikimedia

This research ethics series uses the story of Dan Markingson’s participation in a clinical trial of anti-psychotic drugs at the University of Minnesota, his suicide 2004 while participating on the study, and subsequent events as a case study in which to explore various aspects of clinical trial conduct. In previous posts, I’ve looked at issues [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

Antibiotic resistance-another view from the trenches

Remember the story of the elephant and the blind men? I feel I am revisiting it whenever I go back and work another stretch in the hospital as an infectious diseases physician. There are great articles giving a broad overview of the rise in antibiotic resistant organisms, especially Carbapenem resistant enterobacter, written by Maryn McKenna, [...]

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Molecules to Medicine

uBiome: Ethical Lapse or Not?

uBiome’s CEO, Jessica Richman, seems to me to be a great saleswoman who also excels at sounding innocent and playing the misunderstood victim in the ethical controversy surrounding her company. I think this was well illustrated in her recent guest blog in Scientific American with Dr. Zachary Apte, co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of uBiome. [...]

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