No consensus yet exists on how to handle incidental fnd-ings in human subjects research. Yet empirical studies document IFs in a wide range of research studies, where IFs are fndings beyond the aims of the study that are of potential health or reproductive importance to the individual research participant. This paper reports recommendations of a two-year project group funded by NIH to study how to manage IFs in genetic and genomic research, as well as imaging research. We conclude that researchers (...) have an obligation to address the possibility of discovering IFs in their protocol and communications with the IRB, and in their consent forms and communications with research participants. Researchers should establish a pathway for handling IFs and communicate that to the IRB and research participants. We recommend a pathway and categorize IFs into those that must be disclosed to research participants, those that may be disclosed, and those that should not be disclosed. (shrink)
American Academy of Pediatrics and American College of Medical Genetics recently provided two recommendations about predictive genetic testing of children. The Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research Consortium's Pediatrics Working Group compared these recommendations, focusing on operational and ethical issues specific to decision making for children. Content analysis of the statements addresses two issues: how these recommendations characterize and analyze locus of decision making, as well as the risks and benefits of testing, and whether the guidelines conflict or come to different but (...) compatible conclusions because they consider different testing scenarios. These statements differ in ethically significant ways. AAP/ACMG analyzes risks and benefits using best interests of the child and recommends that, absent ameliorative interventions available during childhood, clinicians should generally decline to order testing. Parents authorize focused tests. ACMG analyzes risks and benefits using the interests of the child and other family members and recommends that sequencing results be examined for additional variants that can lead to ameliorative interventions, regardless of age, which laboratories should report to clinicians who should contextualize the results. Parents must accept additional analysis. The ethical arguments in these statements appear to be in tension with each other. (shrink)
Despite calls by some commentators for disclosing incidental fndings in genetics research, several factors weigh in favor of caution. The technology of genetics has the power to uncover a vast array of information. The most potent argument for restraint in disclosure is that much research is pursued without consent so that the individual participant may not know that research is being conducted at all. Often the work is done by investigators and at institutions with which the person has no prior (...) contact. Past practice is also relevant; genetics researchers historically have chosen not to disclose incidental fndings, of which misattributed paternity and pleiotropic alleles such as ApoE have been the most common. Many people choose not to have genetic tests when given a choice. It may be desirable to discuss the topic of incidental fndings when consent for research is obtained, but given the risk of unwanted surprise when there has been no prior discussion, the potential utility of incidental fndings should be very high before they are even ofered to individuals. (shrink)
Adolescents may often have opinions about whether they want genetic and genomic testing in both the clinic and research and about who should have access to the results. This legal analysis demonstrates that the law provides very little protection to minors' wishes.
Writing in 1999, legal ethics scholar Brad Wendel noted that “[v]ery little empirical work has been done on the moral decision making of lawyers.” Indeed, since the mid-1990s, few empirical studies have attempted to explore how attorneys deliberate about ethical dilemmas they encounter in their practice. Moreover, while past research has explored some of the ethical issues confronting lawyers practicing in certain specific areas of practice, no published data exists probing the moral mind of health care lawyers. As signaled by (...) the creation of a regular column “devoted to ethical issues arising in the practice of health law” in the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, the time to address the empirical gap in the professional ethics literature is now. Accordingly, this article presents data collected from 120 health care lawyers. Presenting this population with a number of hypothetical scenarios relating to how they would respond when confronting an ethical dilemma without an obvious solution or when facing a situation in which their personal values were in tension with their professional obligations, this article represents a first step toward better understanding how lawyers who practice in health care settings understand and resolve the moral discomfort they encounter in their professional lives. (shrink)
Aircraft with increasingly high performance were important to the war effort in World War II. Changes in technology allowed aircraft to reach faster speeds and to complete missions at higher altitudes. With these changes came new obstacles for pilots who had to tolerate these stresses. Of primary concern to the U.S. War Department was the loss of consciousness that often occurred with high-speed maneuvers and especially during pull-up after dive-bombing missions. In some cases, pilots would experience up to 9G of (...) force during rapid ascent, much more than the 6G threshold that typically leads to loss of consciousness. In 1941, a research team in Red Wing, MN, proposed experiments to elucidate the mechanism .. (shrink)