Geron recently announced that it had begun enrolling patients in the world's first-in-human clinical trial involving cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). This trial raises important questions regarding the future of hESC-based therapies, especially in spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. We address some safety and efficacy concerns with this research, as well as the ethics of fair subject selection. We consider other populations that might be better for this research: chronic complete SCI patients for a safety trial, subacute (...) incomplete SCI patients for an efficacy trial, and perhaps primary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) patients for a combined safety and efficacy trial. (shrink)
Modern historical criticism of the gospels and Christian origins began in the seventeenth century largely as an attempt to debunk the Christian religion as a pious fraud. The gospels were seen as bits of priestcraft and humbug of a piece with the apocryphal Donation of Constantine. In the few centuries since Reimarus and his critical kin, historical criticism has been embraced and assimilated by many Christian scholars who have seen in it the logical extension of the grammatico-historical method of the (...) Reformers. The new views of New Testament exegesis and of early Christian history are important and well known. Many New Testament scholars would now hold with Schweitzer and Bultmann that Jesus was a preacher of the imminent end of the world. He may have secretly considered himself to be the Messiah, or he may have simply sought to pave the way for another, the apocalyptic Son of Man. After his execution, his disciples' experiences of his resurrection forced on them a conclusion already implicit in his teachings and personal piety: that Jesus was indeed, or had become, the Messiah, and was in fact God's Son. They expected he would soon return as the Son of Man he had predicted. (shrink)
In recent years a growing trend has emerged which has argued for a greater priority to be placed upon patient autonomy within the doctor-patient relationship. The patient self determination movement, which first began to emerge in the 1960s, helps to mark the start of this ground swell of patient power sentiment. In keeping with this idea, the recent book by Robert M. Veatch, Patient heal thyself: How the new medicine puts the patient in charge addresses this very idea, arguing (...) for and promoting a new paradigm for medicine which places the patient firmly at the centre of all decision making in terms of medical treatment and care. Veatch is one of the leading bioethicists in the USA, having previously held the position of Senior Associate at the Hastings Center before moving to the Kennedy Institute of Ethics where he has served as director and Professor of Medical Ethics. (shrink)
In their paper “Members First: The Ethics of Donating Organs and Tissues to Groups,” Timothy Murphy and Robert Veatch question the ethical underpinnings of LifeSharers, a grass-roots effort to increase the supply of organs by giving organ donors preferred access to organs.
With this understanding, children are better able to anticipate the behavior of others and to attune their own behavior accordingly. In mentally retarded children with Down's syndrome, attainment of such competence is delayed, but it is generally acquired by the time they reach the mental age of 4, as measured by tests of nonverbal intelligence. Thus from a developmental perspective, attainment of the mental age of 4 appears to be of profound significance for acquisition of what we shall call psychological (...) competence : possession of the skills and resources people routinely call on in the.. (shrink)