Congrats to Dr. Mildred Cho for winning the inaugural Bernard Lo, MD Award
Mildred Cho, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Stanford University, has been named the recipient of The Greenwall Foundation’s inaugural Bernard Lo, MD Award in Bioethics.
The Lo Award recognizes Prof. Cho for excellence in bioethics mentorship and for going above and beyond to support and guide rising bioethics professionals.
SCBE In the News
Thylacine De-extinction: Why We Need to Talk About Ressurecting Species
"De-extinction. Hubris? Or hope?" Almost a decade after Hank Greely, Deane F. and Kate Edelman Johnson Professor of Law and Professor, by courtesy, of Genetics, asked this question in his 2013 TEDx Talk, US biotech startup Colossal announced that it will finance a research project to resurrect the thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger. The idea of de-extinction remains controversial and hotly debated.
“I think things are [largely] headed where I expected, and wanted – de- extinction as a kind of ‘luxury’ research project, without government funding, without hysteria, but with care,” Greely commented after the news of the thylacine project broke on Tuesday. Read more here.
Researchers repair cells in damaged organs an hour after the animal's death
While this technology would be potentially useful for human organ transplantation and could save more lives as a result, it doesn't address the biggest ethical issue of consent, says Hank Greely, Deane F. and Kate Edelman Johnson Professor of Law and Professor, by courtesy, of Genetics, who reviewed the 2019 findings but was not involved in the latest OrganEx Research.
“If you do this in humans, it’ll be really important that people are told not just that they’re volunteering to have their organs transplanted, but to have their bodies kept alive for an indeterminate period of time to assist in that transplantation,” he says. “But this doesn’t answer the questions left open by the pig brain experiment: Can you really bring the brain back to life? They’re resolutely not looking for the answer to that question." Read more here.
Supporting undiagnosed participants when clinical genomics studies end
Many large research initiatives have cumulatively enrolled thousands of patients with a range of complex medical issues but no clear genetic etiology. However, it is unclear how researchers, institutions and funders should manage the data and relationships with those participants who remain undiagnosed when these studies end.
Meghan Halley, Senior Research Scholar at SCBE, and Holly Tabor, Associate Director for Clinical Ethics and Education at SCBE) and Co-Chair of the Ethics Committees at Stanford Hospital and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, discuss how the current approach to genomic diagnosis research risks creating a revolving door of undiagnosed research participants who enter seeking a diagnosis only to come out disoriented, without a clear path forward during the post-study period. "Collaboration between funders, institutions and researchers will be crucial to fulfilling ethical obligations to these patients and families, whose research participation has made so many advances in the science of genomics possible." Read more here.
Advanced Health Care Directive
California law give you the ability to ensure that your health care wishes are known and considered if you become unable to make these decisions yourself. Completing a form called an “Advance Health Care Directive” allows you to do a number of things:
Appoint another person to be your health care “agent”
Delineate your health care wishes, such as:
- Health care instructions, including life support, organ and tissue donation
- Revoke prior directives
The sample form is above for reference. Acknowledgment before a notary public is not required if two qualified witnesses have signed this Directive in Part 5. In other words this is a free legally binding document.
Select "Centers, Institutes and More," then "Other Designation (specify below)" then type in "Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics."
Upcoming SCBE Seminar
"Black Feminism, Bioethics, and Carcerality: Exploring Informed Consent and Structural Violence to Understand Prisons as Eugenic Institutions"
Dr. Jennifer James, PhD
Date: Tuesday, May 10th, 2022
Time: 10am-11am PT