Category Archives: Bioethics

‘One uterus bridging three generations of a family’: Woman who received her mother’s transplanted womb gives birth

Photo via freedigitalphotos.net

Photo via freedigitalphotos.net

By: Elizabeth Yuko, Ph.D.

The fourth baby born via a transplanted uterus isn’t just a medical success story – it bridges three generations of a family.

A woman in Sweden who lost her own uterus to cancer in her 20s has given birth to a healthy baby boy after receiving a transplanted womb donated by her mother.

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The FDA, Finances, & Feminism: Why the third time was the charm for so-called “female Viagra”

By: Elizabeth Yuko, Ph.D.

Money can’t buy happiness, but evidently is instrumental in gaining FDA approval for controversial drugs with low efficacy and significant side effects.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Addyi (Flibanserin) to treat acquired, generalized hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women, after denying approval in 2010 and 2013 because the risks of the medication did not outweigh the benefits.

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Should a UK woman be able to fertilize, implant and gestate her deceased daughter’s frozen eggs?

By: Elizabeth Yuko, Ph.D.

While many parents of children of childbearing age make no secret of their desire to become grandparents, one woman in the UK took her request to the High Court.

Britain’s High Court has denied the 59-year-old woman – whose daughter died in 2011 at the age of 28 – the right to use her deceased daughter’s frozen eggs after determining that it wasn’t clear that the daughter had wanted her eggs used for this purpose.

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Immigrant Detention, Genetic Testing, and Moral Obligations to LGBT Youth: Theories & Applications in Contemporary Ethics

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The Fordham University Center for Ethics Education is hosting a 3-day intensive cross-disciplinary graduate course entitled “Theories and Applications in Contemporary Ethics.” The course will take place next week, from May 19-21, 2015 on the Rose Hill campus.

Each day will feature two Fordham faculty members from different departments presenting on and discussing different topics in contemporary ethics. Using a team-teaching approach, this course brings together faculty from six disciplines to provide foundational knowledge about moral philosophy, moral theology, and bioethics, and features lectures and case discussion on issues of current social importance.

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What Mad Men’s Betty Draper-Francis Can Teach Us About Paternalism in Medicine

January Jones as Betty Draper-Francis on AMC's Mad Men.

January Jones as Betty Draper-Francis on AMC’s Mad Men.

By: Elizabeth Yuko, Ph.D.

Warning: spoilers ahead.

The penultimate episode of AMC’s Mad Men provided an all-too-familiar portrayal of the paternalistic nature of medicine via the handling of Betty Draper-Francis’s diagnosis of lung cancer. While the episode takes place in 1970 and there has since been a gradual shift to a more patient-centered approach in medicine, it offers a glimpse into power imbalances in medical care that still can occur today.

When Betty’s new classmates bring her to the emergency room, the first words out of the doctor’s mouth are “Mrs. Francis, is it possible to get your husband down here?” Betty assumes it is for the purpose of driving her home, but the doctor assures her that it is, in fact, for the purpose of explaining her condition to her husband, Henry, either prior to or at the same time he discloses the diagnosis to Betty.

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Is the moratorium on editing the human genome ethically justifiable?

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Last month, leading scientists called for a worldwide moratorium on the use of new technologies that would enable editing of the human genome. If put into practice, this technique has the ability to alter human DNA that is inherited, thereby changing the human germline and potentially controlling human heredity.

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Fordham’s Dr. Celia B. Fisher weighs in on failed HIV prevention trial in Africa

A recent failed HIV prevention drug trial in Africa has raised concerns over the ethical design and implementation of research involving payment to participants in poor countries.

According to the New York Times: “The trial — known by the acronym Voice, for Vaginal and Oral Interventions to Control the Epidemic — was abruptly halted by independent safety monitors because it was not working: Women who were given pills or vaginal gels containing anti-H.I.V. drugs were becoming infected at roughly the same rate as women who were given placebos.”

Fordham University Center for Ethics Education Director Dr. Celia B. Fisher is also the director of the HIV and Drug Abuse Research Ethics Training Institute (RETI) —  a program funded by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (# 1R25DA031608-01), for which she also serves as the principal investigator.

“Be wary of blaming payment for research participation for inadequate research methods and participant consultation,” Fisher, an internationally renowned expert in research ethics and health disparities, advised.

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