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Medical Ethics Advisor – April 1, 2012

April 1, 2012

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  • Election makes prenatal tests a massive campaign issue

    Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has attacked President Obama's healthcare law initiative, which intends to give free screenings for birth defects to all pregnant women by requiring insurers to cover the costs of the test.
  • Kidney transplant disparity reduced

    According to a new study, kidney failure patients who take part in an education program are more likely to get evaluated for a kidney transplant.
  • Abortion safer than giving birth

    A study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology suggests that getting a legal abortion is much safer than actually giving birth. Researchers found that women were about 14 times more likely to die during or after giving birth to a live baby than to die from complications of an abortion.
  • Complex end-of-life care aims to provide comfort

    Providing for fundamental human needs to people who are close to death is complex and sophisticated, but ultimately it involves the integration of physical, psychological, social, and spiritual elements, according to a study1 published in PLoS Medicine by international researchers.
  • End-of-life care with doc often occurs too late?

    The vast majority of patients with incurable lung or colorectal cancer talk with a physician about their options for care at the end of life, but often not until late in the course of their illness, according to a new study by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, published in a recent issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
  • Although important, patients snub EOL plan

    California HealthCare Foundation, Oakland, CA, commissioned a survey that would determine what percentage of patients actually has end-of-life (EOL) wishes in place.
  • FDA details compliance for informed consent

    The FDA issued a guidance detailing how to comply with the new regulation that informed consent documents include a specific statement that clinical trial information will be or has been submitted for inclusion in's trial registry.
  • Study: How informed is too informed?

    In a survey of more than 380 patients, nearly 80% said that they believe a surgeon's experience is essential information that patients need to make an informed decision about elective surgery.
  • Sex changing for kids, teens

    A report that appears in the medical journal Pediatrics reveals that sex-changing treatments are becoming more prevalent among teens and children who believe they were born the wrong sex. The report goes on to say that these youngsters are getting support from parents and doctors alike.
  • Empathy difficult for medical students

    One year ago, a landmark study quantified a relationship between physicians' empathy and their patients' positive clinical outcomes and suggested that a physician's empathy is an important factor associated with clinical competence.
  • Kidney transplant chain is the world's longest

    At Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, IL, a patient has become the final link in the world's longest living-donor kidney transplant chain.
  • News Briefs

    According to a report, the years-long belief that women are born with all their eggs is false.