Ancient Chinese medical ethics and the four principles of biomedical ethics.
The four principles approach to biomedical ethics (4PBE) has, since the 1970s, been increasingly developed as a universal bioethics method. Despite its wide acceptance and popularity, the 4PBE has received many challenges to its cross-cultural plausibility. This paper first specifies the principles and characteristics of ancient Chinese medical ethics (ACME), then makes a comparison between ACME and the 4PBE with a view to testing out the 4PBE's cross-cultural plausibility when applied to one particular but very extensive and prominent cultural context. The result shows that the concepts of respect for autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence and justice are clearly identifiable in ACME. Yet, being influenced by certain socio-cultural factors, those applying the 4PBE in Chinese society may tend to adopt a "beneficence-oriented", rather than an "autonomy-oriented" approach, which, in general, is dissimilar to the practice of contemporary Western bioethics, where "autonomy often triumphs". (+info)
To give or sell human gametes--the interplay between pragmatics, policy and ethics.
The ever-growing acceptance and use of assisted human reproduction techniques has caused demand for "donated" sperm and eggs to outstrip supply. Medical professionals and others argue that monetary reward is the only way to recruit sufficient numbers of "donors". Is this a clash between pragmatics and policy/ethics? Where monetary payments are the norm, alternative recruitment strategies used successfully elsewhere may not have been considered, nor the negative consequences of commercialism on all participants thought through. Considerations leading some countries to ban the buying and selling of sperm, eggs and embryos are outlined and a case made that the collective welfare of all involved parties be the primary consideration in this, at times heated, debate. (+info)
Contribution of APOA5 gene variants to plasma triglyceride determination and to the response to both fat and glucose tolerance challenges.
The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of APOA5 variants on fasting lipids and to the response to both an oral fat tolerance test (OFTT) and an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). The association of two APOA5 SNPs [S19W (SNP5), -1131T>C (SNP3)] and an APOA4/A5 intergenic SNP [-12238T>C (SNP4)] were examined in healthy young men (n=774) who had undergone both an OFTT and an OGTT. Both -1131T>C and S19W rare alleles were associated with triglyceride (TG)-raising effects (11%, P=0.008; 21% (in cases), P<0.026, respectively) and showed additive effects on TG. None of the variants influenced the responsiveness to the OFTT after correcting for baseline TG. Homozygosity for the -12238T>C rare allele was associated with higher waist to hip ratio (P<0.0006), systolic blood pressure (P=0.012) and AUC and peak of insulin after OGTT (P=0.003 and P=0.027, respectively), traits that define the metabolic syndrome. Our results strongly support the role of APOA5 in determining plasma TG levels in an age-independent manner and highlight the importance of the APOC3/A4/A5 gene cluster in both TG and metabolic homeostasis. (+info)
Maternal lung cancer and testicular cancer risk in the offspring.
It has been hypothesized that smoking during pregnancy could increase the offspring's risk for testicular cancer. This hypothesis is indirectly supported by both ecological studies and studies of cancer aggregations within families. However, results from analytical epidemiological studies are not consistent, possibly due to methodological difficulties. To further study the association between smoking during pregnancy and testicular cancer, we did a population-based cohort study on cancer risk among offspring of women diagnosed with lung cancer. Through the use of the Swedish Cancer Register and the Swedish Second-Generation Register, we identified 8,430 women who developed lung cancer between 1958 and 1997 and delivered sons between 1941 and 1979. Cancer cases among the male offspring were then identified through the Swedish Cancer Register. Standardized incidence ratios were computed, using 95% confidence intervals. We identified 12,592 male offspring of mothers with a subsequent diagnosis of lung cancer, and there were 40 cases of testicular cancer (standardized incidence ratio, 1.90; 95% confidence interval, 1.35-2.58). The association was independent of maternal lung cancer subtype, and the risk of testicular cancer increased stepwise with decreasing time interval between birth and maternal lung cancer diagnosis. Our results support the hypothesis that exposure to cigarette smoking in utero increases the risk of testicular cancer. (+info)
Continuity of care from a patient's point of view: context, process, relation.
BACKGROUND: It is easy to forget about the real human experience when faced with the pressure of output measurement, organizational change, and large-scale statistical studies. This article takes a different perspective and provides a glimpse into one man's life to show the many relationships that can be involved when someone is ill. METHODS: The information in this paper is based on interviews with multiple individuals involved in the care of one patient. The theoretical framework is narrative--it takes discourse as its material base--and introduces the concept of the "signifier" to organize the data. RESULTS: The interview results demonstrate the theoretical strength of the signifier concept and reveal the process and context of the work of three particular physicians and the nature of the relations they were able to establish with this one patient and his son. CONCLUSIONS: This way of conceptionalizing the process of care from the patient's point of view enables us to reflect on the changing nature of continuity of care as a core value for family physicians (+info)
Genetic Analysis Workshop 13: simulated longitudinal data on families for a system of oligogenic traits.
The Genetic Analysis Workshop 13 simulated data aimed to mimic the major features of the real Framingham Heart Study data that formed Problem 1, but under a known inheritance model and with 100 replicates, so as to allow evaluation of the statistical properties of various methods. The pedigrees used were the 330 real pedigree structures (comprising 4692 individuals) with some minor changes to protect confidentiality. Fifty trait genes and 399 microsatellite markers were simulated by gene dropping on 22 autosomal chromosomes. Assuming random ascertainment of families, a system of eight longitudinal quantitative traits (designed to be similar to those in the real data) was generated with a wide range of heritabilities, including some pleiotropic and interactive effects. Genes could affect either the baseline level or the rate of change of the phenotype. Hypertension diagnosis and treatment were simulated with treatment availability, compliance, and efficacy depending on calendar year. Nongenetic traits of smoking and alcohol were generated as covariates for other traits. Death was simulated as a hazard rate depending upon age, sex, smoking, cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure. After the complete data were simulated, missing data indicators were generated based on logistic models fitted to the real data, involving the subject's history of previous missing values, together with that of their spouses, parents, siblings, and offspring, as well as marital status, only-child indicators, current value at certain simulated traits, and the data collection pattern on the cohort into which each subject was ascertained. (+info)
Variance components linkage analysis for adjusted systolic blood pressure in the Framingham Heart Study.
We performed variance components linkage analysis in nuclear families from the Framingham Heart Study on nine phenotypes derived from systolic blood pressure (SBP). The phenotypes were the maximum and mean SBP, and SBP at age 40, each analyzed either uncorrected, or corrected using two subsets of epidemiological/clinical factors. Evidence for linkage to chromosome 8p was detected with all phenotypes except the uncorrected maximum SBP, suggesting this region harbors a gene contributing to variation in SBP. (+info)
Use of a random coefficient regression (RCR) model to estimate growth parameters.
We used a random coefficient regression (RCR) model to estimate growth parameters for the time series of observed serum glucose levels in the Replicate 1 of the Genetic Analysis Workshop 13 simulated data. For comparison, a two time-point interval was also selected and the slope between these two observations was calculated. This process yielded four phenotypes: the RCR growth phenotype, a two time-point slope phenotype, and Time 1 and Time 2 serum glucose level phenotypes. These four phenotypes were used for linkage analyses on simulated chromosomes 5, 7, 9, and 21, those chromosomes that contained loci affecting the growth course for serum glucose levels. The linkage analysis of the RCR-derived phenotype showed overwhelming evidence for linkage at one locus (LOD 65.78 on chromosome 5), while showing elevated but nonsignificant LOD scores for two other loci (LOD 1.25 on chromosome 7, LOD 1.10 on chromosome 9), and no evidence of linkage for the final locus. The two time-point slope phenotype showed evidence for linkage at one locus (LOD 4.16 on chromosome 5) but no evidence for linkage at any of the other loci. A parallel cross-sectional approach, using as input phenotypes the endpoints of the two-point slope phenotype, gave strong linkage results for the major locus on chromosome 5 (maximal LOD scores of 17.90 and 27.24 for Time 1 and Time 2, respectively) while showing elevated but nonsignificant linkage results on chromosome 7 (maximal LOD scores of 1.71 and 1.48) and no evidence for linkage at the two remaining loci. The RCR growth parameter showed more power to detect linkage to the major locus than either the cross-sectional or two-point slope approach, but the cross-sectional approach gave a higher maximal LOD score for one of the minor loci. (+info)