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)
Commodification and exploitation: arguments in favour of compensated organ donation.
This paper takes the view that compensated donation and altruism are not incompatible. In particular, it holds that the arguments against giving compensation stand on weak rational grounds: (1) the charge that compensation fosters "commodification" has neither been specific enough to account for different types of monetary transactions nor sufficiently grounded in reality to be rationally convincing; (2) although altruism is commendable, organ donors should not be compelled to act purely on the basis of altruistic motivations, especially if there are good reasons to believe that significantly more lives can be saved and enhanced if incentives are put in place, and (3) offering compensation for organs does not necessarily lead to exploitation-on the contrary, it may be regarded as a necessity in efforts to minimise the level of exploitation that already exists in current organ procurement systems. (+info)
Ethical conflicts in public health research and practice: antimicrobial resistance and the ethics of drug development.
Since the 1960s, scientists and pharmaceutical representatives have called for the advancement and development of new antimicrobial drugs to combat infectious diseases. In January 2005, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), MD, introduced a biopreparedness bill that included provisions for patent extensions and tax incentives to stimulate industry research on new antimicrobials. Although government stimulus for private development of new antimicrobials is important, it does not resolve long-standing conflicts of interest between private entities and society. Rising rates of antimicrobial resistance have only exacerbated these conflicts. We used methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus as a case study for reviewing these problems, and we have suggested alternative approaches that may halt the vicious cycle of resistance and obsolescence generated by the current model of antimicrobial production. (+info)
Taking tissue seriously means taking communities seriously.
BACKGROUND: Health research is increasingly being conducted on a global scale, particularly in the developing world to address leading causes of morbidity and mortality. While research interest has increased, building scientific capacity in the developing world has not kept pace. This often leads to the export of human tissue (defined broadly) from the developing to the developed world for analysis. These practices raise a number of important ethical issues that require attention. DISCUSSION: In the developed world, there is great heterogeneity of regulatory practices regarding human tissues. In this paper, we outline the salient ethical issues raised by tissue exportation, review the current ethical guidelines and norms, review the literature on what is known empirically about perceptions and practices with respect to tissue exportation from the developing to the developed world, set out what needs to be known in terms of a research agenda, and outline what needs to be done immediately in terms of setting best practices. We argue that the current status of tissue exportation is ambiguous and requires clarification lest problems that have plagued the developed world occur in the context of global heath research with attendant worsening of inequities. Central to solutions to current ethical concerns entail moving beyond concern with individual level consent and embracing a robust interaction with communities engaged in research. CONCLUSION: Greater attention to community engagement is required to understand the diverse issues associated with tissue exportation. (+info)
Modafinil in the media: metaphors, medicalisation and the body.