Has medical science taken a turn towards darkness?

Perhaps half of the scientific literature may simply be untrue

A lot of what is published is incorrect.”
I’m not allowed to say who made this remark because we were asked to observe Chatham House rules. We were also asked not to take photographs of slides. Those who worked for government agencies pleaded that their comments especially remain unquoted, since the forthcoming UK election meant they were living in “purdah”—a chilling state where severe restrictions on freedom of speech are placed on anyone on the government’s payroll. Why the paranoid concern for secrecy and non-attribution? Because this symposium—on the reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research, held at the Wellcome Trust in London last week—touched on one of the most sensitive issues in science today: the idea that something has gone fundamentally wrong with one of our greatest human creations.

Offline: What is medicine’s 5 sigma?, the lancet, Comment, April 11, 2015.

The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness. As one participant put it, “poor methods get results”. The Academy of Medical Sciences, Medical Research Council, and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council have now put their reputational weight behind an investigation into these questionable research practices. The apparent endemicity of bad research behaviour is alarming. In their quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world. Or they retrofit hypotheses to fit their data. Journal editors deserve their fair share of criticism too. We aid and abet the worst behaviours. Our acquiescence to the impact factor fuels an unhealthy competition to win a place in a select few journals. Our love of “significance” pollutes the literature with many a statistical fairy-tale. We reject important confirmations. Journals are not the only miscreants. Universities are in a perpetual struggle for money and talent, endpoints that foster reductive metrics, such as high-impact publication. National assessment procedures, such as the Research Excellence Framework, incentivise bad practices. And individual scientists, including their most senior leaders, do little to alter a research culture that occasionally veers close to misconduct.

Can bad scientific practices be fixed?
Part of the problem is that no-one is incentivised to be right. Instead, scientists are incentivised to be productive and innovative. Would a Hippocratic Oath for science help? Certainly don’t add more layers of research redtape. Instead of changing incentives, perhaps one could remove incentives altogether. Or insist on replicability statements in grant applications and research papers. Or emphasise collaboration, not competition. Or insist on preregistration of protocols. Or reward better pre and post publication peer review. Or improve research training and mentorship. Or implement the recommendations from our Series on increasing research value, published last year. One of the most convincing proposals came from outside the biomedical community. Tony Weidberg is a Professor of Particle Physics at Oxford. Following several high-profi le errors, the particle physics community now invests great effort into intensive checking and rechecking of data prior to publication. By filtering results through independent working groups, physicists are encouraged to criticise. Good criticism is rewarded. The goal is a reliable result, and the incentives for scientists are aligned around this goal. Weidberg worried we set the bar for results in biomedicine far too low. In particle physics, significance is set at 5 sigma—a p value of 3 × 10–7 or 1 in 3·5 million (if the result is not true, this is the probability that the data would have been as extreme as they are). The conclusion of the symposium was that something must be done. Indeed, all seemed to agree that it was within our power to do that something. But as to precisely what to do or how to do it, there were no fi rm answers. Those who have the power to act seem to think somebody else should act first. And every positive action (eg, funding well-powered replications) has a counterargument (science will become less creative). The good news is that science is beginning to take some of its worst failings very seriously. The bad news is that nobody is ready to take the first step to clean up the system.

Richard Horton,
The Lancet, Comment, April 11, 2015.

Women and Health Research

Ethical and Legal Issues of Including Women in Clinical Studies, Volume 1, 1994

Women-and-Health-Research
Appendix C includes a DES case study

In the nineteenth century some scientists argued that women should not be educated because thinking would use energy needed by the uterus for reproduction. The proof? Educated women had a lower birth rate. Today’s researchers can only shake their heads at such reasoning. Yet professional journals and the popular press are increasingly criticizing medical research for ignoring women’s health issues.

Women and Health Research examines the facts behind the public’s perceptions about women participating as subjects in medical research. With the goal of increasing researchers’ awareness of this important topic, the book explores issues related to maintaining justice (in its ethical sense) in clinical studies.

Leading experts present general principles for the ethical conduct of research on women–principles that are especially important in the light of recent changes in federal policy on the inclusion of women in clinical research.

Women and Health Research documents the historical shift from a paternalistic approach by researchers toward women and a disproportionate reliance on certain groups for research to one that emphasizes proper access for women as subjects in clinical studies in order to ensure that women receive the benefits of research.

The book addresses present-day challenges to equity in four areas:

  • Scientific–Do practical aspects of scientific research work at cross-purposes to gender equity? Focusing on drug trials, the authors identify rationales for excluding people from research based on demographics.
  • Social and Ethical–The authors offer compelling discussions on subjectivity in science, the evidence for male bias, and issues related to race and ethnicity, as well as the recruitment, retention, and protection of research participants.
  • Legal–Women and Health Research reviews federal research policies that affect the inclusion of women and evaluates the basis for researchers’ fears about liability, citing court cases. Appendix C includes a DES case study.
  • Risk–The authors focus on risks to reproduction and offspring in clinical drug trials, exploring how risks can be identified for study participants, who should make the assessment of risk and benefit for participation in a clinical study, and how legal implications could be addressed.

This landmark study will be of immediate use to the research community, policymakers, women’s health advocates, attorneys, and individuals.

DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

How Pharmaceutical Companies Entice Doctors into Prescribing Expensive Medication

An excerpt from Dissenting Diagnosis, by Arun Gadre and Abhay Shukla, published by Random House India

Written by the doctors and public health advocates Arun Gadre and Abhay Shukla, Dissenting Diagnosis is based on a study conducted at Support for Advocacy and Training to Health Initiatives, a Pune-based non-governmental organisation. During the course of this study, Gadre and Shukla interviewed 78 doctors from across the nation in an effort to confront what they consider is an ongoing crisis of the medical profession: doctors, they write in their introduction to the book, are finding “their traditions of ‘keep patients foremost’ rapidly buried under the ruthless logic of ‘keep profits foremost.’” Gadre and Shukla discussed with these medical professionals issues such as lack of regularisation in the private sector, unlawful and unethical practices routinely followed by doctors, the influence of pharmaceutical companies, the state of medical education, and the possibility of a universal healthcare system.

How Pharmaceutical Companies Entice Doctors into Prescribing Expensive Medication, caravanmagazine, 16 April 2016.

In the following excerpt from the book, interviewees speak to the writers about the hold of the pharmaceutical companies over the medicines prescribed by doctors. They describe how, through offers of gifts and benefits, aggressive marketing and sheer persistence, representatives from pharmaceutical companies routinely entice doctors into prescribing expensive and often unnecessary medicines to their patients. The pharmaceutical companies, one of the doctors said, are “like a pack of wolves.”

“Some of my doctor friends boast to me that they have travelled the world, sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. One was telling me with pride that even their shirts, pants, vests and underwear are given by pharmaceutical companies!” says an ophthalmologist from a medium-sized city.

Dr Suchitra, a general practitioner in Chennai, mentions, “The pharmaceutical companies offered to sponsor me for a conference, but I refused. I usually prescribe generic medicines or cheap, branded medicines. But the interesting thing is that once these pharmaceutical companies realized I don’t prescribe their medicines, they stopped visiting me.”

“I have been practising for thirty years. I have not given any ‘cuts,’” a super-specialist from a metropolis shares. “I did not encourage pharmaceutical companies. I change the medicines prescribed to my patients, prescribing cheaper medicines if expensive medicines have been prescribed. And what a big difference this makes to the patient! Sometimes the cost is reduced as much as Rs 35–40 per tablet! Patients are often unnecessarily prescribed expensive brands of medicines, for years on end, sometimes for life. The hapless patient keeps taking these medicines.

“Once, four medical representatives visited me with their bosses. They tried to convince me that I should not replace their brands, while prescribing cheaper brands to patients. We discussed the matter for an hour and their argument was that their company does a lot of research, on which they spend crores of rupees. That is why their brand is more expensive by Rs 30 per tablet.

“After they had finished their speech, I took Rs 1000 out of my pocket and handed it to one of the bosses. Surprised, he asked me what this was for. I answered: ‘You are doing such good work for humankind. This is my small contribution!’”

“After that I emphatically told them that I would help them, but how could I do this at the patients’ expense without telling the patients? Of course, they had no answer to that.”

A big-city surgeon remarks, “Pharmaceutical companies sponsor conferences where nobody bothers to listen to the lectures. Doctors just go to the stalls, and collect gifts. They enjoy the free drinks. It is a filthy business. What can one say?”

“Medical representatives influence the doctors. One of them offered me a trip to Singapore. I refused and told him that I would go at my own expense, and when I wanted,” said a general practitioner from a big city.

A super-specialist from a metropolitan city also shares, “The medical representatives are really persistent; they don’t leave you alone. Earlier, I would get angry at them. One of them pleaded with me, “Sir, you are the only one left. The other doctors, like you, who would earlier not take gifts, have all gradually succumbed. That’s why I am now meeting you too.” Since then, I don’t get angry with them.

“Recently, a medical representative brought along a diamond necklace as a gift, worth Rs 1 lakh.

“I asked him, ‘What’s this?’

“‘A diamond necklace, sir.’

“‘For whom?’

“‘It’s for your wife.’

“Controlling my temper, I asked him, ‘How do you dare to put a necklace on my wife’s neck?’

“The poor fellow was taken aback. ‘It is you . . . you will put the necklace on your wife’s neck.’

“Giving it back to him, I told him in a calm voice, ‘If that is so, then I will buy it with my own money. That is, if she wants a necklace at all!’

“The poor fellow left with the necklace.”

Dr Sumit Das, a psychiatrist from Kolkata notes, “Pharmaceutical companies exist to do business and make profits. But what about doctors? They too put pressure on pharmaceutical companies, telling them, ‘If I prescribe your medicines, send me on a tour to Europe.’

“In the field of psychiatry, pharmaceutical companies bring out new medications every day. There is no evidence that the new medications are better than the cheaper and effective medications that are already in use. And keep in mind the fact that our patients don’t take these medications for just a few days, but often for months or even longer. Yet these unnecessarily expensive medicines are sold and also prescribed.”

“Pharmaceutical companies could have donated money to our department and our institution by cheque. But instead of doing that, I would repeatedly be offered personal gifts, foreign trips, etc. Those salesmen would tell me openly that they are willing to spend on an individual, not on the institution,’ comments a general surgeon from a metropolitan city.

A paediatrician from a metropolitan city suggests, “The practice of pharma companies sponsoring doctors for conferences and CME (Continuing Medical Education) workshops must be stopped immediately.”

A gynaecologist from a big city observes, “The area manager of a pharmaceutical company once paid me a visit along with his army of representatives. He asked me why I regularly use a certain product manufactured by them.

“I answered, ‘It is cheap, it is effective. That’s why.’

“He was confused. He asked me in bewilderment, ‘Madam, we never give you any gifts.’

“I replied, ‘There is no need for that.’

“He just could not believe it. He kept asking, ‘How can this be, madam? Please tell me the reason.’

“This is the ridiculous situation that prevails. This is the reality.”

A paediatrician from a big city mentions, “Our branch [of a doctors’ association] was functioning well. We would organize CME workshops with our own funds. Gradually, the pharmaceutical companies pushed their way in. From 1995 onwards they began to organize their own CME workshops. Earlier, we would focus on the issues of importance that we had decided upon. But then the pharmaceutical companies began to select only those topics that would help them promote their new drugs. The workshops were free, with liquor thrown in. Finally the doctors in our city decided that all workshops henceforth would be organized by the pharmaceutical companies. I would ask them why they couldn’t spend Rs 1000 per year on their own education. Why do you want it free? Finally, through a secret ballot, my opposition was set aside and the basic principles of our [doctors’ association] branch were changed in favour of the pharma companies. Obviously, I withdrew from it. Now all workshops in our city are conducted by pharmaceutical companies.”

“A rampant malpractice is in the area of prescribing vaccines—it is organized, and takes place on a large-scale in planned fashion. The practitioner gets a cut on the Maximum Retail Price (MRP). The more expensive the vaccine, the higher the cut. The cut is even more than the consultation fee. The doctor gets both—the cut from the company and the fee from the patient,” notes Dr Vandana Prasad, a paediatrician from Delhi.

“The pharmaceutical companies are like a pack of wolves. They keep pestering you and encourage you to accept some incentives. Once you take anything from them, they immediately become arrogant. Now they begin to ask you directly, ‘Why don’t you prescribe our medicine?’ They start dictating terms, and because you have accepted money and gifts, you are morally bound to them,” Dr Sanjay Bhatnagar, a paediatrician from Delhi, also shares.

A surgeon from a megacity mentions, “The government cannot provide funds, and if the pharmaceutical companies therefore sponsor conferences in a transparent manner, there is nothing wrong with it. The MCI wanted to do something about this.”

A skin specialist from a big city says, “The pharmaceutical companies have created mayhem. Things like conference sponsorship by drug companies must be stopped. The MCI is aware of the problem, but there are lots of loopholes that can be exploited. Nowadays, doctors take money from pharmaceutical companies and prescribe ten to twenty medicines in a single prescription. There is always an antioxidant tablet prescribed, whether it serves any purpose or not.”

A skin specialist from Kolkata, Dr Jayant Das also remarks, ‘Now pharmaceutical companies are resorting to a new strategy. “For example, they don’t even produce Doxycycline (an established antibiotic) capsules, which cost less than Re 1 per capsule. Instead, they add a useless component like lactobacillus with Doxycycline, and then sell each of those capsules for Rs 5. And when the ordinary, cheap Doxycycline capsule is not even available in the market by design, one has no choice but to prescribe the expensive medicine. This is happening without any check with respect to many medications. One company recently withdrew a medication available for Rs 2. They made some token changes in the formulation and the same tablet is now sold by them for Rs 15!”

Another skin specialist from a big city observes, “Pharmaceutical companies try to give money to doctors under the pretext of conducting studies on their medicines. Such bogus clinical trials are conducted openly. The doctors lure the patients with the promise that the stated medication has come from abroad, and if you want to have it free, you would have to just sign this form, that’s all! Please sign here. Doctors collect the signatures on the forms. Sometimes they just fill up the details. Once they have given the papers for ten to twelve cases (even without prescribing the medication) they get a cheque from the pharmaceutical company.

“If one puts an end to the money pharmaceutical companies spend on doctors, medicines will definitely become much cheaper. That must be ensured, for the benefit of patients. Doctors should be legally compelled to prescribe only generic medicines.”

A general surgeon from a big city offers, “Take the example of Lactulose, which is used to treat constipation. It costs about Rs 180 for 200 ml, that is, around Rs 900 a litre. This is a by-product of the sugar industry. Actually, this should cost less than sugar, i.e., less than Rs 60 per kg. Elderly people will be taking this for years together. Shouldn’t the prices of such medicines be regulated? No. The loot continues.”

 

Publication and reporting of clinical trial results

Drug trials not reported in line with ethical and legal demands

Scientists at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute fear sacrifices by some drug trial participants are in vain. Less than one in three of completed clinical trials led by investigators were published within two years of completion.

Abstract

Publication and reporting of clinical trial results: cross sectional analysis across academic medical centers, The BMJ 2016;352:i637, 17 February 2016.

Objective
To determine rates of publication and reporting of results within two years for all completed clinical trials registered in ClinicalTrials.gov across leading academic medical centers in the United States.

Design
Cross sectional analysis.

Setting
Academic medical centers in the United States.

Participants
Academic medical centers with 40 or more completed interventional trials registered on ClinicalTrials.gov.

Methods
Using the Aggregate Analysis of ClinicalTrials.gov database and manual review, we identified all interventional clinical trials registered on ClinicalTrials.gov with a primary completion date between October 2007 and September 2010 and with a lead investigator affiliated with an academic medical center.

Main outcome measures
The proportion of trials that disseminated results, defined as publication or reporting of results on ClinicalTrials.gov, overall and within 24 months of study completion.

Results
We identified 4347 interventional clinical trials across 51 academic medical centers. Among the trials, 1005 (23%) enrolled more than 100 patients, 1216 (28%) were double blind, and 2169 (50%) were phase II through IV. Overall, academic medical centers disseminated results for 2892 (66%) trials, with 1560 (35.9%) achieving this within 24 months of study completion. The proportion of clinical trials with results disseminated within 24 months of study completion ranged from 16.2% (6/37) to 55.3% (57/103) across academic medical centers. The proportion of clinical trials published within 24 months of study completion ranged from 10.8% (4/37) to 40.3% (31/77) across academic medical centers, whereas results reporting on ClinicalTrials.gov ranged from 1.6% (2/122) to 40.7% (72/177).

Drug trials not reported in line with ethical and legal demands, independent, 17 February 2016.

Conclusions
Despite the ethical mandate and expressed values and mission of academic institutions, there is poor performance and noticeable variation in the dissemination of clinical trial results across leading academic medical centers.

Diethylstilbestrol Studies with Ethical Violations

Research ethics: where do you draw the line?

1950’s illegal studies that violated the Hippocratic Oath, the Nuremberg Code, and the Declaration of Helsinki.

Sources:
More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

U.K. researcher receives approval to genetically modify human embryos

HFEA approval for new “gene editing” techniques

Scientists in Britain have been give the go-ahead to edit the genes of human embryos for research purposes, using a technique that some say could eventually be used to create “designer babies”.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has approved a research application from the Francis Crick Institute to use new “gene editing” techniques on human embryos (see Licence Committee – minutes).

The aim of the research, led by Dr Kathy Niakan, a group leader at the Crick, is to understand the genes human embryos need to develop successfully.

The work carried out at the Crick will be for research purposes and will look at the first seven days of a fertilised egg’s development (from a single cell to around 250 cells).

The knowledge acquired from the research will be important for understanding how a healthy human embryo develops.

This knowledge may improve embryo development after in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and might provide better clinical treatments for infertility, using conventional medical methods.

Paul Nurse, director of the Crick, said:

“I am delighted that the HFEA has approved Dr Niakan’s application. Dr Niakan’s proposed research is important for understanding how a healthy human embryo develops and will enhance our understanding of IVF success rates, by looking at the very earliest stage of human development – one to seven days.”

In line with HFEA regulations, any donated embryos will be used for research purposes only and cannot be used in treatment. These embryos will be donated by patients who have given their informed consent to the donation of embryos which are surplus to their IVF treatment.

The genome editing research now needs to gain ethical approval and, subject to that approval, the research programme will begin within the next few months.

Press releases

  • Britain gives scientist go-ahead to genetically modify human embryos, reuters, Feb 1, 2016.
  • CRISPR Editing of Human Embryos Approved in the U.K., genengnews, Feb 1, 2016.
  • In a world first, UK scientists just got approval to edit human embryos, vox, February 1, 2016.
  • U.K. Approves First Studies of New Gene Editing Technique CRISPR on Human Embryos, time, Feb 1, 2016.
  • UK researcher gets go-ahead to create embryos using CRISPR, siliconrepublic, Feb 1, 2016.

HIV, Women and Access to Clinical Trials: Tort Liability and Lessons from DES

Are we destined to repeat the DES experience with AZT use by pregnant women?

image of pregnant-woman-1950s
In the early 1950s, large controlled clinical trials of DES were conducted on pregnant women.

SELECTED Abstracts

The purpose of this Article is to examine the tort liability experience with DES, compare it to the recent and ongoing trials of AZT in pregnant women, and extract lessons that can be used to mitigate against the likelihood of tort liability and to encourage the inclusion of women of childbearing age in clinical trials.

… “Although many factors may have contributed to the underrepresentation of women in clinical studies, the potential exposure of drug trial sponsors to tort liability frequently is cited as one of the primary reasons for excluding women from trials. The true source of legal anxiety in the recruitment of female research subjects arises, however, not from a concern for women’s safety, but from the fear of potential injuries to their offspring. Observations and reports of birth defects in children of women who had been treated with thalidomide or bendectin brought liability concerns to the forefront.  When the courts held manufacturers liable for injuries caused to the offspring of women exposed to Diethylstilbestrol (DES), it became yet another reason for excluding pregnant women and women of childbearing age from clinical trials. “…

…”In the early 1950s, large controlled clinical trials of DES were conducted on pregnant women at the University of Chicago, which led to the cases of alleged research-related injury. Both cases were brought after the discovery of the carcinogenic potential of DES in offspring of women who had been given DES. In Mink v. University of Chicago,  three women, on behalf of themselves and approximately one thousand women who had participated in the trials, alleged injury, as well as increased risk of injury, to their daughters. In Wetherill v. University of Chicago, the plaintiffs were two daughters who had contracted cancer that they attributed to the DES that was administered to their mothers while they were pregnant. In both Mink and Wetherill the plaintiffs claimed that the women taking DES never knew that they were participating in an experiment or that they were even taking DES.

Read the Full Paper,
DUKE JOURNAL OF GENDER LAW & POLICY,
Volume 5:167, 1998.

In the hearing in Mink on whether the case brought by the mothers against the manufacturer and the institution conducting the research should be dismissed, the court held that the manufacturers had a duty to notify the women about the risks posed by DES at the time when the company became aware of them or should have become aware of them.63 The court permitted the battery allegations against the University of Chicago to stand, stating that nonemergency treatment performed without consent or knowledge raises a claim of battery. The case was settled with financial compensation to the plaintiffs and an agreement by the University of Chicago to provide medical services to women in the trials and to their offspring. In Wetherill, the court permitted the daughters to bring an action against the manufacturer and the University of Chicago. This case also settled, although the terms of the settlement were undisclosed.”…

More DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

Human Gene Editing important issues and need for appropriate regulatory oversight

Scientists urge caution on human gene editing

image of statue Human-Gene-Editing
The 2015 International Summit on Human Gene Editing concluded that it would be “irresponsible” to use a powerful tool for editing human genes until more is known about the consequences and ethics of passing genetic changes to future generations.

Abstract – 2015 International Summit Statement

Clinical Use: Germline.

Gene editing might also be used, in principle, to make genetic alterations in gametes or embryos, which will be carried by all of the cells of a resulting child and will be passed on to subsequent generations as part of the human gene pool. Examples that have been proposed range from avoidance of severe inherited diseases to ‘enhancement’ of human capabilities. Such modifications of human genomes might include the introduction of naturally occurring variants or totally novel genetic changes thought to be beneficial.

Germline editing poses many important issues, including:

  1. the risks of inaccurate editing (such as off-target mutations) and incomplete editing of the cells of early-stage embryos (mosaicism);
  2. the difficulty of predicting harmful effects that genetic changes may have under the wide range of circumstances experienced by the human population, including interactions with other genetic variants and with the environment;
  3. the obligation to consider implications for both the individual and the future generations who will carry the genetic alterations;
  4. the fact that, once introduced into the human population, genetic alterations would be difficult to remove and would not remain within any single community or country;
  5. the possibility that permanent genetic ‘enhancements’ to subsets of the population could exacerbate social inequities or be used coercively;
  6. and the moral and ethical considerations in purposefully altering human evolution using this technology.

It would be irresponsible to proceed with any clinical use of germline editing unless and until

  1. the relevant safety and efficacy issues have been resolved, based on appropriate understanding and balancing of risks, potential benefits, and alternatives,
  2. and there is broad societal consensus about the appropriateness of the proposed application.

Moreover, any clinical use should proceed only under appropriate regulatory oversight. At present, these criteria have not been met for any proposed clinical use: the safety issues have not yet been adequately explored; the cases of most compelling benefit are limited; and many nations have legislative or regulatory bans on germline modification. However, as scientific knowledge advances and societal views evolve, the clinical use of germline editing should be revisited on a regular basis.

Sources and More information

The Custom-Made Child?

Women-Centered Perspectives (Contemporary Issues in Biomedicine, Ethics, and Society)

The-Custom-made-Child book cover image
Women-Centered Perspectives (Contemporary Issues in Biomedicine, Ethics, and Society)

Women most fully experience the consequences of human reproductive technologies. Men who convene to evaluate such technologies discuss “them”: the women who must accept, avoid, or even resist these technologies; the women who consume technologies they did not devise; the women who are the objects of policies made by men. So often the input of women is neither sought nor listened to. The privileged insights and perspectives that women bring to the consideration of technologies in human reproduction are the subject of these volumes, which constitute the revised and edited record of a Workshop on “Ethical Issues in Human Reproduction Technology: Analysis by Women” (EIRTAW), held in June, 1979, at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Some 80 members of the workshop, 90 percent of them women (from 24 states), represented diverse occupations and personal histories, different races and classes, varied political commitments. They included doctors, nurses, and scientists, lay midwives, consumer advocates, historians, and sociologists, lawyers, policy analysts, and ethicists. Each session, however, made plain that ethics is an everyday concern for women in general, as well as an academic profession for some.

DES DiEthylStilbestrol Resources

Three-Person IVF : could the UK be on the brink of a “historical mistake” ask scientists?

Go ahead and give your opinion!

UK parliament- image
#ThreePersonIVF babies could be at greater risk of cancer and premature ageing, and would need to be monitored all their lives, experts have said as they warn the UK it could be on the brink of a “historical mistake”!

The United Kingdom is on course to become the first country to allow in vitro fertilisation (IVF) to create babies using biological material from three people to prevent serious inherited disease, after MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of the procedure, reports the BMJ.

The UK House of Commons voted by 382 to 128 to approve regulations allowing mitochondrial donation, after MPs were given a free vote of conscience on the issue.

The Telegraph is asking your opinion:

 

 

 

and interestingly,  the general public results look quite different from the MP’s vote…

 

 

 

 

Go ahead and give your opinion!

Sources and more information