Philosophy & Ethics

The marketing, prescribing and selling of testosterone and growth hormone as panaceas for age-related problems is disease mongering, write the authors of a paper in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society .

Disease mongering is inventing new broader definitions of disease in conjunction with widespread marketing to increase sales of specific drugs and therapies.

The 2015 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report found that only 45 percent of people with Alzheimer's disease or their caregivers were told the diagnosis by their doctor.

That is significantly lower than the 90 percent of people told the diagnosis for the four most common cancers.

Why? The reason most commonly cited by health care providers for not disclosing an Alzheimer's diagnosis is fear of causing the patient emotional distress but, according to the report, "studies that have explored this issue have found that few patients become depressed or have other long-term emotional problems because of the [Alzheimer's] diagnosis." 

Overpopulation, greenhouse gases, climate disruption - it's a doomsday prophet's Nirvana.

You, dear reader, are basically a blight on the pristine goodness of nature, but even being told that you stink has not led most of you to demand policy action. Why not? And will a Nobel laureate telling you to get off your butt help?(1) 

Dr. Paul Cruzten, a 1995 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, the fellow who popularized the term "anthropocene epoch", hopes his latest editorial, with Stanislaw Waclawek, on the subject creates a tipping point for change.

No doubt Lance Armstrong is still digesting the news that he has to repay $10 million (£6.4m) to previous sponsors following a ruling by an arbitration panel a few weeks ago.

This is on top of the lifetime ban from all sporting competitions that he was given several years back.

After they die, people are happy to donate their hearts, their eyes, even whole skeletons, without knowing anything at all about what will happen to them.

What about genetic information? 

Under current law, your genetic information is not inherited by default, so a child with a heritable form of cancer can't access their parent's genetic information after death if no consent was ever established. Clearly there needs to be a policy in the post-Human Genome Project age.

A volunteer receives a trial Ebola vaccine at the Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine in Oxford, southern England January 16, 2015. Eddie Keogh/Reuters

Recently, Phase II and III trials of two vaccines for Ebola started in West Africa. The development of possible vaccines is welcome news. Like most vaccine trials, the current Ebola trials are being conducted under ethical guidelines derived from US standards for clinical research in human beings.


Credit: Jon Olav Eikenes, CC-BY-SA

By: Carrie Peyton Dahlberg, Inside Science

(Inside Science) - Brain imaging can already pull bits of information from the minds of willing volunteers in laboratories. What happens when police or lawyers want to use it to pry a key fact from the mind of an unwilling person?

Will your brain be protected under the U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment from unreasonable search and seizure?  

There are many good reasons for increasing gender diversity on boards: better decisions, better performance, and better representation of the consumer base.

But the idea, put forward in a variety of research over the past twenty years or so, that women on boards improve the moral and ethical decision-making of those boards has a number of problems for both women and men, in the boardroom and out of it.

Personal information taken from social media, blogs, page views and so on are used to detect disease outbreaks, however, does this violate our privacy and trust if people do not consent to it?