In a disturbing documentary, Dr Sean Columb from Liverpool University goes to Egypt to investigate the illegal trade in human organs. We hear tales of people tricked into selling organs for less than they expected, of others being drugged and waking up having had a kidney removed, even bodies of murdered individuals found in the desert with multiple organs missing.
Occasionally I cross-post articles that first appeared on one of my other blogs. This link goes to a piece I wrote over at the Journal of the Left-Handed Biochemist summarising a paper that had appeared in Medical Law Review, The paper looks at the grounds on which three types of non-human “sapients” might be considered human. Since it has a clear ethical theme, and a close tie-in with the excellent series Humans, I have included mention of it here.
In recent years transplantation has become a feasible way to treat some facial disfigurement. The process is not without its challenges – both scientific and ethical. This video on face transplantation was made by second year students as an assessed piece of coursework at the University of Leicester, UK.
In recent years the ability to freeze human eggs for later IVF has become a viable procedure (no pun intended). The announcement in 2014 that Apple and Facebook announced free egg freezing for female employees (see https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/oct/15/apple-facebook-offer-freeze-eggs-female-employees) led to more discussion about the ethical issues raised by this development.
This video on egg freezing was made by second year students as an assessed piece of coursework at the University of Leicester, UK.
This video was produced by students at the University of Leicester. The team made effective use of a fictional case study to investigate some of the ethical issues associated with organ trading.
Gene therapy was the subject covered in the best video produced by students in the 2014-15 cohort of Medical Biochemists at the University of Leicester.
This is an excellent example of “whiteboard animation” – you don’t get such an effective result without significant planning. The video is wrong to say treatment of X-SCID was the first successful use; the first case involved Ashanti DeSilva, who had ADA-SCID. It does not include any coverage of genome editing methods, which are the most exciting new development in this area. Nevertheless, a very useful primer on the topic.
Each year second year students on the Medical Biochemistry programme at the University of Leicester produce videos on bioethical topics as one of their assignments.
This video on Performance-enhancing drugs in sport was rated as the runner-up for the 2014-15 cohort. Although there are some mispronunciations and it would have been better shot landscape than portrait, it nevertheless raises some of the key ethical issues in an engaging manner, and is an excellent example of paper-based animation.
Investigations such as genome sequencing and brain imaging have the potential to reveal details about the patient of research subject which were not the principal reason for the study. The ethical issues associated with such “incidental findings” is the subject of this short film, made by students at the University of Leicester.
The video was rated the third best produced by students in the 2014-15 cohort.
People interested in knowing more about the topic might also like to read:
Green et al. (2013) ACMG recommendations for reporting of incidental findings in clinical exome and genome sequencing Genetics in Medicine 15:565-574
Vernooji et al. (2007) Incidental Findings on Brain MRI in the General Population New England Journal of Medicine 357:1821-1828
VeriChips are radio-frequency identification devices (RFIDs) that have been under consideration for a range of medical and other uses.
This short video, produced by students at the University of Leicester, considers some of the science and ethics associated with this technology.
This short video was produced by second year students at the University of Leicester (UK) as an assessed piece of work. Unusually effective use of a simple “talking head” approach, combined with some graphics using Videoscribe manages to convey some of the ethical issues associated with Legal highs (New Psychoactive Substances).
There IS one major error in the video – the four principles are autonomy, beneficence, justice and non-maleficence (NOT non-malevolence).