The Charlie Gard case. An ultimate dispassionate ethical reflexion

It is dangerous to exclude ethical judgment from medical decisions in which death is knocking at the door of life In medical cases in which death comes knocking at the door of life, circumstances arise that are not easy to judge and even less easy to resolve. Such cases can be...

New artificial species. Could they affect biodiversity?

An article was recently published in the blog Practical Ethics, defending the use of synthetic biology and gene editing to obtain new organisms that do not exist in nature. Its author argues that if biodiversity is valuable, then it should be promoted, adding new species instead...

Charlie Gard, the sick baby hospital doctors want to disconnect. Medical and ethical assessement

He and his parents await the Judge’s decision regarding the possibility of withdrawing the life support who keep him alive and the possibility of receiving an experimental treatment in the United States. Dr. Hirano, the Rome doctor and Miss Yates were all hoping to convince...

Video. Julian Savulescu argues in favour of an experimental treatment for Charlie Gard

We present these videos and selected ideas, wich give a short clear bioethics review of Charlie Gards’s case. Our Observatory fully agrees with his conclusions.  Julian Savulescu (Uehiro Chair in Practical Ethics, Oxford), argues that Charlie Gard, who suffers from an...

Legal status of human-animal chimeras – hybrid embryos

In addition to the biomedical and bioethical problems raised by human-animal hybridization, there are also objective legal problems. A recent article in the Journal of Medical Ethics (2014; 40, 284-285) reviewed this topic following a debate in the United Kingdom (UK) House of...

Human overpopulation of the earth myth

Is our planet really overpopulated? The problem of human overpopulation of the Earth is often raised in different social settings and especially in some media, often resulting in the promotion of antinatalist policies. But is our planet really overpopulated? This is a complex...

The biological status of the early human embryo. When does human life begins?

“Those who argue that that embryo can be destroyed with impunity will have to prove that this newly created life is not human. And no-one, to the best of our knowledge, has yet been able to do so.” Introduction In order to determine the nature of the human embryo, we need to know...

Ten years since the discovery of iPS cells. The current state of their clinical application

  Rev Clin Esp. 2017 Jan – Feb;217(1):30-34. doi: 10.1016/j.rce.2016.08.003. Epub 2016 Oct 5. Justo Aznar Ph.D. MD Julio Tudela Pharm Ph.D. Institute of Life Science – Bioethics Observatory Catholic University of Valencia – Spain iPS cells current clinical...
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Germline gene editing could soon reach the USA. What about the globally agreement that it should be prohibited?

“We’re very disappointed with the report. It’s really a pretty dramatic shift from the existing and widespread agreement globally that human germline editing should be prohibited” On 14th February 2017, the National Academy of Science and the National...

Three-parent babies. Two children have been born by mitochondrial transfer technique

We recently discussed mitochondrial transfer in the United Kingdom (see HERE). On 15 December 2016, the UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority approved this technique to prevent the transmission of mitochondrial diseases, i.e. the technique colloquially known as the...