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L7 Henrietta Lacks (Medical ethics)
Questions to ponder after reading the story of Hela cell: Controversies in medicine
Medical advances like gene therapy, cloned replacement organs, stem-cell therapy, life-extension technologies, the promised spin-offs from genomics and tailored medicine have motivated medical scientists to look at the ethical issues arising from this progress. Here are some controversial medical issues for you to ponder.
(*Medical ethics: trying to do the right thing while achieving the best possible outcome for every patient)

1. Organ transplantation
It literally means “planting” when the organ (rare, multiple organs) is removed from one body and is placed into another (donor—recipient interaction) in order to replace the recipient’s damaged body part.

2. Euthanasia
This word is composed of two Greek roots and means “good death.” In its common meaning, euthanasia is aimed to terminate the life of those people suffering from debilitating diseases.

3. In vitro fertilization
In 1978, the first child was born using test-tube techniques. This practice gave hope to thousands of people to have their own biological children if their certain medical conditions were prohibiting a couple from having children naturally.

4. Surrogacy
Surrogacy arrangement or surrogacy agreement is the carrying of a pregnancy for intended parents. Intended parents may seek a surrogacy arrangement when either pregnancy is medically impossible, pregnancy risks present an unacceptable danger to the mother's health or is a same sex couples preferred method of procreation.

5. Abortion
How much right does a woman have over her body, and how does that right balance with the rights of the fetus?

6. The Human Genome Project
The Human Genome Project (HGP) is an international scientific research project with the goal of determining the sequence of chemical base pairs which make up human DNA, and of identifying and mapping all of the genes of the human genome from both a physical and functional standpoint. The possible applications of the project include predicting the development of disease, making possible early intervention to limit the severity of a disease or to use gene therapy to cure inherited disorders.

7. Cloning
In biology, cloning is the process of producing similar populations of genetically identical individuals that occurs in nature when organisms such as bacteria, insects or plants reproduce asexually. Cloning in biotechnology refers to processes used to create copies of DNA fragments (molecular cloning), cells (cell cloning), or organisms.

8. Plastic Surgery
In the latter part of the 20th century elective plastic surgery—known as cosmetic surgery—became more common, and more popular. Now it is even being requested for adolescents and children, which creates unique ethical difficulties.

9. The right to refuse treatment
The decision not to receive any type of medical treatment, from a simple blood test to deciding to donate your organs after your death must be respected on the condition that you must have the capacity to make that decision. Capacity means the ability to use and understand information to make a decision.

* Pick one issue and discuss with your partner. (Representation: Form a group of three persons. You need to cover a short introduction to the topic and pros and cons for the practice)
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