Are Physicians Morally Obligated to Prescribe Experimental Therapies?

Are Physicians Morally Obligated to Prescribe Experimental Therapies?

A doctor reassuring a patient.

(© missty/Fotolia)


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Zubin Master
Zubin Master, PhD is an Associate Consultant II in the Biomedical Ethics Research Program at Mayo Clinic. Previously, he was an Associate Professor at the Alden March Bioethics Institute of Albany Medical College. He has also held appointments at the University of Alberta, University of Montreal, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. Dr. Master also worked in public service as a Senior Policy Advisor at Health Canada in areas of assisted reproduction and scientific integrity. He holds an undergraduate degree in genetics from York University, a PhD in cellular and molecular biology from the University of Toronto, and completed post-doctoral fellowships in bioethics and health policy at Dalhousie University and the University of British Columbia. His research interests focus on the ethics and policy of research specializing in stem cell research, genetics, and research integrity. Dr. Master serves on several committees and journal editorial boards and has published over 70 articles. Dr. Master has not received any remuneration for writing for leapsmag.
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The Friday Five: Soon Band-Aids Could Be AIs

In this week's Friday Five, research on a "smart" bandage for wounds, a breakthrough in fighting inflammation, the pros and cons of a new drug for Alzheimer's, benefits of the Mediterranean diet with a twist, and we've learned to recycle a plastic that was un-recyclable.

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The Friday Five covers five stories in research that you may have missed this week. There are plenty of controversies and troubling ethical issues in science – and we get into many of them in our online magazine – but this news roundup focuses on scientific creativity and progress to give you a therapeutic dose of inspiration headed into the weekend.

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Matt Fuchs

Matt Fuchs is the editor-in-chief of Leaps.org. He is also a contributing reporter to the Washington Post and has written for the New York Times, Time Magazine, WIRED and the Washington Post Magazine, among other outlets. Follow him on Twitter @fuchswriter.

Sexually Transmitted Infections are on the rise. This drug could stop them.

Cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis soared last year, but researchers are finding that a drug known as doxy seems to reduce the number of infections.

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Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are surging across the U.S. to 2.5 million cases in 2021 according to preliminary data from the CDC. A new prevention and treatment strategy now in clinical trials may provide a way to get a handle on them.

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Bob Roehr
Bob Roehr is a biomedical journalist based in Washington, DC. Over the last twenty-five years he has written extensively for The BMJ, Scientific American, PNAS, Proto, and myriad other publications. He is primarily interested in HIV, infectious disease, immunology, and how growing knowledge of the microbiome is changing our understanding of health and disease. He is working on a book about the ways the body can at least partially control HIV and how that has influenced (or not) the search for a treatment and cure.