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Controversial Bioethicist Resigns From Celltex 48

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the tweet-two-for-ethics dept.
ananyo writes "Bioethicist Glenn McGee has resigned his position as president of ethics and strategic initiatives at the stem-cell firm Celltex Therapeutics in Houston, Texas. Yesterday, Slashdot posted a story that suggested Celltex may have administered unproven treatments to several patients. The move comes at the end of a turbulent three months, which has seen McGee blasted by other bioethicists for working at the controversial stem-cell company while also holding the post of editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Bioethics, the most cited bioethics journal in the world. McGee announced that he had resigned, effective 28 February, on Twitter last night — the move came just two weeks after the 13 February press release by Celltex announcing that he would take the position."
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Controversial Bioethicist Resigns From Celltex

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  • by Baloroth (2370816) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @03:46PM (#39213093)
    That wasn't the problem, actually. The problem was he held a position at the company simultaneous with holding a position (as editor-in-chief) with a highly regarded and influential bioethics magazine. The result was a conflict of interest: the company pushes to perform unproven operations, and it is the job of bioethics to make sure they don't go into an ethical violation with the treatments. If one person is involved in both, the safeguards against unethical behavior are called into question, whether or not ethical violations actually take place. From the second linked article:

    They argue that in holding both posts, McGee has a conflict of interest between his responsibilities to the journal [of Bioethics] and his new employer’s desire to promote the clinical application of stem-cell treatments that are not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

  • With clinical trials (Score:5, Informative)

    by pavon (30274) on Thursday March 01, 2012 @04:43PM (#39213839)

    You prove that this works through clinical trials. But Celltex Therapeutics isn't conducting any such trials. They have made vague comments about starting some trials sometime in the future, but that's it. They don't have any control subjects. They don't have any animal test results on which they are basing their human predictions on. They haven't even identified what ailments they are going to be testing their treatment for!

    In the meanwhile they are happy to inject anyone willing to pay the $7k+ per injection, for whatever ailment they complain about, regardless of whether there is any reason to think the treatment would help, or whether the patient would otherwise suffer and die.

Fools ignore complexity. Pragmatists suffer it. Some can avoid it. Geniuses remove it. -- Perlis's Programming Proverb #58, SIGPLAN Notices, Sept. 1982

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