sábado, 12 de marzo de 2016

BioEdge: Sharapova’s stumble revives doping debate

BioEdge: Sharapova’s stumble revives doping debate

Sharapova’s stumble revives doping debate
Maria Sharapova in the quarter-final of the Australian Open  
Top-ranked Russian tennis pro Maria Sharapova has admitted that she failed a drug test at the Australian Open after taking a banned substance called mildonium (mildronate). The consequences for her career and her income are likely to be substantial.

The incident has revived the debate about the wisdom of banning more and more performance-enhancing drugs. Sharapova had been taking the drug for years for a magnesium deficiency, irregular electrical activity in the heart, and a family history of diabetes. It was only placed on the list of forbidden substances in January. Her excuse is that she overlooked an emailed warning.

But whether or not she took it deliberately, haven’t we created a bureaucratic monster, asks Oxford bioethicist Julian Savulescu. He says that “a hidden clause in WADA’s [World Anti-Doping Agency’s] code is that something will be banned if it is both performance-enhancing and artificial, either in preparation or delivery.” But is there a reasonable basis for the distinction between “natural” and “artificial”? Savulescu says No.

But what moral difference does it make whether something is natural or artificial? Outside of drugs, sport is full of artificial enhancers: running shoes are artificial, aero helmets are artificial, chlorinated swimming pools are unnatural.

Instead of taking an intuitive approach of “knowing it when we see it”, we should ban substances or practices that are clearly or probably unsafe. And we should ban specific substances that corrupt the spirit of a particular sport – that is, that substantially reduce the human element, on a sport-by-sport basis.
- See more at: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/sharapovas-stumble-revives-doping-debate/11794#sthash.qHAFMsFQ.dpuf


I must confess that one of the most difficult things about editing BioEdge is that it is difficult to compose punny headlines. Any editor worth his salt wants to sprinkle a publications with puns. The Economist’s sub-editors are masters of the inobtrusive pun. I recall fondly a story about hallucinogenic mushrooms which was headed “Fungi to be with”.  
However, there is such a thing as taste – and ethics -- and puns over most of our stories would be either morbid or ribald. That’s one reason why I am looking forward to more developments with CRISPR. Some day I’ll be able to use “Ethics on gene editing CRISPR but no clearer” or “CRISPR holds promise of abundant fruit”. Sooner or later “Belgian govt’s waffle on euthanasia slated by ethicist” will come true. Or “Cloned baby to be named John-John.” Or “Euthanasia law comes into effect today” – but you need to be Australian to appreciate that one.
This is the kind of thing I think about a lot. So I was dismayed to read that bad puns may be a sign of a degenerative brain disorder. A new paper in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences describes two patients afflicted by “intractable joking.” One was dragged along to the doctor by his wife because he kept waking her in the middle of the night to regale her with new puns he had just composed. The other lost his job after asking “Who the hell chose this God-awful place?” Scans showed that both had experienced damage to the right hemisphere of the brain.
I suppose their experience can be summed up in the old joke: “They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian. Well, they’re not laughing now.”  Any ideas from readers about puns for bioethicists? 

Michael Cook

This week in BioEdge
by Michael Cook | Mar 13, 2016
Controversial proposal could same lives, say doctors
by Michael Cook | Mar 12, 2016
Proposals in parliament to restrict conscientious objection
by Michael Cook | Mar 12, 2016
Could fact stiff opposition
by Michael Cook | Mar 12, 2016
She broke the rules, but do the rules make sense?
by Xavier Symons | Mar 12, 2016
The US Senate Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives met for the first time last week.
by Xavier Symons | Mar 12, 2016
The first womb transplant to take place in the US has failed – under dramatic circumstances.
by Xavier Symons | Mar 12, 2016
In academic discourse the merits of regulating smoking are a forgone conclusion. The question under debate now is how to regulate.
by Xavier Symons | Mar 12, 2016
A British doctor has mixed Bowie nostalgia with a reflection on the importance of palliative care.
by John Keown and Xavier Symons | Mar 08, 2016
An exclusive interview with John Keown, a senior research scholar at Georgetown University's Kennedy Institute of Ethics.
Suite 12A, Level 2 | 5 George St | North Strathfield NSW 2137 | Australia
Phone: +61 2 8005 8605
Mobile: 0422-691-615
New Media Foundation | Level 2, 5 George St | North Strathfield NSW 2137 | AUSTRALIA | +61 2 8005 8605 

No hay comentarios: