This exploratory study examines the ethical justification that cancer care and dementia care nurses gave for active voluntary euthanasia. A convenient sample of 319 nurses working in seven countries was interviewed using a structured interview guide. The great majority of the nurses could not ethically justify active voluntary euthanasia. Even if the law changed, only 96 of the total sample viewed active voluntary euthanasia as ethical. For those nurses who could ethically justify active voluntary euthanasia, the majority did so because of the patients' suffering.
During the past four decades, there has been an increase in the incidence rate of male reproductive disorders in some, but not all, Western countries. The observed increase in the prevalence of male reproductive disorders is suspected to be ascribable to environmental factors as the increase has been too rapid to be explained by genetics alone. To study the association between complex chemical exposures of humans and congenital cryptorchidism, the most common malformation of the male genitalia, we measured 121 environmental chemicals with suspected or known endocrine disrupting properties in 130 breast milk samples from Danish and Finnish mothers. Half the newborns were healthy controls, whereas the other half was boys with congenital cryptorchidism. The measured chemicals included polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl-ethers, dioxins (OCDD/PCDFs), phthalates, polybrominated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides. Computational analysis of the data was performed using logistic regression and three multivariate machine learning classifiers. Furthermore, we performed systems biology analysis to explore the chemical influence on a molecular level. After correction for multiple testing, exposure to nine chemicals was significantly different between the cases and controls in the Danish cohort, but not in the Finnish cohort. The multivariate analysis indicated that Danish samples exhibited a stronger correlation between chemical exposure patterns in breast milk and cryptorchidism than Finnish samples. Moreover, PCBs were indicated as having a protective effect within the Danish cohort, which was supported by molecular data recovered through systems biology. Our results lend further support to the hypothesis that the mixture of environmental chemicals may contribute to observed adverse trends in male reproductive health.
BACKGROUND: Plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) level is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) even among children. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the determinants and distributions of plasma tHcy levels and the relationship between plasma tHcy, folate and vitamin B12 levels among school children in Taipei. METHODS: After multi-stage sampling, we randomly selected 1234 school children (609 boys and 625 girls) with the mean age of 13 years (from 12 to 15 years) in this study. Fasting plasma tHcy levels were measured using an ABBOTT IMx analyzer (Axis Biochemicals ASA, Oslo, Norway). Plasma folate and vitamin B12 levels were measured by ACS:180 automated chemiluminescence analyzer (Bayer, Tarrytown, NY, USA). RESULTS: The distribution of plasma tHcy levels were skewed to the right with the mean values of 10.50 and 8.95 micromol/l and medians of 9.67 and 8.474 micromol/l for boys and girls, respectively. Plasma tHcy concentrations were lower in younger children and progressively increased with increasing age. Boys had significantly higher plasma tHcy levels than girls (10.50 +/- 4.134 vs. 8.95 +/- 2.61 micromol/l, p