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Author Archive: Steve Phillips

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10/18/2017

Selective data collection – what do we know about the risks of IVF?

A recent article in Newsweek reports on a physician, Dr. Jennifer Snyder, who is calling for the formation of a registry of egg donors to help determine the risks to women who “donate” eggs to other women undergoing IVF for monetary compensation. Her motivation in calling for this registry was the death of her daughter at age 31 from cancer after donated eggs on three... // Read More »

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10/04/2017

Moral responsibility of person with drug abuse disorder

I recently read about a case in Massachusetts (see Boston Globe article) in which a woman has been arrested multiple times for theft related to drug abuse. Instead of being sent to jail for theft she had been placed on probation with the condition that she remain drug free on mandatory drug tests. She is claiming that since she has a medical disorder that makes... // Read More »

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09/20/2017

End of life decision making and the family

When we discuss the ethics of end of life decision making our focus is commonly on how we can best respect the autonomy of the patient and how we should weigh the benefits and burdens of a treatment for the patient when that person is unable to make his or her own decisions and has not previously made decisions about the treatment that may be... // Read More »

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09/13/2017

Giving people nearing the end of life the same protection we offer children

Tony Walter writing on the website The Conversation suggests an interesting perspective on how society ought to think about those of us who are at the end of life. He suggests that we need to provide the same protection for them that we offer to children. He is not suggesting that we take away the autonomy and independence of our parents and grandparents, but that... // Read More »

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08/16/2017

Drug abuse, suicide and hopelessness

A recent article in the Hastings Center bioethics forum caught my eye. It was titled “Removing the Stigma from Stigmatopin to Help Curb Opioid Dependence”. The author, Chelsea Cox, had created the term Stigmatopin to try to help make her case that marijuana should be used as a treatment for opioid dependence to reduce the high rate of deaths from opioid overdose that we are... // Read More »

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08/02/2017

The goal of human embryonic gene editing is enhancement

As Jon Holmlund reported in his post last week, research on the editing of genes in human embryos is now being conducted in the United States. The door to doing this research was opened by the consensus report on Human Genome Editing published by the National Academy of Sciences earlier this year. That report encouraged the pursuit of research on gene editing in human embryos... // Read More »

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07/26/2017

Common ground in ethical debates

On 7/10/17, Janie Valentine posted a review of the new book, Why People Matter, edited by John Kilner. Recently while I was on vacation I had the chance to read it and found the basic concept of the book very interesting. It begins with the idea that people on opposite sides of many of the ethical debates in our society actually have common ground that... // Read More »

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07/05/2017

The need for Christians to make distinctively biblical moral decisions

I am continuing to reflect on the recent CBHD conference. One of the paper presentations I attended was related to the role of Christian faith and the church in decisions about fertility treatments. Heather Prior and an associate are doing research on how Christian couples in their community make decisions about treatments for infertility including such things as IVF. In the preliminary results she was... // Read More »

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06/28/2017

IVF and respect for the dignity of human life

This past Thursday through Saturday I was at the CBHD summer conference which was focused on genetic and reproductive technologies. One of the sessions that I found most interesting was the final session on Saturday in which representatives of the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions of the Christian church discussed how their traditions view reproductive technology with a focus on in vitro fertilization. The... // Read More »

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06/14/2017

Educating the church about how to think about bioethics

Janie Valentine’s post on Monday about a Christian health sharing ministry considering the surgical treatment of ectopic pregnancy to be the moral equivalent of abortion points out a major concern related to the church and bioethics. This is particularly a concern regarding the evangelical Protestant church and bioethics. With its hierarchical structure the Roman Catholic Church has a way of connecting the well considered thoughts... // Read More »

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