Tag: bioethics

Blog Posts (218)

May 27, 2015

Roundtable Discussion: Improving Public Dialogue of Bioethics

The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) closed its discussion of democratic deliberation in bioethics and bioethics education with a roundtable discussion involving Commission members and presenters. Amy Gutmann, Ph.D., Chair of the Bioethics Commission, kicked off the session by asking the panelists to share their thoughts on what the Bioethics […]
May 26, 2015

An Unexpected Reminder

This weekend I went to see the movie “Tomorrowland” with my husband. I should admit now that I am a Disney aficionado and was perhaps overly excited to escape to this children’s movie based on the theme park for a couple of hours. Without giving away the plot line, this movie primarily took place in a modern doomsday setting – with many of the “current... // Read More »
May 25, 2015

In Memoriam

Memorial Day serves as a holiday so that, we might hope, we pause to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. We might take a holiday from thinking about things bioethical as well. But could this day hold a lesson for the field of bioethics? To set aside a day to remember those who died in defense of freedom is not simply... // Read More »
May 23, 2015

Is Change in Abortion Legislation on the Rise?

The New York Times published an article last week about possible new legislation regarding abortion standards in the United States. The House of Representatives voted 242-184 to ban most abortions after 20 weeks. The current Supreme Court ruling on fetal viability is currently 22-24 weeks after fertilization. While it is likely that this particular bill will be shot down in the Senate, it is nevertheless an... // Read More »
May 22, 2015

Baby-Debt

Last Friday, May 15, the Wall Street Journal ran an article under the headline, “$30,000 Baby:  There’s a Lender for That” (subscription required to access).  Key point:  people sometimes go into debt for IVF, which isn’t cheap–$15-20,000 per attempt, they write, with some multi-attempt packages, with a money-back guarantee in the event of failure, going for $30,000.  The article contained a number of updated statistics:... // Read More »
May 18, 2015

Withering Man

After reading articles such as this one, one must wonder at the speed and degree of the shift in public views about the nature of man. Not only are ideas vigorously promoted that in previous years would have been dismissed as nonsensical, the language used to portray views held widely for centuries has changed to one of derision, and at best mere astonishment that such... // Read More »
May 14, 2015

Still More on Gene Editing

Joe Gibes (May 9) and Steve Phillips (May 13) took up the challenge I posted last week: to address whether human germline gene editing, even in a hypothetically-narrow example case, is morally unacceptable in some intrinsic sense, and therefore something that ought never be attempted or, for that matter, pursued in the laboratory.  If you have not read their posts, please do so. To come... // Read More »
May 8, 2015

When did same-sex marriage become morally acceptable to you?

A same-sex marriage decision is due from the Supreme Court June. Given it has been almost exactly a decade since I changed my position on same-sex marriage, I figure now is a good time to reflect on the nature of that change.

Until about my sophomore year of college I was against same-sex marriage. Moreover [...]

May 8, 2015

Gene Editing—Trying to Get Specific

In a comment last week, Mark McQuain pointed out the article “Engineering the Perfect Baby” in the MIT Technology Review.  Freely accessible online, it describes, in non-technical terms, several of the routes that genetic editing may follow.  Perhaps the most explosive:  adult skin cell transformed into an induced pleuripotent stem cell that then is used to give rise to germ cells that are then genetically... // Read More »
May 6, 2015

Human Germline Genetic Enhancement and The Abolition of Man

I appreciate Courtney and Jon expressing their thoughts on the issue of human germline modification and the references to C. S. Lewis’s book, The Abolition of Man. My thoughts on this are more extensive than I can put in a blog post. I expressed those thoughts several years ago in a paper presentation at the CBHD summer conference. If you are interested in my extended... // Read More »