Tag: reproduction

Blog Posts (55)

March 1, 2015

Fools Rushing In?

Trevor Stammers is our guest blogger for today.  Dr. Stammers is the Programme Director for Bioethics and Medical Law at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham in London.  Prior to St. Mary’s, he practiced as a family physician for 27 years and was a senior tutor in General Practice at St George’s, University of London.  He is also the editor for the multidisciplinary journal The New Bioethics.  Thanks... // Read More »
March 1, 2015

Fools Rushing In?

Trevor Stammers is our guest blogger for today.  Dr. Stammers is the Programme Director for Bioethics and Medical Law at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham in London.  Prior to St. Mary’s, he practiced as a family physician for 27 years and was a senior tutor in General Practice at St George’s, University of London.  He is also the editor for the multidisciplinary journal The New Bioethics.  Thanks... // Read More »
February 28, 2015

Informed Consent for Egg Donation

This week in my small group/Bible study, one of my friends (who is a college professor at a major public university) was talking about her students. She mentioned that one of her students would be missing some class because she’s donating an egg. I could feel the tension mounting in my body as I thought about this student. I tried to briefly explain to my... // Read More »
February 27, 2015

Collating Some Resources about 3-Parent IVF

With the recent news that Great Britain will indeed forge ahead with the use of nuclear transfer techniques to create “3-parent babies,” in an effort to interdict maternally-inherited mitochondrial disease, and in light of Courtney Thiele’s February 9 post on this blog (with the associated discussion), I thought it might be useful to take a moment and pull together some links to past discussions on... // Read More »
January 21, 2015

Infertility, ethics, and fairy tales

This weekend my wife and I went to see the movie version of the musical Into the Woods. The music was done beautifully and the characters were casted and acted well, but I left disturbed by the ethics presented in the story. For those who have not yet seen the musical I will attempt to comment on it without spoiling it for you. The plot... // Read More »
January 14, 2015

Consequentialism and surrogacy

A recent news article reports on a study by researchers at the Center for Family Research at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. The study found that “in the longer term surrogates do not experience psychological problems as a result of being a surrogate.” 34 women had initially been surveyed 1 year after being a surrogate and this study was a follow up of... // Read More »
October 17, 2014

Metaphor: Shopping

Story: a white couple ordered sperm from a sperm bank, stipulating that it be from a white man, for artificial insemination; however, in the delivery room, it was immediately apparent that they didn’t get what they ordered, as their newborn daughter was mixed-race. The couple is now suing the sperm bank for $50,000. In Tuesday’s Chicago Tribune, columnist Dahleen Glanton wrote a commentary on this... // Read More »
August 23, 2014

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Decides…

I just finished reading a very dry book on organizational theory as applied to reproductive medicine. The book was a Swedish observational study evaluating the sociomaterial aspects of that subspecialty, particularly Swedish IVF clinics. While the book did not directly address ethical issues in reproductive medicine, it did note some of them in passing. One that caught my eye was issue of the choice of... // Read More »
August 21, 2014

Breast Cancer, BRCA Mutations, and Attitudes about PGD

If you knew you had a gene mutation that confers a high risk of cancer, would you use IVF and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to prevent passing on the mutation to your offspring? That is the question that cancer doctors at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston put to 155 young women, still of childbearing potential, with breast cancer.  The doctors actually asked their patients... // Read More »
July 8, 2014

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby: A thin margin indeed

The recent Supreme Court decision, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, has been hailed as a victory for religious rights, but in the Supreme Court’s majority opinion there are ominous signs for bioethics. First, no commentator so far has mentioned that the Supreme Court decision implies that the only legally viable objection to underwriting abortifacient interventions must be religious in nature. The thin margin of decision by... // Read More »

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Published Articles (3)

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 12 Issue 8 - Aug 2012

Review of Christine Overall, Why Have Children: The Ethical Debate Andrea Mechanick Braverman

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 11 Issue 3 - Mar 2011

Sexless Reproduction: A Status Symbol

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 10 Issue 11 - Nov 2010

Review of Charis Thompson, Making Parents: The Ontological Choreography of Reproductive Technologies

News (28)

August 27, 2012 8:51 am

Prenatal genome sequencing expected to pose challenges to doctors (American Medical News)

“My instinct is this will be available certainly in the next decade, and probably sooner,” said Benjamin E. Berkman, MPH, deputy director of the Bioethics Core at the National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda, Md.  But the medical community is not prepared to address the clinical challenges and ethical issues that probably will accompany the procedure, say some bioethicists and geneticists.

August 15, 2012 9:41 am

Yes we should (prenatal sequencing) (Discover Magazine (blog))

Of course the natural objection is that I’m discussing a problem which doesn’t exist. I wish this were so, but there’s a whole bioethics industry whose bread & butter is to trade in flimsy and specious reasoning, which might appeal to politicians who are will to purchase specious reasoning for purposes of their demagoguery. For example, As Prices for Prenatal Genome Sequencing Tests Fall, Researchers Worry About Consequences for Families in a Real-Life ‘Gattaca’.

August 8, 2012 3:12 pm

Gay or straight baby - the choice could be yours says expert (ONE News)

Parents-to-be may be able to have their unborn child screened for homosexuality within a matter of a few years, according to a visiting American expert in bioethics.  Professor Robert Klitzman of Columbia University’s Centre for Bioethics has told TV ONE’s Close Up that genetic tests are now being developed to look for autism, alzheimers and various types of cancers.  “We may find tests with homosexuality for instance,” he said.

August 2, 2012 10:01 am

The flawed basis behind fetal-pain abortion laws (Washington Post)

On Thursday, Arizona’s new abortion law will take effect, outlawing the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy — a much earlier threshold than in any other law that has been upheld in court. Like-minded laws have been enacted in Nebraska, Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Georgia and Louisiana, and a bill similarly limiting abortion in the District drew support Tuesday from a majority of the U.S. House, but not from enough members to pass.

July 13, 2012 1:19 pm

Is Your Fertility Doctor Taking Kickbacks? (Slate Magazine (blog))

In theory, they’re just like any other loan company—except that they’re dealing with a population of borrowers who are often far more emotionally vulnerable than your average home buyer, and many of these lenders seem totally comfortable taking advantage of that fact. There are some that charge exorbitant interest rates, and others that are engaging in something far more unethical: Snyderman reports that some lenders are giving fertility doctors kickbacks or a stake in the company in exchange for sending customers their way. Ugh.

July 13, 2012 1:09 pm

Turkish doctors face fines for elective caesareans (The Guardian)

Itil is concerned that doctors might not be ready to opt for surgery once the law is in place: “How can a law decide when a patient requires a certain treatment? This is against medical ethics, and the art of medicine in general. Turkey will set a very negative example with this law.”

July 12, 2012 12:22 pm

Growing IVF loan business helps families finance their fertility (msnbc.com (blog))

Even with success stories like the Clintons’, some experts are concerned that desperate couples could get into financial trouble – and that doctors who own a share of the loan companies might be crossing ethical boundaries.

June 28, 2012 8:13 pm

Conservatives line up against sperm donors, but lack the power to ban them (Washington Post)

A new documentary exploring the ethical implications of sperm donation is creating a buzz among religious audiences.  “Anonymous Father’s Day” delves into bioethics from the perspective of donor-conceived children who grow up not knowing their biological fathers. The film gives fodder to opponents of assisted reproductive technology, who argue the fertility “industry” has led to psychologically scarred children and the “commodification” of human life.

June 20, 2012 1:13 pm

Before Birth, Dad’s ID (New York Times)

It is an uncomfortable question that, in today’s world, is often asked by expectant mothers who had more than one male partner at the time they became pregnant. Who is the father? With more than half of births to women under 30 now out of wedlock, it is a question that may arise more often. Now blood tests are becoming available that can determine paternity as early as the eighth or ninth week of pregnancy, without an invasive procedure that could cause a miscarriage.

April 26, 2012 9:45 am

Pregnant woman who bought U.S. donor egg speaks out (CBC News)

A royal commission, several parliamentary committees, an act of Parliament and a federal agency have all debated reproductive technologies, touching on a quagmire of legal, social and ethical issues that include the exploitation of surrogates and the sale of sperm and eggs before the advent of cryopreservation. Prof. Françoise Baylis, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Bioethics and Philosophy at Dalhousie University in Halifax, advised the royal commission and later sat on the board of Assisted Human Reproduction Canada before she quit in frustration in 2010 over concerns about its management.

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