Tag: reproduction

Blog Posts (67)

July 31, 2015

On the Safety Argument Against Gene Editing

As discussed in an exchange earlier this year on this blog, one of the concerns about editing the human germline is that the risks to the next generation and future generations are not predictable, and the experiments to address those safety concerns cannot be done ethically.  Go here, and to the embedded links, to review.  Recently, Paige Cunningham and Michael Sleasman of the Center for... // Read More »
May 28, 2015

An IVF-related development

MedPage Today (subscription required) carried a brief notice on May 22 regarding single embryo transfer in IVF.  What follows is directly cribbed from that article.  Key points: IVF pregnancies are higher risk than naturally-conceived pregnancies.  (No further details were cited.) Most embryo transfers involve one or two embryos. Transfer of two embryos is generally driven by fear of failure to conceive with only one.  (I... // 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 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 »
April 13, 2015

A Not-So-Open Discussion

Courtney Thiele posted on March 3oth about an article in the Washington Post describing “a new push to de-stigmatize the nation’s most controversial medical procedure by talking about it openly and unapologetically.” A clinic in Maryland called “Carafem” dispenses abortion pills, and “promises a ‘spa-like’ experience for women with an open and unabashed approach to pregnancy termination.” (quotations from the Washington Post’s article) This clinic... // Read More »
March 23, 2015

A Right to Know?

As humans, we have a desire to know who we are and from where we come. Perhaps our reason for this desire is to learn our history, or to help determine our future. Perhaps we desire this knowledge to understand our current condition – be it a medical condition or simply curiosity. Whether this stems from a desire to better understand one’s own identity or... // Read More »
March 21, 2015

Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis and Abortion

The predominant purpose of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is to select those embryos that are considered healthy or normal. This inevitably means that those that have a genetic abnormality are discarded. Foundational to how one responds to PGD will be their understanding of the personhood of the human embryo. Often, the ethical debate is approached from the assumption that human life at this stage of... // Read More »