This Week in Bioethics

by Christopher White, CBC Director of Research and Education on April 17, 2015

Post image for This Week in Bioethics

1. Surrogate Conceived Baby Abandoned in India

In what is becoming an increasingly common, though tragic, news headline, another surrogate conceived child has been abandoned by his intended parents. Reports indicate that when an Australian couple found out their surrogate was pregnant with twins, they only wanted to keep the girl and decided to leave their newborn boy in India citing financial concerns. Similar to last year’s Baby Gammy case in Thailand, again we are provided with another situation that evidences that regulation of the surrogacy enterprise would not prevent incidents like this from happening. The only adequate response is to stop all forms of surrogacy and to stop it now.

2. New Study Highlights the Importance of Maternal-Child Bonding

Earlier this week the Wall Street Journal featured an article highlighting new research on the importance of maternal-child bonding, particularly in the case of premature babies. We couldn’t agree more—and we find it all the more alarming that advocates of surrogacy want to minimize the significance of the mother-child bond as if it can be easily severed and inconsequential to either party. As this article shows, not only is it important—sometimes it proves to be lifesaving.

3. Physician Assisted Suicide Bill Dies in Connecticut

Last week it was Nevada, the week before it was Maryland, and this week it is Connecticut, where a physician assisted suicide bill failed to make it out of committee. This is a welcome trend. We couldn’t be more thrilled that legislators are listening to their constituents who are advocating for improvements in end of life care—not physician assisted suicide.

4. Artificial Intelligence: Machines Not Persons

A recent article in the scientific journal Nature advocated for legal protections for artificial intelligence, effectively calling for robots to receive protections from humans. As our friend Wesley Smith highlights over at First Things, “Machines have no dignity and no rights, which properly belong exclusively to the human realm.” While human dignity is under assault in every direction one looks, it’s sadly telling that one of the world’s premier journals is more worried about protecting artificial intelligence than human beings. Increasingly, it seems as if we here at the CBC are lone voices in the fight for a human future.

5. Lack of Regulation for Assisted Reproduction Comes Under Scrutiny

Earlier this week the Washington Post provided a nice overview of the lack of regulation within the big business of infertility. As the article mentions, this lack of regulation has allowed many practitioners to get rich, often at the expense of those that are denied access to their medical histories. As one interviewee observed, “I know nothing about half of my genetic health information. More should be required of the industry.” We couldn’t agree more.

This Week in Bioethics Archive

Image by woodleywonderworks via flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Previous post:

Next post: