This Week in Bioethics

by Christopher White, CBC Director of Research and Education on July 24, 2015

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1. Another International Surrogacy Arrangement Goes Awry

Reuters is reporting that a Thai surrogate has changed her mind and is refusing to release the child she carried for a gay couple in the United States. The couple is claiming that the conflict is now “destroying” their lives. Stories like this are making their ways into the news almost monthly now—and these are only the ones we hear. As we continue to remind the world, regulation will not solve contractual disputes or protect the child in question. The only way to end this drama is to put an end to the practice altogether.

2. Chinese Sperm Market Expands

Juhuasuan, a Chinese company affiliated with Alibaba, the Chinese eBay, has now expanded its services to include the buying and selling of sperm. In just 48 hours the site received more than 22,000 responses. While advocates of the program are lauding the fact that thousands of infertile Chinese couples will now be able to have children, those of us who know the realities of this practice know that the pool of children who long to know their biological fathers is about to expand dramatically.

3. India Expands Maternity Leave in Surrogacy Cases

A high court judge in India has ruled that mothers whose children are born via surrogacy are still entitled to maternity leave. In his decision the judge noted that “There appears to be an inertia in recognizing that motherhood can be attained, even via surrogacy…a commissioning mother needs to bond with the child and at times take over the role of a breast-feeding mother, immediately after the delivery of the child.” How shortsighted to recognize the importance of the mother-child bond, yet fail to recognize that the entire practice of surrogacy is designed to intentionally sever just that.

4. New Zealand Health Committee to Consider Voluntary Euthanasia

The national health committee will hold hearings to consider public opinion on voluntary euthanasia. This decision comes in response to a pro-euthanasia advocacy group that garnered over 9,000 signatures in support of it. How tragic that this health committee is even giving this consideration—sacrificing principles to public opinion.

5. CBC in the News: Eggsploitation: Maggie’s Story Now Available

Our first ever documentary short film, Eggsploitation: Maggie’s Story, about one woman’s journey through egg donation…and its consequences, is now available for purchase. We invite you to stand with Maggie—and the many thousands of women who are risk from the practice of egg donation—by watching and sharing her story. Watch and spread the word!

This Week in Bioethics Archive

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

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