This Week in Bioethics

by Christopher White, CBC Director of Research and Education on July 10, 2015

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1. Embryo Selection on the Rise

It’s been a big week for embryo-selection technology. Earlier this week the St. Louis Post-Dispatch highlighted a new technology, EmbryoScope, that is both an incubator for embryos as well as a camera that takes photos of the embryos to monitor their development. As I mentioned earlier this week, 60 Minutes highlighted the rise of preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), where doctors screen an embryo to test for genetic mutations that may lead to eventual diseases—along with the creation of designer children and sex-selection. In other words, conception is now reduced to mere calculation.

2. California Physician Assisted Suicide Bill Dies in Committee

The much-followed physician assisted suicide bill in California failed to make it out of committee this week, effectively killing it for this legislative session. This is a huge victory for those of us who believe doctors shouldn’t be in the business of killing their patients—and gives new momentum to push back against the practice in other states.

3. “Family Equality” Opens Up Surrogacy Market

We spent much of last week alerting you to the fact that the push for “family equality” would lead to a huge increase in the use of reproductive technologies. Just this week an article appeared in Forbes, which noted, “The Supreme Court’s Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage Opens Up The Surrogacy Market.” The article profiles Family Source Consultants, a leading surrogacy agency in Illinois, who state, “Surrogacy presents LGBT individuals with the opportunity to have a family, but it’s not an option that is available nationwide.” They’re aiming to change that—and we at the CBC are aiming to stop them. Join the movement to #StopSurrogacyNow.

4. A Setback for Surrogacy in France

The highest court in France accepted that a man could legally become a father by using a surrogate mother—a decision that moves the country a step closer to recognizing surrogacy. As our friends at LeCorp stated, “If surrogacy is banned in France because of the violence it inflicts on women and children, it cannot simultaneously be a legal means to establish filiation. It is now the role of the political powers to take their responsibilities and to defend—in France and elsewhere in the world—the rights of women and children, and to respect the human person.”

5. CBC in the News: Maggie’s Story Coming Soon

In the coming weeks we’ll be releasing a new documentary film, Eggsploitation: Maggie’s Story, which explores one woman’s decision to sell her eggs, and the consequences that followed. Take a first look at the trailer below, and then spread the word about this important new film!


This Week in Bioethics Archive

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

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