This Week in Bioethics

by Christopher White, CBC Director of Research and Education on September 11, 2015

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  1. California State Assembly Passes Physician Assisted Suicide Legislation

On Wednesday, California’s State Assembly passed legislation that would allow for terminally ill patients to receive aid from physicians to commit suicide. The bill now goes to the senate, which is expected to approve it. We can only hope that Governor Jerry Brown will veto the legislation and refuse to let the profession of medicine be hijacked by those who want to use it to harm rather than to heal.

  1. UK Considers Physician Assisted Suicide Bill Today

The House of Commons will hear debate over legalizing physician-assisted suicide in the United Kingdom today. As Lord Ribeiro writes in The Telegraph, only one in seven doctors in the United Kingdom would even be willing to consider such a request. Mr. Ribeiro should know—he’s the former President of the Royal College of Surgeons in the country. As he goes on to observe—he and his fellow physicians are wary of such a bill because “it’s because most doctors recognise that the judgements they would have to make in such cases go well beyond their professional calling.” Let’s hope such sound reasoning influence the outcome of today’s hearing.

  1. Baby Gammy Turns One

Earlier this week Baby Gammy—the surrogate conceived boy who was abandoned by his intended parents when they found out that he had Down syndrome—turned one year old. Baby Gammy became the poster child for everything that is wrong with surrogacy. His case led to the government of Thailand eventually banning the practice in the country. We’re pleased to hear that he is doing well and is healthy. We only wish that more countries would follow Thailand’s lead in banning surrogacy to prevent future cases like his.

  1. Canadian Surrogate Pressured to Terminate One Baby from Triplet Pregnancy

A Nova Scotia woman who was contracted as a surrogate for a Caribbean country was pressured to terminate one fetus  from the triple pregnancy once they found out she was pregnant with triplets. They threatened her that they would cut off payments if she refused to comply. Once again, this case evidences how surrogate women are exploited and coerced and regulation fails to protect them and the children they carry. It’s a shameful enterprise that must be ended in all forms.

  1. CBC in the News: Outreach Opportunity

Appalled by the many young women that are exploited by the practice of surrogacy or egg donation? Want to help educate others to these risks and harms? There’s no better place to raise awareness than on university campuses, where college students are often primary targets of these practices. We invite you to consider inviting the Center for Bioethics and Culture to your campus to screen one of one of our films and/or to give a talk. To inquire about this opportunity, please contact us.

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