This Week in Bioethics

by Christopher White, CBC Director of Research and Education on October 30, 2015

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1. India Bans Foreigners from Hiring Surrogate Mothers

The Indian government delivered a huge win to women and children this week by announcing they would issue a ban on foreigners hiring Indian women as surrogate mothers. Unfortunately, the practice will still be available for Indian couples, but this move is a major step in the right direction. Perhaps other nations—including the United States—will learn from India’s example.

2. Cambodia: The New Frontier for International Surrogacy

While India and Thailand have cracked down on surrogacy, Cambodia has opened up as the new frontier. At least fourteen agencies have opened up within the last year. Once again, we see a developing nation being exploited by those in the developed world looking to outsource their pregnancies. For shame!

3. Cow Cloning Disaster Serves as Warning Against Human Cloning

A massive effort to clone cows in New Zealand has gone terribly wrong—with only 14 of the 60 cloned cows now living. Those still alive are suffering serious ailments and chronic conditions. We can only hope that this failed experiment will cause researchers to give even greater consideration to the harms of human cloning.

4. Australian Doctor Banned from Promoting Physician Assisted Suicide

Dr. Philip Nitscke, one of the world’s most prominent physician assisted suicide advocates, has struck a deal with the Australian government that will allow him to keep his medical license—if he stops promoting euthanasia and assisted suicide. Supporters of Nitschke claim this is a violation of free speech, but we maintain that advocating physician assisted suicide is an affront to his profession. Any efforts to promote suicide—by anyone—deserves silencing.

5. CBC in the News: Why Doctors are Afraid of the Word “Death”

CBC board member Dr. Aaron Kheriaty offers a beautiful reflection in The Washington Post on the art of dying—and how physicians can better help aid their patients in the dying process. “The acceptance of our morality,” he observes, “will not come as a technical solution to a scientific problem. It will have to be a more human approach to a deep mystery of every life — the mystery of being mortal.”

This Week in Bioethics Archive

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

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