This Week in Bioethics

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

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1. Assisted Suicide Law Now in Effect in Quebec

Quebec’s assisted suicide law went into effect yesterday. According to the Minister of Justice, the law is aimed at “allowing people at the end of their lives to receive care that respects their dignity and their autonomy.” It’s both strange and tragic how suicide—normally condemned and lamented by the medical community—is being touted as dignified. For shame.

2. Doctors in Alberta Advocate for Euthanizing Minors

Following the example of Belgium, doctors in the Canadian province of Alberta are arguing that physician assisted suicide should be available to minors, as well. As our friend Wesley Smith writes, “A minor can’t get a tattoo or buy a car, even if they are ‘mature.’ But ask to be lethally injected? No problem, according to Alberta death doctors.” It’s a very sad time for our neighbors to the North.

3. “Futile Care” Politics Heat Up in Texas

A 46 year old man in Texas has been on a breathing machine for eight weeks now due to health complications from a mass on his pancreas. The hospital is petitioning to stop life-sustaining treatment and override the family’s wishes. We’ll continue to follow this case and keep you posted, but it seems that the Texas law is written in a way the aims to protect only the medical providers, with little regard for the individual or family. Money and costs seems to be driving the decision process here, rather than care.

4. Poland to Cut State Funding for IVF

The Polish government has announced that it will cut state funding for in vitro fertilization by the middle of next year. Considering that IVF has a global failure rate of almost 80 percent, we see it as a bad investment, and this as a wise move on the part of the Polish government.

5. Sperm Donor Fathers Over 50 Children in Two Years

A 43 year old man has set up his own website for “women in need” to utilize his sperm to have children. To date, he appears to have fathered over fifty children in two years time. His practice is now under scrutiny, but the whole scheme evidences just what is wrong with sperm donation—a practice that gives little to no concern to those most affected by it: the children.

This Week in Bioethics Archive

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

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