This Week in Bioethics

by Christopher White, CBC Director of Research and Education on January 8, 2016

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1. Opponents of PAS in CA Fail to Gain Enough Signatures for Referendum

Earlier this week the spokesman for the group Seniors Against Suicide announced that they had failed to collect enough signatures for a ballot referendum to overturn California’s recently passed legislation on physician assisted suicide. The group noted that their efforts were not over. We applaud them and other individuals or organizations that work to preserve the integrity of the medical profession by fighting against this law.

2. Italy’s Interior Minister Compares Surrogacy to a Sex Crime

Angelino Alfano, Italy’s Minister of Interior, recently likened surrogacy to a sex crime, commenting that it is “the most vile, illegal trade that man has invented.” While his rhetoric is certainly heated, we appreciate the sentiment that surrogacy should be banned for all people, in all places.

3. Organ Selling Under Scrutiny

An astute article in the Washington Post earlier this week took a critical look at the market for organs. As Scott Carney observed, “The one rule with organ markets is that human tissue always moves up—and never down—the social hierarchy.” He also made apt comparisons to the surrogacy enterprise, where the rich are eager to buy wombs and poor are exploited and coerced into selling theirs. Both practices are shameful and that’s why we at the CBC oppose them.

4. Israeli Surrogacy Mix-up

A gay Israeli couple who hired a surrogate in Nepal to carry their child discovered this week that it was not theirs. According to reports, they had used their sperm to fertilize a donor egg—only the child they received had no biological relationship to the couple. Sadly, we hear reports of this nature all of the time. And while surrogacy industry personnel want to minimize such happenings to rare occasions, the reality is that this is an industry where harm to women and children is intrinsic to its very practice.

5. CBC in the News: California Surrogate Mother Files Lawsuit to Defend Against Coerced Abortion

Last November we broke the story of Melissa Cook, the California surrogate mother who was being coerced by the intended parent into an abortion. Just this week she filed a lawsuit seeking protection for her and the triplets she is carrying. As CBC President Jennifer Lahl has observed, “this is a landmark case,” and we only hope it provides a shakedown of an industry that is long overdue for serious scrutiny.

This Week in Bioethics Archive

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

 

 

 

 

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