This Week in Bioethics

by Christopher White, CBC Director of Research and Education on February 19, 2016

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1. IVF Conceived Children Face Poor Health Outcomes

A new study in the journal of Human Reproduction warns that IVF conceived children may suffer poor health outcomes such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. According to Dr. Pascal Gagneux, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California San Diego, “We’re engaging in an evolutionary experiment.” It’s nice to hear others raising awareness of something we’ve been warning about for years.

2. Surrogacy Contracts May Soon Be Recognized in Quebec

Quebec’s Council on the Status of Women is seeking to recognize surrogacy contracts for altruistic reasons within the province. Up until now, any contracts between surrogates and intended parents have been legally unenforceable. We here at the CBC oppose surrogacy for any reason—even supposedly altruistic ones—as such agreements fail to protect the rights of the children created.

3. India Tightens IVF Regulations

Following the countrywide efforts to crack down on surrogacy, the Indian state of Maharashtra is seeking to also tighten its IVF regulations to ensure that any mother seeking to utilize the practice is certifiably infertile. The state is also looking to crack down on regulations for IVF clinics, which to date have very little oversight. These are small steps in reigning in a massive reproductive technology industry within the country that has grown over the past decade with little official regulations governing their practice. For the sake of women and children, this is long overdue.

4. Euthanasia Week Celebrated in the Netherlands

This week the Netherland’s Right to Die organization is celebrating 15 years of euthanasia being legal in the country by hosting an official “Euthanasia Week.” The week will be marked with documentary films and a public awareness campaign—particularly geared toward the youth. To date, over 5,000 citizens die in the Netherlands each year utilizing the country’s euthanasia laws—and I, for one, am having a hard time trying to figure out what’s worth celebrating about such a grim statistic.

5. Physician Assisted Suicide Debated in Iowa

The battle for physician assisted suicide has reached yet another state—this time Iowa—where it remains unclear whether it will move forward past committee into the senate for full consideration. We’ll be monitoring it and will keep you posted.

This Week in Bioethics Archive

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

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