This Week in Bioethics

by Christopher White, CBC Director of Research and Education on March 4, 2016

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1. Physician Assisted Suicide Fails in Maryland

The state senator behind Maryland’s efforts to legalize physician assisted suicide withdrew his bill yesterday admitting that he did not have enough support to move it forward. Maryland was a key state for advocates of doctor prescribed suicide and this withdrawal marks a big victory for vulnerable patients in the state.

2. Sherri Shepherd Denied Appeal in Surrogacy Case

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has denied television star Sherri Shepherd’s appeal in her surrogacy case. Shepherd was seeking to get out of paying for child support of a child that she and her now ex-husband contracted to have via surrogacy and egg donation that she no longer wants. This case evidences how children always lose from the practice of surrogacy—but this is a small victory that will at least hold Shepherd responsible for her actions.

3. Australian Senate Considering Voluntary Euthanasia

The federal senate of the Northern Territory in Australia is seeking to legalize voluntary euthanasia. According to one advocate for the bill, “People in palliative care often are very anxious about what their final days might look like and this legislation provides them with much comfort.” In other words, the bill’s supporters simply want to make it easier for doctors to kill their patients, rather than to provide care for them. How tragic.

4. Israeli High Court Orders State to Consider Surrogacy Petitions

This week the High Court of Justice in Israel ordered the state to consider the petitions of gay men seeking to use surrogates to carry children for them. If the court is really interested in justice, they’ll realize that surrogacy is an injustice to both women and children and deny these requests.

5. Bill to Ban Foreign Surrogacy in India Advances

A bill that would ban foreigners from entering into India to utilize surrogacy has now been drafted, making it another step closer to becoming law. India, once an unregulated hotspot of surrogacy, has ramped up its efforts to crack down on the practice and should provide an example for many other countries in the region to follow.

This Week in Bioethics Archive

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

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