This Week in Bioethics

by Christopher White, CBC Director of Research and Education on March 18, 2016

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1. The Council of Europe Rejects Surrogacy

Earlier this week the Council of Europe rejected a report that called for the regulation of surrogacy, rather than an outright ban on the practice. Intrinsic to the practice of surrogacy is exploitation and coercion—and that’s why we’re grateful that the Council of Europe rejected allowing it in any form.

2. Morocco Set to Ban Surrogacy

Morocco is set to become a leader on the African continent if they pass a pending bill that would make surrogacy illegal throughout the country. At present, surrogacy is not regulated in any form on the African continent, with the exception of South Africa, which allows altruistic surrogacy. We applaud these efforts in Morocco and hope other nations will follow Morocco’s lead.

3. Physician Assisted Suicide Bill Withdrawn in Minnesota

On Wednesday, the state senator who put forward a bill to legalize physician assisted suicide in Minnesota withdrew it, effectively ending the push for the bill for this legislative session. As Dr. Corey Ingram of the Mayo Clinic noted, the “bill would be a barrier for better health care.” Hear, hear!

4. The International Society for Stem Cell Research Endorses Fetal Tissue Research

The ISSCR, the largest professional body of stem cell scientists, recently announced that they oppose efforts to limit biomedical research using fetal tissue. Such a move further increases the demand for embryos that would be used for the purposes of research. Some call this progress. We call it cannibalism.

5. Death on Demand in Belgium

Belgium, already the world’s capital for euthanasia, is set to vote on a law that would not allow any doctor to refuse a patient’s request to die. Many believe the law has enough support to pass. The movement for so called “death with dignity” has now shifted to “death on demand.”

This Week in Bioethics Archive

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

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