This Week in Bioethics

by Matthew Eppinette, CBC Executive Director on October 6, 2017

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1. SCOTUS Declines to Hear Surrogacy Case

As far as I know, nothing we’ve posted on social media has ever gotten more reach or engagement that this news. It’s a case we have been involved in and followed from the very beginning. The Federalist’s coverage of the Supreme Court’s denial says it all.

[I]f there were ever a case that screamed of the scandal underlying the surrogacy industry, this would be it. Yet, notwithstanding the appalling facts underlying Cook’s case, the justices refused to hear her appeal.

. . . Unfortunately, three innocent children must suffer the lifetime consequences . . . 

2. Assisted Suicide Still a Crime in the Gopher State

In 2015, Final Exit Network, Inc. was convicted in Minnesota of assisting a woman in committing suicide. The organization appealed the conviction all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and this week the court announced they will not hear the appeal. This means it is still a crime to help a person kill himself or herself in Minnesota.

3. Surrogacy: Not Creating Families — Breaking Them Up

Cristiano Ronaldo, a football [soccer] star for Real Madrid, recently announced on Instagram the birth of twins via an American surrogate. This news prompted Swedish journalist, writer and activist Kajsa Ekis Ekman to write an open letter calling out the entire surrogacy industry. This is one of the most powerful single articles I’ve read on the topic of surrogacy and the harms it causes to women, to children, and to our broader society. Ekman wrote the original piece in Spanish, and we are fortunate to have English and now Italian translations available as well.

You can be against contract pregnancy from many perspectives . . . But perhaps it is enough to be a humanist; it is enough to adhere to the fundamental concepts of human rights: that human beings should not be bought or sold. Neither should babies. Or maybe, especially not babies.

4. No Means No

The New York Court of Appeals has ruled that there is no right to assisted suicide. Public Discourse has an excellent piece explaining the specifics of the case that led to this decision as well as the broader implications for the larger assisted suicide movement. The entire piece is well worth your time to read, but here’s a taste of the directness and clarity it contains:

In effect, New York’s entire judicial system has said to the assisted suicide lobby: “What is it about the word ‘No’ that you don’t understand?”

5. New Documentary on Sperm Donation

If you are at all interested in sperm donation, third-party reproduction, or anonymity in conception, you should definitely be following our Anonymous Father’s Day Facebook page. There is a very active and engaged community of people there who are keeping us abreast of the latest news in the field. This week they highlighted a new documentary, Genius Factory, coming in November on the documentary channel.

What happened at the Genius Factory is known as the greatest genetic experiment in human history and we’ve yet to find out the results. The founder is dead, the sperm bank is closed, and the records were burned. But now, for the first time, people who worked at the bank are ready to talk, the genius children are going to meet each other and find out who their fathers are. Never has there been an opportunity to see if playing God actually worked, and never before has nature vs nurture ever been tested like this.

 
This Week in Bioethics Archive

Image by Kurtis Gabutt via flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

 

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