This Week in Bioethics #94

by Matthew Eppinette, CBC Executive Director on January 12, 2018

Post image for This Week in Bioethics #94

1. Winners and Losers

Jennifer this week published her annual list of winners and losers — those whose lives and work actively promoted and affirmed a truly human future, and those who did not. Who made which list and why? Also, for the first time, the same person is both a winner and loser. Click through to find out who.

2. Surrogacy-Enabling Legislation Introduced in Multiple States

Has been introduced in Washington State, New York, and New Jersey. Jennifer will be testifying in Washington next week, and she is submitting testimony in New York. The New Jersey legislation has just been introduced, and she will be submitting testimony there as soon as possible.

Particularly troubling is New York, where all surrogacy has been banned since 1992. The state’s Task Force on Law and Life found in 1988 that surrogacy

could not be distinguished from the sale of children and that it placed children at significant risk of harm. They also agreed that surrogacy undermines the dignity of women, children, and human reproduction. The Task Force rejected the notion that rights as fundamental as the right of a parent to a relationship with his or her child should be bought and sold or waived irrevocably in advance of the child’s birth.

The same task force (with different members, of course) recently found that “equity” means that gestational surrogacy should be legalized. What about the “equity” for the children? What does that look like?

Notably, seven of the NY state’s task force’s 22 members asserted, in a minority report, that “commercial surrogacy is tantamount to the purchase and sale of babies.”

In Washington State, Katy Foust of Them Before Us has examined the proposed legislation and identified “Six Reasons Why Washington State’s “Uniform Parentage Act” Should Die A Terrible Death.” She points out that, among other things, the bill is written in such a way that it will allow a woman to sell her own child by obtaining a surrogacy contract and serving as a genetic surrogate.

Stay tuned, 2018 is already shaping up to be quite a ride.

#MakingLife

3. Assisted Suicide Enabling Legislation in Indiana

Indiana Rep. Matt Pierce has introduced assisted suicide legislation in his state for a second time. Proponents claim it’s about “autonomy and control,” and yet, as has been shown over and over, legalizing assisted suicide ends up robbing others of both.

New Zealand is also considering legalizing assisted suicide, which there is being called “assisted dying.” A recent poll conducted there “found that the more strongly that individuals supported it, the more likely they are to be confused about what it actually means.”

We have our work cut out for us, don’t we.

#TakingLife

4. The Future of Human Reproduction?

David Levy, an expert in artificial intelligence, provides a look at the possible future of human reproduction, which may not be entirely human. On his view, “Given the rate of discovery in the fields of cell biology and nanotechnology . . . robot-human babies will be here before the end of this century.”

#FakingLife

5. Couple Seeks Joint Euthanasia

Our friend Wesley Smith highlights a heartbreaking case in India where a couple has asked for joint euthanasia because they feel their lives are of no use. Smith comments, “this is the nihilistic virus that euthanasia activists have unleashed . . . [and] the pathogen is spreading.” Indeed.

#TakingLife

Lagniappe

“What we call Man’s power over Nature turns out to be a power exercised by some men over other men with Nature as its instrument.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

This Week in Bioethics Archive

Image by Alon Banks via flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

 

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