This Week in Bioethics #105

by Matthew Eppinette, CBC Executive Director on March 29, 2018

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1. Paul Ramsey Institute Consultation & Paul Ramsey Award Dinner

This year’s Paul Ramsey Award Dinner is in the books! We are deeply grateful for all who attended and only wish that more of our friends and supporters could have joined in the festivities. Be sure to check out the recap and photos on our website. We are finalizing the date for the 2019 Dinner, so watch this space for an announcement and then please be sure to mark your calendar and save that date!

2. The State of Surrogacy in India

This important op-ed was sent to us through our #StopSurrogacyNow network. India has been working on a surrogacy law, but it’s full of loopholes and so does not truly protect women or children. Once again, the only solution to surrogacy is prohibition. #StopSurrogacyNow
 

3. The Focus of Fertility Medicine 

There is still so much we don’t know about human fertility, particularly with respect to a worldwide fall in sperm counts. Yet fertility research and treatment is focused largely on women, and largely on hi-tech interventions. Perhaps there are other, better ways to deal with infertility? Focusing on good overall health, on people understanding their own fertility and those factors that can enhance or inhibit it.

4. Louisiana: Reproductive Technologies and Parentage

Reading this piece out of my home state I was immediately reminded of Jennifer’s piece from 2013, “Modern Families and the Messes We Make.” It’s interesting that in all this the conversation is focused on the adults, what they want, protecting them, etc. But what about the children? What do they need? What best protects them? Certainly not a forefront concern in this article.

5. Taking Life to Maybe Fake Life

A new startup aims to preserve individuals’ brain tissue so that someday those brains might be reconstructed, maybe, possibly. The catch is that in order to undergo the preservation process, the person has to be euthanized.

The company is part of a prominent Silicon Valley technology incubator program (Y Combinator) and has received a $960,000 grant from the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health. McGill University neuroscientist Michael Hendricks says this:

Burdening future generations with our brain banks is just comically arrogant. Aren’t we leaving them with enough problems? I hope future people are appalled that in the 21st century, the richest and most comfortable people in history spent their money and resources trying to live forever on the backs of their descendants.

Lagniappe

Today is Major League Baseball’s Opening Day. Sports and sports medicine actually raise a number of interesting bioethics questions, particularly around the distinction between therapy — medicine aimed at restoring and supporting health — and enhancement — medicine that aims to make a person “better than well.” The President’s Council on Bioethics on which our Paul Ramsey Institute Scholars Drs. Hurlbut and Meilaender served addressed this and much, much more in their book Beyond Therapy. That book, and all the other materials from the President’s Council, are available online. If you love sports and are interested in bioethics — or if you love bioethics and are interested in sports — check it out. And Go Teams!

This Week in Bioethics Archive

 

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