Bioethics

A Populist Bioethics Commission?

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Our friend Wesley Smith makes some provocative suggestions for President-Elect Trump to establish a “populist bioethics commission.” The issue is pressing because biomedical technology is way out ahead of our policies: We are entering Brave New World territory, with potentially momentous impact on culture and the concept of family. Human cloning has, with way too […]

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4th Year of Paul Ramsey Institute Begins This Week

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Dear Friend, This week we begin our fourth year of our Paul Ramsey Institute as we welcome the second cohort of Ramsey Fellows to San Francisco for our Fall gathering. We’re pleased to announce that our new cohort includes students from the University of Chicago, Cornell Medical School, Claremont University, and New York University, to […]

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The Birds and the Bees and Children’s Literature

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When my children were younger we spent a lot of time at our local public library. We went to the weekly story time and the annual fairs, joined the summer reading programs to win prizes for books read, and spent a lot of time sitting on rugs and tiny chairs reading, reading, and reading. It’s […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. New Study Evidences that Egg Freezing “Doesn’t Always Work” A new study in JAMA Internal Medicine found a success rate of only 43% of live births for women who freeze their eggs. Fresh eggs yield a success rate that is only slightly higher at 50%. As the high failure rates evidence, the practice of egg […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Embryo Selection on the Rise It’s been a big week for embryo-selection technology. Earlier this week the St. Louis Post-Dispatch highlighted a new technology, EmbryoScope, that is both an incubator for embryos as well as a camera that takes photos of the embryos to monitor their development. As I mentioned earlier this week, 60 Minutes highlighted the […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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One week ago today the United States Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all fifty states. The push for “marriage equality” has now resulted in demands for “family equality.” In this special edition of This Week in Bioethics, we alert you to the top five things you need to know about the movement for “Family […]

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Should We Live Forever?

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Later this week the FDA will meet with researchers to evaluate plans for a possible clinical trial that would use the drug metformin in hopes of delaying the onset of major diseases such as various cancers or heart disease. The drug is already used to treat type 2 diabetes, though researchers are optimistic that the […]

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Support for Physician Assisted Suicide Isn’t Liberalism, It’s Nihilism

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There’s a fine new piece just out in POLITICO where Dr. Ira Byock calls out his fellow progressives for supporting physician assisted suicide under the guise of protecting civil liberties. He issues a strong indictment: Just when moral outrage and radical social change are called for, my fellow progressives have embraced physician-assisted suicide as their […]

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Good News, Bad News

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I’m writing with good news and bad news. First, the good news: we have been surveying audiences who have watched Eggsploitation for several years now. The data show that overwhelmingly, before watching Eggsploitation, people are largely favorable to the practice although unfamiliar with the process of egg donation. But after watching Eggsploitation, people feel better […]

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Ball of Confusion or Ball of Disorder?

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Reading about one hand Jason makes me think of the old 1970s Temptations song, “Ball of Confusion,” which was written about the state of the world during a difficult time of war, protest, and confusion. In an article titled, “Becoming disabled by choice, not chance: ‘Transabled’ people feel like impostors in their fully working bodies,” we […]

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Top Ten Posts (#1) #TBT

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We’ve arrived at the top of the list on our #TBT (Throw Back Thursday) countdown of the top ten all time most popular posts here at CBC-Network.org. The number one entry is Jennifer Lahl’s review of the film My Sister’s Keeper, titled “My Sister’s Savior,” published in July 2009. As she mentions in the review, […]

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Starving Patients Who Eat Next Stop on Slippery Slope

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No line in bioethics is ever fixed.  Rather, the push to eradicate the boundaries that keep medical professionalism tied to Hippocratic values (sniffed at as “paternalism” by many in the field) continues unabated, with new boundary lines created, consolidated, and then moved again into ever-more extreme territory. Some call this, the “slippery slope.” Case in point: Suicide […]

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What if Jahi McMath is Alive?

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A news story reports that Jahi McMath, declared dead by the State of California, is being maintained at a Catholic hospital in New Jersey. More, that she may be becoming responsive. From the San Jose Mercury News story: KPIX reported that she is receiving round-the-clock care and has responded to commands, moving specific parts of her […]

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Asking Awake ICU Patients To Harvest Organs

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Pick your cliche: Give them an inch and they will take a mile; in for a penny in for a pound, etc. In bioethics, there is never a permanent boundary beyond which the utilitarian impulse will not take them. Now, advocacy is beginning to ask conscious patients who want to stop life-sustaining treatment for their organs. […]

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Will Bioethicists Support Hunger Strike Death?

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Last year, I argued against permitting prisoners from harming their health from hunger strikes–by force feeding if necessary.  The issue has been primarily discussed here at HE in the context of Guantanamo, but there was also advocacy for doctors both helping ease inmate’s hunger strike symptoms and/or refusing to participate in forced feeding. For example, here is […]

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The “Quality of Life” Slouch Toward Infanticide

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I have long argued that our neurotic obsession with eliminating suffering–we should, of course alleviate and mitigate it–leads very quickly to eliminating the sufferer. Many mainstream bioethicists push this meme as part of their attempt to convince society to permit infanticide for the same reasons that we allow late stage abortion. Always, these efforts are couched […]

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Forced C-Sections & Obsession with Birth Control

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I read an interesting column in the Guardian about how many hospitals in Brazil basically force mothers to have C-sections rather than natural birth. From, “Inside the War on Natural Birth,” by Jill Filipovic: …forced or coerced c-sections are not unusual here in Brazil, where some hospitals deliver almost 100% of babies surgically. And as […]

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Should Doctors Aid Self-Starvation?

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A disturbing sign of the times: The focus on hastening death grows ever more intense. Euthanasia groups, for example, increasingly push VSED–”voluntary stop eating and drinking”–to become dead. But the rigors and pain associated with self-starvation require a doctor’s help to accomplish. The question is whether helping patients starve/dehydrate themselves to death is a proper medical intervention. […]

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