Faking Life

This Week in Bioethics

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1. We Won’t Back Down The CBC (like most nonprofit organizations) rely heavily on end-of-year giving in order to start the new year on a strong footing. We’ve had an amazing year, although one not without its difficulties. We’re up against powerful interests that profit handsomely from their exploitative work. We truly need your financial […]

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Artificial Wombs: What’s Really Needed

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A recent article in Nature Communications announces the development of a kind of artificial womb (or extracorporeal gestational system). So far it has been used to further the development of premature lambs. Technology website Gizmodo breaks down the technical journal article in more understandable terms. The research team, led by Alan Flake from the Children’s […]

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Ethics and Embryo Editing

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In a world where it seems the news is endlessly dominated by events in and around the White House, one story this week has clearly broken through: U.S.-based researchers have succeeded in editing the genes in human embryos. This news was first reported by MIT Technology Review, but numerous other outlets — Associated Press, Scientific […]

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The Unethical Uneasiness with Human Gene Editing Technology

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It has just been announced that “the first known attempt at creating genetically modified human embryos” in the U.S. has been made. Through a new technique, often called CRISPR, germline modification can be made at the embryo stage—germline, meaning the genetically modified child would pass these changes onto future generations through his or her sperm […]

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Breaking News: “Scientists create a part-human, part-pig embryo”

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The Washington Post is reporting that scientists have for the first time created an embryo that is part human and part pig. The long-term goal is to provide organs for transplant, given that the need for organs always runs well ahead of the availability of organs. Such a hybrid or chimeric embryo raises many, many […]

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We Don’t Yet Fully Understand all of the Implications

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NPR recently ran an article on the latest developments in the area of “three-parent embryos.” Such embryos are being created in an effort to help those who carry a genetic defect in their mitochondrial DNA. The article is a long and at times technical read, but the upshot is that there is much scientists do […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Can We? Should We? Our Christopher White this week highlighted two ways in which President George W. Bush’s decision — now 15 years ago — to limit federal funding for embryo destructive stem cell research has been vindicated. First, non-embryonic (aka adult) stem cells have proven to be much more powerful and useful that […]

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ICYMI — Our First Live Video Q&A

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In case you missed it, on Friday morning (Pacific time), Jennifer and I did our first ever live Q&A, an “Ask Us Anything About #Bioethics.” First of all, THANK YOU to all who participated. We had a number of great questions on several different areas of bioethics. The 20 minute video is archived on our […]

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Facebook Live Video Event

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This Friday, August 26 at 9:00am Pacific (Noon Eastern, 16:00 GMT), CBC Founder and President Jennifer Lahl and I will be appearing live on The Center for Bioethics and Culture Facebook page, taking questions on any area of bioethics. We often categorize the areas of bioethics under the headings of Taking Life (assisted suicide, euthanasia, stem […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. UNFPA Announces Opposition to Commercial Surrogacy The Phnom Penh Post reports that the United Nations Population Fund opposes the legalization of commercial surrogacy. This is an important development as Cambodia considers how surrogacy should be treated in the country in the wake of high-profile surrogacy scandals in Thailand, India, and Nepal. “Reproductive health, surrogacy, […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. This Needs to be Read and Shared as Widely as Possible California oncologist and hematologist Dr. Philip Dreisbach writes in the Wall Street Journal as clearly and urgently as I have seen about the perils of physician assisted suicide. He begins by highlighting some of the problems specific to California’s recently enacted assisted suicide […]

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New Survey Reveals Americans Wary of Faking Life

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A number of outlets are reporting this week on a new survey that reveals a wariness among American adults toward biotechnologies that can be used for enhancement purposes. The survey of 4,700 adults also involved six focus groups to allow researchers to delve into the reasons behind the survey responses. The main takeaways from the survey […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Maltese Political Party Rejects Euthanasia The Alternattiva Demokratika party of Malta has rejected euthanasia and assisted suicide, and instead is seeking to emphasize the importance of living wills and palliative care in public policy. We also encourage the use of living wills. Even better is a durable power of attorney for healthcare that is […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Dutch Doctors and Self-Starvation Our friend Wesley Smith has reviewed a document from the Dutch Medical Association that provides directions for doctors who are helping their patients commit suicide by self-starvation. Among the many deeply disturbing guidelines in the document, perhaps this is most chilling: “Older patients need not be advised against consciously choosing not […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Priorities at the VA The department of veterans affairs this week released the preliminary results of a new study on suicide among veterans. “In 2014, the latest year available, more than 7,400 veterans took their own lives, accounting for 18 percent of all suicides in America. Veterans make up less than 9 percent of […]

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How Much Further Down the Road of Artifice Should We Travel?

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The cover story in July 4 edition of Time magazine examines the gene editing technique known as CRISPR. The article is helpful for understanding the basics of the science of CRISPR, and it raises a number of the ethical issues involved—the unknowns of heritable genetic changes, the potential for weaponization, imperfections in the technique itself. […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Welcome News from New York on Assisted Suicide The New York State Appellate Division has just issued a 36-page report stating there is no constitutional right to physician assisted suicide. In 1994, the New York State Task Force on Law and Life issued a report titled, “When Death Is Sought: Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia […]

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The Human Body and the Death of Normalcy?

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Regan Brashear has done us all a favor by directing and producing the documentary film Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement. Fixed, a New Day Digital film, was released in 2013, and I’m happy to have heard about it and to have been given a chance to watch it. I confess, on watching the trailer, […]

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