Reproductive Technology

Wounded Vets Don’t Need Taxpayer Funded IVF

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I’ll be in DC next week for a bunch of meetings, mostly speaking with people about a bill that provides $3.4 billion in additional care for vets. I am involved because the bill currently includes an amendment to provide IVF benefits to wounded vets. These sorts of policy battles always start out with a rough […]

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. . . for a human future

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We held our Thirteenth Annual Paul Ramsey Award Dinner on April 16 in Diablo, California. It was a wonderful gathering where we were able to honor the legacy of Paul Ramsey by presenting Dr. Brent Waters with the Paul Ramsey Award for Excellence in Bioethics and by highlighting the work of our Paul Ramsey Institute. […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Canada’s Assisted Suicide Law Excludes Americans The physician assisted suicide bill introduced by Canadian parliament this week will prevent Americans from accessing it—a move to prevent suicide tourism. A well-intentioned effort perhaps, but the very legalization of suicide is bad for public health outcomes, regardless of location. Suicide is a tragedy whenever and wherever it […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Physician Assisted Suicide Pills Made Cheaper Who doesn’t love a sale?! A new cocktail of drugs has been devised to make physician assisted suicide even cheaper in Washington State. Whereas the previous prescription would cost somewhere between $2,000-$5,000, the new mix is now priced at $500—a real steal! It’s no wonder why governments around […]

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Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right

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Yesterday marked International Women’s Day—a time for the international community and ordinary citizens to “celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievement of women.” A noble and worthwhile cause to be sure. But when news broke that a clinic in Cleveland successfully performed the nation’s first uterus transplant, some used the occasion to call for […]

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Everybody Loves a Sale

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In our documentary film Breeders?, one of the fertility doctors commenting on the high likelihood of twins in surrogate pregnancies joked that everybody loves a sale—her way of downplaying the fact that many intended parents seeking one child via surrogacy end up with two (or more). Now, in the United Kingdom, a fertility clinic is […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Physician Assisted Suicide Fails in Maryland The state senator behind Maryland’s efforts to legalize physician assisted suicide withdrew his bill yesterday admitting that he did not have enough support to move it forward. Maryland was a key state for advocates of doctor prescribed suicide and this withdrawal marks a big victory for vulnerable patients […]

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British Woman Seeks to Use Dead Daughter’s Frozen Eggs

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A sixty-year-old British woman is fighting a court battle to use her dead daughter’s frozen eggs and to act as a surrogate for them in order to conceive a child. The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), the UK’s regulatory body for eggs and sperm, is fighting against her efforts, noting that the deceased did […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. IVF Conceived Children Face Poor Health Outcomes A new study in the journal of Human Reproduction warns that IVF conceived children may suffer poor health outcomes such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. According to Dr. Pascal Gagneux, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California San Diego, “We’re engaging in an evolutionary […]

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Biological Colonialism in Action

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The buying and selling of human eggs is illegal in Australia—but that hasn’t prevented one agency from working around it. ABC News is reporting that Known Egg Donors, a Brisbane based company, recently brought a woman in from South Africa to “donate” her eggs for a local couple. Sadly, this is a familiar tale—those desperate […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. New Records Set For Reproductive Technology in the United States According to a new report, the U.S. reproductive technology industry is slated to reach over $4 billion by 2020. The largest sector of the market, $1.2 billion, comes from fertility drug revenue. As we’ve long said, infertility has become a booming business in the […]

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IVF: Clarifications and Caveats

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Earlier this month I wrote about a recent study in the Journal of the American Medicine Association that found that “nearly two-thirds of women undergoing I.V.F. will have a child by the sixth attempt.” In commenting on the story I noted that the New York Times reported on the study with a rather deceiving headline: […]

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Sperm Donor Conceived Children and the Silent Stories

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This weekend CBS Sunday Morning profiled Todd Whitehurst, a forty-nine year old computer scientist who was meeting four of his sperm donor conceived children for the first time. Whitehurst, who began donating his sperm while an undergraduate at Stanford, is the biological father of 22 known donor children (in addition to two other children from […]

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UK Sperm Bank Charged with Discrimination

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The largest sperm bank in the United Kingdom is under fire for accusations of discrimination and eugenics after turning away a man with dyslexia who was seeking to donate his sperm. The sperm bank also noted they would not accept donors with ADD, autism, or Asperger’s. The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, the agency in […]

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Gay Couples may be able to have Children Genetically Related to Both Partners

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Thanks to a new method, in vitro gametogenesis (IVG), researchers are getting closer to allowing gay couples to have children that are genetically related to both partners or for a single parent to have a child created of their sole genetic material. This technique could utilize the sperm cells from two fathers or two egg cells […]

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Scientific Advancement Does Not Always Mean Progress

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It’s that time of year when newspapers and magazines are running year end pieces highlighting notable happenings from the past 365 days. I always enjoy reading these—some reminders are sentimental, others jar your memory as you recall an event you’d forgotten, and others are just absurd. Yesterday, when the New York Times included the creation […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Gene Editing Summit Supports Human Embryo Research The just concluded International Summit on Human Gene Editing called for “cautious development” of germline editing. While the hope is that such a method would prevent the spread of certain inheritable diseases, it does so by destroying human embryos and it will almost certainly open the floodgates […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Couples Pursuing Surrogacy in India Now in Limbo Due to India’s recent ban on international commercial surrogacy, a number of foreign couples in process of utilizing an Indian surrogate are scrambling. Some have frozen embryos they are trying to have shipped to their respective countries, while others have surrogates that are already in the […]

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