Reproductive Technology

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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This Week in Bioethics

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1. New Medicare Rule Authorizes End of Life Consultations Last Friday the Obama administration issued a final rule that requires Medicare to pay physicians for end-of-life consultations. On its face, there is nothing necessarily harmful about this—and, indeed, many physicians and patients will benefit from this, as will families who will have an opportunity to […]

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Adventures in Fertility?

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Jason Gay, a sports columnist for the Wall Street Journal, had an essay in the weekend edition of the paper on a different sort of game for him: fertility medicine. In a casual and, at times, humorous essay, “Adventures in Fertility,” Mr. Gay discusses the woes of waiting until one’s mid-thirties to begin trying to […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Australian High Court Rules BRCA1 Gene Cannot Be Patented The Australian High Court has issued a final ruling that the BRCA gene cannot be patented. Mutations of the BRCA1 gene often lead to higher risks of breast cancer and other cancers. This ruling overturns two lower level court rulings but follows similar rulings in […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. American Surrogate Mother Dies On October 8th, Brooke Lee Brown of Burley, Idaho died of complications from a surrogate pregnancy. Shortly thereafter, the two twins she was carrying for a couple in Spain, where surrogacy is illegal, also passed away. To date, there’s been a media blackout. No major outlets are reporting on this […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Adult Stem Cell Treatment Effective Against MS Science Alert reported earlier this week that blood stem cells are proving effective in treating multiple sclerosis patients. This is a very promising development as it once more proves that adult stem cells can be successfully used for healing and treatment—eliminating the need for embryonic stem cells. […]

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Australia May Change Sperm Donation Laws

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The Herald Sun is reporting that a new bill in Australia may give sperm donor conceived children greater access to their biological history — and most importantly, the ability to know their fathers. The measure, however, is controversial, as it would give access to information that was previously deemed confidential. Many sperm “donors” often agree to […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Human Sperm Grown in Laboratory A French team announced earlier this week that they have grown sperm by culturing immature cells taken from the testes of infertile men. While many are optimistic that it could help young men who are rendered sterile from cancer treatments and adult men who cannot produce sperm, some also […]

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The Rest of the Story

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Dear Friend, This summer the Supreme Court handed down a decision that will forever change the nature of our work at the Center for Bioethics and Culture. Now that same-sex marriage is allowed in all 50 states, the movement for “marriage equality” has shifted to a push for “family equality.” This is a game changer […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Quebec Establishes Guidelines for Euthanasia The group responsible for regulating doctors in Quebec has announced that it will soon issue formal guidelines for euthanasia within the province. As a part of this practice, doctors will receive “suicide kits” complete with the proper instructions and injections to kill their patients. Rather than physicians prescribing the […]

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