This Week in Bioethics

by Christopher White, Ramsey Institute Project Director on March 20, 2015

1. Montana House Passes Bill to Prohibit Physician Assisted Suicide

Earlier this week, legislators in Montana passed a bill that would prohibit physician assisted suicide in their state. The bill now moves on for consideration by their state senate. At a time when so many states are considering legislation, it’s heartening to see lawmakers push back against powerful forces trying to legalize the practice. Bravo!

2. Fashion Legends Say No to Synthetic Children

Two of the most notable fashion designers in the world, Dolce & Gabbana, sparked an uproar earlier this week when they spoke out against IVF and surrogacy. Over at First Things, Robert Oscar Lopez offers a cutting (and beautifully penned) analysis on why biological ties are always in vogue.

3. Canadians Eager to Use Physician Assisted Suicide as Means to Organ Harvesting

Some Canadians now fear that since their Supreme Court has declared a right to physician assisted suicide, it will lead to increased societal pressure for the sick and elderly to utilize the practice in order to meet the demand for donor organs. As our friend Wesley Smith writes at National Review Online, “anyone who asks for euthanasia or assisted suicide should be ineligible to be organ donors to prevent the siren song of utilitarianism from luring people onto the rocks of hastened death.”

4. Scientists Seek Ban on Human Genome Editing

Leading biologists have come together in an article in Science to support a moratorium on a new technique that would alter DNA in an inheritable way. As the New York Times reports, “The biologists fear that the new technique is so effective and easy to use that some physicians may push ahead before its safety can be assessed.” One wishes that such caution would also be exercised in other matters . . . say, the creation of three parent embryos for starters.

5. CBC Participates in the Commission on the Status of Women at the UN

JL-at-UNJennifer Lahl is in New York this week for the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). In several events—including screenings of our documentary films and an address at an official UN side event—Jennifer highlighted the need for the international community to act now to ban the practices of buying an selling of human eggs and surrogate motherhood.

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