Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Ethika Politika: First, even if some transgenderism is caused by physiological anomalies, that does not mean that even that form of transgenderism is not also a psychological disorder or mental illness—albeit caused by physiological anomalies rather than by distorting life experiences, for instance.
The Christian Institute: Eminent scientists have raised “grave concerns” about a controversial new procedure to genetically modify human embryos.
Public Discourse: The fertility industry has absolutely no interest in doing the studies and the research that are needed to protect women.
Life News: “Having a disability shouldn’t be a death sentence,” said ADF Litigation Counsel Catherine Glenn Foster. “Neither patient was in an end-of-life situation. Allowing the hospital to get away with withholding treatment in this way endangers vulnerable patients and puts all patients’ lives – particularly those of patients with disabilities – at grave risk.”
Christian Today: A number of leading scientists have called on MPs to support legislation on ‘three parent babies’ expected to be voted on in parliament next week.
ADF Media: Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Wisconsin Supreme Court that supports a lawsuit against University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics after it denied treatment to two developmentally disabled patients even though they were not in a persistent vegetative state and were not terminally ill. One of the patients, a 13-year-old boy, died; the other, a 79-year-old woman, survived.
BioEdge: A Dutch end-of-life clinic has been reprimanded for the third time in a year for moving the goal posts for euthanasia. The Levenseindekliniek in The Hague helped a woman to die because she complained of severe tinnitus, or ringing in the ears.
National Right to Life: Two of the leading voices in bioethics have a fascinating head-to-head confrontation on the euthanasia of severely disabled infants in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. Udo Schuklenk, of Queen’s University, in Canada, the co-editor of the journal Bioethics, and Gilbert Meilaender, of Valparaiso University, in Indiana, discuss the ethics of, in Schuklenk’s words, “what would amount to postnatal abortion”.
The Christian Institute: A health minister has been heavily criticised for suggesting that overseas patients could be offered controversial procedures to create three and four-parent babies if the techniques are legalised in the UK.
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission: Surrogacy is the practice by which a woman (called a surrogate mother) becomes pregnant and gives birth to a baby in order to give it to someone who cannot (or will not) bear children of their own. A surrogate mother is a woman who carries and gives birth to the child of another woman, who is usually infertile, by way of a pre-arranged legal contract.
Public Discourse: It is an interesting, difficult, and manifestly important question: Senator Rubio was on solid ground in saying science has settled the question of when a human being begins. Science does not need to wait on philosophy’s pronouncements to investigate what the human embryo is and when its life begins.
On pro-life case involving Obamcare abortion funding, Supreme Court has free speech concerns | Christian Post
Napp Nazworth at the Christian Post: “While Supreme Court decisions are difficult to predict based upon the justices questions during oral arguments, all nine justices ‘seemed very concerned’ about the freedom of speech implications in the case, Casey Mattox, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, told The Christian Post Tuesday. Mattox was in the court audience.”
Alliance Defending Freedom, Bioethics Defense Fund, and Life Legal Defense Foundation filed a friend-of-the-court brief Friday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit that argues a defamation lawsuit against Susan B. Anthony List is baseless because the pro-life group only told the truth.
Maureen L. Condic, Associate Professor of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Utah School of Medicine, at Public Discourse: “Proponents of conducting human experiments to generate ‘three-parent embryos’ cast this procedure as a beneficent therapeutic approach to treat women with mitochondrial disease and allow them to bear healthy children. In reality, it is a macabre form of eugenic cloning, in which a human being with a medical condition is killed and his or her parts are used to create a new human being with an improved biological state.”
The Independent (includes video): The sperm’s tail acts like a tiny outboard motor inside a metal nanotube; the resulting biobot could be used to deliver drugs and guide sperm to the egg
Global Times: The surrogate and egg donation industry has developed rapidly in the US as it provides healthy young women a new way of making money.
Rene Almeling at NY Times: How did we get to this point? Sperm donation has evolved from a practice of customized production to an industry that resembles mass manufacturing.
Kellie Fiedorek at Alliance Defending Freedom: Does it matter if you are the result of love and passion between your biological mom and dad? Or are you okay with your parents being donor numbers 548 and 2143? Would it hurt you to never know—or even have the opportunity to know—who your biological parents are?
Alan S. Newman at Public Discourse: “Eggsploitation” reveals the predatory practices of the fertility industry, which lures young women in need of money to undergo medical procedures that carry the risk of severe long-term health problems.
LifeNews: That crass market was the subject of a piece in the Daily Mail about an actress, named Robyn Young, who has sold her eggs repeatedly to help support herself as she tries to build a career.
Family Research Council: Human cloning and animal-human hybrids? It may sound like science fiction, but the fact is that some scientists want wide-open opportunity to perform these unethical experiments. Ohio lawmakers are trying to make sure such research doesn’t happen in the Buckeye State. H.B. 308 . . .
Ilya Somin at Volokh Conspiracy: At National Review, Wesley Smith has a post criticizing a Canadian proposal to pay kidney donors. He supports banning such payments because they would “exploit” the poor . . .
Christian Concern: “There are larger social and ethical considerations that mitochondrial replacement also forces us to confront. Most importantly, this technology raises one of the thorniest questions humanity will ever face: are we willing to genetically modify future generations of humans?”
Jennifer Lahl at Public Discourse: Assistive reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization not only involve serious medical risks, they also disrupt family life and commodify human beings.
Gregor Puppinck at Turtle Bay and Beyond: The Italian law review “Diritto Mercato Tecnologia” has just published the English translation of my study on the case of Costa and Pavan v. Italy, (No. 54270/10, 28th August 2012) . . . This decision constitutes an important step in the recognition of a true right to a genetically healthy child; that is to say to eugenics; that the Court calls the “right [of the applicants] to bring a child into the world who is not affected by the illness that they carry” (§ 65).
LifeSiteNews: A group of thirty-four Members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), have written a strongly worded letter to the British government calling for a halt to the creation of so-called “three-parent” embryos in IVF labs.
Nita Farahany at Volokh Conspiracy: I hate to be disagreeable (especially since I’m new here, and all) but I take serious issue with Ilya’s gloss on “Designer Babies.” I find so many parts of his post problematic that I hardly know where to begin. [The conflating of self-enhancement with offspring enhancement? His seeming endorsement of state-sponsored control of reproduction? The distributive justice claim?].
Ilya Somin at Volokh Conspiracy: Georgetown philosophy professor Jason Brennan has an excellent post defending a prospect that many people find repugnant: the possibility that we might soon have “designer babies,” such that parents can use genetic engineering to increase their babies’ intelligence and other abilities.
LifeNews: In a major victory for Canadians fighting against euthanasia, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled today that doctors can’t remove a patient’s life support without their consent. The Canadian Supreme Court heard the case of stroke patient Hassan Rasouli, a 61-year-old man with severe cognitive impairments. | Opinion: Cuthbertson v. Rasouli, 2013 SCC 53
AP: U.S. women are increasingly using donated eggs to get pregnant, with often good results, although the ideal outcome – a single baby born on time at a healthy weight – is still uncommon, a study found.
Las Vegas Review Journal: A woman who bore a child from a fertilized egg donated by her female companion will get the chance to make her case for parental rights, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a case unprecedented in Nevada. | St. Mary v. Damon
NC Register: Dr. Helen Watt discusses the objective morality of new scientific research in genetics and embryology.
Christian Institute: The UK Government’s plan to allow the genetic modification of babies has been criticised in an article published by a leading international science journal. Nature, a prominent science periodical, published an article saying the proposals crossed “a legal and ethical line” and were “premature and ill-conceived”.
LifeNews: Anti-human radical environmentalism continues to advance with no push back in sight. Boulder, Colorado appears on the verge of passing a “nature rights” law, which give the birds and the bees, the flowers and the trees a putative right to life equal to our own. From the Denver Westword News story . . .
BBC: Now scientists at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in Madrid have achieved the same results inside an animal.
LifeNews: How long can a human embryo be frozen at a fertility clinic and still be implanted in a mother’s womb and be able to grow and develop to birth? One woman implanted a unique human being and gave birth to a child 19 years after initial freezing.
USA Today: In the first demonstration of human brain-to-brain control, a scientist wearing an electrical brain-signal reading cap triggered motion in his colleague across campus.
NBCNews: Forty men who put their sperm on ice because cancer or other illnesses threatened to leave them infertile are suing a Chicago hospital after a freezer malfunction robbed many of them of the chance to have biological children, their lawyer said Wednesday.
AP: “They say they’ve always wanted to be a dad, they haven’t found a partner that they want to start a family with, they’re getting older and just don’t want to wait – the same things single women say,” said Madeline Feingold, a psychologist who has done counseling related to surrogacy.
ABC: Forty separate lawsuits – one for each of the patients whose sperm samples were allegedly destroyed while stored in a chamber owned by Northwestern Memorial Hospital – were filed Tuesday.
Samuel Aquila at National Review: The embryos killed are the first class of victims; the second class of victims will be the rest of us.
Wall Street Journal: Scientists have used cloning technology to transform human skin cells into embryonic stem cells, an experiment that may revive the controversy over human cloning.
Leon Kass at WSJ: Consider abortion. After years of calling for abortions that are “safe, legal and rare,” the Democratic Party in its 2012 platform dropped such language altogether in an attempt to appeal to its feminist base. But viewing childbearing solely as a matter of personal reproductive choice, Dr. Kass says, “means we no longer see a child as a gift but as a product of our will to be had by choice only. That makes human choice the basis of all value”—at the price of the child, for “he or she comes from the hands of nature.”
LifeNews: There’s gold in them thar hills! Ounce for ounce, human eggs are probably the most valuable commodity on the planet, with highly intelligent and beautiful university women offered $50,000 or more for their ova for use in eugenic IVF.
Wesley J. Smith at LifeNews: Now, fueling my suspicion, new California legislation has been filed to permit researchers to pay women for undergoing egg extraction–which can cost ”donors” their health, fecundity, even their lives. First, the prices paid would be set by the researchers: From AB 926 . . .
SCOTUS Blog: We won’t know more than that until the Court issues its decision, probably in late June, but it seems likely that at least five Justices are poised to agree with the challengers that at least some of the human genes at issue in the case cannot be patented.
Ruth Institute: You may consider the following headline from a leading US newspaper blog last week to be rather extreme: “The British Embryo Authority and the Chamber of Eugenics”. But when it is followed a week later by a news report in a British newspaper saying: “Lord Robert Winston warning over child ‘eugenics’”, should we then take more notice?
Christian Post: All of this comes to mind after reading about a proposal coming out of a scientific conference in Madrid. There, researchers from Israel and the Netherlands announced a potential new source for human eggs to be used in in-vitro-fertilization treatments: aborted female fetuses.
SCOTUS Blog: Now the U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether that was all a big mistake. The court next week will debate whether human genes can be patented, hearing arguments from doctors, patients and scientists who say patents are stifling clinical testing and research
Live Action News: Two Australian ethicists created a firestorm of controversy last year when they argued for after-birth abortions. Another Australian ethicist has taken up their torch, gleefully celebrating the idea of designer humans and in vitro eugenics.
Guardian: This British doctor specialises in resurrection and insists outdated resuscitation techniques are squandering lives that could be saved.
SCOTUS Blog: At 10 a.m. next Monday, the Supreme Court will hold a sixty-five-minute oral argument on the control, through patent ownership, of research studies on human genes taken out of the body.
LifeSiteNews: An English Peer and fertility expert has warned of the growing danger of eugenics in the flourishing artificial procreation industry. Lord Robert Winston, himself a pioneer in the use and “genetic screening” of embryos, has long been a voice of caution, warning successive governments that current legal restrictions are insufficient to regulate, or even keep pace with the rapid growth of the industry.
LifeSiteNews: A proposal by fertility researchers to “harvest” female gametes, “ova,” from the dead bodies of aborted children to create in vitro embryos in the lab has created a small buzz among the pro-life websites, blogs and Facebook in the last couple of days. But the buzz is over a story that appeared in the Daily Mail nearly ten years ago, about research that has very likely moved along considerably in that time.
LifeNews: Great Britain’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which oversees fertility treatments and embryo research in that nation, recently approved fertility procedures that would amount to the genetic engineering of children through cloning (nuclear transfer) technology and germ-line modification, resulting in a “three-parent embryo” that would have genetic material from two mothers and one father.
Christian Institute: Professor Lord Robert Winston said that current controls will not be able to keep pace, and people could want to modify their children to enhance desirable characteristics.
Christian Concern: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised the Government to permit the use of an IVF technique that would result in the creation of children with three parents.
LifeSiteNews: I can’t imagine President Bush’s Council on Bioethics ever countenancing this, but President Obama’s bioethics advisory commission has given conditional approval to test anthrax vaccine on children! From the Reuters story . . .
AP: Britain’s fertility regulator says it has found broad public support for in vitro fertilization techniques that allow babies to be created with DNA from three people for couples at risk of passing on potentia
John Smoot at LifeSiteNews: Yesterday I explained the problems that arise from commercialized sperm donation—namely degraded men who are absent fathers to children disturbed by the circumstances of their birth. Today I explore more closely the role that money plays as men’s greatest motive for donating sperm, and its impact on future children. I conclude by proposing how we can challenge the sperm-sale industry.
Topeka Capital-Journal: Citing a first-of-its-kind Kansas Supreme Court ruling made Friday, Topekan Angela Bauer on Wednesday sought the right to intervene in a case in which the state contends sperm donor William Marotta is legally the father of the daughter born to her former lesbian partner, Jennifer Schreiner.
Boston Globe: Late last year, the nation’s highest court said it would consider a legal challenge to patents that biotechnology company Myriad Genetics holds on genes linked to risk of breast cancer. Now, Eric Lander—a leader in the human genome project, a scientific adviser to President Obama, and the head of the Broad Institute in Cambridge—has weighed in, filing an amicus brief.
Christian Newswire: HB 481, The Ethical Treatment of Human Embryos Act, is designed to help bring biotechnological companies to Georgia by removing uncertainty for venture capitalists and companies. The measure has five co-sponsors.
Daniel J. Kevles at the NY Review of Books: Can genes be patented? This spring, the Supreme Court will hear a case that may well decide the question, and the consequences for American biomedicine could be huge.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: While bioethics is a well established academic discipline, biolaw is often overlooked. Unlike bioethics, which is concerned with the question of what should be done or avoided, biolaw aims to answer the question what must or must not be done.
AP: Police questioned 30 people on Tuesday and searched the homes of six employees of a private fertility clinic who are suspected of illegally trafficking human eggs and selling them to Israeli couples with fertility problems.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: October 18th 2011, the Court of Justice of the European Union delivered an important judgment in the area of the protection of the human embryo in the case C-34/10 Oliver Brüstle v Greenpeace e.V. In this case the judges in Luxembourg précised the legal definition of the human embryo, and relying on the respect due to human dignity, excluded from patentability all processes which would imply the destruction of human embryo, such as a processes using embryonic stem cells.
Volokh Conspiracy: Intelligence Squared is hosting a provocative debate on the motion “Prohibit Genetically Engineered Babies” — this Wednesday, February 13, 6:45-8:30pm, at the Kaufman Center, 129 West 67th Street (btw Broadway and Amsterdam), New York City.
Public Discourse: With money as the biggest incentive for sperm donation, donors are set up to be absent fathers. Politicians, charitable organizations, academics, and donors themselves should counter the ills of sperm donation through law, journalism, and funding for anti-sperm donation advocacy. The second of a two-part series.
LiveScience: Imagine if you could take living cells, load them into a printer, and squirt out a 3D tissue that could develop into a kidney or a heart. Scientists are one step closer to that reality, now that they have developed the first printer for embryonic human stem cells.
“Wanted: ‘Adventurous woman’ to give birth to Neanderthal man – Harvard professor seeks mother for cloned cave baby”
Daily Mail: They’re usually thought of as a brutish, primitive species. So what woman would want to give birth to a Neanderthal baby? Yet this incredible scenario is the plan of one of the world’s leading geneticists, who is seeking a volunteer to help bring man’s long-extinct close relative back to life. Professor George Church of Harvard Medical School believes he can reconstruct Neanderthal DNA and resurrect the species which became extinct 33,000 years ago.