Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
AP: Kansas law governing artificial insemination is outdated and fails to recognize modern concepts of family, according to the attorney for a Topeka man being pursued to pay child support for a girl born to a lesbian couple as the result of his sperm donation.
LifeNews: Since August 1991 more than 3.5 million human embryos have been created, producing only 235,480 “gestational sacs” or evidence of successful implantation.
AP: The state contends the agreement between Marotta and the women is not valid because Kansas law requires a licensed physician to perform artificial insemination.
Fox News: A Kansas sperm donor who was ordered to pay child support for the baby he helped a lesbian couple conceive plans to fight back in court, and suggested he might be a victim of bias against same-sex parenting.
Aarathi Prasad at CNN (includes video): In an article in the UK’s “traditional values” tabloid, the Daily Mail, titled “A Terrifying Future for Female Fertility,” Djerassi said, “There are an enormous number of well-educated, proficient women who, when facing the biological clock, first pay attention to their professional ambitions…in the next 20 years, more young people will freeze their eggs and [sperm] in their 20s, and bank them for later use. They will do away with the need for contraception by being sterilised, and withdraw their eggs and sperm from the bank when they are ready to have a child via IVF.”
Telegraph: Parents who lose children in accidents may be able to clone “copies” to replace them within 50 years, a British scientist who won this year’s Nobel prize for medicine has predicted.
LifeSiteNews: Belgium legalised euthanasia in 2002, with a law containing strict controls to protect the vulnerable. (This is the text of the law in English.) The Belgium-based European Institute of Bioethics has just released a study (link to English translation) of the experience of ten years of euthanasia. It claims that the results are far from encouraging.
Jonathan D. Rockoff at Wall Street Journal (via Google): A Massachusetts biotechnology company said it expects as early as Friday to start the process for regulatory approval of what experts said would be the first human trial involving stem cells created by reprogramming adult cells back to an embryonic-like state.
AP: Wounded veterans and their spouses who want to have children could get the government to pay for fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization under legislation beginning to move through Congress in the waning days of the session.
The Hindu: Indeed, going by Aarathi Prasad’s book, human reproduction might too go that way. “The reproduction of the future is set to rewrite much of the fabric of human society.” Like a Virgin is a little prelude to that revolution.
Bloomberg: The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider whether human genes can be patented, taking up an issue that has split the medical community and will shape the future of personalized health care and the biotechnology industry.
Christian Institute: British proposals to create genetically modified babies with three or four biological parents should be rejected, a new report says. The report, written by bioethics expert Dr Calum MacKellar, says the techniques that are being discussed may carry medical risks for children, and for future generations.
Germany: No Patenting Of Human Embryonic Stem Cells, If Obtained Through The Destruction Of Human Embryos
Turtle Bay and Beyond: The case had acquired worldwide notoriety when the Court of Justice of the European Union, answering a prejudicial question that had been submitted to it by the BGH, found that the existence of a human embryo begins at the moment of conception, and that therefore inventions that involved the use of embryonic stem cells were therefore excluded from patent protection under the EU Biopatent Directive.
Christian Institute: Techniques which would create genetically modified babies should be “urgently opposed”, a bioethics group says. The Anscombe Bioethics Centre gave the warning as a Government-backed consultation approaches its conclusion. Commenting on the two techniques being considered, the centre said: “One technique would split genetic motherhood and give the child three genetic parents.
Myriad Genetics calls on Scotus to reject petition from ruling finding DNA molecules patent-eligible
Lexology.com: According to Myriad Genetics, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court should not grant review in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. Details about the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals decision on remand from the lawsuit’s previous sojourn before the U.S. Supreme Court appear in Issue 41 of this Bulletin. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has requested that the Court review the Federal Circuit’s decision.
Vatican Radio: Do people in Britain want to see genetically modified babies such as children being born with two genetic mothers? This is essentially the question at the heart of an ongoing government consultation over whether to allow two possible techniques intended to eliminate mitrochondrial diseases through genetic engineering of embryos.
BBC: A Canadian man who was believed to have been in a vegetative state for more than a decade, has been able to tell scientists that he is not in any pain.
Wesley Smith at National Review: An unusual custody battle involving a surrogate mother and two Houston men is playing out in a Harris County courtroom.Cindy Close, 48, gave birth to twins at Texas Children’s Medical Center in July, but on the night of their birth she was visited by a social worker. “She told me we had a surrogacy situation,” Close said. “I looked at her and said ‘I’m not a surrogate, what are you talking about?’”
AP: Scientists in Oregon have created embryos with genes from one man and two women, using a provocative technique that could someday be used to prevent babies from inheriting certain rare incurable diseases.
Telegraph: Researchers from Kyoto University successfully turned stem cells into eggs in mice, which went on to give birth to healthy and fertile offspring. The technique can either be used with stem cells taken from embryos, or ones created artificially from other adult cells such as skin, according to their study published in the Science journal.
LifeSiteNews: The Association of Catholic Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (ACMPN) condemned a recent USAID initiative to provide more than $8 million to the country for the establishment of abortion clinics and human egg-harvesting centers in Nigeria.
Wall Street Journal: There is growing evidence suggesting that freezing an embryo after fertilization and thawing it for use in the woman’s next monthly cycle leads to higher pregnancy rates, compared with using the embryo immediately. A recent scientific review of three small randomized and controlled studies found that 50% of women got pregnant after receiving in vitro fertilization, or IVF, treatment using a recently frozen embryo. By contrast, women receiving fresh embryos had a 38% pregnancy rate.
WSJ: The American Civil Liberties Union, along with the Public Patent Foundation, again asked the Supreme Court to invalidate patents for two genes that are associated with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, saying the patents restrict scientific research and access to medical care.
BNA.com: As expected, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the case challenging the patent eligibility of claims on isolated DNA (Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics Inc., U.S., docket number not available, review sought 9/25/12). The petition asks three questions . . .
France24.com: A Danish sperm donor has passed a potentially severe genetic disorder to five children after a screening test failed to catch that he had the disease, health officials said Monday.
LifeNews: The BBC reports this morning on the launch of a new consultation by the HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) into a new controversial fertility treatment which creates embryos from two women and one man to prevent life-threatening disorders.
Reuters: Scientists have restored hearing to deaf gerbils using human embryonic stem cells in an advance that could eventually help people with an intractable form of deafness caused by nerve damage.
Should Mitt Romney (or Others Who are Pro-Life) Support Rape and Incest Exceptions to Abortion Bans?
Glenn Cohen at the Bill of Health Blog: As America’s attention focused on the Republican Convention and the Obama campaign tries to portray a “Republican War on Women” at the Democratic one, last week Mitt Romney tried to clarify his position on abortion, namely: while he is generally against abortion, he would make an exception for cases where the mother has been raped or is the victim of incest. While politically savvy, based on other beliefs Mitt Romney has, this position is hard to defend if not incoherent. Here is why . . .
Harold Cassidy at Public Discourse: “The Surrogate Uterus: Baby M and the Bioethics Commission Report”
Governor Christie’s recent veto of a “gestational” surrogacy bill should prompt us to look at the legal history of surrogacy and the terrible injustices that it causes . . . Gestational surrogacy is now front and center for debate, not only in New Jersey, but across the nation. It demands attention. Motherhood itself is now on trial.
Wesley J. Smith at First Things: Boiled down to its essence, animal rights and pro abortion go together easily because both views involve an inherent (if sometimes unconscious) antipathy toward human exceptionalism. (I know there are some pro animal rights/pro life people, so don’t yell at me.)
Telegraph: Dozens of couples are flying to the US every year to choose the sex of their babies, a practice banned in Britain three years ago.
CBS: It sounds like something out of the movie “Johnny Mnemonic,” but scientists have successfully been able to “hack” a brain with a device that’s easily available on the open market.
Wesley J. Smith at First Things: In any event, the more I thought about the article in the Journal of Medical Ethics that castigates religious parents who resist pulling the plug, the more I saw that it exemplified how bioethics has become the point of the spear. So, I took to the pages of the Daily Caller. First, I note that the media took up the call. From, “Attacking Religious Parents for Refusing to Pull the Plug:” . . .
Matthew D. Wright at Public Discourse: Michael Rosen’s effort to clarify the history and meaning of dignity ignores Christianity’s important philosophical contributions.
Telegraph: Professor Julian Savulescu said that creating so-called designer babies could be considered a “moral obligation” as it makes them grow up into “ethically better children”.
George Weigel at EPPC: Despite some hiccups caused by the sorry state of the world economy, China is still The Future for many global analysts. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times has even suggested that Americans have a lot to learn politically from the economic successes of Chinese authoritarianism. That China is the rising world power seems taken for granted in many elite foreign policy circles. I’m not buying. I didn’t buy “Japan is Number One” when that was the mantra two decades ago, because Japan had severe demographic problems-as in, very few children; its lack of the most basic form of people power in the most elementary form, I thought, would soon become evident in economic weakness (as it has). China also has serious demographic problems. Thanks to a brutally enforced one-child policy
Hilary White at LifeSiteNews: “The fallacy in the anti-abortion argument lies in the shift from the scientifically accurate claim that the fetus is a living individual of the species Homo sapiens to the ethical claim that the fetus therefore has the same right to life as any other human being.”
LifeNews: Now the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), Britain’s government run health care system, is considering giving financial incentives to hospital units for providing organs for donation and an opt-out system where it is presumed UK citizens want their organs harvested even if they have not said they want to be a donor.
Public Discourse: A report from The Witherspoon Council, a newly-formed bioethics body, argues that even the noblest aspirations of the scientific enterprise must be guided by ethics and governed under political authority.
LifeSiteNews: The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) has launched a survey asking health professionals and the public to weigh in on several ethically controversial strategies to increase organ donations.
LifeSiteNews: A controversial IVF method resulting in 3-parent babies has recently been debated in the UK, but according to reports brought to light by Dr. Joseph Mercola of the health website Mercola.com, the technique has already been used in the US as far back as 1997.
Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy: A recent New York Times article laments the spread of illegal organ markets in Europe, in which mostly poor people try to sell kidneys and other organs to people who need transplants . . .
Dov Greenbaum and Mark B. Gerstein at the Wall Street Journal (via Google): Thanks to a greater popular appreciation of the genetics behind athleticism coupled with advances in genetic manipulation, we may soon see athletes-by-design, either from conception or a childhood tailored to sports for which the budding athlete is already genetically optimized.
Blog of the Legal Times: This morning marked a reunion of sorts for the parties involved in a controversial dispute over whether isolated human genes are patentable. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled last year that they are, but was ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court to take another look in light of new, possibly related precedent.
FoxNews: Researchers at Stanford University have sequenced the entire genomes of 91 human sperm from a single man – providing insight into the genetic variation that naturally occurs in a single individual.
LifeNews: A new report released today by the Charlotte Lozier Institute takes a comprehensive look at the stem cell research debate and comes to the conclusion that proponents of embryonic stem cell research have lost.
AZFamily.com: A new, more affordable, convenient and effective option for women turning to in vitro fertilization to get pregnant is finally available thanks to the advancement of egg donors and the technology to freeze donated embryos.
Rebecca Tayler at LIfeNews: Hanlon’s undated piece discusses a technique IVF doctors have used to “rejuvenate” an infertile woman’s eggs by injecting the cytoplasm of another woman’s healthy egg. Factors inside the cytoplasm help the infertile woman’s egg in fertilization. When doctors injected the cytoplasm of the healthy egg, it contained mitochondria from the donor egg. Those mitochondria have DNA from the woman who donated that egg. So the after that hybrid egg is fertilized, the resulting embryo has the DNA from 1 man, and 2 women.
LifeNews: On Friday’s NBC Today, chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman explained to viewers that it’s just good science to abort an unborn child that may have a genetic disorder, explaining that testing for such conditions, “gives parents a chance to decide whether they’re going to continue that pregnancy or not. This is the science of today.”
AP: An influential British bioethics group says that couples who face the risk of having a baby with certain genetic diseases should be allowed to use eggs from two women to produce the embryo.
Telegraph: Scientists could soon be able to routinely screen unborn babies for thousands of genetic conditions, raising concerns the breakthrough could lead to more abortions.
Christian Institute: The fertility and embryology regulator has announced a consultation on a controversial technique which could lead to children with three genetic parents.
Science Daily: In a groundbreaking study,Yale School of Medicine researchers and colleagues at the University of Oxford have identified the chromosomal make-up of a human egg. This discovery may soon allow them to avoid using abnormal — or aneuploid — eggs during infertility treatments, and instead to pick eggs that are healthy enough for a successful in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle.
SCOTUS Blog: Case Information Page and Document Links _____________ SCOTUS Ruling here: Astrue v. Capato, No. 11-159 Eighteen months after her husband, Robert Capato, died of cancer, respondent Karen Capato gave birth to twins conceived through in vitro fertilization using …
LifeNews: What do you do when you have created 18 extra IVF embryos and you don’t want to destroy them or give them away to just anyone? You put them on Craigslist of course!
NY Times: The scale of the problem is only now becoming apparent with the advent of online communities like Ms. Kramer’s. “There needs to be oversight, and some regulation of the industry,” she said.It is not known how many children are born each year using sperm donors, because mothers of donor offspring are not required to report their births. By some estimates, there are more than a million children in this country conceived with donated sperm or eggs.
Doctors Lounge: Screening embryos produced by in vitro fertilization using array comparative genomic hybridization plus morphology improves pregnancy rates over screening by morphology alone in single embryo transfers, according to a study published online May 2 in Molecular Cytogenetics.
Nature.com: In vitro fertilization (IVF) does not cause birth defects in children conceived with the technology. Instead, the higher rate of congenital disease in children born after IVF, compared to natural conception, is probably explained by factors underlying the parents’ infertility. Those conclusions come from a study of more than 300,000 births, published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Ken Connor at Townhall: This week, another of the President’s infamous “compromises” is in the spotlight, namely his executive order expanding federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Stymied by existing law limiting the government’s involvement in this ethically troubling area of “scientific” work, the President crafted a workaround based on rhetorical hair-splitting, issued his order, and the dollars began flowing. The Alliance Defense Fund filed suit to enjoin the funding and in 2010 a federal judge issued a temporary injunction blocking the executive order. [also available at Renew America]
Perez’s age has not been disclosed, but a local news report stated that she received fertility treatment in order to become pregnant.
Journal Gazette: Emily and Brian Herx – the Hoagland couple launched into a national religious debate this week – said Friday they just wanted to expand their family when she underwent in vitro fertilization and ultimately lost her Catholic teaching job.
Wesley J. Smith at First Things: IVF has always been a form of human experimentation–which costs the subject’s (the baby) parents a lot of money–since we jumped head first into the technology without fully knowing the potential consequences. And now, decades later, we are finding that people born from IVF have greater health risks.
One News Now: “This case is challenging President Obama’s executive order to really ignore the federal law that protects American tax dollars from being used to destroy human embryos and goes ahead and has funded millions and millions of dollars’ worth of destructive research,” Bowman shares.
Available for media interviews following oral arguments in Sherley v. Sebelius, a lawsuit challenging an Obama administration policy that authorized the National Institutes of Health to fund additional research projects that destroy human embryos even though a federal law known as the Dickey/Wicker Amendment specifically prohibits such funding.
Kelly McParland at the National Post: A U.S. fertility clinic that placed an advertisement for sex-selection services in a British Columbia newspaper is doing nothing that should be criticized by anyone supporting Canada’s free-for-all baby market. Since there is no law on abortion in this country, anything goes.
LifeSiteNews (includes video): Bioedge published a good article this week discussing the claim by some bioethicists that parents be required to use pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to eradicate unwanted heritable conditions.
Rebecca Taylor at LifeNews: In fact, a recent study done by researchers at Johns Hopkins showed that genetic testing for disease is really not that predictive. They looked at occurrence of disease in identical twins and found that genetics were not a good predictor of who will suffer from what disease.
Philadelphia Inquirer: For the first time, a Pennsylvania appeals court has confronted the complex question of who gets custody of embryos, ruling this week in favor of a Chester County woman who hopes to give birth using frozen embryos that her estranged husband wants destroyed . . . The three-judge Superior Court panel affirmed and quoted the trial court’s reasoning: “Because Wife cannot achieve genetic parenthood otherwise, we conclude that Wife’s interest in biological procreation through the use of these pre-embryos outweighs Husband’s professed interest against procreation.” | Opinion: Reber v. Reiss | Hat tip: How Appealing
AP: Many countries have strict rules on who is allowed to get fertility treatments. And recent court rulings suggest nothing’s likely to change anytime soon.