Category: Reproductive Technology

Asexual Human Reproduction
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Asexual Human Reproduction

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Today the phrase “from the beginning of his/her biological development” accurately defines when the life of an individual human being begins to exist; the terms “conception” or “fertilization” do not. We have learned this is so because the fact is that not all human beings begin through sexual means; some are reproduced asexually. This concept […]

Entertainment at the Expense of Children
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Entertainment at the Expense of Children

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A new graphic novel, Pregnant Butch: Nine Long Months Spent in Drag, chronicles the pregnancy journey of a lesbian named Teek and her partner, Vee. While the novel is fiction, it’s based on the author’s own experience parenting her son. It’s a humorous take on the subject of lesbian pregnancies with one reviewer noting “This […]

Pregnancy, Why Bother?
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Pregnancy, Why Bother?

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There are those hushed, polite conversations when people wondered why Tag Romney and his wife, who already had three children naturally, chose to have three more children via gestational surrogacy.  The celebrity surrogate pregnancy stories always raise more eyebrows.  Why did Sarah Jessica Parker, already a proven birth mother, use another woman’s body to have […]

The Crude World of Baby Making
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The Crude World of Baby Making

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The Huffington Post reports that the Food and Drug Administration has been asked to approve creation of “genetically modified children.” The FDA announced a meeting aimed at analyzing the proposed practice of “oocyte modification in assisted reproduction for the prevention of transmission of mitochondrial disease or treatment of infertility.” In other words, a type of […]

Baby Farms
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Baby Farms

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Today’s Daily Mail features an article titled “Wombs for Rent” and praises the surrogacy enterprise as a means of “transforming the lives of poverty-stricken women” in India. India has been a hotspot for commercial surrogacy since the early 2000s, particularly for couples from the UK, Australia, and the United States looking to avoid the costly fees associated with surrogates […]

FDA Considers Allowing Genetically Modified Children
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FDA Considers Allowing Genetically Modified Children

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This week the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) met to discuss allowing the creation of human beings with three genetic parents to proceed to clinical trials. That is, whether to allow human “three-parent embryos” to be implanted and possibly grow to term. There are currently two different techniques for manufacturing three-parent embryos, the purpose of […]

Perverse Fruits of IVF
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Perverse Fruits of IVF

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In vitro fertilization is one of many procedures listed as a specialty in the field of reproductive medicine. Everything from treating pregnancy to aborting children to birth control to treating infertility is included. “Infertility” is the inability of a couple to achieve pregnancy the natural way. It is this condition that first generated the interest […]

Get Ready for a Busy 2014 in Bioethics
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Get Ready for a Busy 2014 in Bioethics

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My taskmasters at the CBC never allow me to rest on my laurels. Fresh off several years of stellar prognosticating, I am now forced to answer the question: “But what have you predicted, lately?” Okay, let’s take a look. Oh! Oh my. Please remember, the following predictions are what I see happening. They do not […]

My Predictions in Bioethics Right Again!
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My Predictions in Bioethics Right Again!

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Can you believe a year has come and gone since I last told you what would happen, before it happened, in bioethics? Maybe it’s my increasing age, but time is passing too fast! So, how did I do? Not as well as in years past, but still an A-. Let’s take a look: The Affordable […]

Womb Transplants: Unethical Experimentation on Children
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Womb Transplants: Unethical Experimentation on Children

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Womb transplants are in the news again and I have seen a few posts around the Catholic blogosphere questioning what such a transplant might mean, ethically. First, some background: A womb transplant is exactly what it sounds like. Women who were either born without a uterus or have had their uterus removed after suffering cervical […]

European Human Rights Court to Hear Case on Status of Embryo
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European Human Rights Court to Hear Case on Status of Embryo

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The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has decided to hear the case of Adelina Parillo v. Italy (no 46470/11), which has serious implications for the question of the legal status enjoyed by the human embryo. The case concerns a woman who in 2002, at the age of 48, decided together with her husband to […]

FDA Mulling Three-Parent Embryo Creation
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FDA Mulling Three-Parent Embryo Creation

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While some European ethicists and politicians have called for an end to the creation of “three-parent” IVF embryos, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced it is considering allowing the practice – without having held a public consultation. Researchers say that the technique “modifies standard IVF technology” to create an embryo from the eggs of […]

When Headlines Lie
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When Headlines Lie

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We all know headlines are meant to sell news, so we are right to read articles through a discerning lens and even some healthy skepticism. We are also wise to consider the source. Is this a trusted reporter? Is this a reliable journal, paper, or author? You can imagine my sense of outrage when last […]

Sexual Behavior and the Absence of Common Sense
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Sexual Behavior and the Absence of Common Sense

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Common sense is not the exclusive domain of any particular group of people, but in our day and age it seems to be about as prehistoric as the Tyrannosaurus Rex—especially when it comes to sex. What is common sense? Webster says it is “the ability to think and behave in a reasonable way and to […]

Does IVF Cause More Cancer in Children or Not?
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Does IVF Cause More Cancer in Children or Not?

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The short answer is we don’t know. But another news story is out on a study that raises more questions than it answers regarding the harm to children born via IVF. From the story: Children born as a result of IVF are a third more likely to get cancer, a major study found. Scientists said […]

Now is the Time to Stop Three-Parent IVF
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Now is the Time to Stop Three-Parent IVF

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The UK rubber stamp Embryo Authority has approved the manufacture of three-parent human embryos. The process is done by removing the nucleus from the egg of one woman, putting it into the enucleated egg of another, and then fertilizing with sperm. Voila, three biological parents. The approach is supposed to enable women with mitochondrial disease—who […]

Fertility Alimony?
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Fertility Alimony?

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In a recent New York Times editorial, Sarah Richards raised some provocative questions as to whether fertility treatment should be covered in divorce settlements. In her op-ed “Alimony for Eggs,” Richards profiles a New Jersey couple where the wife’s lawyer is arguing that the husband should pay $20,000 towards the wife’s egg freezing and storage […]

The Fertility Industry Superhighway
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The Fertility Industry Superhighway

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Miriam Zoll, author of the recent book Cracked Open: Liberty, Fertility and the Pursuit of High-Tech Babies, has a terrific piece in the New York Times on “Selling the Fantasy of Fertility” to those struggling with infertility. She’s co-written the piece with Pamela Tsigdinos, and their voices are important as they write from their personal […]

The Human Machine?
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The Human Machine?

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In modern times, skewing the image of the human being as a child of God, created in His image and likeness, is a process that started the day the first condom was sold in a vending machine early in the 1940s. While it is equally true that, since the beginning of time, man has tried by every means […]

Will Advancements in IVF Ever Lead to Acceptance By the Church?
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Will Advancements in IVF Ever Lead to Acceptance By the Church?

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For many years now, pro-life leaders have pointed to the massive loss of life that comes with in vitro fertilization (IVF) as one of the key evils of the procedure.  Additionally, the extreme cost of the procedure, the likelihood of multiple embryos implanting resulting in selective reduction abortions, and health risks to both mother and […]

A Person's a Person, No Matter How Small
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A Person’s a Person, No Matter How Small

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“Imagine in a thousand years someone doing IVF with a long-frozen embryo just to see what a 21st century – or, in this case, 20th century – human being was like. Just keeping them frozen – kicking the can down the road a little farther – seems wrong to me. . . . If you […]

The High Costs of High-Tech Babies
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The High Costs of High-Tech Babies

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Francoise Baylis, a professor in Bioethics and Philosophy in Canada, has an important piece out on the Quebec law that pays for up to three IVF cycles out of the state-funded public health system. I wrote about this bad decision when Quebec passed the law in 2010. Is it working? Sort of. IVF cycles in […]

Gestational Serfs
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Gestational Serfs

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Good science fiction tells a morality tale about the dangerous directions in which contemporary society is heading. For example, Brave New World—perhaps the most prescient novel ever written—warned against the dystopian impact that using biotechnology to perfect the human race would have on society. Similarly, the Dune novels—which feature a breeding device known as an […]

Procreative Altruism: Lebensborn Re-Imagined
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Procreative Altruism: Lebensborn Re-Imagined

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You remember Julian Savulescu, the Oxford “ethicist” who is telling parents that we are morally obligated to choose the child among many “possible children” that is determined by genetic testing to have the “best life.” He wants us all to use IVF, whether we are infertile or not apparently, to create a batch of embryos […]

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