Cook, Michael
743 Articles at

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Currently showing only those Articles posted in: 2017

New! In the Charlie Gard controversy, the NY Times backs infanticide

The case of dying English baby Charlie Gard shows how much public opinion about life and death issues is swayed by emotion rather than thoughtful deliberation. In an op-ed this week the NY Times hits rock bottom.

Date posted: 2017-07-16

CIA waterboarding was illegal human experimentation: report

For years now, the CIA's "enhanced interrogation" program after 9/11 has been under fire for being torture. The Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) says that it should also be framed as illegal and unethical human experimentation.

Date posted: 2017-07-07

Transgender puberty blues

Physicians should be cautious about embracing experimental therapies in general, but especially those intended for children, and should particularly avoid any experimental therapy that has virtually no scientific evidence of effectiveness or safety. Regardless of the good intentions of the physicians and parents, to expose young people to such treatments is to endanger them.

Date posted: 2017-07-07

As demographic winter sets in, the world will need far more palliative care

A British study shows that the world is far from prepared.

Date posted: 2017-06-23

A Dutch euthanasia pioneer surveys the wreckage and despairs

Safeguards for the mentally ill and the demented are slipping away.

Date posted: 2017-06-23

A feminist argument against artificial gametes

In vitro gametogenesis (IVG)is one of the nightmares of conservative bioethicists.

Date posted: 2017-06-02

The Economist's free market ideology fails vulnerable women

The world's most influential news magazine is campaigning for commercial surrogacy. Why not cannibalism?

Date posted: 2017-06-02

Doctors launch online pledge against torture

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has launched an online pledge for health professionals across the United States to reject torture as an absolute wrong which can never be sanctioned.

Date posted: 2017-05-23

Moral enhancement won't work, claim bioethicists

A recent study in the journal Bioethics finds that "moral enhancement technologies" are neither feasible nor wise, based on an assessment of existing research into these technologies.

Date posted: 2017-05-23

Cheap, effective alternative to IVF may be possible

The fertility industry could have a strong competitor after a cheap, simple, time-tested fertility remedy has been proved to be even more effective than IVF.

Date posted: 2017-05-23

The Economist backs surrogacy

The world's most influential news magazine has given commercial surrogacy full-throated support.

Date posted: 2017-05-23

Do we have a right to a child?

Surrogacy is included in a payout to a Canadian woman injured in a horrific car accident.

Date posted: 2017-05-23

UK Gay dads go into international surrogacy business

Britain's most famous gay dads are at the centre of a controversy over their surrogate mother business. Tony and Barrie Drewitt-Barlow were the first same-sex couple in Europe to have their names on the birth certificates of their children. Now they have four sons and a daughter created with the help of a variety of egg donors and surrogates.

Date posted: 2017-05-22

Should American doctors participate in executions?

The American state of Arkansas executed four prisoners in April. They were given a lethal injection with a three-drug cocktail, a procedure which requires some medical skills. Should doctors take part in such executions?

Date posted: 2017-05-09

Autonomy: what a useless idea!

Autonomy has become a slogan justifying almost everything. And like most slogans, it is almost meaningless.

Date posted: 2017-05-08

Do LGBT parents have a right to a full genetic relationship?

The possibility of creating synthetic gametes (eggs from male stem cells, sperm from female stem cells) raises some interesting ethical issues. LGBT couples currently depend upon a third party to contribute opposite-sex gametes. This means that their children will never be fully genetically related and that their relationship depends on outside intervention

Date posted: 2017-05-07

Counting Down syndrome Americans

Down syndrome is the leading cause of intellectual disability in the United States. But how many Americans have Down syndrome? There is no clear answer to that question, as the US does not record this information systematical

Date posted: 2017-05-07

Recreating the womb for preemies

Researchers have moved a step closer to ectogenesis - brewing babies in an artificial womb. A team at the Center for Fetal Research in Philadelphia have developed a womb-like environment in which premature lambs have already lived at least four weeks before being delivered.

Date posted: 2017-05-07

Belgian Catholic psychiatric hospitals 'adjust' their view of euthanasia

One of the last substantial barriers to increasing the number of euthanasia cases for non-terminally-ill psychiatric patients in Belgium seems to have crumbled.

Date posted: 2017-05-07

Swedish midwife opposed to abortion appeals to European Court of Human Rights

Swedish midwife Ellinor Grimmark has decided to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights over Sweden's hard line on conscientious objection.

Date posted: 2017-05-05

Euthanised organ donors could dramatically shorten waitlists in Belgium, say doctors

Several Belgian physicians argue in a recent research letter in JAMA that encouraging the practice of organ donation after euthanasia will help reduce the waitlists for organ donation.

Date posted: 2017-05-04

Dutch doctors oppose plans for 'completed life' euthanasia

Although Dutch government proposals for euthanasia for "completed life" - that is, for elderly people who want to step off the treadmill gracefully - have received a lot of publicity, they have not been legislated.

Date posted: 2017-04-19

Arkansas rushes to execute 7 in 11 days

The American state of Arkansas has not executed anyone for more than 10 years. And now, because it cannot source a crucial ingredient in a lethal cocktail of drugs after April 30, 7 inmates are scheduled to die in 11 days. Another one was granted a stay of execution on Thursday.

Date posted: 2017-04-19

Sperm bring in 'serious money' for London hospital

Sperm is becoming a commercialised commodity. In the UK a hospital run by the National Health Service (NHS) in London is planning to meet its budget by selling it. Although the hospital is non-for-profit, it is allowed to sell sperm.

Date posted: 2017-04-19

Syria's sarin attack part of the 'weaponisation' of healthcare

The deaths of possibly 100 Syrian civilians, including children, after a gas attack, is just a ghastlier incident in an unending series of ghastly deaths which seem designed to destroy the rebel health system.

Date posted: 2017-04-16

Will India ban commercial surrogacy?

The government of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has released a draft of a bill regulating the controversial surrogacy industry.

Date posted: 2017-04-16

Redefining gender roles: hubbie gives birth

Another dispatch from the Wild West of assisted reproduction. "Husband Gave Birth To His First Child After Wife Was Unable To Fall Pregnant" was the irresistible headline in the Huffington Post UK.

Date posted: 2017-04-01

Is the 14-day limit on growing embryos out of date?

Both in the US and UK, growing human embryos more than 14 days in a laboratory is banned. Recent developments suggest that it may be possible to grow them for longer and a number of scientists are lobbying to extend the limit. They contend that the limit is out-of-date and too restrictive.

Date posted: 2017-04-01

When stem cell treatments go wrong, they really go wrong

Three elderly women in Florida have been blinded by an unproven treatment, as a reminder of how dangerous stem cell therapies can be.

Date posted: 2017-04-01

IVF world market to reach US$12 billion

The world market for IVF and IVF products will grow from US$8.4 billion this year to $12.5 billion on 2022, according to a report from a market research company.

Date posted: 2017-03-21

Will curing the deaf lead to 'cultural genocide'?

t is estimated that half of the world's estimated 7,000 languages are in danger of disappearing. Under pressure from dominant languages to assimilate, linguistic communities shrink, wither and disappear. Every fortnight, the last fluent speaker of a language dies, according to some experts.

Date posted: 2017-03-21

Vegans versus humanity

An international campaign seeks to make animals honorary humans. The fact is that people who think that animals should be treated with all the respect and tenderness due to human beings will end up treating human beings like animals.

Date posted: 2017-03-18

Radical individualism is at the heart of gender theory

The love that dared not speak its name in 1894 has become the love that cannot stop gabbling on in 2017. How did this come about? Is there a thread connecting Oscar Wilde, the Stonewall Riots, same-sex marriage, Caitlin Jenner and North Caroline bathrooms? What does this mean for democracy and the family?

Date posted: 2017-03-17

More misleading statistics about gay youth suicides

It always pays to take a closer look at the figures in the headlines

Date posted: 2017-03-09

One very good reason why Americans distrust scientists

Because they have opened a door to legalising eugenics

Date posted: 2017-03-09

Is denying transgender rights a kind of torture?

A completely different way of viewing transgender issues comes from the Oxford Human Rights Hub. Geoffrey Yeung, a Hong Kong activist studying at Oxford, argued last year that restrictions on transgender people are banned by the United Nations Convention Against Torture (CAT).

Date posted: 2017-02-23

If sex reassignment surgery is the answer, what is the question?

Sex reassignment surgery requires the intervention of doctors. But what kind of treatment is it? Is it a therapy for a disease which should be offered only after psychiatric authorization? Or is it a biomedical enhancement which anyone can freely choose.

Date posted: 2017-02-23

Hollywood's hypocrisy on immigration

Hollywood's A-List has blamed Donald Trump for whipping up hysteria about immigrants. They should take a good look in the mirror. For decades Hollywood has tutored Americans in xenophobia.

Date posted: 2017-02-21

Struggling woman with dementia euthanised in Netherlands

Relatives had to hold her down so that the doctor could give the lethal injection.

Date posted: 2017-02-21

The British report which launched gay rights

The 1957 Wolfenden report changed the UK for ever. These flimsy arguments never would and never could stem the flourishing of a homosexual culture in Britain. In fact, 60 years later Britons live in a country where same-sex marriage is legal and criticism of homosexuality is taboo.

Date posted: 2017-02-15

Euthanasia could save Canada millions in healthcare costs

Euthanasia only became legal in June and already about 800 people have received a lethal injection at the hands of a doctor.

Date posted: 2017-02-15

The increasingly convincing link between autism and gender dysphoric kids

The number of autistic kids is skyrocketing. The number of transgender kids is skyrocketing. Is there a link?

Date posted: 2017-02-10

Swedish midwife fights for her conscience rights

Ellinor Grimmark has been refused employment at several hospitals in the Jonkoping region because she has declared that abortion is against her conscience and her religious convictions.

Date posted: 2017-02-10

Nazi euthanasia victims honoured in Bundestag

On January 27, Germany's Bundestag commemorated the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of the inmates of Auschwitz concentration camp. This year the focus was placed on the 300,000 disabled victims of the notorious Aktion T-4 euthanasia program.

Date posted: 2017-02-10

Catholic healthcare in Colorado may clash with new assisted suicide law

The US state of Colorado has legalized assisted suicide, but its large Catholic hospital system is refusing to cooperate, according to STAT.

Date posted: 2017-02-03

Using patents to restrict harmful applications of CRISPR

The new CRISPR gene-editing technology is an incredible tool, but it could be used for ethically-troubling procedures like human eugenics, modification of human germline cells, genetically-modified crops, gene drives to wipe out species and on and on and on. How can its uses be restricted?

Date posted: 2017-02-02

Stem cell biology may revolutionise reproduction

Scientists are close to finding out how to create eggs and sperm in a Petri dish.

Date posted: 2017-01-24

Spain, organ donation champion of the world

Spain is leading the world in deceased organ donation. An article in the American Journal of Transplantation explains how this happened.

Date posted: 2017-01-24

Destination Laos: the ever-changing surrogacy business changes again

The dreary design of the website and Facebook page of Find Surrogate Mother (aka surrogacy inc) makes depressing reading. The business describes itself as "a full service Surrogacy Agency in Manila, Philippines, helping to match Surrogate Mothers, Intended Parents, Egg Donors, Sperm Donors [which] provide[s] services for Heterosexual Couple, Gay Couple, Lesbian Couple, Single Woman, Single Man".

Date posted: 2017-01-24

Sperm and eggs grown in a Petri dish could revolutionise reproduction

The imminent arrival of eggs and sperm grown from skin cells makes legislative change imperative, three Ivy League professors argue in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Date posted: 2017-01-24

Canadian bioethicists call for organ donor euthanasia

Well, that didn't take long. Euthanasia became legal in Canada in June and by December Quebec bioethicists had already published an article in the Journal of Medical Ethics calling for organ donation after euthanasia. In fact, they were reflecting the positive opinions of the both the Quebec government and Transplant Quebec.

Date posted: 2017-01-24

Nitschke ramps up campaign for unrestricted suicide

Philip Nitschke is one of the world’s most famous Australians, although he has recently moved to the Netherlands. He helps people to kill themselves, mostly by directing them to lethal drugs or supplying them with bottled gas.

Date posted: 2017-01-17

Converting the miserabilists

The fundamental question in confronting euthanasia is whether life is worth living.

Date posted: 2017-01-17

Murky picture of IVF complications in UK

Five years ago, a paper published in the BMJ came to the startling conclusion that IVF was more dangerous than abortion in the UK.

Date posted: 2017-01-17

The ‘gay stigma kills’ mantra is wrong

Research showing that structural stigma reduces life expectancy is false.

Date posted: 2017-01-17

Pressure mounts for commercial surrogacy in Australia

As clinics offering cheap surrogacy overseas shut their doors to foreigners, pressure is mounting in Australia to permit commercial surrogacy.

Date posted: 2017-01-17

Frozen stiff: the quackery of cryonics

A 14-year-old British girl dying of cancer recently won a court battle to be cryogenically frozen.

Date posted: 2017-01-01