Symons, Xavier
275 Articles at Lifeissues.net

Articles

If infanticide is wrong, is abortion wrong?

Should we abandon arguments for abortion if they also permit infanticide? Two US-based academics say "yes".

Date posted: 2017-08-14

Avoiding the next Charlie Gard dispute

In the wake of the passing of British infant Charlie Gard - who was at the centre of a treatment dispute that made international headlines - health care analysts are considering what steps can be taken to avoid future conflicts between family and medical staff.

Date posted: 2017-08-14

Going commercial with three-parent babies

The same doctor who delivered the first "three parent baby" is now attempting to commercialise mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT). Dr John Zhang of New Hope Fertility Clinic in New York is now offering MRT for older women suffering from infertility.

Date posted: 2017-07-05

'Existential distress', not pain, drives euthanasia

Euthanasia victims in Canada tend to be white and relatively affluent.

Date posted: 2017-06-02

Do donor children benefit from knowing their origins?

Folk wisdom, world literature and common sense suggest that donor-children benefit from knowing their biological origins.

Date posted: 2017-05-23

Ontario passes assisted dying law

Ontario has passed detailed new legislation to facilitate Medical Assistance in Dying in the province.

Date posted: 2017-05-23

Beware of IVF incest, ethicists warn clinics

IVF clinics must prepare for "intrafamilial reproductive arrangements", according to a new document published by the ethics committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM).

Date posted: 2017-05-22

Do Australian Christians support euthanasia?

A recent episode of Australian television show Q&A sparked debate about the level of Christian support for assisted dying in Australia. Author and journalist Nikki Gemmell, a panelist on the show, claimed that "80% of Australians and up to 70% of Catholics and Anglicans" support euthanasia laws.

Date posted: 2017-05-22

Freedom of the mind under threat with new technology

New human rights laws to prepare for advances in neurotechnology that put the "freedom of the mind" at risk have been proposed by Swiss researchers in the journal Life Sciences, Society and Policy.

Date posted: 2017-05-09

Indian state moves toward 'two child policy'

The Indian state of Assam may enact a strict 'two child policy' in response to concerns about rapid population growth in the region.

Date posted: 2017-04-28

Transplant ethics for the 21st Century

Transplant surgery has developed rapidly since the first successful heart transplants in the late 1960s. Newly developed techniques includes uterus, penis and larynx transplantations, and some researchers may shortly attempt to transplant testicle, ovary and fallopian tubes.

Date posted: 2017-04-28

Dutch health council authorises the creation of human embryos for research

The Dutch Health Council (Gezondheidsraad) has recommended that scientists be allowed to create embryos specifically for research purposes, in a move that will pave the way for embryo gene editing research in the Netherlands.

Date posted: 2017-04-10

Surrogate 'slave' scandal in US

A 47-year old Florida woman has been jailed after holding a Mexican surrogate "captive" in a bid to get her pregnant.

Date posted: 2017-04-10

Should a human-pig chimera be treated as a person?

Earlier this year US researchers reporting that they have successfully created human-pig chimera embryos. Ethicists are debating the moral issues surrounding this research, and, in particular, the moral status given to human-nonhuman chimeras.

Date posted: 2017-04-01

Experts alarmed by MD suicide rate in Australia

Australian doctors are calling for a campaign to fight mental illness in the medical profession, after it was revealed that four junior clinicians had taken their lives in the past six months.

Date posted: 2017-04-01

The Philippines moves to reintroduce capital punishment

The Philippines has edged closer to reintroducing capital punishment, with the Philippine House of Representatives voting overwhelmingly in favour of a bill that would allow the execution of criminals

Date posted: 2017-03-20

Fears of Indian gendercide after fetuses found in sewer

Indian authorities have discovered 19 aborted fetuses dumped in plastic bags in the western state of Maharashtra.

Date posted: 2017-03-20

Australian surrogacy booms after SEA crackdown

Surrogacy in Australia is experiencing a quiet boom, after yet another South-East Asian nation cracked down on the practice.

Date posted: 2017-03-10

The gene-editing debate just got more complicated

As the debate over gene-editing intensifies, elite US universities are now fighting over a patent for CRISPR-Cas9 technology.

Date posted: 2017-03-10

Prescription of psychotropic drugs doubles for US retirees

The number of US retirees taking three or more psychotropic drugs has doubled between 2004 and 2013, according to a new paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Date posted: 2017-02-23

US report gives cautious green light to gene editing

Human germline genome editing may be permissible following further research, according to a controversial report released on Tuesday by the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the National Academy of Medicine.

Date posted: 2017-02-23

Scientists closer to growing human organs in pigs

Scientists have moved closer to growing human organs in animals, with US researchers reporting that they have successfully created human-pig chimera embryos

Date posted: 2017-02-09

Euthanasia debate heats up in New South Wales

The euthanasia debate has intensified in the Australian state of New South Wales, with reports from parliamentarians indicating that new legislation is imminent.

Date posted: 2017-02-09

More gay couples using surrogates in US

An informal study by a fertility data service suggests an increasing number of gay couples in the US are turning to surrogacy.

Date posted: 2016-11-27

Staggering discarded embryo figures released in UK

New official figures indicate that close to 2.5 million embryos have been discarded in the UK since IVF was brought under a comprehensive regulatory framework in 1991.

Date posted: 2016-11-27

Euthanasia in Canada: looking back, looking forward

With the legalisation of euthanasia at federal level, the end-of-life legal landscape in Canada has changed dramatically. Academics are calling on government authorities to closely monitor the enforcement of new legislation.

Date posted: 2016-11-27

Marijuana debate continues in US

The debate surrounding marijuana in the US just got more complicated.

Date posted: 2016-11-27

Religious views and the euthanasia debate

Many take it to be the case that religious arguments against euthanasia should not be admitted to the public square.

Date posted: 2016-11-19

Washington DC votes to legalise euthanasia

Washington DC City Council voted to legalise euthanasia on Tuesday, in a move that sparked outrage among anti-euthanasia groups.

Date posted: 2016-11-17

Cambodia bans commercial surrogacy

Cambodia has become the latest South East Asian nation to ban commercial surrogacy, with the country's government issuing a proclamation late last month outlawing the practice.

Date posted: 2016-11-17

Does IVF actually work for women over 40?

Critics of the IVF industry in the US have attacked "misleading" marketing strategies that encourage older women to use IVF.

Date posted: 2016-11-06

What if we could make eggs and sperm from skin cells?

Same-sex couples are currently unable to have children with genetic material from both parents. Yet research conducted by scientists in Japan appears to suggest that we might one day be able to overcome these limits imposed by nature.

Date posted: 2016-11-06

DC debates euthanasia

The Council of the District of Columbia is set to debate euthanasia legislation later this month, after a five member Committee on Health and Human Services this week approved a draft euthanasia bill.

Date posted: 2016-10-15

The Netherlands, compulsory contraception, and reverse democracy

Rotterdam City Council wants to administer compulsory contraception for "vulnerable women", saying that birth control is a form of "child protection".

Date posted: 2016-10-15

Swedish scientist begins gene-editing experiments on human embryos

A Swedish scientist has begun what are believed to be the first gene-editing experiments on healthy human embryos

Date posted: 2016-09-27

Euthanasia in Australia, 20 years on

Pro-euthanasia advocates are calling on Australian legislatures to legalise assisted dying, as the country marks 20th anniversary of the first death of a patient by legal euthanasia.

Date posted: 2016-09-27

Leading bioethics editors attack conscientious objection

The debate over conscientious objection is continuing, with the editors of two major bioethics journals calling for strict limits on "objection at the bedside".

Date posted: 2016-09-27

New Down's Syndrome test could save money, say British obstetricians

A new prenatal test could reduce the expense of caring for those with Down's Syndrome, says the UK Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG).

Date posted: 2016-09-27

The eternal return of the infanticide debate

Bioethicists have not given up on the idea of infanticide, with a Scandinavian ethicist publishing a new paper in the journal Bioethics defending arguments for post-birth abortion.

Date posted: 2016-09-21

Trans-Tasman debate over euthanasia continues

Victoria has moved one step closer to legalising euthanasia, with health minister Jill Hennessy announcing that the State government will be legalising future medical directives

Date posted: 2016-09-21

Rethinking disability and procreation

In the bioethics community, many academics say humans have a moral imperative to have the best children possible. In the disability community, it's a different story.

Date posted: 2016-09-21

Debate over chimera embryos intensifies

The debate over research into chimera embryos has intensified in the US, as the National Institutes of Health considers abandoning its ban on the funding of controversial chimera experiments.

Date posted: 2016-09-21

Acts, omissions, and euthanasia for organ donation

With the push to legalise assisted dying in several Western countries, bioethicists are starting to consider the possibility of "organ donation euthanasia".

Date posted: 2016-09-19

Euthanasia tourism on the rise in Belgium

A rising number of "euthanasia tourists" are flocking to Belgium to end their lives, according to doctors in the country. Last year 2023 people were medically killed in Belgium, more than double the figure of five years earlier.

Date posted: 2016-09-19

Provocative new study questions the science of gender

A report on gender and sexuality released by the journal The New Atlantis has met with both praise and criticism from commentators

Date posted: 2016-09-19

Transplant doctors clash over Chinese organ donor system

Criticism of alleged forced organ harvesting in China reached fever pitch as the 26th International Congress of The Transplantation Society convened for the first time on Chinese soil.

Date posted: 2016-08-28

Untested stem cell treatments in Australia

Australia has seen a sharp rise in the use of unproven stem cell treatments, with sham clinics exploiting loopholes in government regulations.

Date posted: 2016-08-19

Down Syndrome test may lead to a rise in termination

A safer and more accurate screening test for Down Syndrome is set to become available on the UK's National Health Scheme, raising concerns about increased termination of babies with disabilities.

Date posted: 2016-08-19

Time for a technoethics commission?

As another presidential bioethics commission finishes up, A US computational scientist has suggested the next US president should create a 'technoethics commission'.

Date posted: 2016-06-05

Experimentation continues on chimera embryos

A group of scientists in the US are continuing to conduct research on human-animal hybrid embryos, despite a moratorium on funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Date posted: 2016-06-05

French court green lights export of sperm to circumvent dead donor rule

A French Court has ruled in favour of allowing a dead man's sperm to be sent to a foreign IVF clinic, despite France's prohibition on insemination using sperm from deceased males.

Date posted: 2016-06-05

Australian IVF under fire for conflict of interest and misleading advertising

Writing in The Conversation, researchers from Sydney University's VELIM Centre and Macquarie University said that concerns about conflicts of interest in the IVF industry must not be dismissed

Date posted: 2016-06-05

IVF boom in China following one-child backflip

After the Chinese government's abandonment of the one-child policy, scores of older couples are turning to IVF in a desperate bid to have a second child.

Date posted: 2016-06-05

Doctors call for government action as suicide increases

A US doctor has voiced grave concern about government inaction on increasing suicide rates in the country.

Date posted: 2016-05-30

Overdose deaths are boosting organ donation rates

The number of deaths from opioid overdoses has skyrocketed in the US, but public health executives see a big positive in the tragedy - increased organ donation.

Date posted: 2016-05-15

Calls to extend 14-day embryo rule

Policy analysts in the US and UK are calling for an augmentation of the decades-old 14-day embryo experimentation rule - a regulation that requires scientists to terminate any embryo in vitro before it reaches two weeks of development.

Date posted: 2016-05-15

Sperm donor scandal rocks US

Parents of donor-conceived children are suing a US sperm bank after it was discovered that one of the bank's donors was a convicted criminal and schizophrenic.

Date posted: 2016-05-05

More changes to donor law considered in NS

The State government New South Wales is considering tightening rules regulating embryo donation after a woman who received donor eggs allegedly lied to doctors and the embryo donor about the fate of her pregnancy.

Date posted: 2016-05-05

No monkey business: pig to baboon organ transplants increasingly successful

A team of researchers in the US have performed a series of remarkably successful interspecies organ transplants. Specifically, they transplanted genetically modified pigs hearts into baboons and kept the 'graft organs' alive for a median of 300 days.

Date posted: 2016-04-30

Racism and bioethics

A new edition of the American Journal of Bioethics considers the role that bioethics can play in addressing racism in healthcare, education, and general society.

Date posted: 2016-04-30

Nascent concerns about womb transplants

Bioethicists have sounded a note of caution about womb transplants after a failed attempt at the procedure in a US fertility clinic.

Date posted: 2016-04-27

IVF experts divided over mosaic embryos

Debate is intensifying among fertility specialists about the use of mosaic embryos in IVF

Date posted: 2016-04-27

Illegal organ trade burgeoning in Iraq

In the face of continuing economic hardship Iraqis have turned to the illegal organ trade.

Date posted: 2016-04-27

Donor anonymity is dead

Does environmental ethics form part of bioethics? If yes, then surely one of the world's worst environmental disasters - Chernobyl - is of grave significance.

Date posted: 2016-04-27

Is disability a disadvantage or a mere difference?

Philosophical reflection on disability has a history, yet it is only in the past fifteen years that the contemporary Anglophone philosophical world has given it much attention.

Date posted: 2016-04-12

First US womb transplant fails

The first womb transplant to take place in the US has failed - under dramatic circumstances.

Date posted: 2016-03-20

Panel on infant lives meets in Washington

The US Senate Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives met for the first time last week, in a heated session that saw several experts testify against the procurement of fetal tissue for research. The panel was convened following the release of several videos apparently capturing Planned Parenthood employees negotiating the sale of tissue to private research firms.

Date posted: 2016-03-20

Peter Singer under fire, again

In an edition of the Journal of Applied Philosophy released this week, several academics discussed Peter Singer's influential theory of "speciesism" - the view that human beings are inherently prejudiced toward their own species over others.

Date posted: 2016-03-17

Is there a difference between genetic engineering and eugenics?

It is an oft-raised concern that genetic engineering may one day morph into a eugenics movement. Many are trying to differentiate the two, arguing that genetic engineering as such is merely an exciting scientific development that will help humanity rather enable an insidious ideology.

Date posted: 2016-03-17

Interview: Carrie D. Wolinetz of the NIH on gene editing

New gene editing technologies like the CRISPR-Cas9 technique hold great promise for medicine and the biological sciences. Some researchers say we may soon be able to eradicate infectious diseases like malaria, and edit HIV out of the genome of AIDS sufferers. Others believe we can use gene editing techniques to make animal organs suitable for human transplants.

Date posted: 2016-03-17

Interview: Carrie D. Wolinetz of the NIH on gene editing

New gene editing technologies like the CRISPR-Cas9 technique hold great promise for medicine and the biological sciences. Some researchers say we may soon be able to eradicate infectious diseases like malaria, and edit HIV out of the genome of AIDS sufferers. Others believe we can use gene editing techniques to make animal organs suitable for human transplants. Yet there are many ethical questions attentant to research in the area, and ethicists are struggling to catch up with scientists eagerly refining the new gene editing techiques.

Date posted: 2016-02-29

IVF an "evolutionary experiment" - genetics expert

A leading evolutionary biologist has labelled IVF an "evolutionary experiment" that may have serious effects on children in later life.

Date posted: 2016-02-29

Dutch psychiatric patients may get euthanasia too easily, says US study

A new study in the journal JAMA Psychiatry has presented an alarming picture of physician evaluation of euthanasia requests in the Netherlands.

Date posted: 2016-02-28

Should we get rid of race in genetics?

Racial categories have long been used in genetics to aid research on health and development. Yet recently academics have been discouraging the use of such taxonomies, arguing that they are pragmatically unhelpful and, at times, morally objectionable.

Date posted: 2016-02-28

Green light for UK CRISPR embryo research

Developmental biologist Kathy Niakan has received permission from the UK Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to edit the genome of human embryos using the new CRISPR technology.

Date posted: 2016-02-28

Three parent babies - but only males

The US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has recommended that US government allow mitochondrial DNA transfer in male embryos.

Date posted: 2016-02-28

Embryo custody battles on the rise

In recent years more and more couples quarrelling over embryos from the sunnier days of their relationship have appeared in court. The latest story to hit the US press was that of Jalesia McQueen and Justin Gadberry, a divorced Missouri couple fighting for custody of 10-year-old embryos.

Date posted: 2016-02-05

Surrogacy comes to Vietnam

As Thailand closes it doors to commercial surrogacy, another South East Asian nation has tentatively begun to utilize surrogacy for couples unable to have children.

Date posted: 2016-02-05

Male pregnancy a real possibility

Researchers based at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden successfully transplanted a womb into a 36-year-old woman in 2013 and in 2015 that woman gave birth to a healthy boy. The researchers are confident that the procedure can be refined and administered to many more women in the future. Could it perhaps be administered to a man?

Date posted: 2016-02-05

Catastrophic result in clinical trial in Frances

One man has been pronounced brain dead and another six are in a critical condition after a stage-one pain-relief drug trial was carried out in France.

Date posted: 2016-01-31

Another controversy over futile care in Texas

Medical ethicists have clashed over the death of Chris Dunn, a Texan man at the centre of an end-of-life care legal battle.

Date posted: 2016-01-31

Doctors must withdraw life support from twins - UK judge

The UK High Court has ruled that two severely intellectually disabled Iraqi twins must have their life support switched off, despite objection from their parents.

Date posted: 2015-11-12

The scary advance of gendercide in Nepal

University of Oxford demographer Melanie Dawn Frost was the lead author of a paper in BMJ Open about widespread sex-selective abortion in Nepal since abortion was legalised in 2002.

Date posted: 2015-11-12

Ten British women to receive womb transplants

Australian Researchers have managed to grow a mini-kidney in a laboratory, opening the possibility for powerful non-human clinical drug and therapy trials.

Date posted: 2015-11-12

Researchers grow organ in petri dish

Australian Researchers have managed to grow a mini-kidney in a laboratory, opening the possibility for powerful non-human clinical drug and therapy trials.

Date posted: 2015-11-04

Catholic hospitals attacked for denying patients abortion and assisted suicide

If they get federal funding, why shouldn't they provide legal services?

Date posted: 2015-10-16

Euthanasia on the rise in Netherlands

Deaths by euthanasia in the Netherlands increased by 10% in 2014 according to a new report.

Date posted: 2015-10-16

Australians travelling to US for sex-selective IVF

Scores of Australian couples are visiting the US to avail themselves of sex-selective IVF, according to infertility doctor turned businessman Daniel Potter. Potter, who is currently touring Australia, runs a network of IVF clinics in Southern California known as HRC Fertility

Date posted: 2015-10-14

UK researcher applies for embryo gene-editing license

Just months after the release of a controversial Chinese study into embryo gene-editing, British scientists have requested permission to genetically modify human embryos using the ground-breaking CRISPR-CAS9 technique.

Date posted: 2015-10-14

"I deeply regret IVF is now so commercial"

IVF pioneer Robert Winston recently spoke out against the commercialisation of the IVF industry, saying that desperate UK couples are being exploited and grossly overcharged for treatment.

Date posted: 2015-09-23

The atheist case against euthanasia

A number of intellectuals have recently chided 'godly types' for arguing against legalising euthanasia. Outspoken Australian philosopher and humanist Russell Blackford this week slammed Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby for what he saw as 'disingenuous religious propaganda' under the guise of secular argumentation.

Date posted: 2015-09-23

Dutch right-to-die group promotes euthanasia in schools

The Dutch Voluntary End of Life Association (NVVE) is rolling out is latest project to bolster public support and acceptance of euthanasia - a school curriculum program called 'euthanasia - dead normal'.

Date posted: 2015-09-23

The eternal return of the embryo debate

Leading UK gene-editing research funders have issued a position statement tacitly supporting research using human embryos.

Date posted: 2015-09-23

No anonymity means fewer UK sperm donors

The UK's new national sperm bank - established after the country changed its laws on donor anonymity - has been struggling to find volunteers, with just 9 men registered as donors after one year

Date posted: 2015-09-22

Scores of depressed patients euthanised in Belgium

A new study claims that vague terminology in Belgium's assisted dying guidelines is allowing scores of psychiatric patients to be euthanized.

Date posted: 2015-09-07

The risks of freezing

The treasurer of a peak international fertility body has warned women not to rely on egg freezing to have children.

Date posted: 2015-09-05

New resource about euthanasia

As debate over end-of-life issues intensifies in the UK, the Anscombe Centre has released a comprehensive 'evidence guide' on the issue of euthanasia. The aim is "to help people assess - and judge for themselves whether they are reassured or whether they are alarmed by - the experience of countries where euthanasia or assisted suicide are legal."

Date posted: 2015-08-29

Policy analysts criticise non-medical sex-selection

Leading bioethicists have criticised the practice of non-medical sex-selection in American IVF clinics. Non-medical sex-selection via IVF involves a woman producing embryos which are genetically tested before implantation. The process is known as "family balancing".

Date posted: 2015-08-29

Sperm donor children want answers, says Australian doco

A new Australian documentary has given voice to a small group of donor conceived Australians now trying to find their fathers. Sperm Donors Anonymous is a cautionary tale about the effects of anonymous sperm donation on donor-conceived children, their families and on the donors. It is based around a number of real-life cases of both donor-conceived children and sperm donors, looking to connect with their kin.

Date posted: 2015-08-29

IVF woes #2: older women

Yet another study has confirmed that IVF is rarely successful for women in their early 40s.

Date posted: 2015-08-03

IVF woes #1: Australia

Couples are usually unaware of the low IVF success rates in Australian clinics.

Date posted: 2015-08-03

Sperm from ovaries

This one's a little technical, but may very well have significant implications for scientist's ability to influence sex determination in mammals.

Date posted: 2015-08-03

What should we do with frozen embryos?

As the number of unused frozen embryos in the US burgeons, policy analysts are questioning how authorities should deal with the hundreds of thousands that have been abandoned or have a disputed legal status.

Date posted: 2015-08-01

New Down syndrome test could be more "efficient"

UK researchers are hailing the development of a "safer" and more "cost-effective" test for Down syndrome. The newly developed procedure, which involves screening the blood of a mother for foetal DNA, is a far less invasive alternative to the current procedure (amniocentesis) used to detect Down's syndrome.

Date posted: 2015-07-08

Baby born from ovary frozen in mother's childhood

A Belgian woman has given birth using transplanted ovarian tissue that she had removed when she was a child.

Date posted: 2015-07-08

Surrogacy law a child of our times

A British lawyer has slammed Britain's "inhumane surrogacy laws", following a decision in the High Court to take a one-year-old girl from her surrogate mother and give her to her gay parents.

Date posted: 2015-07-08

The bioethics of genetic diversity

The latest issue of the American Journal of Bioethics examines the topic of new reproductive technologies and genetic diversity. A series of articles discuss the ethical issues surrounding the protection of genetic variation in a population.

Date posted: 2015-07-08

Fear of death driving push for euthanasia, says medical ethicist

The fear of a miserable death in a hospital bed rather than at home is driving public support for mercy-killing law in the UK, a Birmingham City University academic has war

Date posted: 2015-06-14

Leading bioethicists back euthanasia for mentally ill

Many believe in euthanasia for the terminally ill. But why not legalize it for those suffering from an untreatable mental illness?

Date posted: 2015-05-26

Leading bioethicists back euthanasia for mentally ill

Many believe in euthanasia for the terminally ill. But why not legalize it for those suffering from an untreatable mental illness?

Date posted: 2015-05-11

The complexities of brain death

A forthcoming article in the journal Neurology provides insight into the complexities of achieving international consensus on brain death.

Date posted: 2015-05-11

Death penalty losing support in US

As the US Supreme Court prepares to hear evidence on botched executions in Oklahoma, the Pew Research Centre has released revealing new statistics on opinions about the death penalty in the US.

Date posted: 2015-05-11

US bioethics commission releases report on neuroscience and law

On March 26 the US Presidential Commission into the Study of Bioethical Issues released the second volume of its report in developments in neuroscience. Volume II of Grey Matters: Topics at the intersection of neuroscience, ethics, and society examines three key areas in which neuroscience intersects with ethics.

Date posted: 2015-04-21

Euthanasia on the rise in Flanders region

Almost one in 20 people in northern Belgium died using euthanasia in 2013, more than doubling the numbers in six years, a study released Tuesday showed.

Date posted: 2015-04-06

France divided over deep sleep bill

France's parliament is set to debate a 'deep sleep' bill which, if passed, will allow terminally ill patients to be put into an irreversible comatose state and have life sustaining treatment withdrawn.

Date posted: 2015-04-06

In defence of state-mandated eugenics

The notion of a state-organised eugenics programs is enough to unsettle the most indifferent in our society.

Date posted: 2015-04-06

Iran debates birth control restrictions

Iran plans to introduce major restrictions on the availability of birth control methods in a bid to stop rapid population decline.

Date posted: 2015-04-06

The growing sperm bank industry

With French prosecutors saying that the Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately flew flight 4U9525 into a mountainside, there have been calls to introduce new and potentially 'intrusive' psychological testing procedures for pilots.

Date posted: 2015-04-06

After Germanwings: more psychological tests for pilots?

With French prosecutors saying that the Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately flew flight 4U9525 into a mountainside, there have been calls to introduce new and potentially 'intrusive' psychological testing procedures for pilots.

Date posted: 2015-04-06

Organ trafficking in UK on the rise

A number of cases of organ trafficking have been reported in the UK.

Date posted: 2015-04-06

IVF law to be debated in Poland

Poland's parliament will shortly debate draft legislation about IVF - a procedure that de facto legal in the country but lacking a clear statutory framework.

Date posted: 2015-04-05

Francoise Baylis on the ethics of social egg freezing

Egg freezing is supposed to allow women to 'have it all': they can freeze their eggs at a fertile age, and 'come back' to childbearing after a successful career. What's misleading about this picture?

Date posted: 2015-04-05

Indonesian executions spark death penalty debate

Indonesia has come under intense scrutiny for its decision to execute two Australian nationals convicted of drug smuggling.

Date posted: 2015-03-12

The bioethics of precision medicine

The idea of 'precision medicine' has become the subject of much discussion, following US President Barak Obama's 2015 State of the Union address. In his speech, President Obama promised to invest $215 million in a ground-breaking 'precision medicine' initiative, with the short-term aim of running drug trials for targeted cancer treatments.

Date posted: 2015-02-27

Many Dutch doctors open to euthanasia for existential suffering

Around one in three Dutch doctors would be prepared to help someone with early dementia, mental illness, or who is 'tired of living' to die, reveals a small survey published online in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

Date posted: 2015-02-27

Healthcare in hard times: Greece

As the Greek health system buckles under economic pressure, patients are taking desperate measures to ensure basic care.

Date posted: 2015-02-27

Healthcare in hard times: Ukraine

A Dutch euthanasia clinic cautioned by authorities has experienced a massive leap in patients requesting euthanasia.

Date posted: 2015-02-27

Euthanasia cases leap in Dutch clinic

A Dutch euthanasia clinic cautioned by authorities has experienced a massive leap in patients requesting euthanasia.

Date posted: 2015-02-27

Palliative care and PAD - The Benelux experience

A group of researchers have produced an empirical study of the effect of physician assisted death on palliative care.

Date posted: 2015-02-23

Life sustaining treatment 2: A family perspective

We have examined the underlying philosophy behind withdrawal of care, but some would argue that one misses the existential realities of families grappling with the decision of whether to withdraw care.

Date posted: 2015-02-02

Life sustaining treatment 1: withdrawal

Withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment is a common and more or less accepted procedure in end of life care. There is, however, significant disagreement about the underlying moral framework used to justify it.

Date posted: 2015-02-02

NY families fight nursing homes for guardianship

Nursing homes in New York State have been accused of using 'guardianship petitions' as a means to coerce elderly residents into paying outstanding fees.

Date posted: 2015-02-02

China's gender imbalance "most serious and prolonged in the world"

China has by far the greatest gender imbalance of any nation in the world, with conservative estimates from 2014 putting the ratio at 115.8 males to every 100 females

Date posted: 2015-02-01

US Supreme Court to debate the use of new three-drug execution method

The Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to hear a case about the constitutionality of a new execution method being used in Oklahoma's correctional facilities.

Date posted: 2015-02-01

Physician assisted death versus palliative care

Arguments against physician assisted suicide and euthanasia often turn on a claim about the need prioritize the development of adequate palliative care.

Date posted: 2015-02-01

Thailand to have 'third gender' in new constitution

Thailand is poised to recognise a third gender in its new constitution, with the constitutional drafting panel saying on Thursday that "Thai society has advanced".

Date posted: 2015-01-19

What did Udo Schuklenk really say about neonatal euthanasia?

Bioethicist Udo Schuklenk has come under fire following the publication of a conference paper in which he advocated neonatal euthanasia in certain extreme circumstances

Date posted: 2014-12-22

A transhumanist in conversation

Zoltan Istvan is an American writer, futurist and philosopher. He is also perhaps the best-known proponent of transhumanism movement. He spoke with BioEdge earlier this week.

Date posted: 2014-12-22

What does it mean to be a human person?

The latest predictions of futurist-cum-transhumanist Gray Scott in are certainly daring. But are they accurate?

Date posted: 2014-12-01

What does it mean to be a human person?

Bioethics writer Virginia Hughes explores the complexities of trying to define personhood.

Date posted: 2014-12-01

Rethinking care for the elderly

Two academics at Emory University have proposed a novel solution to providing healthcare for the elderly.

Date posted: 2014-12-01

Pope condemns euthanasia, calls for a new 'human ecology'

The Pope - who may be the single most influential bioethical voice in the world - criticised the logic of what he termed "false compassion";. He also applied the notion to arguments for abortion and IVF.

Date posted: 2014-12-01

Why discriminate with euthanasia?

An Australian academic has prompted spirited debate after suggesting that denying euthanasia to the mentally ill could be a form of unjust discrimination.

Date posted: 2014-12-01

The rise of the transhumanist movement

Whatever you think of transhumanism, one thing is quite certain: the transhumanist movement is alive, healthy and growing. In any ordinary week in the world of bioethics, several articles will be published exploring one aspect or other of transhumanism.

Date posted: 2014-12-01

Eugenics making a comeback as a respectable policy

After hibernating for 60 years, eugenics is making a comeback, both in academic and popular spheres.

Date posted: 2014-12-01

What does it mean to be dead?

In a controversial Journal of Medical Ethics article in 2012, two prominent ethicists criticised traditional beliefs about the 'wrongness of killing'.

Date posted: 2014-11-18

Surrogacy and citizenship

The US Department of Homeland Security may have opened the door for American surrogate mothers to 'sell' citizenship to parents from foreign countries.

Date posted: 2014-11-18

Radical measures to prevent the spread of Ebola in hospitals

At least three US hospital systems are currently considering whether they withhold certain treatments from Ebola patients, in a bid to protect their doctors and nurses.

Date posted: 2014-10-26

Bioethics consultancies: the way of the future?

Informal bioethics consulting has been common in many countries for decades. But ethicists in the US are attempting to formalise the practice, creating independent 'ethics consulting' services for healthcare professionals and scientists.

Date posted: 2014-10-26

Nasal stem cells allow paralyzed man to walk again

Scientists who developed a treatment to allow a paralysed man to walk again have spoken of the possibility of healing other debilitating nervous system conditions

Date posted: 2014-10-26

Assisted suicide debate intensifies in Scotland

British Anti-euthanasia group Care Not Killing (CNK) has launched a major online campaign intended to derail a new assisted-suicide (AS) bill being debated in the Scottish parliament.

Date posted: 2014-10-26

What does the public really think about the dead donor rule?

A new study in the Journal of Medical Ethics claims that the US public is in favour of waving the dead donor rule in certain circumstances.

Date posted: 2014-10-13

When do we lose our human life?

The academic conversation over brain death continues, with the American journal of Bioethics publishing a special issue on the status of death determined by neurological criteria (DDNC).

Date posted: 2014-09-14

What's the real issue with commercial surrogacy?

In the wake of the recent Thai surrogacy scandals, commentators are debating how the practice of surrogacy should be reformed.

Date posted: 2014-09-14

"We have a right to know our parents"

There are calls for a change in birth certificate regulations after a woman conceived by sperm donation had her adopted father erased as parent.

Date posted: 2014-09-14

Scientists one small step closer to memory alteration

Scientists from MIT say they have managed to manipulate 'good' and 'bad' memories in mice, in a study that may have significant impact on research into human memory alteration.

Date posted: 2014-09-14

A disturbing study of gendercide in India

A major report on sex-ratios and abortion in India gives detailed background information on the scourge of gendercide.

Date posted: 2014-08-25

Should we compensate organ donors?

There are currently over 123,000 people in the US on the organ donation waiting list. Only 29,000 organ transplants took place in 2013 - a consequence of the dire shortage of organ donors.

Date posted: 2014-08-25

Calls for regulation as Iran's kidney trade spirals out of control

The peak body overseeing Iran's kidney trade is lobbying the government for tighter regulation on foreign nationals procuring kidney transplants.

Date posted: 2014-08-10

New Thai laws leave hundreds of babies in limbo

New surrogacy regulations introduced by the Thai junta government have placed hundreds of surrogate newborns and fetuses in legal limbo.

Date posted: 2014-08-10

Botched execution sparks outcry in US

Another botched execution in the USA has reignited debate over the death penalty. Arizona man Joseph Rudolph Wood took almost two hours to die after being injected with the drugs midazolam and hydromorphone. The two drugs are a new barbiturate combination being trialled in a number of US states.

Date posted: 2014-07-30

Nitschke under investigation yet again

Pro-euthanasia campaigner Phillip Nitschke is being investigated for his involvement in the death of 45 year old West Australian man.

Date posted: 2014-07-22

Dutch doctor challenges informed consent regulations

A new article in the Journal of Medical Ethics suggests that medical authorities lessen informed consent requirements for perinatal sterilization.

Date posted: 2014-07-22

One Child Policy an attack on the common good - Chinese bioethicist

In a provocative new article in the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, Chinese bioethicist Jing-Bao Nie attacks the one child-policy for having "a hugely negative effect on the common good".

Date posted: 2014-06-25

Bioethicists debate as curtains close on Casey Kasem

The passing of disc jokey Casey Kasem has generated a remarkable volume of bioethical commentary. Artificial nutrition was withdrawn from an unconscious Kasem in light of an advance directive he had written.

Date posted: 2014-06-25

Is moral bioehancement even possible?

A ministerial committee has approved a bill which would allow doctors to prescribe lethal medication to Israeli citizens with less than six months to live

Date posted: 2014-06-25

The curious world of surrogacy #2: 'I won't stop until my womb falls out'

A Surrogate mother in UK says she is 'addicted' to pregnancy, after giving birth to three surrogate children in two years.

Date posted: 2014-06-08

The curious world of surrogacy #1: 'I want to keep my baby'

A surrogate mother in the UK has received international media attention after she decided mid-pregnancy that she wants to 'keep her baby'

Date posted: 2014-06-08

Assisted suicide for the old but healthy

In a recent Journal of Medical Ethics article, controversial bioethicist Francesca Minerva argues for limiting the number of conscientious objectors in Italian hospitals.

Date posted: 2014-06-08

Top employment strategies for discouraging conscientious objection

In a recent Journal of Medical Ethics article, controversial bioethicist Francesca Minerva argues for limiting the number of conscientious objectors in Italian hospitals.

Date posted: 2014-06-08

Should we allow organ transplants from HIV positive donors?

In a controversial article in the Journal of Medical Ethics three Israeli bioethicists defend the restricted use of organ transplants from HIV positive patients.

Date posted: 2014-06-08

The ethics and science of prenatal testing for autism

Prenatal testing for autism faces a number of significant obstacles, both scientific and ethical,

Date posted: 2014-05-20

Lord Winston warns of eugenics in IVF

Lord Robert Winston, British IVF pioneer, has given a controversial speech warning of the development of eugenics in the IVF industry.

Date posted: 2014-05-19

Celebrity custody wrangle exposes vague IVF law

A child-custody battle between actor Jason Patric and ex-girlfriend Danielle Schrieber has highlighted significant deficiencies in Californian IVF law.

Date posted: 2014-05-19

Conscientious objectors barred from qualification in UK

The UK Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynacologists has barred doctors and nurses from qualifications if they refuse to prescribe or administer contraceptives to patients.

Date posted: 2014-05-04

Concern in UK over new medical experimentation bill

Experts are seriously alarmed at a new clinical experimentation bill due to go before the UK parliament.

Date posted: 2014-05-04

Australian judge warns of psychological effects of commercial surrogacy on children

An Australian judge recently expressed grave concerns about the effects of international surrogacy arrangements on children born through via the procedure.

Date posted: 2014-04-06

The resurrection of the "technically dead"

The family of a 51-year-old British woman is suing the government for £5 billion after she was wrongly declared dead.

Date posted: 2014-03-20

Genetic predisposition as a legal defence

With the rapid advance of behavioural genetics it has become easier for lawyers to mount a defence based on 'genetic predispositions'

Date posted: 2014-03-20

India profits as Afghan health crisis continues

With Afghanistan's hospitals in a parlous state, tens of thousands of Afghans are travelling to India for safe, albeit expensive, medical care. In the past year the Indian embassy in Kabul issued 32,200 medical visas in 2013, up from 26,500 in 2012.

Date posted: 2014-03-20

New technology could raise awareness in minimally conscious patients

A promising way of rousing minimally conscious patients has been developed by a group of Belgian researchers. In the April edition of the journal Neurology, the researchers, a team from Liège University, outline how electric stimulation can increase awareness in patients with greatly reduced consciousness.

Date posted: 2014-03-20

The industrial revolution in surrogacy

An Indian doctor cum businesswoman is looking to build the world's biggest 'baby factory', a 110 bed hospital focused specifically on infertility treatment and surrogacy. Dr. Nayna Patel, who currently runs a large but poorly equipped surrogacy clinic, wants to provide a one-stop-shop for surrogate mothers and biological parents.

Date posted: 2014-03-20

Rethinking informed consent

Informed consent is a bioethical precept of paramount importance in medicine. Ever since the publication of the Belmont Report in 1978, researchers have by and large applied this principle to their daily work.

Date posted: 2014-03-20

Wanted: ethical robots, the sooner the better

The ethics of creating autonomous and intelligent robots used to be a purely speculative question. But with the development of drones, self-navigated cruise missiles and self-directing armoured vehicles, robot scientists realise that they must build ethical behaviour into their machines.

Date posted: 2013-12-22

Big Pharma looks for Plan C after emergency contraceptive fails

The manufacturer of French morning-after pill NorLevo has announced that the drug is ineffective in women who weigh more than 80 kilograms.

Date posted: 2013-12-22

23andMe must shut down - FDA

Personal genomics company 23andMe is in hot water after a stern letter from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Date posted: 2013-12-22

Should we allow prenatal testing for autism?

In a controversial move last week the West Australian Reproductive Technology Council authorised an IVF clinic to screen out potentially autistic embryos.

Date posted: 2013-12-22

"Frankenstein" organs proposed for human enhancement

Much ink has been spilt in debates about human-animal hybrids. Many ethicists argue from a shared intuition of repugnance that we should not create chimeras. But what about creating hybrid organs to enhance the functioning of the human body? Do arguments about chimeras still apply?

Date posted: 2013-12-22

Judges should enrol in Neuroscience 101, says US bioethicist

The debate over neuroscience in the courtroom continues.

Date posted: 2013-12-22

Down Under palliative care specialists reject euthanasia

Palliative care is undermined by euthanasia and assisted suicide, according to many palliative care organisations.

Date posted: 2013-12-22

Rates of Alzheimer's set to treble by 2050

The number of cases of Alzheimer's disease is set to treble by 2050, according to the peak dementia research group, Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI).

Date posted: 2013-12-22

Leading academics endorse euthanasia for the 'weary in spirit'

Several academics are arguing for euthanasia for those 'weary of life'. Recent articles in the Journal of Medical Ethics push for law reform to be consistent in our ethical reasoning.

Date posted: 2013-11-04

The physician as wish doctor

Since the Hippocratic oath the role ascribed to a doctor has been that of healer. However, new developments in medicine are adding an additional role for the doctor: wish-fulfilment.

Date posted: 2013-11-04

Netherlands' first assisted suicide for disability

A 70-year-old blind woman has become the first person in the Netherlands to be granted assisted suicide on the grounds of disability.

Date posted: 2013-10-20

Chinese couples using American surrogates to get residency

A new American import has become popular in mainland China - surrogate children born in the US. Wealthy Chinese couples are increasingly making use of US surrogate mothers, according to surrogacy agencies in both America and China.

Date posted: 2013-10-20

Are we fated to fight?

With the increasing impact of evolutionary biology, deterministic explanations for human behavior are gaining more traction among scientists and in the media

Date posted: 2013-10-20

Autistic boy "debarked" to prevent screaming

Controversy has arisen around a procedure performed on an American autistic boy to stop him screaming. At the request of his parents Kade Hanegraaf had his vocal cords separated so as to greatly reduce his ability to scream.

Date posted: 2013-10-20

Corruption the main issue in bioethics, says leading medical academic

Bioethical debate tends to focus on controversial medical procedures, such as genetic modification, IVF, euthanasia and abortion. The latest issue of the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics questions this, arguing that corruption is the greatest moral challenge facing medicine today.

Date posted: 2013-10-20

Should we legalize assisted suicide for prisoners?

Every so often we hear a call to make assisted suicide available to prisoners. The latest comes from a young British doctor and bioethicist, Christian Browne.

Date posted: 2013-10-20

Doubts raised about organ transplant reforms in China

Strong criticisms have been levelled supposed 'reforms' to the organ trade currently being carried out by the Chinese government.

Date posted: 2013-09-19

Abandoned embryos in ethical and legal limbo

The heated discussion over IVF embryo disposal continues in the US and Canada.

Date posted: 2013-09-19

US abortion clinics closing at an 'incredibly dramatic' rate

With the introduction of radical new abortion restrictions in the US, abortion clinics have been closing at a record rate.

Date posted: 2013-09-14

Hospital first in US to treat internet addiction

A US hospital has become the first of its kind to offer a treatment program dealing with internet addiction.

Date posted: 2013-09-14

Euthanased patients a new source of organ donations in Belgium

With a shortage of organ donors in Europe, Belgian doctors have a novel solution: patients with unbearable suffering donate their organs after voluntary euthanasia.

Date posted: 2013-09-14

Canadian doctors could shift on euthanasia

The Canadian Medical Association may soon change its position on euthanasia, according to the organization's new president. Dr Louis Hugo Francescutti, who assumed the presidency at the group's general meeting in Calgary last week, said that Canadian doctors are more open to the idea than ten years ago.

Date posted: 2013-09-09

Psychologists claim deep link between science and morality

Cases of scientific fraud and corruption are in the media constantly these days. But perhaps things aren't as bad as they seem.

Date posted: 2013-09-09

British court authorizes the sterilization of mentally handicapped man

The British Court of Protection last week made a landmark decision to permit the sterilization of a mentally handicapped adult man.

Date posted: 2013-09-09

Doctors in court: palliative care in Sweden

Two Swedish bioethicists have called for law reform to protect palliative care doctors in the Journal of Medical Ethics. Their article comes in the wake of acquittal of an intensivist who was tried for manslaughter.

Date posted: 2013-08-13

Academics spar over non-embryonic stem cell research

A controversy in the stem-cell research community this week spilled over into mainstream media. A number of leading researchers gave interviews or wrote articles about the disputed potential of Very Small Embryonic Stem Cells (VSELs).

Date posted: 2013-08-13

GlaxoSmithKlein slammed for unethical drug trials in China

In the midst of an investigation into corrupt operations in China, British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKlein has been exposed for conducting unethical drug trials in its Shanghai office. On Monday the New York Times published details of a 2011 audit reporting grave omissions in clinical testing procedures.

Date posted: 2013-08-01

UK commission calls for action on abortion of disabled

A parliamentary commission into abortion based on disability has called for radical changes to the UK abortion law. Under the current law an abortion can take place as late as 40 weeks if a child may be "severely disabled" when born.

Date posted: 2013-08-01

Savulescu proposes alternative to euthanasia

Many pro-euthanasia advocates in the UK are frustrated at the slow progress of campaigns for legalisation. In a recent article in the Journal of Medical Ethics, the editor, Oxford bioethicist Julian Savulescu has proposed a way for them to circumvent the law - "voluntary palliated starvation".

Date posted: 2013-08-01

New evidence of unethical research on Canadian Indians

A controversial report in the journal Social History - recounting details of grossly unethical 'nutritional research' carried out by the Canadian government on native Indian children in the 1940s and 50s - has sparked outrage amongst Canada's aboriginal community.

Date posted: 2013-08-01

New monument in Berlin for victims of Nazi euthanasia program

Work has begun on a monument in Berlin to commemorate the 200,000 disabled people killed under Hitler's euthanasia program during WWII. The monument - the fourth of its kind in Berlin - will be a 30-meter long blue glass wall, situated in the same position as the original headquarters of the Nazi campaign.

Date posted: 2013-08-01

Scientists grow primitive liver from pluripotent stem cells

Japanese scientists may have found the way to address the global organ transplant shortage. According to new research published by Yokohama City Unversity Graduate School of Medicine, scientists have succeeding in growing primitive livers from pluripotent stem cells.

Date posted: 2013-08-01

Californian female prisoners pressured into sterilization

The California Institution for Women in Corona, one of two state prisons where female inmates had unauthorized tubal ligations.

Date posted: 2013-08-01

Wales adopts policy of presumed consent to organ donation

Wales will be the first British region to adopt a policy of presumed consent for organ donation.

Date posted: 2013-07-13

Costa Rican organ trafficking exposed

Costa Rican police have arrested a doctor for organ trafficking.

Date posted: 2013-07-06

Facebook likes organ donors

US researchers have published a paper documenting the merits of Facebook in promoting organ donation. The study indicated that the addition of an 'organ donor status' to the Facebook profile page gave a 21-fold boost to the number of people who registered themselves as organ donors in a single day.

Date posted: 2013-07-06

IVF grows in Asia with government subsidies

As IVF markets mature in Western nations, private companies are scrambling to expand into a growing Asian market.

Date posted: 2013-07-06

Medicine students peer into their own genetic

Stanford University has introduced an ambitious new genetics subject into its medical curriculum, in which students study their own genetic data. They extract their DNA for testing, and then analyse its implications.

Date posted: 2013-06-22

Researchers propose drug-trial on non-consenting patients

A controversial drug test on non-consenting patients has been proposed by doctors in Massachusetts.

Date posted: 2013-06-22

Genetics at the Supreme Court 2: the "genetic panopticon"

Earlier this month the US Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that DNA swabbing of people who have been arrested is constitutional.

Date posted: 2013-06-22

Genetics at the Supreme Court 1: patenting genes

In a unanimous 9-0 decision, the US Supreme Court has ruled that human genes cannot be patented.

Date posted: 2013-06-22

Ancient mammoth blood gives new life to de-extinction project

Russian scientists claim to have discovered liquid woolly mammoth blood in a frozen carcase in Siberia, which would make cloning a real possibility.

Date posted: 2013-06-22

US court fast-tracks dying girl's lung transplant

A US court has overruled government health policy and fast-tracked a lung transplant for a Pennsylvania girl with cystic fibrosis.

Date posted: 2013-06-22

Singer questions reproductive freedom at women's rights conference

Singer denied the absoluteness of reproductive rights. He argued that there are "imaginable circumstances" when these rights could be overridden.

Date posted: 2013-06-22

New study identifies five ways to make consent informed

Health experts have long lamented the complexity of patient consent forms. A new University of Michigan study may provide a solution to this barrier to achieving genuine informed consent.

Date posted: 2013-06-22

Maine refuses to follow Vermont on assisted suicide

The Maine House of Representatives has decisively rejected a bill to legalize physician assisted suicide, just days after Vermont legalized it. The Patient Directed Care at End of Life bill was defeated 95-43. The legislation would have lifted criminal sanctions on doctors.

Date posted: 2013-06-22

Are medical students are ethically illiterate?

A recent study has indicated that medical students are not retaining the ethical terms taught to them in ethics classes.

Date posted: 2013-06-22

Ethicists no more moral than other professionals, says new study

Ethicists like to think of themselves as morally good people. But a recent article in the journal Metaphilosophy questions this.

Date posted: 2013-06-22

Stigmatizing obesity will harm, bioethicists

The authors, Daniel S. Goldberg, of East Carolina University, and Rebecca M. Puhl, of Yale University, cite studies demonstrating the ineffectiveness of stigmatizing obesity.

Date posted: 2013-06-22

Expert makes impassioned call to address the Western suicide epidemic

America's foremost expert in the psychology of suicide this week offered an alarming account of what he calls "the suicide epidemic" in Western nations.

Date posted: 2013-06-22

Big business cashing in on reproductive services boom

The cliche "bundles of joy" has two meanings in the assisted reproduction industry: babies and cash. Keen businessmen are scrambling to take advantage of this burgeoning area of the health sector.

Date posted: 2013-05-26

Switzerland told to clarify vague assisted suicide laws

A European Court has told Switzerland to make its assisted suicide laws more specific, after an 82-year-old woman seeking the procedure on the grounds of old age was denied it.

Date posted: 2013-05-26

Australian academics campaign against Chinese transplant chief

A fierce campaign is being carried out in Australia to strip Chinese doctor Huang Jiefu of his honorary professorship at Sydney University. Dr. Jiefu, who was Vice-minister for Health in China for 12 years, authorized the forced removal of organs from thousands of executed Chinese prisoners.

Date posted: 2013-05-26

Vermont legalizes assisted suicide

Vermont has become the fourth US state to legalize euthanasia. Its legislature voted in favor of the controversial law last week. The new legislation allows anyone over the age of 18 with an "incurable and irreversible disease" and a maximum of six months to live to obtain a prescription for lethal drugs.

Date posted: 2013-05-26

Thorny custody case could set precedent for disabled parents

A complex custody dispute has come before an Israeli court, raising questions about the limits of legal parenthood as well as the rights of parents with disabilities. A disabled woman is taking state social services to court after being denied custody of a child she had conceived by surrogacy.

Date posted: 2013-05-26

Woman sentenced to 5 years jail for cruel surrogacy fraud

A Californian women has been sentenced to 5 years imprisonment after she misappropriated US$2.5 million from a surrogacy company. Tonya Ann Collins, 37, set up the company Surrogenesis in 2005, along with the escrow company Michael Charles Independent Financial Holding Group. 

Date posted: 2013-05-26

New bill to end IVF 'discrimination' in South Australia

A new bill is before the South Australian parliament that would make IVF available to lesbian couples and fertile single mothers.

Date posted: 2013-05-26

Breakthrough in therapeutic cloning reignites debate

Cloning humans might be one step closer, with scientists in the US managing to use adult skin cells to produce an embryo clone.

Date posted: 2013-05-26

Australian court rejects 'wrongful birth' claim

The concept of 'wrongful birth' has suffered another defeat, this time in Australia. A New South Wales couple has lost a case in which they sued an IVF specialist for failing to indicate their child's chance of a disability.

Date posted: 2013-05-26

Just words: rethinking living wills with speech-act theory

Remember the battle over what brain-damaged Florida woman Terri Schiavo would have wanted if she were conscious?

Date posted: 2013-05-26

Just words: rethinking living wills with speech-act theory

Remember the battle over what brain-damaged Florida woman Terri Schiavo would have wanted if she were conscious?

Date posted: 2013-05-18

Select your child's sex and have a great Thai holiday, too!

An Australian health tourism company is offering a new package for couples seeking a sex-selective IVF. Sex selective treatment is banned in Australia, but couples can now holiday in Thailand whilst having the procedure done.

Date posted: 2013-05-18

Bioethics and John Maynard Keynes

A media firestorm broke out last week after Harvard's celebrity economic historian Niall Ferguson offered a crude assessment of the key to Keyesian economics.

Date posted: 2013-05-18

Polish minister dismissed over controversial IVF comments

Poland's Justice Minster was sacked this week after accusing German scientists of importing Polish embryos for experiments.

Date posted: 2013-05-18

Peter Singer supports "pro-life" free speech

Of course, bioethicists writing in the Journal of Medical Ethics are not the only people who have suffered for their views on abortion. A new Australian university group, Life Choice, has struggled to get approved because of its opposition to abortion.

Date posted: 2013-05-05

Singer and Tooley on the mindset of "pro-lifers"

The infanticide debate in the Journal of Medical Ethics has garnered comments from the grand old men of infanticide, the Australian Peter Singer and the American Michael Tooley. They have been defending it for decades.

Date posted: 2013-05-05

Is advocating infanticide "madness"?

Not everyone in the "pro-life" camp is singing from the same song sheet in the controversy over infanticide. In this month's Journal of Medical Ethics two leading foes of abortion debate the reasonableness of arguments for infanticide.

Date posted: 2013-05-05

The buying and selling of MD prescription data

Fancy having your prescription data sold to pharmaceutical corporations? Well, it happens.

Date posted: 2013-05-05

Bioengineered kidneys could help alleviate organ shortage

Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have created bioengineered rat kidneys which successfully filter blood and produce urine. If the technique works with humans, it could do away with the need for donor kidneys.

Date posted: 2013-05-05

British media personality sparks debate with IVF horror story

Prominent British writer and producer Samantha Brick has spoken of her devastating experience with IVF in a recent column in the Daily Mail. The article sparked hundreds of comments - some very supportive, most extremely critical.

Date posted: 2013-05-05

The controversial therapy of "emotional support animals"

As Boston grieves after recent terrorist attack, charity workers have flown in "comfort dogs" to console residents.

Date posted: 2013-05-05

Parents needn't tell donor children their origins' says leading British think-tank

Should parents be required to tell donor children of their origins? An influential British think-tank says No.

Date posted: 2013-04-27

Pennsylvania tightens abortion laws after exposure of horror clinic

Strict new abortion clinic laws are now in effect in Pensylvania, following the 2010 exposure of Dr. Kermit Gosnell's infamous Women's Medical Society abortion clinic.

Date posted: 2013-04-21

Danish sperm donor privacy controversy

The government health agency in Denmark is reconsidering its policy on the anonymity of sperm donors after failing to prevent the transmission of disease through sperm banks.

Date posted: 2013-04-21

Liverpool Care Pathway slammed in BMJ

The highly controversial Liverpool Care Pathway has been slammed in the British Medical Journal. In a scathing letter, psychiatrist Eugene Breen has criticised the protocol as vague and easily abused.

Date posted: 2013-04-21

Commission urges caution with child anthrax vaccinations

The threat of bioterrorism is terrifying thought, and the US government is set on minimizing any risk. But should they go as far as testing a potent anthrax vaccine on young children?

Date posted: 2013-03-31

Euthanasia prevention akin to torture, Canadian court hears

A significant change may be afoot in bioethics discourse: major issues are now being portrayed as matters of human rights rather than simply autonomy. First, access to health care, then contraceptives, then abortion. The latest, predictably, is euthanasia.

Date posted: 2013-03-31

336 million abortions in China since 1971, says Chinese govt

There have been over 336 million abortions in China since the since 1971, according to data released by the Chinese Health Department. The number of abortions has remained steady, according to the department, and over 7 million women per year still seek abortions.

Date posted: 2013-03-31

The gamete market comes Down Under

Faced with a shortage of donors, an Australian fertility clinic, Monash IVF, has taken the radical step of importing eggs from the US, at a cost of A$19,000 per package.

Date posted: 2013-03-19

Suicide deaths rise in Australia after promotion of illegal drugs

More and more Australians are importing the illegal lethal drug pentobarbitone from overseas as a way of committing suicide.

Date posted: 2013-03-19

Valuable new stem cells discovered in breast tissue

Rare stem cells extracted from adult breast tissue are pluripotent and can become most cell types, researchers at the University of California at San Francisco have found.

Date posted: 2013-03-19

Birth defects more likely in IVF children

Children conceived using assisted reproductive technology (ART) are far more likely to have birth defects, according to an article in Human Reproduction Update.

Date posted: 2013-03-10

Landmark "vegetative state" paper challenged

US researchers have questioned the results of a landmark study in The Lancet from 2011 on awareness of "vegetative" patients.

Date posted: 2013-03-10

Some Quebec doctors resisting drive for euthanasia

There is a growing push for greater rights for Down syndrome people - in particular that they be fully protected from forced sterilisation. A landmark ruling by a UK court may have brought this goal one step closer.

Date posted: 2013-03-10

IVF is not a cause of cancer, study says

Researchers conceded that further studies are needed, with larger groups of IVF-treated women, to identify the long-term risks of IVF.

Date posted: 2013-03-10

UK Down syndrome woman protected from sterilization

There is a growing push for greater rights for Down syndrome people - in particular that they be fully protected from forced sterilisation. A landmark ruling by a UK court may have brought this goal one step closer.

Date posted: 2013-03-10

UK opens inquiry into abortion of disabled children

The UK parliament has begun a controversial new inquiry into abortion on the grounds of disability. The inquiry aims to discover the impact of abortion on the disabled and whether this constitutes discrimination.

Date posted: 2013-03-10

Virus research resumed after security controversy

Research into airborne strains of avian flu virus has recommenced, following a year and a half of international controversy and bioethical debate. Virologist Dr Ron Fouchier and his research team at the Erasmus Medical Centre in the Netherlands removed specimens of the virus from storage late last month.

Date posted: 2013-03-10

Canadian doctors divided over euthanasia

In many Western nations most people support the legalization of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, according to opinion polls. But doctors - who must be involved - may feel differently.

Date posted: 2013-03-10

Ariel Sharon may be conscious

The world's most famous person in a permanent vegetative state is former Israeli Prime-Minister Ariel Sharon. He suffered a massive stroke seven years ago, and has been completely disabled ever since.

Date posted: 2013-02-27

German cleric apologises over rape victim mistreatment

A prominent German cleric has apologized after a possible rape victim was refused treatment at two Catholic hospitals.

Date posted: 2013-01-30

"It's life, Jim, but not as we know it"

Writer Mary Elizabeth Williams has stridently argued that foetuses are indeed "human life", but that nevertheless a woman's rights "trump the rights of the non-autonomous entity inside of her. Always."

Date posted: 2013-01-30