Category Archives: Bioethics


by on April 27th, 2016

The Council of Europe has rejected a report recommending the legalization of surrogacy. This decision is a victory for human rights: Despite arguments that surrogacy is “compassionate,” its history of contentious litigation and documented human rights abuses make clear that it is a grave wrong.

by on April 7th, 2016

IVF has created more problems than it has solved, especially helping to create the mindset that human life is a commodity to be used and manipulated. This mindset has been instrumental in paving the way for the approval of research involving the genetic modification of human embryos in the UK, research poised to usher in a host of ethical and legal issues we can only begin to imagine.

by on March 30th, 2016

Very soon, the classic scenarios of artificial intelligence from science fiction will become reality. Recognizing the moral and ethical concerns such achievements will raise can help us begin to address them. Whether the development of new technology will be good or bad will depend on how we use it.

by on March 3rd, 2016

Despite its naysayers, the original Hippocratic oath remains an enduring icon of medical ethics because it eschews the unbound and nebulous principles of modern bioethics in favor of traditional virtues and transcendent truths.

by on February 11th, 2016

A new book written from a liberal humanist perspective provides insight for conservatives who want to make a more broadly compelling case against euthanasia. It also suggests a basis for an effective coalition between liberals and conservatives.

by on February 10th, 2016

As American medical ethics shifted from a model of paternalistic beneficence to a model of patient autonomy, self-determination became enshrined as the paramount value—ironically to the detriment of our society’s most vulnerable members.

by on February 5th, 2016

On both the state and federal level, long-acting reversible contraceptives are being pushed as a means to reduce the birth rate of the poor. These initiatives will have a disproportionate impact on the childbearing of racial minorities.

by on February 4th, 2016

Because it is often used imprecisely, the term “futile” can cause confusion and exacerbate conflict in disagreements about end-of-life care. It is more helpful for patients, families, and physicians to discuss the benefits and burdens of medical procedures.

by on February 2nd, 2016

Early pioneers in gender-reassignment surgery and recent clinical studies agree that a majority of transgender people suffer from co-occurring psychological disorders, leading tragically high numbers to commit suicide. Outlawing psychotherapy for transgender people may be politically correct, but it shows a reckless disregard for human lives.

by on January 15th, 2016

In its zeal to deal with suffering, modern bioethics fails to account for the rights of the sufferer. There is no law that can legitimize taking a life too soon.

by and on January 14th, 2016

When assessing the case of Christopher Dunn, in which some key details remain hazy, we ought to give his physicians and hospital ethics committee the benefit of the doubt.

by on January 7th, 2016

In deciding to withdraw life-sustaining treatment from an alert and cognizant patient who was pleading for his life, a Texas hospital’s ethics committee stole from him the two most fundamental rights enumerated in our Constitution: life and liberty.

by on October 14th, 2015

When motherhood becomes a mere avenue to a paycheck, both the woman and the child she carries are wronged. Surrogacy undermines the dignity of both women and children.

by on October 13th, 2015

Before we rush to embrace transhumanism, it is crucial to ask what it means to be human.

by on October 6th, 2015

By pointing out the ways in which prenatal ultrasound alters our fundamental familial relationships, philosopher Peter-Paul Verbeek makes us more aware of its moral effects.

A new report from the Witherspoon Council on Ethics and the Integrity of Science forcefully makes the case against all forms of human cloning. Below is an excerpt from the report on the moral case against cloning-to-produce-children and cloning-for-biomedical research.

by on September 11th, 2015

It’s tempting to make neat calculations based on what we know in the abstract about Down syndrome. But once an actual child enters into the equation—with all of his strengths and foibles, quirks and habits—we don’t get the answer we expected at all.

by on September 10th, 2015

The individualism required by a society of autonomy shuts down love, dependence, and self-sacrifice. To extinguish grief, we are told, we must extinguish the grieving.

by on September 8th, 2015

Belgium has the most permissive euthanasia laws in the world, and one of every twenty deaths in Belgium is now deliberately caused. Suicide is becoming a moral obligation in a culture that promotes euthanasia as a dignified exit that offers relief to caregivers.

Senator Rubio is on the firmest possible scientific ground when he says that science shows that the child in the womb, from the very point of successful fertilization, is indeed a human being.

by on August 3rd, 2015

Third-party reproduction is pitched as a victory for all, a vehicle for creating beautiful families. But the process requires enticing marginalized women to undergo harmful procedures. Moreover, children are created, with no regard for the rights that other children enjoy, to satisfy the desires of wealthy adults.

by on July 29th, 2015

Conservatives do not take the introspective reports of transgendered people seriously, but there are good scientific reasons for supposing that subjective experience of gender is legitimate, even when it contradicts apparent biological sex.

by on July 21st, 2015

As skeptics in Ireland feared and the naïve in the United States are now realizing, “marriage equality” inevitably leads to the push for “family equality” through third-party reproduction.

by on June 10th, 2015

The idea that one’s sex is a feeling, not a fact, has permeated our culture and is leaving casualties in its wake. Gender dysphoria should be treated with psychotherapy, not surgery.

by on June 4th, 2015

Supporters of transgender ideology believe that they are freeing people from restrictive understandings of gender. In reality, the more our society tries to free itself from gender stereotypes, the more it becomes enslaved to them. By saying that people can be born in a body of the wrong gender, transgender activists are saying there is a set of feelings that are only allocated to women and another set for men.

by on May 22nd, 2015

None of us can stop surrogacy on our own. I’m pro-choice and support extending legal marriage to include same-sex couples, but I know that if we are to succeed in ending the exploitation and abuse that comes with surrogacy, we must work with others with whom we may have vehement disagreements.

by on May 5th, 2015

In our culture, there is a chasm between two irreconcilable conceptions of the meaning and purpose of human sexuality and equality. For children most of all, the wrong kind of sexuality and equality has devastating effects.

by on March 19th, 2015

Dolce and Gabbana, whether they use the term or not, are strong advocates of natural law.

by on March 3rd, 2015

Most Americans are probably not aware that the push to create a right to assisted suicide is an international effort. The Canadian Supreme Court has just ruled that parliament must enact laws allowing assisted suicide.

by on February 26th, 2015

The UK has passed a bill that allows for genetic engineering of children through nuclear transfer technology and germ-line modification. Young women will be needed to supply their eggs. But egg donation—or more accurately, egg selling—is risky business.

by on January 30th, 2015

The fertility industry has absolutely no interest in doing the studies and the research that are needed to protect women.

by on January 22nd, 2015

A new book clearly examines and answers the most important questions surrounding medical law and ethics, especially in the realm of end-of-life issues.

by on January 14th, 2015

No one wants pain. But the debate about assisted suicide is not just about those who are terminally ill and in pain. It is about all of us. By voting for assisted suicide, we are implicated in an intrinsically immoral act.

by on January 5th, 2015

Did New Jersey’s Assembly approve an assisted suicide bill without understanding it? The bill is bad public policy, shot through with dangerous loopholes and contradictions that threaten to push many vulnerable citizens of New Jersey toward death.

by on November 10th, 2014

If it’s okay to buy and sell sperm, eggs, and wombs, then why is it not okay to sell other human tissues or organs? If it’s okay to sell one’s reproductive parts, why is it not okay to sell one’s sexual parts, as in prostitution? If it’s okay to pre-sell and pre-order children via third-party reproduction, what is so wrong with buying and selling children who are already born or conceived?

by on October 31st, 2014

The effort by pro-euthanasia group Compassion & Choices to use Brittany Maynard’s story to push physician-assisted suicide is part of a larger strategy. When talking about end-of-life issues, a strategically crafted frame points to only one logical conclusion: I’d rather be dead.

by on October 27th, 2014

We ought to demonstrate compassion for Brittany Maynard, but we must not allow our compassion to obscure the nature of her choice—or the consequences that legal acceptance of a legal right to kill has for those left behind.

by on October 24th, 2014

Do assisted suicide supporters really expect doctors and nurses to be able to assist the suicide of one patient, then go on to care for a similar patient who wants to live, without this having an effect on their ethics or their empathy? Do they realize that this reduces the second patient’s will to live to a mere personal whim—one that society may ultimately see as selfish and too costly?

by on October 16th, 2014

For both principled and practical reasons, the Supreme Court of Canada should maintain the country’s legal ban on euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.

by on October 3rd, 2014

In addition to the tragic stories of surrogacy gone wrong, there are families and surrogates with “happy endings.” It is important to hear these stories, too, and to respond to the arguments they make in favor of surrogacy.

by on September 23rd, 2014

A new book tells the story of an infertile couple that has children through Indian surrogacy services—but it glosses over the costs to egg donors, surrogate mothers, and children.

by on August 18th, 2014

Materialism, relativism, and consequentialism are at the heart of the arguments in favor of third-party reproduction.

by on June 25th, 2014

It’s time to realize that ACOG’s priority is not medical fact but thwarting protection for the unborn.

by on June 17th, 2014

Now is the time for renewed vigilance for those who oppose euthanasia. The worst of this battle is yet to come.

by on June 12th, 2014

Senator Rubio was on solid ground in saying science has settled the question of when a human being's life begins. Science does not need to wait on philosophy’s pronouncements to investigate what the human embryo is and when its life begins.

by on June 11th, 2014

A new book tells the harrowing story of Memorial Medical Center, where some physicians took the lives of their patients during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

by on June 3rd, 2014

Egg freezing does not really beat biology. It buys a small chance at giving birth, but at a very high price indeed.

by on May 2nd, 2014

No one should prey upon vulnerable cash-strapped women, recklessly endangering their health and well-being in order to harvest their eggs.

by on April 4th, 2014

If there is any plausible reason to believe that emergency contraceptives cause—even occasionally—the death of embryo, then they are morally equivalent to abortifacients.

by on April 3rd, 2014

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists claims that mothers and doctors have a moral obligation to take care of fetuses—unless they want to terminate them.

Featured


Senator Rubio is on the firmest possible scientific ground when he says that science shows that the child in the womb, from the very point of successful fertilization, is indeed a human being.
by Jeremy Neill on December 2nd, 2015
The emotional and physical devastation produced by the collapse of familial bonds may take decades to fully manifest itself. Once it does, the essential human need for restrictions on sexuality will again become clear.
by Walt Heyer on April 27th, 2015
The dark and troubling history of the contemporary transgender movement, with its enthusiastic approval of gender-reassignment surgery, has left a trail of misery in its wake.
by Katy Faust on February 2nd, 2015
Take it from the adult child of a loving gay parent: redefining marriage promotes a family structure in which children suffer.
by Jean C. Lloyd on December 10th, 2014
May I make two requests? Love me, but remember that you cannot be more merciful than God. It isn’t mercy to affirm same-sex acts as good. Don’t compromise truth; help me to live in harmony with it.

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