Bioethics

Read the headlines or browse news stories these days and you’ll find all sorts of medically related topics. Cloning. Infertility. Test tube babies. Euthanasia. Stem cell research. Embryo adoption. Surrogacy. These are just a sampling, right? My journey through infertility and pregnancy loss has given me a front-row seat in some of the bioethics conversations—a seat I never would have pursued had my situation not demanded answers. I served on the board of an international consumer group for infertility patients, and I wrestled my way through “Why does God allow such suffering?” That journey led me to coauthor books on bioethical topics in partnership with a theologically-trained medical doctor and the Christian Medical Association. We also contributed chapters in some books and coauthored a related column for ten months. How do you and I navigate our way through complex medical issues? How do we process these topics through the grid of a truly Christian worldview (not to be confused with a political party’s)? Knowing that good men and women arrive at differing conclusions, what principles should guide our thinking? Hopefully you will find answers to some of those questions here.

Posts on Bioethics

When Mother’s Day Never Comes

By Bioethics, Infertility6 Comments

Often the worst day of the year for an infertile woman is Mother’s Day. On this holiday going to a house of worship can feel more like going to the house of mourning. During the decade when my husband and I experienced infertility treatment, lost multiple pregnancies, and endured three failed adoptions, I found it difficult enough to see all the corsages on M-Day. But then the pastor asked mothers  to stand, and I remained conspicuously seated. Some years the worship leader would even call for the youngest mother to stand, and then he smiled awkwardly as a sixteen- or seventeen-year-old unmarried teen got to her feet. On such occasions I would sit wondering about God’s mysterious ways of supply and demand. Following most such services, each mother would receive a carnation as she headed out the door. But to exit she first had to answer “yes” to the question,…

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Bioethics in the News

By BioethicsNo Comments

New Test Can Predict Cancer More Than a Decade Before Diagnosis The Telegraph reported that scientists at Harvard and Northwestern University have devised a test that can predict with 100% accuracy whether a person will develop cancer up to 13 years in the future, as changes are already taking place on chromosomes more than a decade prior to diagnosis. New Drug Info Made Public The New York Times reports that Medicare has released detailed data on prescription drug use in the USA.  The data was the most detailed breakdown ever provided by government officials about the prescription claims of Medicare beneficiaries. Couple Fighting Over Frozen Embryos (New York Times) “Our frozen embryos have a right to live,” says Sofia Vergara’s ex-fiancé. Last August he filed a complaint in Santa Monica, Calif., using pseudonyms, to protect two frozen embryos the couple created. NIH Reiterates Ban on Editing Human Embryo DNA (Nature)…

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Bioethics in the News

By BioethicsNo Comments

IVF NUTRIENTS MAY DICTATE IF THE BABY’S A BOY OR GIRL (New Scientist) Will it be a boy or a girl? For people undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF), the nutrient-rich liquid their embryos grow in could tip the balance. The finding adds to mounting evidence that the culture medium is playing a role in determining the baby’s sex. The scales seem tipped toward males. ETHICS OF EMBRYO EDITING DIVIDES SCIENTISTS (Nature) Research that uses powerful gene-editing techniques on human embryos needs to be restricted, scientists agree but they are split over why. “I personally think we are just not smart enough—and won’t be for a very long time—to feel comfortable about the consequences of changing heredity, even in a single individual.” —DAVID BALTIMORE, a former president of the California Institute of Technology, on a call for a moratorium on using a gene editing technique to change human DNA. As quoted…

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