Euthanasia fails again in Colombian congress

The Colombian legislature has once again failed to pass a law legalising euthanasia. Earlier this week a bill proposed by representative Juan Fernando Reyes Kuri needed to reach 85 votes in favour, but fell two votes short.

Although Colombia is often described as a country where euthanasia is legal, the actual situation is complicated. In 1997 the country’s Constitutional Court ruled that that "the State cannot oppose the decision of an individual who does not wish to continue living and who requests help to die when suffering from a terminal illness that causes unbearable pain, incompatible with his… MORE

Biden undoing pro-life ruling by his predecessor

The Biden Administration is quickly dismantling pro-life initiatives of the Trump Administration. This week Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra green-lighted the use of human foetal tissue for medical research.

Government scientists can now resume research that uses tissue from elective abortions. No special ethical approval will be needed for federally-funded research at universities.

The use of foetal tissue is extremely controversial.

The American Society of Reproductive Medicine applauded the change. “The United States government has developed a robust system of oversight. .... Ideologically driven politicians must not be allowed to interfere with this system on a… MORE

Human-monkey chimaeras grown for up to 20 days

Researchers in China and the United States have injected human stem cells into primate embryos and grown chimeric embryos for up to 20 days. Despite ethical concerns, the scientists says that the procedure has potential for providing insights into developmental biology and evolution, into disease and transplants, and into drug development.

"As we are unable to conduct certain types of experiments in humans, it is essential that we have better models to more accurately study and understand human biology and disease," says senior author Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, of the Salk Institute, in California.

In the current study, six days… MORE

Resisting legalised euthanasia in New South Wales is looking problematic

One state which appears to be high and dry as a movement for “dignity in dying” floods Australia is New South Wales. The Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, bruised by a bitter debate over the decriminalisation of abortion in 2019, wants to avoid another potentially divisive issue. It’s probably not moral qualms which explain her reluctance, because she is a social progressive. Rather, her coalition only has a wafer-thin margin and survives with the support of three independents.

Problem is, two of the independents are strong supporters of euthanasia, Alex Greenwich and Greg Piper. Greenwich plans to introduce a voluntary… MORE

US needs a vaccine mandate, says Ezekiel Emanuel

Vaccine mandates are extremely controversial but bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel, a veteran of the Obama Administration who is an advisor to Joe Biden, is definitely an enthusiastic and unequivocal  supporter. In an op-ed in the New York Times, he says that vaccinations are essential to curb Covid-19 infections. “How can we increase vaccinations?”, he asks. “Mandates.”

Vaccines should be required for health care workers and for all students who plan to attend in-person classes this fall — including younger children once the vaccine is authorized for them by the Food and Drug Administration.

Employers should also be prepared to… MORE

New York parent and child want to wed

Nothing beats the New York Post for coverage of the more exciting corners of the Reproductive Revolution. This week it had an exclusive: a lawsuit in Manhattan Federal Court to permit incest. It appears that a parent and his or her child want legal ratification of their romantic attachment, even though they recognise that “a large segment of society views [this] as morally, socially and biologically repugnant”.

According to court papers filed in the matter of Doe v. McSweeney, No. 1:21-cv-2806 in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, the parent argues that “Through the… MORE

Prepare for ectogenesis, says bioethicist

Ectogenesis – gestation in an artificial womb – is coming closer, according to a bioethicist writing in BioNews. Professor John D. Loike, of New York Medical College, says that three recent papers in Nature suggest that it may be possible. In two of them, researchers managed to generate human blastocyst-like structures, called blastoids. This heralds the creation of embryos without sperm or eggs.

In the third paper, an Israeli lab developed an artificial womb in which mouse embryos grew into a foetus which contained fully formed organs.

We need to prepare, says Dr Loike, for “a revolution in… MORE

Is China forcibly sterilizing Uyghur women?

Reports of bioethical atrocities against Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang territory are hard to verify, but consistent and persistent. The latest comes from a recent interview in the Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun with a female gynaecologist who is an ethnic Uyghur.

The woman, identified only as Gülgine, spoke to the newspaper in Istanbul. She has not been in Xinjiang since 2011. She alleges that at some state-run detention centres for Uyghurs as many as 80 women a day were forcibly sterilised.

“A lot of women were put on the back of a truck and sent to the hospital,” Gülgine said.… MORE

New Mexico legalises assisted suicide

New Mexico has become the 11th American jurisdiction with assisted suicide.

On Thursday, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the Elizabeth Whitefield End-of-Life Options Act. “Dignity in dying — making the clear-eyed choice to prevent suffering at the end of a terminal illness — is a self-evidently humane policy,” said Lujan Grisham.

The new law takes effect on June 18. It will permit terminally ill patients with six months or less to live to request lethal medication. The diagnosis must be agreed upon by two medical experts, and the patient must pass a mental competency screening. After a 48-hour waiting… MORE

Vaccine passports spark controversy

Next stop in the coronavirus pandemic: vaccine passports. Rutgers University, the largest public college in New Jersey, recently announced it would require all its students to be vaccinated as a condition of enrolment beginning in September. The New York Mets are allowing their fans to attend games as long as they provide proof of a vaccine or a negative test for Covid-19.

Some businesses believe that their customers will return if they believe that they will be in a safe environment.

But passport boosters haven’t got a lot of company. The notion of requiring a certificate of vaccination dismays many… MORE

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