Over-population fading as greatest moral challenge of our time

Climate change, over-population, and a demographic winter are all competing for nomination as the Greatest Moral Challenge of Our Time. This could lead to some odd political alignments.

George Monbiot, columnist for The Guardian and an environmental activist, recently published a column, “Population panic lets rich people off the hook for the climate crisis they are fuelling”, whose sentiments are almost identical to those of Pope Francis, a man whom he once denounced as an ally oftyrants, land grabbers, debt slavers and death squads”.

The issue du jour is over-population. A recent article in The LancetMORE

Covid forces U-turn on organ transplant policy in India

The Covid-19 pandemic has put organ transplant programs around the world on hold. In the Indian state of Karnataka, there were no cadaver donation from March to August.

Transplant surgeons have complained that an estimated 2000 people with kidney problems are on a waiting list. In response, the government has made a U-turn in a policy on transplants which was announced in February.

At that time it banned the transplant of organs from patients who died in the same hospital. It was suspected that hospitals were hoarding organs for their own patients and not donating them to a common… MORE

Trump promises a vaccine before the end of 2020

President Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention highlighted a number of health and bioethical issues.

On the pandemic. With Operation Warp Speed, Americans will have a vaccine before the end of the year, Mr Trump said. “We are delivering lifesaving therapies and will produce a vaccine before the end of the year, or maybe even sooner. We will defeat the virus and the pandemic and emerge stronger than ever before.”

Lockdowns are not part of his path to victory, however. He wants to open up industry and schools as soon as possible. “To save as many lives… MORE

Dutch euthanasia doctor agrees that there is a ‘slippery slope’

“Anti-euthanasia lobbyists want the public to believe in the inevitability of the slippery slope, but their fears are unwarranted," wrote a Canadian doctor earlier this year.

Where better to test this than the Netherlands?

 In 2019, according to the official figures, there were 6,361 cases of euthanasia – 4.2 percent of all deaths. In other words, one out of 25 people are killed by doctors in the Netherlands. And those are just the official figures. It is widely accepted that a good number of euthanasia deaths are not reported, mostly because doctors don’t like the extra paperwork involved.


Scotland: legal battle over trans girl’s sperm

Ellie Anderson / from Change.Org petition 

For the latest episode in the Reproductive Revolution, BioEdge turns to Scotland. A 16-year-old transgender girl, Ellie Anderson, died last month of “unascertained” causes after commencing hormone therapy.

Two years before, Ellie, whose mother Louise says that she had identified as a girl since she was three years old, had frozen her sperm so that she could have two children with the help of an egg donor and a surrogate mother.

"As a teenager she delayed hormone blockers to save her sperm to enable her to have her own… MORE

Ethics committee clears BLM-supporting doctors of hypocrisy over protests

No social distancing while protesting lockdowns: not OK 

Four American doctors and ethicists from the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM) Ethics Committee have compared the morality of participating in rallies for Black Lives Matters versus rallies against lockdowns.

Writing in the blog of The Hastings Center, they say:

Physicians have been vocal in condemning the anti-lockdown protests, while endorsing and even participating in the Black Lives Matter protests. This has led to criticism of the medical community for being inconsistent and hypocritical. These allegations are serious as the perceived hypocrisy of physicians can… MORE

UK bureaucrats imposed DNR orders on care homes: report

Nursing homes in the UK were asked by government health managers and family doctors to place blanket “Do not resuscitate” (DNR) orders on all residents at the height of the coronavirus pandemic to keep hospital beds free, a report has alleged.

The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) surveyed 128 nurses and care home managers about what their experiences in March and April. One in 10 said that they had been ordered was ordered to change DNR plans without discussion with family members, nursing staff, or with the residents themselves.

Half these worked in homes for the elderly, and half in… MORE

Why are black sperm donors so scarce?

A recent issue of the HuffPost UK has a fascinating intersectional analysis of the market for sperm. Susan Kamau, who is a British woman of colour, writes about her search for a black sperm donor. When she trawled through the profiles of donors on a site which claimed to be the UK’s “largest provider of donor sperm”, she drew a blank.

She discovered that there were far more black sperm donors in Denmark – but it was far too expensive there.

She ended up resorting to Facebook. There she discovered a group of black donors. Comments posted by their… MORE

Medical gadfly puts NEJM under the microscope

Sorry, we missed this one – another acerbic book by the British doctor and writer Theodore Dalrymple, False Positive: A Year of Error, Omission, and Political Correctness in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dalrymple is a stylish writer with scalpel-sharp wit. In this short book, he reviews the NEJM during 2017, with a chapter devoted to each weekly issue. The NEJM, along with The Lancet, he observes, is “the most important and influential general medical journal in the world”.

His aim is to alert readers to what he describes as the NEJM’s “sickly self-righteousness” and “to attune readers… MORE

Coronavirus tragedy a central theme in Biden’s election bid

Apart from painting the 2020 presidential election as a battle between the forces of darkness and the forces of light, Joe Biden’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee this week was largely about America’s battle with Covid-19.

It was a virtual convention, with all of its speakers online, and Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris had to wave at small groups projected onto a giant screen instead of at a chanting crowd. Unsurprisingly, he laid the blame for death and disruption of the pandemic squarely at the feet of President Trump.

“Just judge this president… MORE

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