Do transgender women have a right to gestation?

Successful womb transplants have given birth to the notion that transgender women or even cisgender men could bear children. In the latest edition of the Journal of Law and the Biosciences, Amel Alghrani, of the University of Liverpool (UK) strongly defends the idea that they have a right to gestate. “Transgender, non-binary, and other gender plural individuals have the same procreative liberties as cisgender individuals,” she contends. Denying them this right would be tantamount to cissexism.

This would be true even if the person in question already had children as a cisgender man. It is the lived experience… MORE

Melbourne hospital given right to administer transfusion without consent

A court in Melbourne, Australia, has approved a hospital’s request to administer a blood transfusion to a pregnant Jehovah’s Witness teenager despite her religious objection to the procedure.

The decision was made by a supreme court authority late last month after Mercy Hospitals Victoria requested approval to perform an emergency transfusion if necessary.

The pregnant teenager had told doctors that a transfusion was against her religious beliefs. But doctors were concerned that girl’s “small stature” put her at increased risk of hemorrhaging.

Associate Professor Campbell Paul, a consultant child… MORE

US insulin price hikes prove fatal for diabetics

Price increases to insulin in the United States have sparked public outcry, with some reports suggesting that diabetics are now rationing their injections to save money.

NPR recently reported on the tragic case of a 26-year-old diabetic man in Minnesota who died in his apartment in June 2017 after apparently rationing his insulin injections. The man, Alec Smith, had recently aged out of his parents’ health insurance policy, and was ineligible for state health insurance subsidies for his medication. Smith was earning less than $3000 a month, and was unable to cover the $1300… MORE

Man discovers that partner had sperm swapped for lover’s during IVF

A Russian man has successfully sued an IVF clinic in Moscow after his wife secretly had his sperm swapped for a lover’s during an IVF procedure.

Maxim Anokhin and his wife Yana Anokina, 38, approached doctors at Kulakov Medical Centre in Moscow to receive IVF last year. While she underwent IVF treatment, Anokina arranged with a fertility specialist to have her husband’s sperm swapped without him knowing. Anokina had reportedly told the clinic she wanted the man she loved to be the father, but had let her husband pay for the treatment and kept him… MORE

Buyers of designer babies will be overwhelmed by choice

The dream of “designer babies” is probably further off than most of us think because of all the technical issues involved. But it is coming down the pike. In the latest issue of the Journal of Law and the Biosciences Sonia M. Suter, of George Washington University, speculates about how a designer baby market would actually work.

In the first place, it would require industrial-scale preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and genome sequencing. Both are already available, although there is room for much improvement. The missing link is in vitro gametogenesis – creating sperm and eggs from somatic cells. So far… MORE

The children of European vaccine sceptics are getting measles

According to the World Health Organisation more than 41,000 people in Europe had been infected with measles in the first half of 2018. At least 37 people have died. The total far exceeds the 12-month totals reported for every other year this decade. So far, the highest annual total between 2010 and 2017 was 23,927 in 2017 and the lowest was 5273 in 2016. 

Seven countries have seen over 1000 infections in children and adults this year (France, Georgia, Greece, Italy, the Russian Federation, Serbia and Ukraine). Ukraine has been the hardest hit, with over 23,000 people affected. Serbia reported the… MORE

IVF kids risk early arterial hypertension

Children conceived through assisted reproductive technologies may be at an increased risk of developing arterial hypertension early in life, among other cardiovascular complications, according to a Swiss study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The most common ART methods are in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection, which can expose the gamete and embryo to a variety of environmental factors before implantation. Children conceived using ART make up 1.7 percent of all infants born in the United States every year and currently over six million persons worldwide.

The study assessed the circulatory system of 54 young, healthy… MORE

A doctor who stayed

Hospital in Idlib destroyed in 2016 / Médecins Sans Frontières 

Healthcare workers, clinics and hospitals have been consistently targeted by the Assad government during Syria’s bitter civil war. Many doctors have fled. In this video the New York Times interviews one doctor, Mohammed al-Bardan, who has decided to stay to care for his people.

According to the World Health Organisation, “8 years into the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic, attacks on health care facilities and personnel in the country continue to rise despite United Nations resolutions strongly condemning these attacks. In the first 6 months… MORE

Uh-oh! Infanticide is back: why not, asks Norwegian bioethicist

Arguments which pose infanticide as a moral option have put bioethicists in hot water in recent years. But they are not going to go away. In an on-line-first article in the journal Bioethics, Norwegian bioethicist Joona Räsänen counter-attacks with a defence of the moral possibility of infanticide. (Attention, people! This does not imply a campaign to implement or legalise infanticide, only its theoretical morality.)

Räsänen first engaged with this issue in a 2016 article in Bioethics, whose assertions were questioned by several pro-life scholars, notably Christopher Kaczor. It is difficult to give a tidy summary of the the complex arguments deployed by Räsänen… MORE

Protecting the world through moral bioenhancement

The co-existence of large numbers of Very Bad Hombres and readily available means of mass destruction is seen by a number of bioethicists as a grave threat to the future of humanity. About a decade ago, some of them began to speculate about whether it might be possible to create a world of order, peace and virtue through what they termed “moral enhancement” or “moral bioenhancement”. The idea was to make people altruistic and pacific by spiking the water supply, vaccinating them or adding agents to air conditioning systems in public buildings.

Whether this is feasible or not is still… MORE

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