Bioethics @ TIU

An IVF-related development

Posted May 28th, 2015 by Jon Holmlund

MedPage Today (subscription required) carried a brief notice on May 22 regarding single embryo transfer in IVF.  What follows is directly cribbed from that article.  Key points: IVF pregnancies are higher risk than naturally-conceived pregnancies.  (No further details were cited.) Most embryo transfers involve one or two embryos. Transfer of two embryos is generally driven by fear of failure to conceive with only one.  (I… // Read More »

An Unexpected Reminder

Posted May 26th, 2015 by Courtney Thiele

This weekend I went to see the movie “Tomorrowland” with my husband. I should admit now that I am a Disney aficionado and was perhaps overly excited to escape to this children’s movie based on the theme park for a couple of hours. Without giving away the plot line, this movie primarily took place in a modern doomsday setting – with many of the “current… // Read More »

In Memoriam

Posted May 25th, 2015 by Tom Garigan

Memorial Day serves as a holiday so that, we might hope, we pause to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. We might take a holiday from thinking about things bioethical as well. But could this day hold a lesson for the field of bioethics? To set aside a day to remember those who died in defense of freedom is not simply… // Read More »

Is Change in Abortion Legislation on the Rise?

Posted May 23rd, 2015 by Sarah Sawicki

The New York Times published an article last week about possible new legislation regarding abortion standards in the United States. The House of Representatives voted 242-184 to ban most abortions after 20 weeks. The current Supreme Court ruling on fetal viability is currently 22-24 weeks after fertilization. While it is likely that this particular bill will be shot down in the Senate, it is nevertheless an… // Read More »


Posted May 21st, 2015 by Jon Holmlund

Last Friday, May 15, the Wall Street Journal ran an article under the headline, “$30,000 Baby:  There’s a Lender for That” (subscription required to access).  Key point:  people sometimes go into debt for IVF, which isn’t cheap–$15-20,000 per attempt, they write, with some multi-attempt packages, with a money-back guarantee in the event of failure, going for $30,000.  The article contained a number of updated statistics:… // Read More »

Withering Man

Posted May 18th, 2015 by Tom Garigan

After reading articles such as this one, one must wonder at the speed and degree of the shift in public views about the nature of man. Not only are ideas vigorously promoted that in previous years would have been dismissed as nonsensical, the language used to portray views held widely for centuries has changed to one of derision, and at best mere astonishment that such… // Read More »

Still More on Gene Editing

Posted May 14th, 2015 by Jon Holmlund

Joe Gibes (May 9) and Steve Phillips (May 13) took up the challenge I posted last week: to address whether human germline gene editing, even in a hypothetically-narrow example case, is morally unacceptable in some intrinsic sense, and therefore something that ought never be attempted or, for that matter, pursued in the laboratory.  If you have not read their posts, please do so. To come… // Read More »

Two more reasons for the impermissibility of any human germline genetic modification

Posted May 13th, 2015 by Steve Phillips

In his post on May 8, Jon Holmlund posed the question “Is it everywhere and in all cases morally impermissible, in principle, to alter the human germline, or would a general moral prohibition admit of exceptions?” His alternate form of the question was “Were it possible to safely and truly selectively edit out the Huntington’s disease mutation, for example, in sperm, eggs, or intact human… // Read More »

Update: Why Ethicists Should Speak Out Against Torture

Posted May 10th, 2015 by Cody Chambers

Additional articles have been published since my original post on February 8th. For Further Study “American Psychological Association Bolstered C.I.A. Torture Program, Report Says” by James Risen, New York Times, April 30, 2015. “The involvement of health professionals in the Bush-era interrogation program was significant because it enabled the Justice Department to argue in secret opinions that the program was legal and did not constitute… // Read More »

Technique and Eugenics: my response to the question Jon Holmlund asks about gene editing

Posted May 9th, 2015 by Joe Gibes

Jon Holmlund has asked in this blog whether germ-line modification for the purpose of eliminating genetic diseases (NOT for enhancement), if it could be done safely and equitably, would be ethically acceptable. I argue no, for at least three reasons: we humans are virtually incapable of limiting our use of technology, the technology of gene editing is inescapably eugenic, and we humans are incorrigibly eugenic…. // Read More »