Stripped for Parts

Originally posted on The Bioethics Program:

by Theresa Spranger, Bioethics Program Alumna (MSBioethics 2012)

There was an article in the British Daily Mail recently about the possibility that eggs from aborted human females could be used for in vitro fertilization (IVF). The idea is that the ovaries of the aborted female would be harvested, and the eggs cultivated in a lab and then used in IVF treatments where a donor egg is required.  Ultimately, this would lead to the birth of a baby whose biological mother was never born.

I haven’t read any of the study results first hand, so I cannot speak to the scientific accuracy of the article.  Therefore, let’s discuss the issue purely as a hypothetical.

As I see it, there are several ethical issues involved with harvesting eggs from an aborted fetus:

  1.  How do you tell a child (or an adult person for that matter) that their biological mother was never…

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Physician Authority to Make the Determination of Death: Why It Matters

justagurlinseattle:

We need to have a national conversation on how we use the term, Life Support, as in this case… It was DEATH support….

Originally posted on The Bioethics Program:

This guest post is part of The Bioethics Program’s Online Symposium on the Munoz and McMath cases. To see all symposium contributions, click here.

by James Zisfein, M.D.
Chief, Division of Neurology, and Chair, Ethics Committee, Lincoln Medical Center

Why does it matter, to those of us involved in clinical ethics, that physicians are losing the authority to determine that a person has died?

I offer several reasons, in increasing order of importance:

Firstly, there is the (wasted) financial cost of maintaining dead people in critical care beds. However, even with the loss of physician authority to determine death becoming more common (due to publicity surrounding the Jahi McMath case), this cost is but a small fraction of our national health expenditures.

A more important reason is damage to professional integrity. The damage cannot be easily measured, but it’s real. The most bitter complaint I hear from…

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Fetuses, Organs and Brain-Death

justagurlinseattle:

I hope others will find this Blog as interesting as I do…

Originally posted on The Bioethics Program:

This guest post is part of The Bioethics Program‘s Online Symposium on the Munoz and McMath cases. To see all symposium contributions, click here.

by Pablo de Lora, Ph.D.
School of Law, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

One of the things that strikes me in the debate over whether a State has a sufficiently compelling interest in sustaining the physiological functions of a dead-brain pregnant woman in order to protect the life of the fetus, is that this very same rationale is not appealed to when we consider the many lives that are at stake when the deceased, or someone else — typically the next-of-kin — decides not to donate its organs after death. So, if the commitment of Texas — or any other State — with the protection of “human life” is sincere, if we can finally agree on that interest as being as compelling as to…

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