1. Canadian Supreme Court Allows for Physician Suicide

Last Friday the Canadian Supreme Court unanimously ruled to allow for physician assisted suicide—overturning a 1993 ban on the practice and ending an ongoing legal battle that began in 2011. Days later, several physicians in Calgary took to the Globe and Mail to offer some practical suggestions on how Canadian physicians might help encourage this process: “Legislating physician assisted dying is bound to be difficult. Canadians will undoubtedly be comforted to know that politicians have been offered the assistance of physicians and other professionals to get this right,” they wrote. Regrettably, these doctors fail to see that there’s no way to “get right” a practice that is intrinsically wrong and incompatible with their profession.

2. Colorado Rejects Physician Assisted Suicide

Despite last week’s discouraging news that both Maryland and New York are advancing physician assisted suicide, Colorado lawmakers rejected a similar proposal in their state. We applaud their moral courage and hope that similar initiatives will be defeated in the year ahead.

3. Indian Woman Beaten for Refusing to Serve as Surrogate

Multiple reports allege that an Indian woman was beaten by her employer for refusing to serve as a surrogate. As I’ve seen firsthand, the practice of surrogacy in India is riddled with coercion and little regard for women. Shame on those who continue to fuel this market, which has turned the exploitation of women into a commercial enterprise.

4. Dad Refuses to Give Up His Newborn Son With Down Syndrome

In an act of true heroism, an Armenian father refused to give up his son who had just been born with Down syndrome. Unfortunately, his wife (and the son’s mother) filed for divorce soon thereafter. In a culture that is quick to view the disabled and handicapped as “less than” or “unfit” for life, this father’s brave action reminds us that a commitment to a human future requires special attention to and protection for vulnerable populations at all stages of life—be it the embryo or the disabled.

5. CBC Resurrects Hands Off Our Ovaries Campaign

In light of last week’s news that Great Britain might soon allow the creation of “three-parent” embryos, we’ve relaunched our “Hands Off Our Ovaries!” campaign, which we originally launched in 2006. The three-parent embryo process increases the demand for “donor” eggs—something we’re committed to fighting back against. We’re committed to making sure young women know the risks of the egg donation procedure—as well as the risks that remain unknown due to the lack of followup research. Be sure to help us out by ordering a copy of Eggsploitation to share with friends or family members that might be thinking of selling their eggs. We promise this will cause them to think again!

This Week in Bioethics Archive

Image “5” by squidish via flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Author Profile

Christopher White, Ramsey Institute Project Director