1. California Senate Panel Passes Physician Assisted Suicide Bill

Advocates for physician assisted suicide in California scored a victory this week when a Senate Panel passed a measure to advance the legislation on to its next phase. Similar legislative initiatives have failed twice before, so here’s to hoping that an eventual third strike is in the works.

2. Surrogacy Bill Advances in New Jersey

Efforts are underway in New Jersey to legalize commercial surrogacy in the very state that gave the world exhibit A for why surrogacy should be banned in the infamous Baby M case. A state assembly panel has advanced legislation to legalize contract pregnancies, and it now moves on to the full assembly. If the bill passes and makes its way to the Governor, we here at the CBC are counting on Governor Chris Christie to repeat his 2012 veto and his opposition to “the profound change in the traditional beginnings of the family that this bill will enact.”

3. Poland Seeks to Regulate IVF

The Polish government is backing efforts to tighten regulation on in vitro fertilization within the country. The bill would also ban the sale and destruction of human embryos. While the bill would not outlaw IVF, it would place restrictions on the practice. Considering that the global failure rate of IVF is close to 80%, surely there are better efforts to pursue in helping infertile couples than immediately encouraging them to pursue IVF.

4. Belgium Euthanizing Patients for Purely Psychiatric Reasons

In an interview in the Belgian magazine Humo, leading Belgian euthanasia advocate Dr. Wim Distelmans stated that 50-60 Belgians are euthanized each year for purely psychiatric reasons. Once more, Belgium serves as a prime example as to grave slippery slope of engaging doctors in the practice of killing under the false banner of “death with dignity.”

5. CBC Joins International Coalition to Abolish Surrogacy

Earlier this week the CBC submitted an open letter to The Hague in an effort to abolish the practice of surrogacy throughout the world. We are pleased to join a growing international coalition of organizations committed to protecting women and children and ending this practice once and for all.

This Week in Bioethics Archive

Image by Jennifer Lahl

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Christopher White, Ramsey Institute Project Director