I hope your summer afforded you some rest and relaxation—time away from work to recharge your batteries is important for us all. We are, after all, truly human. No matter what the biotech enthusiasts envision for our future, thankfully, we are not machines!
The gears were grinding away at CBC this summer as we finished up our new film, #BigFertility, which we’ll be releasing in a few short weeks—watch our website and social media for all the details on how you can see it as soon as it comes out! Friends in two countries—Spain and France—have already asked for the rights to this film so that they can translate it and get it in front of people in these countries where legal battles around surrogacy are heating up.
Our summer legal intern wrote several analysis reports for us, reviewed a Harvard Law Review article on surrogacy, and updated our state-by-state map of U.S. surrogacy laws. Check it out here—it has an easy to use interactive design, and it will be easy for us to update as laws change in the years to come.
Our Paul Ramsey Scholars and Fellows will gather this month, and their assignment in this meeting is the Dax Cowart case. In 1973, Mr. Cowart sustained severe burns on over 68% of his body and lost both of his hands, eyes, and ears in a gas leak explosion in Texas. The case has been studied by medical students, lawyers, and ethicist for decades as it raises a number of ethical dilemmas around patient autonomy, pain management, quality of life, and a “right to die.”
September is a busy travel month too—I’ll be speaking in Paris, France, at the Palais du Luxembourg, which is the seat of their Senate. They have convened a conference on surrogacy where we will be welcomed by a communist Senator who opposes surrogacy. Strange bedfellows, but that’s part of the unique way the CBC works!
The following week, I travel to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania to speak at a conference organized by a large Orthodox Cathedral. The theme of the conference is new reproductive technologies in light of Orthodox teaching. Fortunately, as a non-Orthodox Christian, I will be joined by two Orthodox speakers: one who teaches at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary and the other who is a Rector at St. John the Baptist Church.
With people away over the summer our monthly support dwindles. Now it’s time to refill the coffers to keep our modest but effective and important work moving forward. Our Ramsey Institute meeting has all the travel, hotel, and meal costs of bringing a dozen people to town. A gift to help offset these costs will help tremendously as we invest in our future thinkers and leaders.
Our film will need some generous support to help market and promote it. It’s one thing to make a film, but it’s equally as important to get as many people as possible to watch it. If you appreciate our contribution in the area of filmmaking, please consider a gift directed toward this project.
Finally, with our summer intern gone, we are back to an even leaner staff carrying the workload. We desperately need to hire personnel, and quite frankly, we turn away inquiries from talented people because we simply don’t have the funds to hire additional staff. This of course is a larger request, but I share the need in case you are inspired in this way.
Thank you for your ongoing interest in, concern for, and support of our work. We truly could not do it without your help!
Please help us restock our coffers as we enter into the very busy Fall months, traveling, speaking, hosting the Ramsey Institute, releasing an important new film, and more.
The Center for Bioethics and Culture is a non-profit 501(c)(3) public benefit educational organization. All gifts are tax-deductible.
- Jennifer Lahl, MA, BSN, RN, is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address issues of egg trafficking; she has three times addressed the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women on egg and womb trafficking.