Tag Archives: Bioethics

Should a UK woman be able to fertilize, implant and gestate her deceased daughter’s frozen eggs?

By: Elizabeth Yuko, Ph.D.

While many parents of children of childbearing age make no secret of their desire to become grandparents, one woman in the UK took her request to the High Court.

Britain’s High Court has denied the 59-year-old woman – whose daughter died in 2011 at the age of 28 – the right to use her deceased daughter’s frozen eggs after determining that it wasn’t clear that the daughter had wanted her eggs used for this purpose.

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Dignity, By Virtue of Bodily Requirements

Felix Gonzales Torres,

Felix Gonzales Torres, Untitled (1991).

STUDENT VOICES

By: Robert Schmaltz

“Act so that the effects of your action are compatible with the permanence of genuine human life…”

~ Hans Jonas (1984)

Human dignity refers to a kind of value that is difficult to distinguish without first recognizing something unique to the embodied human, the capacity to not only sustain life but radically proliferate a state of wellbeing and the capacity to absolutely annihilate. Humans can improve upon the excellences of physical conditions almost ceaselessly, tenderly care for the most fragile of conditions, and we can break bodies beyond comprehension. Why has some skepticism emerged from comparing the value of dignity to the function of autonomy? I uphold the view that for autonomy to have any worth, which it does, it must be preceded by the recognizable value of dignity. Ultimately, the objective value of human dignity is held in the practice of living and sustaining embodied lives.

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Immigrant Detention, Genetic Testing, and Moral Obligations to LGBT Youth: Theories & Applications in Contemporary Ethics

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The Fordham University Center for Ethics Education is hosting a 3-day intensive cross-disciplinary graduate course entitled “Theories and Applications in Contemporary Ethics.” The course will take place next week, from May 19-21, 2015 on the Rose Hill campus.

Each day will feature two Fordham faculty members from different departments presenting on and discussing different topics in contemporary ethics. Using a team-teaching approach, this course brings together faculty from six disciplines to provide foundational knowledge about moral philosophy, moral theology, and bioethics, and features lectures and case discussion on issues of current social importance.

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What Mad Men’s Betty Draper-Francis Can Teach Us About Paternalism in Medicine

January Jones as Betty Draper-Francis on AMC's Mad Men.

January Jones as Betty Draper-Francis on AMC’s Mad Men.

By: Elizabeth Yuko, Ph.D.

Warning: spoilers ahead.

The penultimate episode of AMC’s Mad Men provided an all-too-familiar portrayal of the paternalistic nature of medicine via the handling of Betty Draper-Francis’s diagnosis of lung cancer. While the episode takes place in 1970 and there has since been a gradual shift to a more patient-centered approach in medicine, it offers a glimpse into power imbalances in medical care that still can occur today.

When Betty’s new classmates bring her to the emergency room, the first words out of the doctor’s mouth are “Mrs. Francis, is it possible to get your husband down here?” Betty assumes it is for the purpose of driving her home, but the doctor assures her that it is, in fact, for the purpose of explaining her condition to her husband, Henry, either prior to or at the same time he discloses the diagnosis to Betty.

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Is the moratorium on editing the human genome ethically justifiable?

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Last month, leading scientists called for a worldwide moratorium on the use of new technologies that would enable editing of the human genome. If put into practice, this technique has the ability to alter human DNA that is inherited, thereby changing the human germline and potentially controlling human heredity.

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Measles Outbreak: A Public Price for the Preeminence of Autonomy?

By Ken Ochs

The recent measles outbreak has led to policy discussions among 2016 presidential hopefuls, a systematic mobilization of public health groups to combat the surging number of cases, and the near-inevitability that tougher laws on vaccinations will soon be debated and subsequently passed in legislatures across the country.

Historically, states have dealt with the issue in remarkably different ways, with very little in common aside from their tolerance for exemptions for medical reasons. California, the source of the current outbreak, allows for “religious” and “philosophical” exemptions—the types of dispensations that would be targeted by new regulations.

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Buy Buy Baby? The Ethics of Crowdfunding Babies

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By: Elizabeth Yuko, Ph.D.

Between adoption and advancing reproductive technologies, there are ever-increasing options for individuals and families who wish to have a baby. Recent reports indicate that the high costs associated with these processes have resulted in some using crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter.com and GoFundMe.com to raise money for fees associated with adoption, surrogacy, and assisted reproductive techniques such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Indeed, certain forms of assisted reproduction raise ethical questions in and of themselves, but in this case, our concern is whether it matters how funds for these processes are raised, and who provides the funding. In other words, is utilizing a crowdfunding website an ethically acceptable way to raise funds for adoption, IVF, and surrogacy? If so, is it significant who pays for these processes? Is anything owed to the people who contribute?

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