Artificial Conception

Epigenetics/Life as Commodity/Spurning Biology/Gene Patents/Eggsploitation/Disorders (2014-2012)

NEW!  Alana Newman asks, "Are There Ethical Considerations Using Third Party Reproduction Methods?"

A Person is a Person No Matter How Small: Dealing With IVF’s Ethical Questions

What are the Rights of Sperm-Donor or Egg-Donor-Conceived People?

Three Parent Embryos for Mitochondrial Disease – Unsafe, Unethical and Unnecessary

Transhumanism:  A New Spin on an Old Notion

Time Lapse Imaging of Embryos – IVF Improvement or Eugenics?

Woman With First Womb Transplant Ends Pregnancy, Baby Had No Heartbeat

Exploitation in the Making? California Considers Bill that Would Allow Researchers to Pay Women for Harvesting Their Eggs

As Yet Unknown:  Myriad Implications

The Need for Informed Consent: The Risks of IVF are Becoming Clearer

Gene Patents Finally Make It to the Supreme Court

Reproduction Without Sex… or, From Sterile Sex to Sterile Reproduction

Baby, or Your Money Back: Fertility Doctor Mass Produces, Then Sells Embryos for $9,800

Company Set to Launch Celebrity Sperm Donor Program

Sperm-Donor Father of 43 Children Passed on Genetic Disorder

Epigenetics: Today’s Brave New World Spurns Biology for Parental Choice

 

CLONING

Human Cloning: The Unethical Manufacturing of Human Life …

 

Alana Newman asks, "Are There Ethical Considerations Using Third Party Reproduction Methods?"
   
Alana S. Newman, the daughter of a sperm-donor and once an egg-donor herself, is now one of the most outspoken critics of 3PR (Third Party Reproduction) and a relentless advocate for the rights of the children created using these methods.  Her passion for this issue inspired her to found AnonymousUS.org, a website providing a safe outlet for people to voice their opinions and experiences with 3PR.      

Alana has also taken her voice and opinions into the realms of music, film, and journalism.  Her voice can be heard on her digital album entitled The Misuse of Chemistry, and she can be seen on her YouTube.com channel exposing the 3PR industry.  Alana recently co-wrote a film, currently in pre-production, entitled Adam & Eva about a woman who sells her eggs for the money she needs to search for her biological, sperm-donor father. 

Alana's articles have appeared in Newsweek, The Washington Post, Women's Health, The Public Discourse, and First Things, and she has been interviewed by NPR and journalists around the globe.  Her recent exposé in ThePublicDiscourse.com, chronicling her experience at a fertility conference, revealed the 3PR industry's big-business, big-money mentality and their disregard for its ultimate effects on the children.

Follow Alana's work and blog on her website AlanaNewman.com and come hear her presentation, "Are There Ethical Considerations for Human Reproduction Using Human Egg/Sperm Donation?" at this year's Bringing America Back to Life Symposium.

[CRTL's Bringing America Back to Life Symposium is the region's premier platform for pro-life activity, allowing the ever-growing number of people committed to protecting Life to get educated, get motivated and get connected. The two-day event features Gala Dinners with the nation's leading pro-life activists; insightful presentations from experts in law, medicine and ethics; educational workshops; and an exhibition hall.
Register today for this amazing event at www.BringingAmericaBackToLife.org or call 440-281-1502 to order tickets.

3 Feb 2014, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE,  Molly Smith,  [email protected] ]

 

 

 

 

A Person is a Person No M

atter How Small: Dealing With IVF’s Ethical Questions

A heartwarming report was recently published by the San Jose Mercury News telling the story of a family whose year’s long dream of parenthood was finally realized when a couple they’d never met donated their 19-year-old frozen embryo to them for adoption.
http://www.lifenews.com/2013/09/10/a-person-is-a-person-no-matter-how-small-dealing-with-ivfs-ethical-questions/

What are the Rights of Sperm-Donor or Egg-Donor-Conceived People?

What are the rights of donor-conceived people? To ask this question is to suggest that we have different rights from everyone else—and so we do, because we’ve allowed it.
http://www.lifenews.com/2013/08/13/what-are-the-rights-of-sperm-donor-or-egg-donor-conceived-people/

 

 

Three Parent Embryos for Mitochondrial Disease – Unsafe, Unethical and Unnecessary

Britain is planning to become the first country in the world to offer controversial ‘three-parent’ fertility treatments to families who want to avoid passing on mitochondrial diseases to their children.

The BBC reported last week on the new techniques, which it is claimed will see children born through a 'three-person IVF' who would carry genetic material from each of three different people.

There are about 50 known mitochondrial diseases (MCDs), which are passed on in genes coded by mitochondrial (as opposed to nuclear) DNA. They range hugely in severity, but for most there is presently no cure and little other than supportive treatment.

It is therefore understandable that scientists and affected families want research into these two related ‘three-parent embryo’ techniques (pronuclear transfer and maternal spindle transfer) to go ahead. But there are good reasons for caution.

This is not about finding a cure. It is about preventing people with MCD being born. We need first to be clear that these new technologies, even if they are eventually shown to work, will do nothing for the thousands of people already suffering from mitochondrial disease or for those who will be born with it in the future.

There are also already some alternative solutions available for affected couples including adoption and egg donation.

But apart from this I’m left with four big questions.

Is it safe? This is far from established. Each technique involves experimental reproductive cloning techniques and germline genetic engineering, both highly controversial and potentially very dangerous.

Cloning by nuclear transfer has so far proved ineffective in humans and unsafe in other mammals with a large number of cloned individuals spontaneously aborting and many others suffering from physical abnormalities or limited lifespans. Also, any changes, or unpredicted genetic problems (mutations) will be passed to future generations. In general, the more manipulation needed, the higher the severity and frequency of problems in resulting embryos and fetuses.

Will it work? I am sceptical. This technology uses similar ‘nuclear transfer’ techniques to those used in ‘therapeutic cloning’ for embryonic stem cells (which has thus far failed to deliver) and animal-human cytoplasmic hybrids (‘cybrids’). The wild claims made about the therapeutic properties of ‘cybrids’ by the biotechnology industry, research scientists, patient interest groups and science journalists duped parliament into legalising and licensing animal human hybrid research in 2008.

Few now will remember Gordon Brown’s empty promises in the Guardian on 18 May that year of ‘cybrids’ offering 'a profound opportunity to save and transform millions of lives' and his commitment to this research as 'an inherently moral endeavour that can save and improve the lives of thousands and over time millions of people'.

That measure was supported in a heavily whipped vote as part of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, now the HFE Act. But ‘cybrids’ are now a farcical footnote in history. They have not worked and investors have voted with their feet. Ironically, it was in that same Act of Parliament, that provision for this new research was also made.

Is it ethical? No, there are huge ethical issues. A large number of human eggs will be needed for the research, involving ‘harvesting’ that is both risky and invasive for women donors. How many debt-laden students or desperate infertile women will be exploited and incentivised by being offered money or free IVF treatment in return for their eggs? How many thousands of human embryos will be destroyed?

If it ever works, what issues of identity confusion will arise in children with effectively three biological parents? What does preventing those with mitochondrial disease being born say about how we value people already living with the condition? Where will this selection end? Some mitochondrial diseases are much less serious than others. Once we have judged some affected babies not worthy of being conceived, where do we draw the line, and who should draw it?

Is the debate being handled responsibly? No. The research scientists involved have huge financial and research-based vested interests and getting the regulatory changes and research grants to continue and extend their work is dependent on them being able to sell their case to funders, the public and decision-makers. Hence their desire for attention-grabbing media headlines and heart rending (but highly extreme and unusual) human interest stories that are often selective about what facts they present.

It must be tempting for politicians to make promises of ‘miracle cures’ in years to come which no one may remember. But I suspect it is much more about media hype than real hope.

This new push is being driven as much by prestige for government, research grants for scientists and profits for biotechnology company shareholders as anything else.

Let’s keep a cool head and instead concentrate on finding real treatments and providing better support for affected individuals and their families rather than spending limited health resources on unethical, risky and highly uncertain high tech solutions that will most likely never deliver.

Reprinted with permission from pjsaunders.blogspot.ca
[2 July 2013,  http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/three-parent-embryos-for-mitochondrial-disease-unsafe-unethical-and-un?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=5ec1a50726-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines_06_19_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0caba610ac-5ec1a50726-326232694 ; Peter Saunders, 28 June 13]

 

 

 

Transhumanism:  A New Spin on an Old Notion
 
Many of the key issues in bioethics are just that, particular issues regarding life that are deemed either ethical, unethical, or somewhere in between. However, bioethicists are also now facing something much larger than any single issue. They are facing a philosophy that can and likely will turn into an ideology, meaning a system of ideas that can influence economic and political policy. This radical ideology is Transhumanism.

Back in 2004, Francis Fukuyama deemed Transhumanism as one of the world's most dangerous ideologies ("Transhumanism" article here.) Additionally, sociologist Stephen Lilley posed the question in his recent book in 2012, "What dangerous ideologies today have the power to shock?" (p.

1). Transhumanism is his response (p.1). It is evident that Fukuyama was on to something regarding Transhumanism philosophy morphing into a dangerous ideology. So what exactly is this radical system of ideas that is buzzing around the bioethical dinner table?

According to a leading synthesizer of the movement Nick Bostrom:
"Transhumanism is a loosely defined movement…[that] promotes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and evaluating the opportunities for enhancing the human condition and the human organism opened up by the advancement of technology."

Transhumanists seek to use medicine and technology to overcome biological limitations in order to transcend the human condition. They seek enhancement over therapy. Bostrom seems to hint that Transhumanism is new and recently has been "opened up by the advancement of technology." This may be true to some degree, but Transhumanism is strikingly similar to the ideas of human nature found in modern political philosophy. One could even concur that French Aristocrat Alexis De Tocqueville predicted Transhumanist philosophy in America in his most famous work Democracy in America, written in 1831.

Tocqueville in Vol. 2 Part 1 of Democracy in America includes a chapter titled "How Equality Suggests to the Americans the Idea of the Indefinite Perfectibility of Man." He begins by noting how an equality of conditions found in democracies and particularly in America suggests the idea of human perfectibility. Tocqueville contrasts this idea with aristocracy where man is born into a social class and does not "struggle against an inevitable destiny" (p.427).  In democracy however, "…the image of an ideal and always fugitive perfection is presented to the human mind" (p.427).  Tocqueville writing nearly 200 years ago seems to predict this philosophy of achieving an indefinite perfectible man in American democracy, and Transhumanism is certainly its proof.

Another interesting tie that Transhumanism has with modern philosophy is with Thomas Hobbes' great political work, Leviathan. The figure of the Leviathan found on the cover as both symbol and title — an overwhelming, powerful figure comprising many men — is also known as the "Artificial Man."

Although Hobbes is using the figure to demonstrate modern representative government, his artificial man seems to presage Transhumanism's aim through biotechnology. For Hobbes, man needs to invent his way out of nature through contracts and consent in order to preserve himself, escaping human nature's brutish condition. Similarly for Transhumanists, man perfects himself (through the use of technology) to not only preserve himself, but also enhance himself in an indefinite way that also escapes the human condition.

Transhumanism has the potential to be more than a movement as Bostrom suggests, and develop into an ideology for a variety of reasons. One reason that comes readily to mind is Transhumanism's overlay to modern philosophy, which drastically influenced the western world:  this innately adds to its appeal. On the one hand it may be reassuring to know that the notion of inventing man out of his human condition has been around for much longer than Transhumanism.
However, it is also frightening to see it manifested into a paradigm that embraces enhancing humans so that they could lose their biological selves and no longer even be considered human (Ingmar Persson and Julian Savulescu, "Moral Transhumanism").

As nanotechnology, biotechnology, cognitive science, and other technological advances continue to emerge, the ideological potentiality of Transhumanism also increases.
 
For your Further reading
 
Beyond Therapy:  Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness
    President's Council on Bioethics (Washington, D.C.:  
     PCOB, 2004)

Biotechnology:  Our Future as Human Beings and Citizens
     Sean D. Sutton, Editor (Albany, NY:  State University of
     New York, 2009)
[23 May 2013, D. Joy Riley, M.D., The Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture ]

Time Lapse Imaging of Embryos – IVF Improvement or Eugenics?

Various media outlets (including The Times (£), The Telegraph, BBC, The Independent and The Guardian) have published articles reporting on how fertility specialists from Nottingham have developed a radical technique that will ‘dramatically improve’ the chances of IVF couples having a baby.
http://www.lifenews.com/2013/05/20/time-lapse-imaging-of-embryos-ivf-improvement-or-eugenics/

Woman With First Womb Transplant Ends Pregnancy, Baby Had No Heartbeat
This is so incredibly sad for so many reasons. There is really nothing else to say. (I have already expressed my concerns about uterine transplants here.)

From the UK’s Daily Mail: A woman who was the first to have a successful womb transplant from a dead donor has had her pregnancy terminated after the embryo showed no heartbeat, doctors in Turkey have said.
http://www.lifenews.com/2013/05/19/woman-with-first-womb-transplant-end-pregnancy-baby-had-no-heartbeat/

 

 

 

 

Exploitation in the Making? California Considers Bill that Would Allow Researchers to Pay Women for Harvesting Their Eggs

Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla (D-Concord) has introduced a bill, AB 926, that would remove the prohibition on paying women to donate their eggs for research purposes. Certain types of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research require large numbers of oocytes  which are used to create embryos that are later destroyed in the research process.

Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (Human Cloning) is one type of research that will require numerous human eggs. (For further reading, see this piece from the Center for Bioethics and Culture.)

Currently, women who donate their eggs for reproductive purposes may receive compensation for the time and inconvenience associated with the process (note that this is inconvenience can turn into serious health risks).

However, by allowing payment for research-destined egg donation, an entire new industry is created, one that will likely have an disparate adverse impact on low-income women.

“We’re talking about offering women thousands of dollars,” comments Dana Cody, President and Executive Director of Life Legal Defense Foundation. “Understandably, this would appeal to a lot of women, especially in these economic times. But these women will undergo invasive medical procedures with significant health risks, and for what? To have their eggs harvested for use in research that destroys nascent human life.”

Read more — http://www.lldf.org/in-the-public-square/exploitation-in-the-making/
[19 April 2013, LLDF]

 

 

As Yet Unknown:  Myriad Implications
 
by D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A., Executive Director

Life seems to have been good for the Myriad Genetics company. It was slightly less than 20 years ago (1994) that a genetic link was discovered for some cases of breast or ovarian cancer. That genetic link involved mutations of one or both BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BR = breast; CA = cancer) genes on the long arm of Chromosome 17. By 1996, Myriad Genetics had a patent on that section of ever

yone's DNA. That is, for anyone to be tested for BRCA1 or BRCA2, blood had to be submitted to Myriad Genetics, along with payment for the testing. No one else is allowed to test for these markers.

The National Cancer Institute cites BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes as known stabilizers of DNA, which "help prevent uncontrolled cell growth."  Mutations of either gene are associated with several different cancers, and not only in females. To name a few: colon, pancreatic, and breast cancer can occur in either males or females with mutations of these genes. (For a more complete listing, see the NCI website here.)

According to the Myriad Genetics website, 1,000,000 patients "have benefitted from" (sic) their testing. Their website says that $100 is the "average out-of-pocket expense for BRACAnalysis." The site also states that >5,000 women "have benefitted from Myriad's patient assistance program in the last three years." (sic)

How much does BRCA testing cost? Steven Salzberg, in "Myriad Genetics CEO Claims He Owns Your Genes," (Forbes) quotes $4,000 per patient. Even if insurance pays most of that, he questions, should a company have a patent on genes, and should they have a monopoly on a genetic test? He points out that "we can now sequence an entire genome for $4000, and this test only looks at 2 genes out of more than 20,000."  (Ibid). He concludes that the motivating factor in Myriad Genetics is greed, citing the CEO's 2011 salary as evidence: $4.87 million.

Salzberg is Professor of Medicine and Biostatistics in the Institute of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins University's School of Medicine. He and a colleague have released free software that can be used by an individual to check for BRCA mutations (in sequenced DNA) on a home computer.  (Forbes)

In 2009, the Public Patent Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed suit against Myriad Genetics. Myriad's patents were invalidated by a federal judge in 2010, but that decision was reversed on appeal. Now the Supreme Court is considering the case, after oral arguments this week.  The Public Patent Foundation and ACLU have been joined in this opposition to gene patenting by the filing of amicus curiae briefs from 100 organizations and individuals, including the Southern Baptist Convention and James Watson, one of the founders of DNA structure. 

At the appeals court level, the decision turned on the term   isolated DNA. The judges deciding the case reasoned that "isolated DNA" does not occur in nature; therefore, Myriad Genetics could patent it.  One can hope that the Supreme Court understands the science and refuses to continue to allow companies to "own" the genetic fingerprints of our humanity. Given that roughly 20% of our genes have been patented, the outcome of this case promises to be anything but "isolated."

[20 Apr 2013, by D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A., Executive Director, April E-Newsletter from Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture] 

 

 

 

The Need for Informed Consent: The Risks of IVF are Becoming Clearer

For decades now, women have been undergoing the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF) without truly knowing the risks that IVF might hold for their health or the health of their children. http://www.lifenews.com/2010/03/02/bio-3063/

 

 

Gene Patents Finally Make It to the Supreme Court

The long and twisted court battle over the patenting of genes is finally going to the Supreme Court.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has rightly sued Myriad Genetics and the US Patent Office over the granting of patents on naturally occurring human genes.
http://www.lifenews.com/2012/12/06/gene-patents-finally-make-it-to-the-supreme-court/

 

 

 

Reproduction Without Sex… Really?

On 20 December 2012, CNN published a story entitled, "Reproduction without sex, a liberating future."  The author of the article is a science writer in Britain, Aarathi Prasad, and author of Like a Virgin: How Science is Redesigning the Rules of Sex. Was this an early Christmas story? No. This was not a reference to the miraculous virgin birth. The article, in combination with a video of the author, was, instead, a celebration of the separation of reproduction and sex.

In the video, Ms. Prasad describes an experiment in which an egg was taken from a female mouse, and fertilized with a very immature egg (which functioned like a sperm) from another female mouse. Voilà! A mouse which had two mothers was born. And it was fertile, able as an adult mouse to produce mice in the "natural way." The author enthuses that perhaps in the future a woman will be able to fertilize her own egg with another egg of her own, in a similar fashion. Or, a gay couple could have an egg fashioned from one partner's very immature sperm, and then fertilized with the other man's sperm. All that would be needed is an artificial womb. An artificial womb would "circumvent" the current situation of paying a poor woman to gestate a baby for such a couple.

The article ["Reproduction without sex, a liberating future" http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/20/opinion/prasad-reproduction-sex/] concludes, among other things, that technology that gives an individual the capability to generate healthy eggs and sperm from his/her own body and allows a baby to be gestated independently could offer us a more ethical option than what we do today.
 
One concern of the author necessitates that we "not rush" into this, however. Ms. Prasad states in the video, " . . . we need to be assured that, whatever results of it, we will get healthy children."

The advent of contraception, and particularly "The Pill," allowed sex to be separated from reproduction. 

Now, technological developments have made possible the separation of reproduction from sex. 

With contraception, a man and woman could engage in sex without facing the responsibility of child-rearing. 

With the technologies described in the CNN article and video, a child can be reproduced, or "made," from only one individual or a pair of the same sex in ways not previously known. 

We have gone from "sterile sex" to "sterile reproduction" in just a few decades.  

In a world where reproducing by oneself is seen as "more ethical" than a child with a mother and father, what constitutes a proper response? If this is the desired end, then one need do nothing, but watch as the roller coaster leaves the station and gathers momentum.

Alternatively, one can speak into the culture words of hope and life that promote the human dignity of all people, be they adults, children, or embryonic humans. We can talk about the miracle of being "begotten" – not "made." We can en

courage a world where children are welcomed as incarnated love instead of viewed as reproduction projects to be judged for their quality, and accepted only when they pass muster. In which world would you rather live?

[22 Dec 12, Dr. Joy Riley, The Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture works daily to promote and defend human dignity from conception until natural death, www.tennesseecbc.org]

 

 

 

Baby, or Your Money Back: Fertility Doctor Mass Produces, Then Sells Embryos for $9,800

A doctor in Davis, California is promising a successful IVF pregnancy for just $9,800, with an unheard-of money-back guarantee.  The catch?  Patients will be implanted with someone else’s baby.

In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is notoriously expensive.  A single round of IVF averages $12,400, with no guarantee of a pregnancy.  Women wishing to become pregnant using the method must often undergo the procedure repeatedly until they end up with a baby or run out of money, since insurance typically limits how much can be spent on the procedure.

Dr. Ernest Zeringue cuts costs by creating a large batch of embryos from one egg donor and one sperm donor, and implanting them in several patients. The clinic, not the customer, controls the embryos.  This way, he can make babies for three or four clients while paying only once for donors and laboratory work.
Dr. Ernest Zeringue

People who buy this option from Zeringue make compromises some find unsettling. They are genetically unrelated to their children, and the children will likely have biological siblings born to other parents.

Zeringue describes the process on the clinic’s website as similar to adoption, but more enjoyable, with fewer legal complications.

“Since the embryo donors have waived their parental rights to the embryos,” Zeringue writes, “the intended mother gets to carry and grow her child with no legal challenges or problems with parental rights after childbirth. Intended parents get to enjoy being pregnant, have their names placed on their baby’s birth certificate, and build a family without the complexities of adoption.”

Conservative bioethics writer Wesley Smith slammed Zeringue’s scheme. “What a world: Now, it doesn’t even matter who and where the babies come from,” he said. “The commoditization of human life continues. Regulate?  Not in our entitled age.”

“I am horrified by the thought of this,” Andrew Vorzimer, a Los Angeles fertility lawyer, told the Los Angeles Times. Echoing Smith’s criticism, Vorzimer added,  “It is nothing short of the commodification of children.”

Dr. Robert Klitzman, a bioethicist at Columbia University, agreed with Vorzimer.  He told the Times that Zeringue’s approach essentially amounted to creating embryos for sale.  “It gets kind of creepy,” Klitzman said. “There is a yuck factor. We need to proceed very carefully.”

Zeringue, however, dismisses ethical concerns about his methods.  Most of his customers have run out of money and patience by the time they come to his clinic, he said. “They’re kind of at the end of the line.”

Natosha Dukart, from Calgary, was one of them.  She and her husband, Brad, spent more than $100,000 on IVF without success. They maxed out their credit cards, flipped houses and moved four times to fund eight rounds of IVF.  Still, they had no baby.

Then Natosha found Zeringue’s clinic, California Conceptions.  The money-back guarantee proved impossible to resist.

With no financial risk, Natosha told the Times, “It was an easy choice.”

She sent their photographs to Zeringue and applied for a Caucasian baby. Two months later, they received a profile of an embryo the clinic had frozen in storage. Both donors had brown eyes and healthy family histories.

The Dukarts liked the description. So last February, they traveled to California to undergo their ninth round of IVF – this time using embryos created by strangers.

“It was just as emotional as it was with our own embryos,” she said.

The Dukarts didn’t end up needing to take advantage of Zeringue’s money-back guarantee.  Last month, Natosha gave birth to a baby girl she named Milauna.
[21 Nov 12, Kirsten Andersen, Davis, CA,  http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/baby-or-your-money-back-fertility-doctor-mass-produces-then-sells-embryos-f?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=cdf796c793-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines_11_21_2012&utm_medium=email]

 

 

 

IVF Doc Makes Mass Quantities of Human Embryos for Sale Cheap

You knew it would come to this. To reduce costs, an IVF doctor is making mass quantities of embryos and selling them on the cheap.

http://www.lifenews.com/2012/11/21/ivf-doc-makes-mass-quantities-of-human-embryos-for-sale-cheap/

 

 

 

CLONING

Human Cloning: The Unethical Manufacturing of Human Life

James Watson, the co-discoverer of the DNA double helix demonstrated that just because one is a brilliant scientist, that doesn’t mean he or she is also a good ethicist.

http://www.lifenews.com/2012/12/21/human-cloning-the-unethical-manufacturing-of-human-life/

 

 

 

 

Epigenetics is a game changer.

What is epigenetics? It is a field of study that looks at how and why genes are turned on and off.

Remainder of article — http://www.lifenews.com/2012/09/12/todays-brave-new-world-spurns-biology-for-parental-choice/

 

 

Company Set to Launch Celebrity Sperm Donor Program


The Church warned us if we separated procreation from the physical act of love between a husband and wife, children would become commodities, man-made objects to be ordered from a menu to satisfy the whim of the parents.

http://www.lifenews.com/2012/10/17/company-set-to-launch-celebrity-sperm-donor-program/

Sperm-Donor Father of 43 Children Passed on Genetic Disorder

A Danish man who fathered 43 children at 14 different IVF clinics in ten different countries by donating sperm, passed on a genetic disorder to at least five babies born from IVF procedures, it has been revealed. The man was allowed to continue donating, despite national rules in Denmark restricting donors to 25 times.

It is not known how many of the children have developed the nerve disorder Neurofibromatosis type I, a condition that causes non-cancerous tumours to grow around nerves, resulting in scoliosis, learning difficulties, eye problems, and epilepsy.

The clinic,

Nordisk Cryobank, admitted that the incident was a result of inadequate testing.

Clinic director general, Peter Bower, told AFP that Denmark’s rules regarding confidentiality prevented him from giving information on the children’s age or nationalities. A Swedish national news service, however, revealed that at least 18 children in Sweden and Norway have been conceived using sperm from the same man, identified as “donor 7042”.

The clinic has admitted they knew as early as 2009 that at least one of the children born from the man’s sperm had been diagnosed with the disease, but had failed to act. “Our team of physicians and our geneticist looked at the case but didn’t consider there to be reason enough to suspect it was the donor and therefore no reason to stop the use of his sperm,” Bower said.

The Danish national health service has responded by reducing the number of times a single person can donate sperm to 12, to come into effect October 1st.

Since the proliferation of artificial methods of reproduction like in vitro fertilisation, legislatures around the world have struggled to keep up with the ethical and practical problems these practices have created. The Catholic Church has been clear that nearly all the artificial procreation techniques now commonly offered commercially are “gravely evil,” either because they deprive the child of the right to be conceived and born naturally within their biological families or merely because they deprive many of the children created of their lives.

Despite the fact that there are between 30,000-60,000 children born annually through sperm donation in the United States, no national body is charged with the task of keeping track of who is related to whom.

A 2010 study by the Commission on Parenthood found connections between sperm donation and long-term problems with depression, delinquency, and substance abuse. Titled, “My Daddy’s Name is Donor: A New Study of Young Adults Conceived Through Sperm Donation,” the study found that young people conceived through artificial means are “more confused, and feel more isolated from their families” than children born through natural means.

Two-thirds of those surveyed agreed, ‘My sperm donor is half of who I am.’ About half said they are disturbed that money was involved in their conception. More than half said that when they see someone who resembles them they wonder if they are related. Nearly half say they have feared being attracted to or having sexual relations with someone to whom they are unknowingly related, the study found.

Further, two thirds said that donor offspring have a right to know about their origins, a right that is so far not upheld by the law.

“About half of donor offspring have concerns about or serious objections to donor conception itself, even when parents tell their children the truth,” the study said.
[25 SEPT 12, Hilary White, Copenhagen, http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/sperm-donor-father-of-43-children-passed-on-genetic-disease?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com+Daily+Newsletter&utm_ campaign=7110214247-LifeSiteNews_com_US_Headlines_09_25_2012&utm_medium=email]