biomedical ethics: July 2004 Archives


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I have been told that a video press release was recently sent out talking about using Natural Procreative Technology (an offspring of Creighton model NFP) and how it helped a couple with infertility.
If any of you have seen this on your local news programs, could you please drop me a comment with the call sign and location of the TV station? Thanks.
I am still in Omaha, having a wonderful learning time. I just obtained a fresh off the press copy of Dr. Hilgers' brand new textbook and it is wonderful. It is true to the magisterium through and through and also meticulously documents the beauty of God's design for human procreation, as well as ways to assist it without the tragic and dehumanizing interventions that have become almost routine in this country. Well worth the nearly $200!

posting from Omaha

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Happy St Mary Magdalen day! I'm here staying with a friend and her family while we both attend a conference. I tell you, it is wonderful to be at a conference that has daily Mass attended by most of the participants!
I heard a heart-breaking story today about an experience with IVF (in-vitro fertilization, aka test-tube babies). I have never thought IVF to be a good idea even without the moral implications, but I will admit that I have thought about it from the woman's POV. This tale of woe caused me to think about the man's experience, suffering shame and humiliation and performance pressure, for love of his wife and desire for a child of their genes. It is really sad that our culture has so adopted the mentality of 'bypass' rather than 'diagnose and cure' for infertility.
Maybe we have adopted that erroneous mentality in other areas of life, as well. I am going to mull that one over for a few.

more on conscience and access issues


The Dawn Patrol
also blogs on the Prevention article I mentioned a few posts below.
Dawn - I wish you had comments. There are ways to prescribe the hormone treatment that you are taking without using medication packaged as birth control. There are probably also ways to manage your health problems without impairing your fertility. If you are at all interested, I could certainly refer you to any of a number of health care providers who would not only throw hormones at your problems, but might even get a good diagnosis first.

Military Medical Ethics


I thought that a few readers might be interested in the press release below, just into my mailbox. This is not an endorsement, as I have not read the book.
Latest in Textbooks of Military Medicine Series Offers First-Ever Book on Military Medical Ethics

Washington, DC - Current events in Southwest Asia have once again highlighted the role of US military medicine in providing care for the wounded, whether coalition or enemy. The ethical necessity of this care is the subject of a long-anticipated and unique two-volume set on military medical ethics just released by the Borden Institute. The volumes are written for both military and civilian audiences.

Eugenics then and now over at Amy Welborn's blog.
She links to a CT review of a book by Phillip Jenkins and then adds in her own comments.
I would like to say that eugenics has been a central concept in many science fiction writings over the last 100 years. John Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar, David Brin's Uplift series, Murray Leinster's The Eleventh Commandment have all in their varied ways addressed the subject both of eugenics and its cousin, Darwinian evolutionary theory. Nancy Kress's series that started with Beggars in Spain looks at genetic engineering as well.
I grew up reading science fiction. It is still the literature that I most enjoy reading, a true literature of ideas. I am both amazed and disturbed at the prescience of some of these writers - both in how much they got right about where we are now, as well as how much they didn't get at all.
I remember as I was growing up how I fretted that in a eugenically oriented culture I would not have been allowed to be born. My family has the genes for type 1 diabetes and nearsightedness, to name a couple factors. My dad would tell me that our brains and creative abilities more than compensated for the minor physical 'disabilities' but I was still distressed and disturbed. It didn't help much at all that, even then, we were seen as abnormal for the size of our family (6 children born between 1955 and 1971). The only people who were supposed to have families as large as ours were Catholics (which we weren't) or Mormons (ditto). Intelligent families were supposed to only have 2 or 3 children so that all the resources could be poured into the education and upbringing of those (potentially perfect) children.
I loved it when I read the original book of Cheaper by the Dozen. I especially loved the practical joke about the lady from the Birth Control movement who was sent to solicit funds from the largest family in the neighborhood. If you haven't read the book, go get it. It should be in the Public Library - unless the censors have decided that it isn't PC enough!

Peter Singer: Some people are more equal than others"Singer is pure, disembodied rationality - the Enlightenment made flesh. He measures pain and capacity to suffer in neat units and disregards old-fangled notions such as species or emotion. He discusses killing babies or his mother with the passion of the speaking-clock. Give me Singer over the Vatican-style superstitions he is trying to dispel any day; and yet, as I leave the interview, I can't shake off a strange - Singer would say sentimental - anxiety. "
This is what truly frightens me to read in a newspaper.

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the biomedical ethics category from July 2004.

biomedical ethics: June 2004 is the previous archive.

biomedical ethics: August 2004 is the next archive.

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