Recently in biomedical ethics Category

Is this good or bad?

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Consensus emerging on universal healthcare
One of my concerns about universal health care is that it might force providers to act against their conscience and/or force taxpayers to fund procedures that they find personally abhorrent. Another concern is that a medical bureaucracy might decide to not fund certain classes of provider (midwives, nurse-practitioners, chiropractors, dentists, optometrists, osteopaths) due to pressure from the AMA and other health care unions. Will parents be forced to immunize their children to protect the herd? (I am not saying that immunizations are bad, here, but rather looking at the parent's 'freedom of choice'?). Will the Amish and other plain communities be forced to buy into commercial health insurance? Lots of questions, no clear answers. On the other hand, our current system is not very functional either. Very few persons are paid well enough or have sufficient savings to pay for routine health care, let alone a hospitalization for a major illness or a complicated childbirth or an accidental injury. And since for the last 50 years we have focused, as a culture, on high tech specialty care rather than high touch primary care, health and illness care costs have spiraled out of control. I just don't know.

I do hope and pray that whatever changes there are will help persons like my patient who was just told that her insurance won't cover care from a midwife. No matter that I am certified, licensed, work within the system and have hospital privileges. Midwives as a class are categorically excluded. And it is perfectly legal.

Cardinal Stafford's speech


The new pollutant


Identical triplets!


Despite rare disorder, 'they're the perfect size for triplets' - Rockford, IL - Rockford Register Star

Many moms who have the twin version of this condition (twin to twin transfusion) are advised to abort one or both of the babies - and many OBs are not aware of the option of the laser procedure that can save many of these babies.

Also, please note that the community has set up a fundraising site to help the parents with the extraordinary expenses involved here. There is a lot that insurance doesn't cover....

amazing pro life story

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In today's bulletin

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"The new frontiers reached in bioethics do not require us to choose between science and morality: rather, they oblige us to a moral use of science." Pope Benedict XVI, Address to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, January 31, 2008

On some levels, Christians dropped the ball a few years ago by allowing those who practice the religion of secularism to define the language and the terms. They used a very successful tactic of creating a dichotomy between faith and reason. But faith is more than mere credulity, and reason is more than narrow and cold logic.

If science is the act of discovering how the world works, and the world was created by God, how can there truly be a dichotomy? It is mainly that we are like the blind men and the elephant, each of us seeing only our own small bit of the puzzle. "We see as through a glass, darkly".



Husband's love and a rollicking save coma wife - Telegraph
They were ready to shut off her life support - one wonders how many other cases like this we haven't heard about.

It was only a matter of time

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Giving birth becomes the latest job outsourced to India as commercial surrogacy takes off
Does this exploit women? Does this contribute to the idea of a child as a possession rather than a person?

fetal surgery for anomalies


unheard of

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I just came off of a 24 hour plus labor so I am a little bit spacy. I heard from family that Emma has been 'promoted' out of NICU into the Special Care unit - she is doing that well right now. I am told that it is basically 'unheard of' for a gastro baby to spend so little time in NICU.....The real downside is that the stepdown unit isn't as family friendly as the NICU - not the people but the architecture makes it more difficult. And it is likely that Emma will bounce back and forth between NICU and Special care.

She will be getting an MRI in order for the neuro folks to decide the best course of action regarding her shunt. For the MRI, she will need to be sedated and that might mean some time back in the NICU - or maybe not. We are still in a waiting and holding pattern.

All the prayers have really been effective. They are all appreciated.

an interesting perspective


abortion hurts women?

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Wall Street Journal Examines Down Syndrome Detection Test (Nuchal Translucency) -

An ultrasound test called nuchal translucency increasingly is being used as a method to detect the risk that an infant will be born with Down syndrome, the Wall Street Journal reports. The test involves a blood screening followed by an ultrasound about one week later at 11 to 13 weeks' gestation to determine the size of a fetus and the thickness of its neck. (snip)
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in January recommended that all pregnant women be offered nuchal translucency. Based on the personalized risk assessment, a woman can then decide whether to undergo a test, such as chorionic villus sampling, or an amniocentesis, both of which detect almost all cases of Down syndrome but have an increased risk of miscarriage, according to the Journal. About one in 800 infants is born with Down syndrome, the Journal reports (Wall Street Journal, 5/8).

We spend several minutes of the first prenatal visit talking with moms (and dads) about all the optional testing available to them. Thanks to ACOG, we must discuss screening to see if the parents carry the genes for CF. Thanks to a few "wrongful life" lawsuits, we must discuss maternal serum screening with all, and amniocentesis with moms over the age of 35. Now, we must also discuss the above cited 'early' Down Syndrome screening.

I work within the system, but there are many days when I just want to become an outlaw, a rebel. I won't. I realize that my rebellious reactions are not necessarily what I am called to! but I do get so very frustrated, I really do.

carried to term against medical advice


a great thing happened here


Power of Prayer: Amelia White
Thank God for the Catholic hospital who followed the rules.

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