Category Archives: Bio-Ethics

Latest Zika Info Lacking Balance

Summary: Nobody should be careless about getting Zika. But allowing a panic to deflect attention from the most important issues is no help either.

mikroKephalyKidsThese are Microcephaly Kids. Their Moms probably didn’t have Zika.

As you can see, they’re terrific people. I want to be with them.

If God were to send me one, I would probably learn to “wag more, bark less” from them.

wagmoreBarklessThe most highly regarded American reporter, Sharyl Attkisson, reports that while Zika has been associated with increased incidences of microcephaly births, there is little evidence that the Zika infection itself directly causes the microcephaly birth defect. An insecticide that people were drinking may be the cause.
Pyriproxyfen

  • For 70 years, Zika wasn’t linked to microcephaly birth defects. The link was made only after a 2015 rise in microcephaly in Brazil coincident with a Zika outbreak.
  • An Argentina doctors’ group said Brazil’s rash of microcephaly was noticed shortly after some communities began using the larvicide  Pyriproxyfen  in drinking water. It’s a hypothesis, a probability, Dr. Medardo Avila Vazquez, a pediatrician in Cordoba, Argentina and main author of the report told NPR. And for us, its more likely that it’s the chemical larvicide and not Zika. After the report by the Argentina doctors, one Brazilian state announced it would stop putting Pyriproxyfen in drinking water.
  • Zika is considered one of the mildest mosquito-borne viruses. More than 80% of people who get Zika don’t become sick and have no symptoms.

The image below is repeated in most Zika stories. It conveys a sense of suffering. The viewer is probably unaware that the placement of the image in the stories unconsciously links fears of having imperfect children with the crying and sense of suffering.
ZikaNewsMicrocephalyChild
A perfect, beautiful child crying would convey a very different “left brain” message.
beautifulCryingBaby

Children conceived via IVF have double the autism rates of others

By Erica Pearson | NEW YORK DAILY NEWS | Thursday, March 26, 2015

genetic_test_ivf

A DISTINCTION WITHOUT A DIFFERENCE: “Higher Autism Rates among In Vitro Fertilization Conceived Children ‘Might’ be Due to Multiple Births or Complications during Pregnancy that can Follow Such Treatments”

Autism rates are twice as high for children conceived using assisted reproductive technology like in vitro fertilization, scientists found in a new study of nearly 6 million California children.

The researchers didn’t find a direct link between treatments like IVF and autism, however. They say the higher rates can be explained by the large number of multiple births or complications during pregnancy that can follow fertility treatments.

  • Mental disability
  • Birth defects
  • Genetic damage
    • Retinoblastoma (eye cancer)
    • Kidney cancer (Wilms tumor)
  • Multiple births
  • Premature delivery and low birth weight
  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
  • Miscarriage
  • Egg-retrieval procedure complications
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Ovarian cancer

For moms giving birth to just one baby, there’s no increased risk of the neuro-developmental disorder, researchers said.

During IVF, doctors combine eggs and sperm in a laboratory and then implant the embryos that are formed into a woman’s uterus. To increase the chances of pregnancy, doctors will implant up to three embryos — which boosts the possibility of carrying twins or triplets.

2377 Techniques involving only the married couple (homologous artificial insemination and fertilization) … remain morally unacceptable. They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act. The act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons give themselves to one another, but one that “entrusts the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person. Such a relationship of domination is in itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children.” “Under the moral aspect procreation is deprived of its proper perfection when it is not willed as the fruit of the conjugal act, that is to say, of the specific act of the spouses’ union . . . . Only respect for the link between the meanings of the conjugal act and respect for the unity of the human being make possible procreation in conformity with the dignity of the person.” CCC 2377
The study was a collaborative effort of researchers at Columbia University, Fordham University, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was published by the American Journal of Public Health.

“While the risk of ART (assisted reproductive technology) with respect to autism appears to be largely modifiable by restricting the procedure to single-embryo transfer, more research is needed to understand the precise mechanisms by which ART and autism are linked,” author Columbia University Professor Peter Bearman said in a release.

Expert warns of IVF timebomb…

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Pro-abortion researcher admits: aborting “imperfect” children creates disability rights conflicts

November 29, 2014 | Sarah Terzo | Live Action News

downKids1

Years ago, Rayna Rapp discovered that her baby would be afflicted with down syndrome. She and her partner chose for her to have an abortion. Ever since then, she has been writing about fetal testing and abortion. A supporter of legal abortion who has herself worked in an abortion clinic, the reader can be assured that she writes with no pro-life bias.

In her book, Testing Women, Testing the Fetus: the Social Impact of Amniocentesis in America, she interviewed women and couples who were waiting for the results of an amniocentesis to discover whether their babies would have down syndrome or another genetic disability.

Most intended to abort if the test indicated a problem, though Rapp did describe one or two who spared their disabled babies’ lives. I have cited Rapp’s book before, presenting quotes from some of the men and women who intended to abort a baby with down syndrome. Continue reading

Dehumanizing the Vulnerable: When Word Games Take Lives—William Brennan, PhD (1995)


Dehumanizing the Vulnerable: When Word Games Take Lives (1995)

Father Frank Pavone conducts six 25 minute audio interviews. These were originally broadcast in video format on EWTN TV, but no YouTube videos of Dr. Brennan are currently available.

sensationsDismembermentForcepsElectricCurrent Track 1

Continue reading
testTubeWhirlWind

Awful Story Shows the Dark Side of IVF & Surrogate Motherhood

Reaping the Whirlwind

By Monsignor Charles Pope, Pastor, Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian, Archdiocese of Washington DC
18th Sunday of the Year, August 3, 2014

GammyA Thai woman who carried a baby with Down’s syndrome as a surrogate mother has vowed to take care of the boy after his natural parents gave him up. The Australian couple left Gammy, now six months old, with Pattaramon Chanbua but took his healthy twin sister. (The biological father, David Farnell, has been convicted of 22 sexual-abuse counts against children.) Gammy has a congenital heart condition, a lung infection and Down’s and is in a Thai hospital for urgent treatment. (David Farnell and his wife Wendy asked for a refund for the money they paid for Gammy after they learned of that he suffers from Down Syndrome.) A campaign to help the baby begun online after Thai newspaper Thairath published Gammy’s story last week. It has raised more than $150,000 from 3,400 donors in 11 days. In Australia,

DavidParnellWendyPipah

Gammy’s sister Pipah, father David with his wife Wendy

Prime Minister Tony Abbott expressed his sadness: “I guess it illustrates some of the pitfalls involved in this particular business.” Ms Pattaramon was paid $15,000 to be a surrogate for the Farnells. She was told of the child’s condition four months after becoming pregnant, prompting the couple to ask her to have an abortion. She refused, saying it was against her Buddhist beliefs. (The full article is available here: Surrogate Mother Cares for Disabled Child Rejected by Biological “Parents”.)

Jesus said, “What God has joined together, let no one divide.” But this is exactly what we have done in our divisive and reductionist time. We have done so not only with marriage but also with sexuality, procreation, and the raising of children. God has weaved together sex, marriage, and procreation. But we have separated and isolated them:

1) Regarding sex, we have said that there is no necessary connection between sex and procreation—we have done this with the contraceptive mentality.

2) Regarding marriage, we have said that there is no necessary connection between getting married and having children—we have done this through the widespread use of contraception and now by embracing the notion of same-sex unions.

3) Regarding children, we have even said that there is no necessary connection between having children and having sex—we have done this by in vitro fertilization, surrogate motherhood, and the like. Continue reading

Science Ignored: Dissecting Pregnancy as a Disease

Life is not a “Disease” for which Death is “The Cure”

By Anne Roback Morse | Population Research Institute | July 1, 2014

pop.org/content/science-ignored-dissecting-pregnancy-disease

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court decided Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, and ruled the federal government could not require closely-held corporations to provide no-cost contraception for their employees. Although that was the question before the Supreme Court, there were many things the Supreme Court didn’t have the jurisdiction to rule on yesterday. And the most important of these issues–the basic premise at the root of the case’s ideological divide–was not up for debate: that contraception is preventive health care.

Yes, contraception prevents pregnancy–that’s the whole point–but why is pregnancy considered to be a disease? It is an odd disease that is frequently welcomed by women.

Every Child IS a Wanted Child, 'Cause, If God Didn't Want Them, He Wouldn't Have Made Them

Every Child IS a Wanted Child,
‘Cause, If God Didn’t Want Them,
He Wouldn’t Have Made Them

Contraception as preventive care was not actually written into the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA simply states that health insurance must cover ‘‘such additional preventive care and screenings” as are ordered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The HRSA didn’t define contraception and sterilization as preventive care either. Instead, they consulted the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which wrote a 250 page report entitled “Clinical Preventive Services for Women.” This report recommended that the HRSA adopt contraception and sterilization as preventive care to be provided under the Affordable Care Act.[1]

The 250 page IOM report included a page on the “prevalence/burden” of unintended pregnancy and concluded with: “Recommendation 5.5: The committee recommends for consideration as a preventive service for women: the full range of Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for women with reproductive capacity.”

Noticeably, the report doesn’t consider all pregnancies as an ailment to be avoided. The report doesn’t mention hemorrhaging, pre-eclampsia, or any significant maternal health problems. Ignoring legitimate maternal health issues, the IOM only considers unintended pregnancies an ailment. Their prescription? Contraception and sterilization.

Women whose pregnancies are unintended, the report states, “are more likely than those with intended pregnancies to receive later or no prenatal care, to smoke and consume alcohol during pregnancy, to be depressed during pregnancy, and to experience domestic violence during pregnancy.”

TooManyFlowers


I Will Give You a New Name
I Will Wipe Away Every Tea
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The IOM ignores the fact that many women who experience unintended pregnancies belong to demographics that disproportionately suffer from domestic violence. No amount of condoms in the world will end domestic violence. Nor is synthetic progesterone a magic pill that will prevent immoral men from harming their partners. No matter–the Institute of Medicine has prescribed contraception and sterilization to those women suffering from domestic violence.

The report also blissfully ignores the fact that sex can result in pregnancy even if partners are using contraceptives. According to a study published in Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health: “Contraceptives were used during the month of conception for 48% of the unintended pregnancies that ended in 2001”[2]. That is, almost half of all unintended pregnancies in the United States occur among women actively using contraception during the month of conception. This puts the IOM report in the awkward position of recommending as a remedy the contraceptives that allowed half the unintended pregnancies in the first place. (Ironically, this study is selectively cited several times in the Institute of Medicine’s report.) Continue reading

‘3-Parent Children’—Blatant Human Experimentation on Kids

If we approve ‘3-parent children’ we’d be permitting blatant human experimentation on kids

by Wesley J. Smith | Life Site News | June 4, 2014

lifesitenews.com/blog/if-we-approve-3-parent-children-wed-be-permitting-blatant-human-experimenta

If the “we never say no” Human Embryo Authority in the UK approves the creation of 3-parent embryos, it would be permitting blatant human experimentation on children.

Indeed, I don’t see any other way to look at it. Note the quote below. From the Associated Press story:

Britain’s fertility regulator says controversial techniques to create embryos from the DNA of three people “do not appear to be unsafe” even though no one has ever received the treatment, according to a new report released Tuesday.

The report based its conclusion largely on lab tests and some animal experiments and called for further experiments before patients are treated. “Until a healthy baby is born, we cannot say 100 percent that these techniques are safe,” said Dr. Andy Greenfield, who chaired the expert panel behind the report.

So, to prevent a child being born with a genetic condition we will endanger that child for a potential lifetime of consequences. Or to put it another way, these children will be life-long experiments, even if they are born safely–a big if. Continue reading

Mothers of Extreme Preemies Denied Informed Consent, Babies’ Best Interests Not Served

Full Disclosure: Did Government’s Experiment on Preemies Hide Risks?

Sharyl Attkisson / June 3, 2014

Just 25 weeks into her pregnancy, Sharrissa Cook gave birth to a critically ill baby boy. Dreshan weighed in at a fragile 1 pound, 11 ounces…Read More


The Oxygen Dilemma

Doctors say babies are at risk of complications even when born at 37 weeks, now considered early term. The stated goal of the SUPPORT study [“Surfactant, Positive Airway Pressure, and Pulse Oximetry Randomized Trial”] was to identify the best oxygen level for extremely preterm infants—generally those born before 25 weeks, and so especially in distress.

“The word ‘unethical’ doesn’t even begin to describe the egregious and shocking deficiencies in the informed-consent process for this study. Parents of the infants who were enrolled in this study were misled about its purpose. They were misled to believe everything being done was in the ‘standard of care’ and therefore posed no predictable risk to the babies.” — Dr. Michael CaromeMedical personnel routinely give supplemental oxygen to babies who are born with immature lungs. Too much oxygen can cause severe eye damage, including a blood vessel disease and blindness called retinopathy. Too little oxygen can lead to brain damage and death.

The NIH-funded experiment used the test babies in an attempt to find the sweet spot for preemies yet to be born: the lowest level of oxygen that would preserve vision, yet be sufficient to prevent brain damage and death.

To get the answer, researchers arbitrarily assigned infants to either a high-oxygen or low-oxygen group. Because, researchers say, all oxygen levels fell within the generally accepted range, they argue the babies received the same “standard of care” as babies not in the study. None of the consent forms mentioned a risk of death from the oxygen experiment.

But it turns out there were key differences in how researchers treated babies in the study compared with those not in the study.

Normally, medical personnel constantly adjust oxygen as preemies’ conditions change, based on their individual needs. But the SUPPORT study was designed to keep infants in their randomly assigned range, despite a baby’s individual needs.

And in a decision that one government source says shocked seasoned researchers when they learned of it, the babies’ oxygen monitors intentionally were altered to provide false readings. The reason: so medical staff wouldn’t be tempted to adjust oxygen out of the babies’ study-assigned range.

The SUPPORT study was designed to keep infants in their randomly assigned [experimental] range, despite a baby’s individual needs.“Nothing in the consent form explained the falsely reading oxygen monitors could lead to adverse decisions about care of the babies,” Carome, who directs Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, says in an interview. He calls both the study design and consent form unethical.

‘Playing Russian roulette’

In some instances, the results proved both disturbing and tragic.

More of the high-oxygen babies ended up with serious vision disorders. The low-oxygen preemies were more likely to die. The results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in May 2010, sparked ethical questions and complaints. Companion studies being conducted in other countries were halted.

Read More

UK: Parliamentary Bill Proposes Non-Therapeutic Medical Experimentation on Dying Patients

bioEdgeConcern in UK over medical experimentation bill

by Xavier Symons | May 2, 2014

bioedge.org/index.php/bioethics/bioethics_article/10943

Experts have been seriously alarmed at a clinical experimentation bill that was recently presented before the UK parliament.

The Medical Innovation Bill, otherwise known as the ‘Saatchi Bill’, (temporarily defeated, but able to be re-introduced later), is intended to allow doctors greater freedom to experiment on dying patients. It proposes to protect doctors from negligence claims when they depart from ‘established practice’, provided they fulfil certain prudential criteria.

No one should be the subject of medical or genetic experimentation, even if it is therapeutic, unless the person or surrogate first has given free and informed consent. In instances of nontherapeutic experimentation, the surrogate can give this consent only if the experiment entails no significant risk to the person’s well-being. Moreover, the greater the person’s incompetency and vulnerability, the greater the reasons must be to perform any medical experimentation, especially nontherapeutic. — Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, § 31. (5th Edition, USCCB, November 17, 2009)Legal philosopher Jacqueline Laing believes the law will expose vulnerable patients to mistreatment. She criticised the vague criteria outlined in two online draft versions of the bill: “Neither outlines any clear and definite criteria for experimenting on a patient”. After an extensive analysis she concludes:

“In short, medical experimentation on patients is mainstreamed while no clear conditions as to what would constitute degrading and inhuman treatment are anywhere outlined. Indeed, the very possibility of degrading and inhuman treatment is not considered, whether in the language of the bill or in any preamble, and safeguards nowhere outlined.”

The Academy of Royal Medical Colleges opposed the bill on similar grounds. They argued that the prudential requirements set out by the bill were too lax, and furthermore that the bill could turn medical innovation into an individual activity: “If innovation is to be of general benefit it has ultimately to be a collective and not an individual activity.”