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Pages tagged "bioethics"
CPX interviews Dr Megan Best about the ethics of reproductive medicine
· June 24, 2013 10:00 AM
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Part I
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made Part II
Dr Megan Best recently spoke to Justine Toh at the Centre for Public Christianity (CPX) about her book,
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made.
Dr Best is a bio-ethicist and a palliative care doctor. Her book examines the ethics of reproductive medicine from a Christian perspective.
Watch parts 1 and 2 of the interview above.
Alternatively, watch them on the
After birth abortion' a dangerous idea
· September 27, 2012 10:00 AM
The Spectator magazine this week published an article titled "
A dangerous idea: The argument that 'after-birth abortions' are justifiable should concern us all."
Author Dean Bertram argues that Australia must rethink its stance on abortion after bio-ethicists have claimed that parents should be allowed to have their baby killed if it turns out to be disabled when it is born. Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva argue that newborn babies are not "actual person" and thus do not have a "moral right to life."
Giubilini and Minerva will be speaking this weekend at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney on 'A Foetus is Not a Person.' Bertram explores the danger in the ethicists' belief that after-birth abortion is just an extension of the already widely accepted practice of abortion, and makes a case for Australia to stand up for the right to life of
people; foetuses, newborns, the mentally and physically disabled. He asks us to examine the possible consequences for our society when life is no longer held sacred.
For more information and to read Bertram's article, click
The danger of Savulescu's genetic screening argument
· August 29, 2012 10:00 AM
Wednesday, 29 August, 2012
Last week, well-known philosopher and bioethicist Julian Savulescu caused a stir in the United Kingdom when he suggested that we have a “moral obligation” to create so-called designer babies using genetic screening. According to Savulescu – who made his comments in the latest edition of Reader’s Digest - doing so would cause children to grow up “ethically better.” He also believes that giving parents the opportunity to screen out personality flaws would produce offspring less likely to harm themselves and others.
Aside from the basic moral and ethical dilemmas this logic presents – the human desire to play ‘god’, for instance – the consequences of a genetically modified society would be disastrous.
There are a number of critical problems in Savulescu’s thinking:
Savulescu contradicts himself; on the one hand, he describes genetic screening as a “moral obligation” for our society whilst on the other, he advocates for it to be voluntary. In his article, he states that it would be different to the eugenics movements the Nazis use because the nature of it would be voluntary.
system Savulescu suggests is a problem in itself. Allowing a system of voluntary genetic modification creates a future divided society and the prospect of a new and more serious form of segregation based on genotype. Not only would it discourage a person to be themselves, it would deflate the idea of being a unique individual. It would cause a significant rift between those who can afford genetic modification and those who cannot. If society embraces the choice for genetic screening, it will normalise the process. This would mean that should parents decide not to comply, they would be regarded as ‘abnormal,’ and will thus result in a dreadful cultural norm.
He states that by screening in and screening out certain genes in the embryos, it should be possible to influence how a child turns out. The process of genetic screening as identified by Savulescu has no influence on how a child turns out. Rather, it discards the embryos that we do not like and keeps the ones we do. In an interview with the Australian Christian Lobby, Dr Greg Pike, a bioethicist from Southern Cross Bioethics Institute, said that there is one fundamental problem underlying Savulescu’s thinking: genes are influential in determining physical traits such as eye colour, but it is extremely difficult to connect a person’s genes to behaviours such as violence.
It is significant to also note that although Savulescu has stated he opposes legalising infanticide – killing a baby within one year of birth – he defended a controversial article published earlier in the year by two of his colleagues in the
Journal of Medical Ethics
(he is the editor of the publication) which contended that newborn babies are not “actual persons” and parents should have the right to have their baby killed if it turns out to be disabled when it is born. Peter Singer, a renowned ethicist and philosopher, holds similar beliefs. He argues that persons with very severe disabilities have a lesser right to life and believes that because of this, parents should be able to choose before or after birth whether they want their child to live or die.
It is important to question where this agenda and type of thinking is headed. If genetically modifying unborn children becomes the norm in society, we are essentially allowing ourselves to tamper with what is inherently natural. We are cleaning up the human gene pool of all the ‘bad stuff,’ making judgements on whom we want around and who we would rather be rid of. This mentality goes against the very core moral conscience of humanity. If we are allowing our medical professionals to tamper with human life, to abort our unborn children, or kill them even when they are born, what is next? Will we allow doctors to kill any person, young or old, with a disability, and then get punished for it if we do not comply? We cannot allow such dangerous thinking to remain uncontested and take root in society’s moral and ethical behaviour patterns.
Dr Greg Pike on The Political Spot
· August 21, 2012 10:00 AM
Dr Greg Pike is the director of the Southern Cross Bioethics Institute in Adelaide. He spoke with ACL's Daniel Simon about comments made by a philosopher in the UK saying we have a moral obligation to use genetic screening to create ethically better children.
Cloning review – deadline approaching
· February 17, 2011 11:00 AM
It is now less than a month until the deadline for making submissions to the Federal Government’s review of cloning laws. The closing date is 15 March.
Human cloning is the creation of living human embryos solely for the purpose of research and destruction. The practice has been allowed since the passing of controversial legislative amendments in 2006, by a single vote in the Senate.
Human cloning is unethical and unnecessary because there are ethical methods of obtaining specialised stem cells. Through ‘direct reprogramming’ of adult skin cells, scientists can create the exact equivalent of embryonic stem cells, meaning the creation and destruction of human embryos is no longer required. Adult stem cells have long been used in a myriad of therapies
The miracle cures that were to be ushered in with the introduction of human cloning haven’t occurred. The science has never delivered on its promises, and human cloning laws should be repealed.
You can learn more about human cloning and why it is not necessary at the very good
blog of Dr David van Gend
of Australians for Ethical Stem Cell Research. For more information, including where to send a submission, please click
ACL Tasmania submission on cloning
· August 13, 2006 10:00 AM
to read ACL’s submission to the Review of the Tasmanian
Human Embryonic Research Regulation Act 2003
Human Cloning and Other Prohibited Practices Act 2003
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