Bioethical nightmares

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Human embryos have been produced asexually, as with the cloning of Dolly the Sheep.  Scientists are getting ready to manufacture “three parent” babies.  Chinese reproductive engineers have developed the technology to alter the genes of any cell or organism.  There is talk of “fetal farming” to grow fetuses so as to harvest their organs.

Wesley J. Smith reports on the latest developments in genetic engineering and reproductive technology.  Huge bioethical questions are being raised, but the only ones answering them are academic philosophers and the scientists themselves with a vested interest in pushing research with no limits.

He proposes instead a broadbased “populist” bioethical commission that could study the issues and develop guidelines for this new technology before it’s too late.

Read what Smith has to say after the jump. [Read more…]

Making babies without women

The Frankenstein fear of reproductive engineering so far has been the future possibility that women could have babies without men, rendering males obsolete.  But now scientists are working on making ordinary cells function as eggs, so that they can be fertilized by sperm.  They have already made this work with baby mice.

So maybe women, with the further invention of artificial wombs, will become obsolete instead.  Not only that, this new technology, should it work, would allow two men to conceive a child.   If we get rid of either women or men, same-sex marriage might be the only kind left.  Perhaps the fluid gender movement is a preparation for the time when human beings will have no gender and no sex at all!

[Read more…]

Human embryo grown outside the womb for 13 days

Scientists have set a new record in keeping a human embryo–that is to say, a developing baby–alive outside the womb for 13 days.  Then they let it–rather, him or her–die.

The law in England, where the experiment took place, sets a limit of 14 days, the time of “individuation” after which identical twins cannot split off from each other.  The experiment was cut short to avoid going over that limit, but reportedly the embryo could have been allowed to keep developing.  Now scientists are calling for the limit to be extended.

How scrupulous they are to obey the government’s law, while being oblivious to the moral law against killing the helpless, not to mention the violation of parenthood. [Read more…]

Sex & child-bearing to be obsolete in 20 years?

[NOT AN APRIL FOOL’S JOKE!]   A Stanford professor of law and genetics is maintaining that within as few as twenty years, the connection between sex and procreation will come to an end.  No longer will sex have anything to do with reproduction.  According to Henry T. Greely, reproductive engineering will be such that men will donate sperm and women a patch of skin, whereupon babies will be produced to order in artificial wombs. Government health plans will no longer be able to afford caring for sick babies, so “designer babies” will become the norm.

Recreational sex will continue, he says, but why?  Won’t virtual-reality pornography finish that off too?

Prof. Greely has a book about all of this coming out from Harvard University Press entitled The End of Sex and the Future of Reproduction.  

Prof. Greely seems to assume that there will be no more Catholics in 20 years, or other Christians who agree with them about nature and natural law. [Read more…]

Three-parent children

The FDA is trying to decide whether or not to approve a procedure that give a child three biological parents.  “Defective” DNA in a mother’s egg would be replaced by “good” DNA from a second woman, then fertilized, giving the child three parents and eliminating certain inherited diseases.

A great technology to ease human suffering, or a grotesque violation of nature?  Or both?  What should the FDA decide? [Read more…]

When your mother is your sister

A 58-year old woman in Utah is serving as a surrogate mother for her daughter.  The woman had already gone through menopause but she took a treatment of hormone shots to get herself back into the child-bearing mode.  So far, the pregnancy is going well, and the baby will be born in February.

The baby, a girl, will thus have two mothers.  One will be her grandmother and the other will be her sister.

What do you think of this?  Wanting a baby is a commendable desire and the Bible is sympathetic to women plagued by being “barren.”  If a woman wants to have a baby but can’t, due to fertility problems, do you acknowledge any limits as to what doctors or society or she herself should do to make that happen? [Read more…]