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Public Comment before the FDA Cellular, Tissue, and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee, 25 February 2014

March 5, 2014 • Posted in Atlas

Good afternoon, Members of the Advisory Committee, Ladies and Gentlemen.

I am Dr. D. Joy Riley, the executive director of The Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture, an educational not-for-profit organization headquartered in Nashville, TN, dedicated to promoting human dignity in the face of challenges to what it means to be human, and to informing and equipping people to face the vital bioethics issues of the 21st Century.

I am a physician by training, and hold a graduate degree in bioethics as well. I appreciate the opportunity to speak to you today.  I have more

Asking the Right Questions

February 28, 2013 • Posted in Blog

Marilyn Chandler McEntyre has done us all a favor by writing her book, Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies (Grand Rapids, MI:  Eerdmans, 2009).  Early in her chapter, “Don’t Tolerate Lies,” the author references a quote of Blaise Pascal: We hate the truth, and people hide it from us; we want to be flattered, and people flatter us; we like being deceived, and we are deceived.* Given this situation, Professor McEntyre offers some help to us, that we might be better able to discern what is true when we read the news. How more

Jumping to Dying

September 30, 2012 • Posted in Blog

D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A.

Executive Director

“Jump off!”

“Stop wasting our time, we’ve been here for ages, do us a favor!” the crowd gathered outside the McDonald’s restaurant shouted to the man 50 feet above them.

The 38-year-old, after eleven hours of police negotiation, relented and did not commit suicide. At least one witness was horrified at the crowd’s reaction. The March 2011 Daily Mail titled the story, “Sick Britain: The jeering crowds who urged suicidal man on McDonald’s roof to ‘jump off’.”

That was Britain in 2011. In the United States in 2012, we have our own more

The Ovolution of the Three-Parent Embryo

June 17, 2012 • Posted in Blog
By D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A. Executive Director The Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture The United Kingdom presented the rest of the world with Louise Joy Brown in July, 1978, the first test-tube baby.  They convened what became known as the Warnock Committee to advise Parliament regarding the new reproductive technologies:  “what policies and safeguards should be applied, including consideration of the social, ethical, and legal implications of these developments, and to make recommendations.” (Warnock, A Question of Life, 4.)  The Warnock Committee by a slim margin approved a variety of reproductive adventures, including more

Let’s Talk About Organ Donation

April 27, 2012 • Posted in Blog

D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A.

Executive Director

A rare feat in organ transplantation was reported this week.  27-year-old Ray Fearing needed a kidney.  His younger sister, Cera, donated one of hers.  Quickly, though, that kidney started failing.  Although Fearing could no longer use the kidney, his physicians thought that perhaps the kidney could be removed before it shut down altogether, and transplanted to someone else. Fearing and his sister agreed to the procedure, as did the recipient.  So, after 14 days in Ray Fearing’s body, the kidney was removed and re-transplanted — this time, into the more

Philosophies, as well as Actions, Have Consequences*

March 10, 2012 • Posted in Blog

D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A.

Executive Director

29 February 2012

It was Horace Mann who said, “Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it every day, and at last we cannot break it.”  If that habit is of thought, it becomes a philosophy.  Whether that habit is of thought or action, there are attendant consequences.  Let’s consider children in this light.

Whether one thinks that babies are commodities, “not yet persons,” or a heritage, those philosophies have consequences.  Recently, Theresa Erickson came face-to-face with the consequences of viewing babies as commodities (wire tap recordings).  Ms. Erickson, the author of more

THE STATE of the Union — On Hormones

February 9, 2012 • Posted in Blog

By D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A.

A few days ago, I received an unsolicited e-mail from “Stephanie Cutter,” <>.  It read in part,

Here’s some big news that’s going to affect millions of women.

On Friday, the Obama administration announced that soon women won’t have to pay out of pocket for birth control: Starting August 1st, many insurance plans nationwide will be required to fully cover contraception without co-pays or deductibles. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more women can make health care decisions based on what’s best for them — more

FSBO (For Sale By Others) Babies

September 2, 2011 • Posted in Blog

D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A.

Executive Director

As the airline steward offered newspapers to passengers, the front page story about child-snatching and selling in China caught my eye (International Herald Tribune, 5 August 2011). In at least one mountainous region of China, parents have not been assured of keeping the children they birth. The Ministry of Public Security recently announced that 89 children had been rescued from child traffickers, but it is the local government that the populace of Longhui County fears. In that county, family planning officials reportedly seized at more

Physicians and P-AS: Some Things Just Don’t Go Together

February 17, 2011 • Posted in Blog

In January, Oregon released their data from 2010 regarding the so-called “Death with Dignity Act.”   The number of people opting for “physician-assisted suicide” (P-AS) has steadily increased since its inception in 1998.  That year, twenty-three persons asked for and received prescriptions for life-ending medications.  Fifteen of those died from the lethal dose of medication; six died from their illnesses, and two survived at least into 1999.  Last year, a total of 65 people died through P-AS in Oregon.  At least, that was the report as of 7 January 2011.  The data set more

New Year, New Dates; Not-so-New Challenges

January 25, 2011 • Posted in Blog

Unlike people, all dates are not “created equal.”   My young nephew who was born on September 11th is learning by association that actions have consequences.  On the January date a friend of mine blows out his birthday candles, our nation will mark a wedge that has divided us for nearly four decades.  Since the Roe v. Wade decision on January 22, 1973, approximately 52 million embryos and fetuses have been “chosen” not to be born.  Our nation alone has aborted 52 million future citizens.

In some macabre way it seems fitting that abortion is in the news this week, although the more