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First Human Embryos Edited in U.S.: A Bright Red Line Is Crossed

July 28, 2017 • Posted in Blog

“Sooner than we expected”: A friend – a scientist steeped in the bioethics realm – wrote to me of her surprise at the announcement of the first embryonic humans edited in the United States. Steve Connor, writing in the MIT Technology Review, reported the work on 26 July 2017.  Doubtless, the publication of the work in a scientific journal will follow.

The article, “First human embryos edited in U.S.” by Steve Connor, describes the process thusly: “A person familiar with the research says ‘many tens’ of human IVF embryos were created for the experiment using the donated sperm of men carrying ...read more

Helping Patients Live vs. Helping Them Die

June 6, 2017 • Posted in Blog

 

Cultural Suicide On Sunday, 28 May 2017, The Tennessean published a full page set of articles on the problem of suicide amongst the armed forces in our nation. The year 2012 saw a peak of 22 U.S. veterans killing themselves per day (Jake Lowary, “‘I can’t do barbecues:’ Veteran says“). The Department of Veterans Affairs plans a 7.5 percent budget increase to $186.1 million in 2018 — all to address suicide prevention, the department’s “highest clinical priority” (Jake Lowary, “Suicide rising in the military, but some programs give veterans hope“).

In light of these sobering statistics, it is ironic that the American ...read more

It Has Arrived: Gene Editing Recommendations Published

February 28, 2017 • Posted in Blog

D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A. Executive Director

The committee appointed to advise our government regarding the editing of genes, including editing the genes of the human embryo, has published a draft report (see the title page screen shot above). We at The Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture are studying the document’s 261 pages, and have a few caveats to share with our readers. Germline gene editing was given cautious approval by the committee:

Heritable germline genome editing trials must be approached with caution, but caution does not mean they must be prohibited. (p. 102)

and

If the technical challenges are ...read more

What’s Happening with Physician-Assisted Suicide?

January 31, 2017 • Posted in Blog

Mrs. Jane Patton is a Vanderbilt University graduate, a nurse, and worked most recently in clinical research. Her interest in bioethics began in college with thinking through Roe v. Wade and the inherent value of human life. She has done further work in bioethics, and now volunteers with The Tennessee CBC. Below, Jane Patton addresses recent developments in physician-assisted suicide.

Here we are in 2017, loaded with the benefits of technological innovation. In healthcare the movement is at warp speed such that we can be like frogs in the proverbial frying pan, not taking to heart the implications of such rapid and ...read more

CRISPR — Who’s in Charge? (Part IV)

November 30, 2016 • Posted in Blog

D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A. Executive Director

This is part IV of our report. View part I, part II, or part III.

The ability to edit genes using CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) has been in the news for more than a year. A committee has been appointed to advise our government regarding the editing of genes, particularly editing the genes of the human embryo.

Who are the members of that committee? What are their views? The Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture has been working to gather information for you, our readers.

Here is a brief look at some of the writings and organizational ...read more

CRISPR — Who’s in Charge? (Part III)

October 29, 2016 • Posted in Blog

D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A. Executive Director

This is part III of our report. View part I, part II, or part IV.

The ability to edit genes using CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) has been in the news for more than a year. A committee has been appointed to advise our government regarding the editing of genes, particularly editing the genes of the human embryo.

Who are the members of that committee? What are their views? The Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture has been working to gather information for you, our readers.

Here is a brief look at some of the writings and organizational ...read more

CRISPR — Who’s in Charge? (Part II)

September 30, 2016 • Posted in Blog

D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A. Executive Director

This is part II of our report. View part I, part III, or part IV.

The ability to edit genes using CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) has been in the news for more than a year. A committee has been appointed to advise our government regarding the editing of genes, particularly editing the genes of the human embryo.

Who are the members of that committee? What are their views? The Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture has been working to gather information for you, our readers.

Here is a brief look at some of the writings and organizational ...read more

Comment to the National Institutes of Health on the Consideration of Certain Research Proposals Involving Human-Animal Chimera Models

September 6, 2016 • Posted in Blog

The proposal by the NIH to allow federal funding for the development of human-animal chimeras is ethically inappropriate on a variety of levels:

A civilization is marked by its treatment of the most vulnerable of its citizens. Human embryos are destroyed in the procurement of human embryonic stem cells. Taking apart microscopic human beings in order to place some of those parts into animals is an immoral activity for any society. Pursuing the production of human-animal chimeras opens the door to the possibility of having human neural and/or germ cells inside a non-human. Assurances regarding not allowing such human-animal chimeras to breed ...read more

CRISPR — Who’s in Charge? (Part I)

August 31, 2016 • Posted in Blog

D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A. Executive Director

This is part I of our report. View part II, part III, or part IV.

The ability to edit genes using CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) has been in the news for more than a year. A committee has been appointed to advise our government regarding the editing of genes, particularly editing the genes of the human embryo.

Who are the members of that committee? What are their views? The Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture has been working to gather information for you, our readers. This is part I of our report.

On 16 June 2015, ...read more

Bioethics “Reading List” — Summer 2016

June 30, 2016 • Posted in Blog

D. Joy Riley, M.D., M.A. Executive Director

History, U.S., recent

Letter from Representative Marsha Blackburn, chair of the Committee of Energy and Commerce’s Select Investigative Panel investigating fetal tissue procurement in the United States, to New Mexico’s Attorney General, Hector H. Balderas, Jr., included the notebook of a laboratory technician, who recorded the following:

See pages 9-10/291 of the document, as well as “attachment 28.”

Instead of history, however, the request for “whole, fixed brains” (human, fetal) for summer campers to dissect should be classified under HORROR.

Technology

A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) “Intelligent robot that ‘remembers and learns’ could be scrapped after escaping a lab for a second time,” ...read more