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Who is He and what has he done to our children?

April 6, 2022 • Posted in Blog

  Joyce A. Shelton, Ph.D. Professor of Biology Emerita Trinity International University

Remember He Jiankui? He is the Chinese scientist who used CRISPR technology to edit the CCR5 gene for the HIV receptor in the genomes of human embryos. His goal was to make them HIV resistant. He reported at an international conference in 2018 that two of the edited embryos had resulted in the live births of non-identical twins, Nana and Lulu. There were also reports of a third child born in 2019. His revelations in a public forum provoked moral outrage from the scientific community. Global pressure caused Chinese authorities to suspend ...read more

Life and Choice

January 22, 2022 • Posted in Blog

Janet Liljestrand, M.D., M.A.

In 1862 Louis Pasteur performed the definitive experiment that proved even the smallest organisms, those only seen under the microscope, derived from other like organisms. (1) Life came from life. Fast forward to 1973, and Justice Blackmun, writing for the majority decision in Roe v. Wade stated “We need not resolve the difficult decision of when life begins”. (2) What was the Justice’s definition of life? The human zygote contains all it needs for cellular division–and thus growth–at the union of a living sperm and living egg. How then has its human life not begun? Yes, in ...read more

Parenting in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic

December 27, 2020 • Posted in Blog

Janet Liljestrand, M.D., M.A.*

Rearing children is a time-consuming and emotionally taxing undertaking. The current pandemic has magnified the enormity of this task by disrupting the lives of adults and children alike. What does a parent say and do in the midst of a pandemic that has the added burden of activity restrictions, a 24-hour news cycle, multiple voices on social media, and changing messages from the “experts,” all mixed with a touch of hysteria? The basics of parenting in the midst of a pandemic are much the same as any other stressful time with the possible exception that the stressful ...read more

Statement on the Clinical Use of Human Germline Genome Editing

November 2, 2019 • Posted in Blog
The Tennessee Center for Bioethics & Culture responds to the Public Call for Evidence for the International Commission* on the Clinical Use of Human Germline Genome Editing

 

Given that According to the canons of research on children, experiments are only ethically justified when there are clear benefits to that individual child and proportional burdens to that child. Risks and burdens beyond truly “minimal” to individual children are not justified to benefit other children. To do so is to treat one child as a means to another child’s ends (i.e., to instrumentalize that child).

 

Whereas Human germline genome editing is experimentation on embryonic humans who cannot give consent, ...read more

Life Without Us?

November 2, 2019 • Posted in Blog

By Jane Patton, Guest Columnist

It is not new that some people say that they do not want to bring children into the world. And, as far as the do’s and don’ts of being environmentally responsible, the carbon footprint of a single human being tops the list of avoidable behaviors. One presidential candidate even advocates abortion as a way to combat climate change. So, it may be okay to have one or two children. Any more than that and parents might be called selfish.

But, a growing movement is taking the idea of limiting births to the next level—preventing all births. Who ...read more

Selling the Fantasy of Fertility — NYT Opinion

September 12, 2013 • Posted in Atlas

“Selling the Fantasy of Fertility”

By Miriam Zoll and Pamela Tsigdinos

11 September 2013

Perils of Newborn Screening — Scientific American

July 3, 2012 • Posted in Atlas

Doctors may be testing infants for too many diseases.

By Ariel Bleicher

2 July 2012

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=perils-of-newborn-screening

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 ...read more

Donor treatments for mitochondrial DNA disorders are ethical — Nuffield Council on Bioethics (Press Release)

June 14, 2012 • Posted in Atlas

http://www.phgfoundation.org/news/11991/

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 ...read more