International surrogacy goes pear-shaped

As the weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic march on, more evidence of the failure of the international surrogacy industry is emerging. Babies are being born to surrogate mothers in one country while the commissioning parents are in another country, unable to see them because the borders have been closed. It has been widely reported that more than a hundred of these cases exist in Ukraine and at least 40 in Georgia.

The Guardian this week reported that there are up to 1000 of these babies in Russia, some born as long ago as February. They are being… MORE





Belgium’s euthanasia law under fire in European Court of Human Rights  

Godelieva de Troyer

On April 19, 2012, a 64-year-old Belgian woman named Godelieva de Troyer was euthanised. For the doctor, Wim Distelmans, it was probably just another case. For her son, Tom Mortier, a chemistry lecturer, it came as a terrible shock. He only found out on the day after her death.

He has accused Distelmans of violating Belgium’s law on euthanasia. The case is now being considered by the European Court of Human Rights. As part of the legal proceedings, the Belgian government was forced to submit a four-page form which documents Godelieva… MORE





Of bikinis and vascular surgeons

At a time when “cancel culture” is a good candidate for the 2020 Oxford Word of the Year, retractions of journal articles in science and medicine give readers a special frisson.

The Journal of Vascular Surgery is not a place where one would normally encounter controversy. But one article in the August issue struck a deep vein of discontent. "Prevalence of unprofessional social media content among young vascular surgeons" and an accompanying commentary have been retracted after outrage on Twitter and Facebook.

On the face of it, the article appeared innocuous. It found that amongst 480 young vascular… MORE





North Carolina has a bit part in the dark history of genocide 

A dark chapter in North Carolina’s history is its 20th century eugenics program. Apart from denying the human rights of many disabled people, it had a disproportionate effect on black citizens. According to a study from Duke University, it was designed to “breed out” non-working black residents.

“This suggests that for Blacks, eugenic sterilizations were authorized and administered with the aim of reducing their numbers in the future population -- genocide by any other name,” the authors state.

The article in the American Review Of Political Economy surveyed reports from the North Carolina Eugenics Board about 2,100 authorized sterilizations between… MORE





Should governments sweeten the vaccine pill with incentives?   

Governments all over the world are desperate to distribute an effective vaccine for Covid-19. In May President Trump announced Operation Warp Speed – “a massive scientific, industrial, and logistical endeavor unlike anything our country has seen since the Manhattan Project” to develop a vaccine before the end of the year.

Trouble is, how do you convince enough people to get a vaccine to achieve herd immunity? Researchers differ, but some believe that as many as 82% need to be vaccinated. In the United States, a country with a strong anti-vaccination movement, this could be difficult. According to a paper… MORE





Did Nobel laureate Robert Edwards get his gong for enabling eugenics?

If the “cancel culture” is gunning for eugenicists, there are more than enough candidates. One of the most prominent is Robert Edwards, who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2010 for developing in vitro fertilisation.

As Gina Maranto, a writer for the Biopolitical Times, reminds readers, he was a dyed-in-the-wool eugenicist:

Edwards was a long-time member and trustee of the UK’s Eugenics Society and then, under its new name, the Galton Society, as Osagie Obasogie detailed in Scientific American in 2013. In a December 1970 article in the same publication, Edwards and [Ruth] Fowler [his wife] foresaw… MORE





Covid-19 briefs

Another pandemic: commenting on a right-to-die bill before the parliament of the Australian state of Tasmania, bioethicist Margaret Somerville described it as an instance of extremely dangerous “slow moving pandemic”. “It seems to be infectious – one jurisdiction after another – and the carriers of that information is the pro-euthanasia lobby. They believe they are doing something good and that it is a compassionate, merciful response but [euthanasia] is extremely dangerous at a societal level.”

The ethics of “super-spreaders”. A Sri Lankan drug addict has been blamed for infecting 1,100 people -- nearly half of the country's coronavirus… MORE





China accused of coercive population control over Uyghur Muslims

A Uyghur man at a bus in the city of Kashgar, Xinjiang, China

A searing report from an American think tank has accused China of genocidal population control over Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.

An outraged US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that allegations that the Chinese Communist Party is using forced sterilisation, forced abortion and coercive family planning against the Uyghurs is “shocking” and “disturbing”.

Information gathered by German researcher Adrian Zenz and published by the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation outlines this human rights tragedy.

Zenz’s findings are set out in “Sterilizations, IUDs, and… MORE





‘Cancel culture’ finally comes knocking at Planned Parenthood’s door  

Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) was the founder of Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortion services in the US and the political flagship of the pro-choice movement there.

She was also a fervent eugenicist – and in the era of Black Lives Matter progressives have eugenics in the cross-hairs. Like other progressives of the early 20th century, she favoured sterilization of the genetically unfit, keeping the diseased and “feebleminded” from immigrating, and segregating so-called illiterates, paupers, unemployables, criminals, prostitutes, and dope fiends. She endorsed the Supreme Court’s notorious 1927 Buck v. Bell decision.

A sentence from “The Eugenic Value of… MORE





Babies for everyone: the new social justice movement

A new slogan has emerged in the advance of reproductive freedom: “fertility equality”. According to the New York Times:

Still in its infancy, this movement envisions a future when the ability to create a family is no longer determined by one’s wealth, sexuality, gender or biology.

“This is about society extending equality to its final and logical conclusion,” said Ron Poole-Dayan, the founder and executive director of Men Having Babies, a New York nonprofit that helps gay men become fathers through surrogacy. “True equality doesn’t stop at marriage. It recognizes the barriers L.G.B.T.s face in… MORE




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