December 6, 2023


The blogging bug has bitten the bioethics community. The American Journal of Bioethics was the first to launch a blog. is run by Glenn McGee, the editor of AJOB, and Arthur Caplan, who is probably the bioethicist most often cited by the American media, is a frequent contributor, along with occasional guest bloggers. Commentary tends to be caustic, comic, utilitarian, and broad-ranging. It has quickly become a must-read for anyone interested in front-page bioethics.

Now the Hastings Center, a major centre for bioethics discussion and research, has just launched its own blog, . It is a bit more staid and formal, but has a diverse range of contributors, including such well-known American bioethicists as Thomas Murray, the president of the Hastings Center, Daniel Callahan and Carl Elliott, as well as an Australian who is a professor of bioethics at Oxford, Julian Savulescu.

The anti-euthanasia campaigner Wesley J. Smith also has his own blog, run by Linda Glenn which tackles issues from a feminist perspective.

The striking thing about these blogs is that they highlight quite different bioethics stories in the media: some focus on abortion, others on health care, others on the proper treatment of embryos, others on informed consent and so on. No doubt this reflects the range of views of what bioethics actually is and what it should do.


IN BRIEF: skulduggery; terrorism; Oregon; adult stem cells

Skulduggery — If artificial reproductive technology is a business, as Debora L. Spar argues in her recent book “The Baby Business”, it also has its shady side, as a number of people allegedly defrauded by a Philadelphia man have discovered. The manager of the MidAtlantic Center for Surrogacy, Len Brooks, has been indicted for stealing from his clients. The centre has now closed but as the case makes its way through the courts, Brooks has opened up another in Palm Beach, Florida, which he calls International Surrogacy Consultants.