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Desperate Donors

August 24, 2006

Anyone who doubts that there are terrible human rights abuses in the world should consider the latest news on “transplant tourism.” This is the practice where rich Americans go overseas to a less developed country to purchase an organ for transplant. Perhaps you have kidney failure, and don’t wish to... View Article

The Bioethics of Bodies

August 16, 2006

Several of my pre-med biology students have asked me about Gunther von Hagens’ exhibit “Body Worlds,” now touring the country. Since we offer cadaver dissection as part of our undergraduate courses in human biology, I guess my initial reaction was “Hmm, sounds educational; I guess that’s alright.” Mind you, I... View Article

The Business of Babies

August 3, 2006

Debra Spar, an economics professor at Harvard, has written a nice piece that shows just how pervasive the desire to have children can be, and how easily economic manipulation can take advantage of it. She writes: To those who suffer from it, however, infertility is a wretched curse — a... View Article

Stem Cell Stalemate

July 30, 2006

I asked my Sunday School class this morning a question. Enshrined in our religious heritage and law is the command, “Thou shalt not kill.” Are there any legitimate exceptions? We came up with three: 1) wartime, 2) self-defense, and 3) capital punishment. Of course, we could debate the nuances of... View Article

Getting Started

July 30, 2006

This Web log reflects my own views about human life, and what gives each one of us dignity and value. In spite of new biotechnologies and the marvels brought about by medical science, the basics of our existence haven’t changed throughout history. What does it mean to be human? Those... View Article