Cowboys, Infertility and Deeper Moral Questions

Most people still remember the story of Nadya Suleman, dubbed “Octomom,” a single woman who used in vitro fertilization to become pregnant with eight babies simultaneously. Suleman had asked her fertility specialist, Dr. Michael Kamrava, to implant at least a dozen embryos into her uterus, leading to the birth of …

The Wrong-Headedness of “Wrongful Birth” Lawsuits

At its core, the idea of a “wrongful birth” claim is unreasonable and ethically incoherent. Parents who bring these lawsuits against obstetricians and hospitals claim that medical professionals should have detected a particular disease or defect in their unborn baby through prenatal testing and informed them about it. Had they …

Sorting Through “Solutions” to the HIV/AIDS Pandemic

Each year human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infects about 50,000 people in the United States, and more than two million worldwide. Reducing the number of infections with this virus, which causes AIDS, is a high priority for public health officials.  Some strategies to reach this goal, however, raise significant moral concerns. …

To Be or Not to Be — Parsing the Implications of Suicide

In recent years we have witnessed a growing tendency to promote suicide as a way of resolving end-stage suffering. Physician-assisted suicide is now legal in a handful of states and a number of other jurisdictions are considering laws to legalize the practice. A few years ago on Nightline, Barbara Walters …

The “Bitter Pill” of False Liberation

A major study published on December 7 in the New England Journal of Medicine concludes that hormonal contraception increases the risk of breast cancer for women. The research used all of Denmark as its sample, following nearly 1.8 million Danish women of childbearing age for over a decade. The study, …

Destroying My Freedom — in the Name of Freedom?

In an August 2015 column in The Washington Post, George F. Will argued in favor of physician-assisted suicide, summing up his perspective this way: “There is nobility in …affirming at the end the distinctive human dignity of autonomous choice.” His conclusion, however, raises several important questions: Shouldn’t death-dealing actions directed …