Forum Posts by
- What’s Wrong with Virginity Testing?
Posted on January 13, 2020
When the rapper T. I. disclosed on a podcast that he takes his 18-year-old daughter to a yearly gynecological examination to ensure that her hymen is still intact, the reaction of most people was condemnation. His obsession with her virginity is creepy, his subjecting her to an invasive procedure that has no medical value is controlling, and his willingness to talk about it publicly displays contempt for her rights to privacy and dignity. Some think that the law should prohibit physicians from performing or supervising virginity examinations. But the law is not the best means for dealing with the problem, and the problem is not simply virginity testing.
- What’s Wrong with a Fertility Doctor Using His Own Sperm?
Posted on April 19, 2019
It was unethical for a fertility doctor to use his own sperm to inseminate patients without their consent. But what are the legal harms to the women? To their children?
- Wrongful Death Suits for Frozen Embryos: A Bad Idea
Posted on September 12, 2018
Last March, 4,000 frozen eggs and embryos were lost at University Hospitals Fertility Center in Cleveland when the temperature in cryogenic tanks spiked due to human error. Officials at University Hospitals have apologized repeatedly to the affected patients, and say that they are working to provide refunds, free services, and “emotional support.” A similar incident… Read more
- Breastfeeding and Transgender Women
Posted on February 21, 2018
A transgender woman has successfully breastfed a baby. This case has been hailed as a “breakthrough” for transgender families. I will argue that being transgender is only peripherally relevant, and the potential risks to infants are unjustified. The woman, whose name and hometown were not given, had been taking hormonal medications since 2011 as part… Read more
- Preventing Sex-Selective Abortions in America: A Solution in Search of a Problem
Posted on April 4, 2017
Arkansas has recently joined seven other states (Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota) in banning abortions for sex selection. Arizona’s law requires doctors to ask a woman seeking an abortion if she knows the sex of the fetus, and if she does, to tell her that it is illegal to… Read more
- Questions About Using “Mosaic” Embryos in IVF
Posted on April 22, 2016
Couples undergoing IVF routinely undergo preimplantation genetic screening, or PGS, to make sure that their embryos are viable and free of genetic disease. However, some embryos have both normal and abnormal cells, and at least some of these “mosaic” embryos are capable of developing into healthy children, as described in a New York Times article.… Read more
- The Case for Expanding Physician-Assisted Death to Psychiatric Conditions
Posted on November 4, 2015
Should people suffering from psychiatric conditions, such as severe, prolonged depression, that have not responded to treatment, be eligible for physician-assisted death? Most jurisdictions that allow PAD do not permit it for psychiatric conditions. However, though rare, it is allowed in Belgium and the Netherlands. Some regard the expansion to psychiatric conditions as evidence of… Read more
- Banning Abortion for Down Syndrome: Legal or Ethical Justification?
Posted on August 26, 2015
The Ohio legislature is expected to approve a bill this fall that would make it illegal for doctors to perform an abortion if the reason the woman wants a termination is to avoid having a baby with Down syndrome. Since prenatal tests for Down syndrome are done in the second, or even the first, trimester,… Read more
- Reasonable Regulation of Surrogate Motherhood
Posted on July 29, 2015
This month France’s highest court granted legal recognition to children born to surrogates. Previously, surrogate children were deprived of any legal connection to their parents, or any civil status in France. They could not get ID cards or passports, or register for state health care or other benefits. France’s policy was challenged in a case… Read more
- Sex, Consent, and Dementia
Posted on April 15, 2015
A 78-year‐old Iowa man, Henry Rayhons, has been charged with third‐degree felony sexual abuse for having sex with his wife, who had severe Alzheimer’s, in her nursing home on May 23, 2014. Mrs. Rayhons died in August. The case raises questions about the capacity to consent in cases of severe dementia, an issue that is not… Read more