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Postmodern Babies

Valued child or designer accessory? Making babies the postmodern way…

The hotly debated issue of “designer babies” is back in the news.  A patent has just been issued to 23andMe for “gamete donor selection based on genetic calculations.”


This California-based company will use their newly patented Family Traits

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Human to Posthuman

From Providence to progress to process…

Every day we live with the consequences of deep cultural change that began hundreds of years ago.  The arrival of the postmodern era signals a profound change in the way the world is understood—and in the way people expect

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Meilaender 2

I want to be a burden on my family as I die…

Thinking about dying requires thinking about family—what it means “to live in the kind of moral community that deserves to be called a family.”  What obligations can we impose on those closest to us during this time of supreme

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Embryos for Sale

Psst! Hey buddy, wanna buy an embryo?

When we think of selling some things, we think of a shady character on a street corner hustling counterfeit or ill-gotten merchandise.  For most of us, the possibility of selling made-to-order human embryos on the open market would fit

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Assisted Suicide 2

A liberal pro-choice case against assisted suicide…

Having a handicap can get you killed!  This is a message we hear from the folks in the disability rights movement.  They know that adequate medical care may not be forthcoming if you suffer from a severe, untreatable,

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Lab-grown organs, ethics, and immortality (2) …

It’s a temptation—a big temptation!  Success in growing and transplanting lab-grown organs is so revolutionary that it’s tempting to look at the immediate results without asking any of the larger questions. 


As we saw in the previous

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Lab-grown organs, ethics, and immortality (1) …

“If a salamander can grow a new arm, why can’t a person?”  This is one of the questions asked, some twenty-five years ago, by Anthony Atala and his colleagues who now work at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative

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Carl Elliott

Sounding out the idols of American culture…

Over the past half-century, American doctors have begun to use the tools of medicine not merely to make sick people better but to make well people better than well. Bioethicists call these tools “enhancement technologies,” and usually characterize them as

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Designer Baby

The distorted desires of the designer baby project…

Designer babies! As the name implies, these babies are made to a certain specification—to have certain traits, but not others.


Some of these babies are produced for parents in search of a healthy baby—a baby without a genetic disease.

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Considering the theology, the technology & the ethics of manufacturing babies…

On the theology, the technology, and the ethics of today’s reproductive technologies, few books can compare with Oliver O’Donovan’s Begotten or Made?  Even in 1984 he anticipated the current situation in parts of the assisted reproduction arena, where there

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