Daily Archives: May 29, 2009

Majority of IVF embryos are "abnormal"


One of the reasons for the founding of this blog was outrage over the use of in vitro fertilization for eugenic purposes: people “screening” known genetic defects by using IVF.

Mary Meets Dolly reports that researchers have discovered that the *majority* of embryos conceived in IVF carry genetic disorders. A few days ago, I discussed the idea of “reverse consequentialism” where we point to the negative consequences of violating Natural Law as proof that the action violates Natural Law.

Well, for some reason, unnaturally conceiving embryos via IVF causes those embryos to mutate.

News Flash! Archbishop of Barcelona compares Abortion and Contraception to the Holocaust

As both are mass assaults on human life. Somehow, this is surprising to people.

Cardinal Martinez Sistach better watch out, though: “trivializing” the holocaust by saying it’s comparable to other forms of mass murder may constitute “holocaust denial” in the minds of some European Union socialists and get him arrested.

Right to die? Right to control? Obligation to Die?

Two interesting commentaries on euthanasia: one from a letter to the editor in British Columbia, and the other from EWTN’s Colleen Carroll Campbell.

Adult stem cells used to help cornea patients with contact lenses

Using patients’ own stem cells to graft tissue onto contact lenses, doctors in Australia have found an efficient and low cost way of helping people with cornea damage.

He’s played mobsters, and he’s played the Devil,

and now Al Pacino is going to play Dr. Jack Kevorkian.

Who is really politicizing the Eucharist?

Archbishop Raymond Burke has said on several occasions that it is the pro-abortion politicians, not the bishops who deny them Communion, who “politicize” the Eucharist by parading up to the altar for photo ops.

Similarly, a statement by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis says that members of the “rainbow sash” group are “politicizing” the Eucharist by using Mass as an opportunity for protest, and that is why they are being denied Communion:

The archdiocesan statement calls the sashes “signs of protest” from a group “dissenting from the church’s teaching on sexuality.”
The Holy Eucharist should never be politicized by protesters in this way,” the statement says. “Theirs is a sign of disrespect and irreverence to the body and blood of Jesus.”
The policy not to distribute Communion to sash-wearers at the Cathedral dates back to 2005. In a letter that year to the organizer of Rainbow Sash Alliance USA, now-retired Archbishop Harry Flynn said that “it has become apparent to me that the wearing of the sash is more and more perceived as a protest against church teaching” and that the Vatican considers wearing the rainbow sash during reception of the Eucharist unacceptable.

Here’s an interesting question: when is it appropriate to deny an organ transplant?

The question is not when it’s appropriate for a patient to *refuse* a transplant: that is obvious, if the patient determines the transplant constitutes extraordinary measures, or if the patient is ethically opposed to the transplant, the patient should refuse it.

But what happens when the patient is not conscious to make the judgement call? A reflexive response of “living will” is insufficient, because some of these things are far too nuanced, and a living will establishes a legally binding contract that must be followed regardless of the particulars of the situation (or if the patient has changed his or her mind).

The case in point is a man with severe bipolar disorder whose liver was damaged by his drugs. He overdosed (it’s not clear from what I’ve read whether the guy OD’d in an attempted suicide or just taking too much medication). After three years, his family insists that the liver transplant was a mistake, because he’s still depressed and suicidal, and he wants to go to Switzerland to commit Euthanasia, so the donor’s liver was “wasted.”

The article says the doctors found a psychiatric evaluation problematic since the patient was unconscious, and the family werent’ consulted.

It would seem that triage has something to play in all this. Shouldn’t this be some kind of reverse of the principle of not executing a depressed person? Don’t they deal with that on House all the time, that patients who are depressed or otherwise in danger of death can’t have transplants?