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“It is fit and becoming in all people, at all times to acknowledge the supreme government of God; to bow in humble submission  to His chastisement; to confess and deplore their sins and transgressions in the full conviction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and to pray, with all fervency and contrition, for the pardon of their past offenses, and for a blessing upon their present and prospective action.”

Abraham Lincoln, Declaring a National day of prayer and fasting following the battle of Bull Run

Black Genocide

Black Genocide

BLACK GENOCIDE…

Learn about Black Genocide in the 21st Century. Watch www.MAAFA21.com  

or Youtube Black Genocide Maafa 21

Mark Crutcher, Maafa21 filmmaker, traces eugenic thoughts & practices used against African Americans from the era of slavery to today.

It is happening right here and right NOW!!!

Watch and share with Others.

Fetal Development

Fetal Development

Articles

Life News – 4 April 2019

HEALTH & SCIENCE

“Late-Term Abortion”

The “Questions and Answers on Late-Term Abor- tion Fact Sheet” updated 2/1/19 by the Charlotte Lo- zier Institute (CLI) states, “’Late-term’ abortion is an imprecise term. Authorities have disagreed on how the phrase should be defined, with some including any abortion performed after the 20th week of gesta- tion and others limiting the term to the third trimester (approximately 27 weeks of gestation to delivery). Use of the term is also sometimes rooted in the con- cept of viability, or that stage of pregnancy where, on average, an unborn child can survive on its own out- side the womb, albeit with artificial sup- port…’viability’ itself is a term whose application varies over time, occurring earlier in pregnancy as active treatment resources increase and medical equipment and skills improve. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s abortion surveillance system uses greater than or equal to 21 weeks of gestation to de- livery as its upper category, and the system does not distinguish abortions by week at that limit or above.”

The Fact Sheet describes ‘the dreaded complica- tion’ of “a child born alive despite the effort to kill him or her in utero…A number of victims of these procedures [saline or prostaglandin abortions] are alive today and testify to their experiences.” Abor- tionists now attempt to “ensure fetal demise before delivery”. The ban on partial birth abortion (delivering a child into the birth canal up to its shoul- ders and then killing it by crushing the skull) was banned by Congress in 2003 and upheld by the Su- preme Court in 2007 (Gonzalez v Carhart). The cur- rent practice involves dilating the mother’s cervix a day or two before the abortion, and injecting potassi- um chloride or digoxin into the heart or head of the unborn child to “ensure that he or she is dead upon delivery”. On the day of the abortion, “uterine evacu- ation is then performed. For younger babies this can be primarily accomplished using suction to remove as much tissue and soft body parts as possible, followed by forceps removal of larger and harder body parts. For older and larger babies, dismemberment using forceps is used (grasping and pulling off limbs for removal). The brain is usually then removed by suc- tion and the skull crushed for removal…Misoprostol may also be given to the mother to induce uterine contractions, especially to help expel all the body parts and placenta.”

Fisher and Kimport reported in the journal Perspec- tives on Sexual and Reproductive Health in 2013 that “data suggests that most women seeking later termi- nations are not doing so for reasons of fetal anomaly or life endangerment.” They found that reasons for abortion were basically the same for women who had abortions at 20 weeks and those who had abortions prior to 20 weeks. In 2018, Dr. Foster noted in a re-

port for the Congressional Research Service “that abortions for fetal anomaly ‘make up a small minority of later abortion’ and that those for life endangerment are even harder to character- ize.”

The Fact Sheet states the “most recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on total abortions and late-term abortions suggests that approximately 1.3% of abortions are carried out at 21 weeks of gestation and above.” However, this number is probably higher, since 12 reporting areas are not included in the CDC’s calculations. “These reporting areas account for more than half of all abor- tions performed in the United States, and all but one permit abortion on demand after 20 weeks.” The research arm of the abortion lobby, the Guttmacher Institute, surveys abortion fa- cilities and estimates that over 926,000 abortions were per- formed in the US in 2014. That “translates into an estimated 12,040 late-term abortions in that year.” California, Maryland, and New Hampshire do not collect any abortion data. Pro- abortion groups consider “government tracking of these data to be ‘intrusive and unnecessary’ – while acknowledging that information on women’s reasons for abortion is critical to an understanding of abortion trends, public policy, and public opinion.”

According to Dr. Donna Harrison, M.D., Executive Direc- tor of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), “Late-term abortions are much more dangerous for the mother than giving birth. Late-term abortions involve much higher risk of perforating the womb, massive bleeding, and damage to the womb. Late-term abor- tions are only safe for the abortionist, not for the mother, or her child. If a baby has died in the womb, the procedure is not an abortion. The purpose of abortion is to kill the unborn child to ensure that the child is born dead.”

Dr. Christina Francis, Chair of the Board, AAPLOG states, “Women carrying children with life-limiting conditions need to be cared for in a way that not only maximizes maternal health, but also honors the life of their child. Delivering a child intact and then administering the appropriate medical care for that child – whether that be palliative care or active treatment – is the medically appropriate and ethical thing to do.”

Dr. Byron Calhoun, perinatologist, noted, “There is never a reason to take the life of an unborn child since there is no ma- ternal condition that requires the death of the fetus to save her life. The infant may need to be delivered prematurely and die as a result of that, but it is not necessary to take the infant’s life. Further, if a fetus has an adverse prenatal diagnosis all patients should be offered perinatal hospice care since this is far better for maternal health than any elective abortion. Peri- natal hospice allows the parents to be parents and provide all the love they can for their child.”

The Fact Sheet concludes with information on a new sub- specialty of OB/GYN – “Complex Family Planning Fellow- ship”. The CLI Fact Sheet states, “the ONLY thing this new subspecialty will focus on that every other OB/GYN isn’t al- ready trained in is late-term abortion procedures…the [aim of this] grisly and unethical subspecialty…is to kill fetal human beings who are capable of surviving outside the womb.” (Find the Fact Sheet at https://lozierinstitute.org)

Submitted by Regina Carbonaro 631-243-1435

Paul Stark, a member of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, wrote an opinion piece at LifeNews.com (10/8/15)and stated, “Before deciding how we ought to treat the unborn – a moral question – we must first be clear about what the unborn is. This is a scientific question, and it is answered with clarity by the science of human embryology.”Stark wrote that the facts of reproduction are clear. At fertilization, the sperm and egg cease to exist. ‘Fertilized egg’is an inaccurate term. A zygote – a single cell with 46 chromosomes (23 from each parent) is what exists. This is the point of conception – the beginning of a new human organism. Zygote, embryo and fetus refer to the developmental stages of a human being.Stark continued by pointing out the “four features of the unborn (i.e., the human zygote, embryo or fetus)[which] are relevant to his/her status as a human being.First, the unborn is living. She meets all the biological criteria for life: metabolism, cellular reproduction and reaction to stimuli. Moreover, she is clearly growing, and dead things (of course) don’t grow. Second, the unborn is human. She possesses a human genetic signature that proves this beyond any doubt…Living things do not become something different as they grow and mature; rather, they develop the way that they do precisely because of the kind of being that they are. Third, the unborn is genetically and functionally distinct from (though dependent on and resting inside of) the pregnant woman. Her growth and maturation are internally directed, and her DNA is unique and different from that of any other cell in the woman’s body. She develops her own arms, legs, brain, central nervous system, etc.To say that a fetus is part of the pregnant woman’s body is to say that the woman has four arms and four legs….Fourth, the unborn is a whole or complete (though immature) organism. That is, she is not a mere part of another living thing, but is her own organism – an entity whose parts work together in a self-integrated fashion to bring the whole to maturity. Her genetic information is fully present at conception, determining to a large extent her physical characteristics (including sex, eye color, skin color, bone structure, etc.); she needs only a suitable environment and nutrition to develop herself through the different stages of human life. Thus, the unborn is a distinct, living and whole human organism – a full-fledged member of the species homo sapiens, like you and me, only at a much earlier stage in her development. She is a human being.”Leading scientists and embryology textbooks confirm this fact. Stark acknowledged that the texts and individuals could be cited “ad nauseam”. One of the most widely used embryology texts, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology by Keith L. Moore and T.V.N. Persaud, states, “Human development begins at fertilization when a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoon) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell – a zygote.This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.” Dr. MichelineMatthews-Roth of Harvard Medical School stated, “It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception when egg and sperm join to form the zygote, and this developing human is always a member of our species in all stages of its life.” After hearing expert testimony, the official report of a 1981 US Senate judiciary subcommittee stated, “Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning ofthe life of a human being – a being that is alive and is amember of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological,and scientific writings…no witness…raised any evidence to to refute the biological fact that from the moment of conception there exists a distinct individual being who is alive and is of the human species.”Stark stated that the claim “no one knows when life begins” is repeated so often that it must be addressed. He acknowledges that there is “debate about when a human being becomes (if she isn’t by nature) valuable and deserving of full moral respect.” However, “the strictly biological matter is clear…The life of a human being…begins at conception.” The argument that sperm and eggs are also human because they have the potential to become a child is “bad biology. The sperm and egg are simply parts of larger organisms. When they unite they cease to be and something new comes into existence: the zygote, whole organism with the active capacity to develop into a mature member of its species, given only a suitable environment and nutrition. Each of us was once a zygote, but none of us was ever a sperm or egg.”There are those who compare the zygote or embryo to other somatic cells which are human, living and possess a full genetic code. But these cells are not actual human beings. There is a critical difference between body cells such a skin cells and a zygote or embryo. The zygote or embryo “is a distinct and complete individual whose parts work together in a coordinated fashion to develop thewhole to maturity.” Skin cells and other somatic cells“function as mere parts of a larger organism.” Another argument that is made is that since very early embryos can split into two distinct embryos (twinning) then the early embryo is not a unitary individual. Stark noted that if flatworm is cut in half, or an organism is cloned, “a single organism gives rise to two distinct organisms. In both cases the original entity is a unitary, self-integrating, whole individual. The scientific evidence shows that the embryo likewise functions as its own organism, from the zygote stage forward, regardless of whether twinning occurs.”There are also those who claim that human life doesn’t begin until the unborn develops a brain. Stark argued,“brain death is accepted as a criterion only because it signals the end of the body’s ability to function as an integrated organism, for which the brain, in older humans, is essential. After brain death there is no longer a unitary organism. By contrast, the embryo is a unitary organism from conception, actively developing to the next stage of human life. The brain, at this earliest stage, is not yet necessary for her to function as such.”Stark concluded, “Because the scientific facts are clear,the permissibility of taking human life hinges on a moral question. Do all human beings merit full moral respect and protection, …or only some?” Submitted by Regina CarbonaroPaul Stark, a member of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, wrote an opinion piece at LifeNews.com (10/8/15)and stated, “Before deciding how we ought to treat the unborn – a moral question – we must first be clear about what the unborn is. This is a scientific question, and it is answered with clarity by the science of human embryology.”Stark wrote that the facts of reproduction are clear. At fertilization, the sperm and egg cease to exist. ‘Fertilized egg’is an inaccurate term. A zygote – a single cell with 46 chromosomes (23 from each parent) is what exists. This is the point of conception – the beginning of a new human organism. Zygote, embryo and fetus refer to the developmental stages of a human being.Stark continued by pointing out the “four features of the unborn (i.e., the human zygote, embryo or fetus)[which] are relevant to his/her status as a human being.First, the unborn is living. She meets all the biological criteria for life: metabolism, cellular reproduction and reaction to stimuli. Moreover, she is clearly growing, and dead things (of course) don’t grow. Second, the unborn is human. She possesses a human genetic signature that proves this beyond any doubt…Living things do not become something different as they grow and mature; rather, they develop the way that they do precisely because of the kind of being that they are. Third, the unborn is genetically and functionally distinct from (though dependent on and resting inside of) the pregnant woman. Her growth and maturation are internally directed, and her DNA is unique and different from that of any other cell in the woman’s body. She develops her own arms, legs, brain, central nervous system, etc.To say that a fetus is part of the pregnant woman’s body is to say that the woman has four arms and four legs….Fourth, the unborn is a whole or complete (though immature) organism. That is, she is not a mere part of another living thing, but is her own organism – an entity whose parts work together in a self-integrated fashion to bring the whole to maturity. Her genetic information is fully present at conception, determining to a large extent her physical characteristics (including sex, eye color, skin color, bone structure, etc.); she needs only a suitable environment and nutrition to develop herself through the different stages of human life. Thus, the unborn is a distinct, living and whole human organism – a full-fledged member of the species Homo sapiens, like you and me, only at a much earlier stage in her development. She is a human being.”Leading scientists and embryology textbooks confirm this fact. Stark acknowledged that the texts and individuals could be cited “ad nauseam”. One of the most widely used embryology texts, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology by Keith L. Moore and T.V.N. Persaud, states, “Human development begins at fertilization when a male gamete or sperm (spermatozoon) unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell – a zygote.This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.” Dr. MichelineMatthews-Roth of Harvard Medical School stated, “It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception, when egg and sperm join to form the zygote, and this developing human is always a member of our species in all stages of its life.” After hearing expert testimony, the official report of a 1981 US Senate judiciary subcommittee stated, “Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being – a being that is alive and is a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings…no witness…raised any evidence to refute the biological fact that from the moment of conception there exists a distinct individual being who is alive and is of the human species.”Stark stated that the claim “no one knows when life begins” is repeated so often that it must be addressed. He acknowledges that there is “debate about when a human being becomes (if she isn’t by nature) valuable and deserving of full moral respect.” However, “the strictly biological matter is clear…The life of a human being…begins at conception.” The argument that sperm and egg are also human because they have the potential to become a child is “bad biology. The sperm and egg are simply parts of larger organisms. When they unite they cease to be and something new comes into existence: the zygote, whole organism with the active capacity to develop into a mature member of its species, given only a suitable environment and nutrition. Each of us was once a zygote, but none of us was ever a sperm or egg.”There are those who compare the zygote or embryo to other somatic cells which are human, living and possess a full genetic code. But these cells are not actual human beings. There is a critical difference between body cells such as skin cells and a zygote or embryo. The zygote or embryo “is a distinct and complete individual whose parts work together in a coordinated fashion to develop the whole to maturity.” Skin cells and other somatic cells“function as mere parts of a larger organism.” Another argument that is made is that since very early embryos can split into two distinct embryos (twinning) then the early embryo is not a unitary individual. Stark noted that if aflatworm is cut in half, or an organism is cloned, “a singleorganism gives rise to two distinct organisms. In both cases the original entity is a unitary, self-integrating, whole individual. The scientific evidence shows that the embryo likewise functions as its own organism, from the zygote stage forward, regardless of whether twinning occurs.”There are also those who claim that human life doesn’tbegin until the unborn develops a brain. Stark argued,“brain death is accepted as a criterion only because it signals the end of the body’s ability to function as an inte-grated organism, for which the brain, in older humans, isessential. After brain death there is no longer a unitaryorganism. By contrast, the embryo is a unitary organism from conception, actively developing to the next stage of human life. The brain, at this earliest stage, is not yet nec-essary for her to function as such.”Stark concluded, “Because the scientific facts are clear,the permissibility of taking human life hinges on a moral question. Do all human beings merit full moral respect and protection, …or only some?” Submitted by Regina Carbonaro

An Abstract authored by Denise Araujo Lapa Pedreira entitled “Advances in fetal surgery” appeared in the Jan/Mar 2016 issue of Einstein (São Paulo) vol.14 no.1. Her purpose was to discuss “the main advances in fetal surgical therapy aiming to inform healthcare professionals about the state-of-the-art techniques and future challenges in this field.” She discusses “the necessary steps of technical evolution from the initial open fetal surgery approach until the development of minimally invasive techniques of fetal endoscopic surgery (fetoscopy).” The author notes that currently the following “fetal malformations can be treated with fetal surgery…monochorionic twin gestation complications (twin transfusion syndrome, acardiac twin,isolated intrauterine growth restriction, etc.), congenital diaphragmatic hernia (an intratracheal balloon is placed using fetal bronchoscopy), constrictive amniotic bands, lower urinary tract obstruction and, more recently, myelomeningocele” (the most serious form of spina bifida).“Fetal surgery began in the 1980s via open surgery(maternal laparotomy, followed by hysterectomy with direct exposure of the fetus) and was gradually replaced by a less invasive surgical technique named fetoscopy, where ultrasound guides the entrance of a video camera inside the uterus. In the beginning, fetos-copy was carried out only in amniotic fluid medium,using a single port to access the uterine cavity andusing an endoscopic scope with a working channelwhere a laser fiber can be fitted for the coagulation ofblood vessels, where micro catheters go through forthe balloon insertion, as well as, small bipolarforceps.”The author notes that the “fluid medium poses limi-tations for more complex surgeries that require dissec-tion and suture. Images acquired in fluid medium havelower quality than in the aerial medium, and if bleeding occurs, the hemorrhagic fluid does not allow anadequate imaging”. This can result in the procedurenot being completed. Also, movement of the fetus from an “ideal position” can limit the ability to com-plete the procedure. The author stated that “to performfetoscopy in the aerial medium became crucial to theadvances in fetal surgery.”In 2011, the Management of MyelomeningoceleStudy (MOMS) used open surgery for fetal repair.Drs. Adzick et al concluded that “prenatal surgery formyelomeningocele reduced the need for shunting andimproved motor outcomes at 30 months, but was asso-ciated with maternal and fetal risks” (increased risk ofpreterm delivery, uterine dehiscence (rupture), needfor blood transfusions, pulmonary edema). Pedreiranotes that “after a c-section, hysterorrhaphy can healwithout tension, because the baby is already out,while in the open surgery, the fetus remains and con-tinues to grow – therefore the hysterorrhaphy remainsunder constant and progressive tension.”Pedreira noted that “despite these risks, open fetalsurgery became the gold standard to treat mye-lomeningocele”. The search for minimally invasivetechniques that would increase maternal safety con-tinued. In 2014, T. Kohl at the German Center forFetal Surgery and Minimally Invasive Therapy re-ported that a study which included 51 human fetusesemploying “percutaneous (through the skin) minimal-access fetoscopic closure of spina bifida aperta(SBA)” resulted in “a high rate of technical success,regardless of placental or fetal position.” All fetusessurvived the surgery. One very early preterm deliverya week after surgery resulted in immediate death. An-other died from “an unsuspected case of trisomy 13,and there were two infant deaths from Chiari-II mal-formation.” (Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol, 2014 Nov)Pedreira stated that Kohl et al in Germany and hergroup in Brazil were the only groups (at the time ofpublication in 2016) that were pursuing “an entirelypercutaneous endoscopic approach for the prenataltreatment of myelomeningocele…Both groups usefetoscopy with partial carbon dioxide insufflation, butdifferent surgical techniques for the repair itself.” Shenotes that just as in the “transition between perform-ing surgery using laparotomy to using the laparoscop-ic approach, it was necessary to develop new surgicaltechniques, new instruments, trocars access, closuredevices, etc.” She notes that “the German techniquehas achieved neurological developmental results thatare quite similar to the results of the MOMS study,but with minimal maternal morbidity. The Braziliantechnique, (SAFER – Skin-over-biocellulose for An-tenatal Fetoscopic Repair) has obtained superior neu-rologic results compared to the MOMS study.” How-ever, she warns that the results are preliminary (23cases so far). In addition, “because three ports areneeded to access the uterine cavity, the mean gesta-tional age of delivery is slightly inferior, and thepremature rupture of membrane rate is superior [to]the results of the MOMS study.”Pedreira concluded, “We believe that further tech-nical development in the near future will confirm ifthis new technique is not only SAFER to the mother,but also better [for] the fetus.”Submitted by Regina Carbonaro 516-243-1435

 

First TrimesterDuring the first 8 weeks, an unborn child is called anembryo. The embryo grows 10,000 times in size fromconception through the first 4 weeks. The vital organcalled the placenta has vessels from the mother to theunborn child that intertwine without joining. This organis the source of nourishment. The heart begins to pulsateand pump blood during the 3rd week. By the end of 4weeks all major systems and organs begin to form. Theneural tube (which becomes the brain and spinal cord),the digestive system, and the heart circulatory systembegin to form. The embryo has an independent oxygendiffusion system. The beginnings of the eyes and earsare developing. Tiny limb buds which will develop intoarms and legs appear. By eight weeks, all major bodysystems including the circulatory, nervous, digestive andurinary systems continue to develop and function. Thecentral nervous system is now functioning, and 40 mus-cle sets begin their first exercises. The embryo is takingon a human shape, although the head is larger in propor-tion to the rest of the body. The mouth is developingtooth buds, which will become baby teeth. The eyes,nose, mouth and ears are becoming more distinct. Armsand legs are clearly visible. Fingers and toes are stillwebbed but can be clearly distinguished. The fetal heart-beat can be heard using a Doppler. Bones, nose and jawsare rapidly developing. The embryo is in constant mo-tion, but cannot be felt by the mother. The unborn childreacts to touch.After 8 weeks, the unborn child is referred to as afetus (Latin for ‘little one’). At 8 weeks, the fetus is 1 to1 1/2 inches long and all major organs and systems havebeen formed. During weeks 9 – 12, the external genitalorgans are developed, fingernails and toenails appear,eyelids are formed, fetal movement increases, the armsand legs are fully formed, and the larynx begins to formin the trachea. The unborn child can now squint,swallow, move the tongue and sleeps and awakens.There is now a distinct set of fingerprints. Sensitive totouch, the unborn child will now grasp an object placedin the palm. The fetus breathes amniotic fluid to helpdevelop and strengthen the respiratory system, butoxygen is supplied through the umbilical cord. The mostvulnerable time for the unborn child is during the first12 weeks. All the major organs and body systems aredeveloping and can be damaged by exposure to drugs,German measles, radiation, tobacco and chemical andtoxic substances. Although all the organs and bodysystems are fully formed by the end of 12 weeks, thefetus cannot survive independently.Second TrimesterNow that all the major organs and systems have formed,the following 6 months are spent growing. By 4 months,the unborn child is 6-7 inches long. The mother may feelmovement. The unborn child’s brain is maturing, aprocess that will continue long past birth. The eyelids aresealed shut and will re-open at 7 months. Taste buds areworking. 300 quarts of fluid a day pass through theumbilical cord. Fine hair is growing on the head, eye-brows and eyelashes. Facial expressions can be seen.Rapid eye movements (REMs), a sign of dreaming canbe recorded. At the end of 5 months, the unborn child is10-12 inches long and weighs about 1 lb. Babies born atthis age have survived. The 20th week marks the halfwaypoint of the pregnancy. Pain receptors (nociceptors) arepresent throughout the unborn child’s entire body by 20weeks. After 20 weeks, the unborn child reacts to stimulithat would be recognized as painful if applied to anadult. In the unborn child, application of such painfulstimuli is associated with significant increases in stresshormones (the stress response). Subjection to painful stimuli is associated with long-term harmful neuro-developmental effects, such as altered pain sensitivity and possibly, emotional, behavioral, and learning disabilities later in life. Fetal anesthesia is routinely administeredduring surgery on unborn children and is associated witha decrease in stress hormones compared to their levelwhen painful stimuli are applied without anesthesia.There is documented reaction of unborn children topainful stimuli. Fetal surgeons have found it necessary tosedate the unborn child in order to prevent thrashingabout in reaction to invasive surgery. There is substantialmedical evidence that an unborn child is capable ofexperiencing pain by 20 weeks. By the 24th week, theunborn child can be 11-14 inches long and weighs about1 3/4 lbs. Oil and sweat glands function and helpregulate body temperature. Vernix caseosa, a creamywhite substance protects the delicate skin from amnioticfluid and from scratches as the unborn child twists andturns. The unborn child responds to sound. The lungs arefairly well developed and the unborn child stands a goodchance of survival if born at this time.Third TrimesterIn the 7th month, the unborn child uses 4 senses. Theeyelids open and close and the eyes look around, and theunborn child can taste, touch, cough and hiccup. Thegrip is even stronger now than it will be after birth. Anti-bodies are received from the mother that provide immun-ity to a wide variety of diseases. The unborn child is now14-17 inches and weighs 2 1/2 – 3 lbs. The bones of theskull remain soft to allow the unborn child to passthrough the birth canal. Fat deposits under the skin elimi-nate wrinkling and will provide warmth after birth. Atthe end of 8 months the unborn child is about 16 – 18inches long and weighs 4 1/2 – 5 1/2 lbs. In the 9thmonth, the unborn child usually shifts to a head-downposition in preparation for birth. At 9 months, the unbornchild averages about 19 inches and 7 lbs., but this varieswidely. The human growth process will continue formany years after birth.

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Eugenics

Eugenics

Articles

American and Korean scientists published an article in nature announcing they successfully edited a single gene in human embryos. Lauran Neergaard reported at AP that“researchers safely repaired a disease-causing gene[MYBPC3] in human embryos, targeting a heart defect best known for killing young athletes – a big step toward one day preventing a list of inherited diseases… a research team led by Oregon Health & Science University reported that embryos can help fix themselves if scientists jump-start the process early enough…Previous embryo-editing attempts inChina found not every cell was repaired, a safety concern called mosaicism. Beginning the process before fertilization avoided that problem.”

 

Neergaard reported, “The team programmed a gene-editing tool, named CRISPR-Cas9, that acts like a pair of molecular scissors to find that mutation – a missing piece of genetic material… Researchers injected sperm from a patient with the heart condition along with those molecular scissors into healthy donated eggs at the same time. The scissors cut the defective DNA in the sperm. Normally cells will repair a CRISPR-induced cut in DNA by essentially gluing the ends back together. Or scientists can try delivering the missing DNA in a repair package, like a computer cut-and-paste program. Instead, the newly forming embryos made their own perfect fix without that outside help, reported Oregon Health & Science University senior researcherShoukhrat Mitalipov.” Neergaard continued, “It worked 72% of the time, in 42 out of 58 embryos. Normally a sick parent has a 50-50 chance of passing on the mutation.”Mitalipov, stated, “Every generation on would carry this repair because we’ve removed the disease-causing gene variant from that family’s lineage. By using this technique, it’s possible to reduce the burden of this heritable disease on the family and eventually the human population.”Mitalipov also stated that until now, “everybody was inject-ing too late.” According to Neergaard, the researchers stated that “intense testing [did not] uncover any ‘off-target’errors [or] cuts to DNA in the wrong places…The embryos weren’t allowed to develop beyond eight cells, a standard for laboratory research. The experiments were privately funded; US tax dollars aren’t allowed for embryo research.”

 

Victoria Aitken reported at the Daily Mail, “It has the potential to revolutionize medicine and could lead to the eradication of inherited diseases such as cystic fibrosis and breast cancer. Campaigners warned however that it might also open the door to ‘superior designer babies’ with genes modified to improve physical appearance, strength or even intelligence.” Dr. David King of Human Genetics Alert stated, “What concerns me most is that we will start making babies order, and then expecting them to perform according to the way we have genetically designed them…That is because the nuclear DNA at the heart of a cell, which these scientists tweaked, also determines personal characteristics.This raises the prospect of genetically engineered‘superheroes’ made to be more athletic or extra intelligent at the request of parents…But the researchers have edited only a single gene so far, using a technique which has still to be proven to work in babies rather than just embryos.”

 

Neergard said,”’ germline’ changes – altering sperm, eggs, or embryos – are controversial because they would be permanent, passed down to future generations.” She noted that “genetics and ethics experts not involved in the work say it’s a critical first step – but just one step – toward eventually testing the process in pregnancy, something currently prohibited by US policy. “This is very elegant lab work, but it’s moving so fast that society needs to catch up and debate how far it should go,” said Johns Hop-kins University bioethicist Jeffrey Kahn. And lots more research is needed to tell if it’s really safe, added Britain’sRobin Lovell-Badge. He and Kahn were part of a NationalAcademy of Sciences report earlier this year that said if germline editing ever were allowed, it should be only for serious diseases with no good alternatives and done with strict oversight. “What we do not want is for rogue clinicians to start offering treatments” that are unproven…Among key questions: Would the technique work if mom,not dad, harbored the mutation? Is repair even possible if both parents pass on a bad gene? …Mitalipov said the research should offer critics some reassurance: If embryos prefer self-repair, it would be extremely hard to add traits for ‘designer babies’ rather than just eliminate disease,“All we did is un-modify the already mutated gene.”

 

Sciencenews.org reported on 7/5/17 that genes associated with the coronary artery disease are also linked to fertility, as well as fetal development and survival. “A June 22ndreport in PLOS Genetics showed a genetic connection between reproduction and heart disease. The Scien-cenews.org article concluded, “This study may be a warning for gene therapy since it suggests there are many genetic connections between different bodily functions that scientists don’t yet understand…If scientists want to treat coronary artery disease by editing a person’s DNA, it is important to know what other traits might be affected. The new findings also raise questions about the various functions of other disease-related genes…For instance, a future study could examine whether genes associated with cancer have any hidden evolutionary benefits.” Sciencenews.orgalso reported on 7/20/17 that resistance to CRISPR gene drives occurred at high rates in experiments with fruit flies.

 

Michael Cook commented at Bioedge.org 8/5/17, “For others, creating and destroying human embryos for research is itself anathema. In this experiment, dozens of embryos were created, and all were destroyed before they had grown beyond a few days. But everyone recognized the potential for a new generation of eugenics, which has long been under the shadow of the Nazis’ discredited ideology. David Albert Jones, of the UK’s Anscombe Institute, penned a withering critique, Unethical research with eugenic goals. “The whole rationale for this experiment is to take a step towards genetic modification as assisted reproductive technology. We are manufacturing new human beings for manipulation and quality control, and experimenting on them with the aim of forging greater eugenic control over human reproduction. This is not a case of using bad means for a good end, but of bad means to a worse end.”

 

Wesley Smith questioned at LifeNews.com on 7/27/17“So are we going to just watch, slack-jawed, the double-time march to Brave New World unfold before our eyes? Or are we going to engage democratic deliberation to determine if this should be done, and if so, what the parameters are? …Mr. President: We need a presidential bioethics/biotechnology commission now!”

Michael Cook, editor of MercatorNet.com, published an article on 2/22/17 concerning the breakdown of the public’s trust of the science/research community. The Na-tional Academy of Sciences and the National Academyof Medicine recently released a report entitled “HumanGenome Editing: Science, Ethics, and Governance”.Cook states that “the central question it poses is whethereugenics is safe and ethical. Its answer is that eugenicswould be ethical if it were safe. This is oversimplifyingthe tentative prose of this dense 300-page report, ofcourse, but not greatly.”Cook acknowledges that “there is an urgency to thesequestions. A technique has been found which can modifythe human genome quickly and efficiently. Called CRIS-PR/Cas9, it allows scientists to snip strands of DNA, re-moving some genes and inserting others. The opportuni-ties and the dangers are immense. If it is confined to non-reproductive cells, it can be used to develop therapiesand cure diseases. Curing ailments in utero is particularly promising.“But it will also be possible to modify the humangermline cells, of the eggs and sperm or the resultingembryo so that genetic changes can be passed on to fu-ture generations. If this happens, society could be re-lieved from the burden of genetic diseases; parents willbe able to design their offspring; and the dreams of trans-humanists will start to unfold. In plain language, this iscalled eugenics.”The authors of the report admit that it will be hard to stopthe spread of ‘do-it-yourself’ eugenics in the UnitedStates. The authors stated, “Access to germline genomeediting would be consistent with the broadest legal andcultural interpretations of parental autonomy rights in theUnited States…Precluding access to this technologycould be regarded as limiting parental autonomy, de-pending upon the country and the culture. Indeed, somepeople feel they have a religious or historical mandate tohave genetically related children.”On February 18th, the Economist ran an article (Leaderssection, “Sex and Science”) about the report and stated,“Happy parents and healthy children make a pretty goodrule for thinking about any reproductive technology. Aprocedure’s safety is the central concern. Proving this isa high hurdle. Researchers are, wrongly in the eyes ofsome, allowed to experiment on human embryos whenthey consist of just a few cells…Defining the limits ofwhat should be allowed is more slippery. But again, thetest of happy parents and healthy children is the rightone. Growing sperm and eggs from body cells is surelythe least problematic new technique soon to be on of-fer…But the law should insist that two people be in-volved. If one person tried to be both father and motherto a child, the resulting eggs and sperm would, withoutrecourse to wholesale gene editing, combine to concen-trate harmful mutations in what would amount to theultimate form of inbreeding…The first gene editing willeliminate genetic diseases in a way that now requiresembryo selection – an advance many would applaud.Adults should be able to clone perfect copies of themselves, as an aspect of self-determination. But breedingbabies with new traits and cloning other people raisesquestions of equality and whether it is ever right to useother people’s tissues without their consent. The ques-tions will be legion. Should bereaved parents be able toclone a lost child? Or a widow her departed husband?Should the wealthy be able to pay for their children tobe intelligent and diligent, if nobody else can afford todo so? Commissions of experts will need to search foranswers; and courts will need to apply the rules – toprotect the interests of the unborn. They will be able todraw on precedents, such as identical twins, where soci-ety copes with clones perfectly well, or ‘savior sib-lings’, selected using IVF to provide stem cells that cancure a critically ill older brother or sister. Any regimemust be adaptable, because opinions change as peopleget used to new techniques. Going by the past, though,the risk is not of people rushing headlong to the repro-ductive extremes, but of holding back, and leaving peo-ple to suffer out of a misplaced sense of what feelsright.”Cook stated that it was only a little over a year ago thatthe National Academy of Science held a summit andconcluded it would be “irresponsible to proceed withany clinical use of germline editing [until it was safeand] there is a broad societal consensus.” Cook went onto say that even though these conditions have not beenmet the latest report recommended that “with stringentoversight, heritable germline editing clinical trials couldone day be permitted for serious conditions. He notesthat even though the report sounded cautious, its ethicsare clear – “there is nothing intrinsically wrong witheugenics, provided it is safe and legal.”The [National Academy] report suggests that the gov-ernment needs to launch a public engagement programto overcome the public’s resistance. Cook concluded,“this sounds suspiciously like what used to be calledpropaganda… [and was used successfully in the UK] topermit the creation of human-animal embryos and three-parent embryos…It is projects like this expensive exer-cise in justifying eugenics which widen the gap betweenthe science community and the public. They strengthenthe view that scientists regard ethics merely as an obsta-cle to progress. And that’s not what most Americansbelieve.”Michael Cook, editor of MercatorNet.com, published anarticle on 2/22/17 concerning the breakdown of the pub-lic’s trust of the science/research community. The Na-tional Academy of Sciences and the National Academyof Medicine recently released a report entitled “HumanGenome Editing: Science, Ethics, and Governance”.Cook states that “the central question it poses is whethereugenics is safe and ethical. Its answer is that eugenicswould be ethical if it were safe. This is oversimplifyingthe tentative prose of this dense 300-page report, ofcourse, but not greatly.”Cook acknowledges that “there is an urgency to thesequestions. A technique has been found which can modifythe human genome quickly and efficiently. Called CRIS-PR/Cas9, it allows scientists to snip strands of DNA, re-moving some genes and inserting others. The opportuni-ties and the dangers are immense. If it is confined to non-reproductive cells, it can be used to develop therapiesand cure diseases. Curing ailments in utero is particularlypromising.“But it will also be possible to modify the humangermline cells, of the eggs and sperm or the resultingembryo so that genetic changes can be passed on to fu-ture generations. If this happens, society could be re-lieved from the burden of genetic diseases; parents willbe able to design their offspring; and the dreams of trans-humanists will start to unfold. In plain language, this iscalled eugenics.”The authors of the report admit that it will be hard to stopthe spread of ‘do-it-yourself’ eugenics in the UnitedStates. The authors stated, “Access to germline genomeediting would be consistent with the broadest legal andcultural interpretations of parental autonomy rights in theUnited States…Precluding access to this technologycould be regarded as limiting parental autonomy, de-pending upon the country and the culture. Indeed, somepeople feel they have a religious or historical mandate tohave genetically related children.”On February 18th, the Economist ran an article (Leaderssection, “Sex and Science”) about the report and stated,“Happy parents and healthy children make a pretty goodrule for thinking about any reproductive technology. Aprocedure’s safety is the central concern. Proving this isa high hurdle. Researchers are, wrongly in the eyes ofsome, allowed to experiment on human embryos whenthey consist of just a few cells…Defining the limits ofwhat should be allowed is more slippery. But again, thetest of happy parents and healthy children is the rightone. Growing sperm and eggs from body cells is surelythe least problematic new technique soon to be on of-fer…But the law should insist that two people be in-volved. If one person tried to be both father and motherto a child, the resulting eggs and sperm would, withoutrecourse to wholesale gene editing, combine to concen-trate harmful mutations in what would amount to theultimate form of inbreeding…The first gene editing willeliminate genetic diseases in a way that now requiresembryo selection – an advance many would applaud.Adults should be able to clone perfect copies of them-selves, as an aspect of self-determination. But breedingbabies with new traits and cloning other people raisesquestions of equality and whether it is ever right to useother people’s tissues without their consent. The ques-tions will be legion. Should bereaved parents be able toclone a lost child? Or a widow her departed husband?Should the wealthy be able to pay for their children to be intelligent and diligent, if nobody else can afford to do so? Commissions of experts will need to search for answers; and courts will need to apply the rules – to protect the interests of the unborn. They will be able to draw on precedents, such as identical twins, where society copes with clones perfectly well, or ‘savior siblings’, selected using IVF to provide stem cells that can cure a critically ill older brother or sister. Any regime must be adaptable, because opinions change as people get used to new techniques. Going by the past, though,the risk is not of people rushing headlong to the reproductive extremes, but of holding back, and leaving people to suffer out of a misplaced sense of what feels right.”Cook stated that it was only a little over a year ago that the National Academy of Science held a summit and concluded it would be “irresponsible to proceed with any clinical use of germ line editing [until it was safe and] there is a broad societal consensus.” Cook went onto say that even though these conditions have not been met the latest report recommended that “with stringent oversight, heritable germline editing clinical trials could one day be permitted for serious conditions. He notes that even though the report sounded cautious, its ethics are clear – “there is nothing intrinsically wrong with eugenics, provided it is safe and legal.”The [National Academy] report suggests that the government needs to launch a public engagement program to overcome the public’s resistance. Cook concluded,“this sounds suspiciously like what used to be called propaganda… [and was used successfully in the UK] to permit the creation of human-animal embryos and three-parent embryos…It is projects like this expensive exercise in justifying eugenics which widen the gap between the science community and the public. They strengthen the view that scientists regard ethics merely as an obstacle to progress. And that’s not what most Americans believe.” 

Note: The article transcripts above have been generated from original source text. While the transcript rarely is inaccurate, thing happen. For a 100% percent accurate copy of any of the above articles, click the download button to get a PDF.

Ectogenesis

Ectogenesis

Articles

Ectogenesis is the gestation of a fetus in an artificial environment. Georgi Boorman reported at the Federalist(10/26/17) that researchers project that in less than 10 years we should be able “to improve the survival rates of extremely premature babies by letting them develop inside“extracorporeal devices,” or artificial wombs. It has been successfully tested on 8 lambs from what equates to 22-24weeks’ human gestation.” The lambs remained in the Biobags for 28 days, but the researchers stated that the lambs could have stayed in the Biobags longer. The study, published in Nature Communications, was led by fetal surgeonAlan Flake at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He stated, “The whole idea is to support normal development; to re-create everything that the mother does in every way that we can to support normal fetal development and maturation.” According to Boorman, Flake “hopes to test the device on premature infants within the next 3-5 years, but they don’t plan on pushing viability back any farther than about five months’ gestation.”
Xavier Symons wrote at Bioedge.org (10/28/17), “the possibility of ectogenesis raises significant ethical questions, such as: “will ectogenesis allow us to reconcile pro-choice and pro-life positions on abortion?” Some ethicists feel that this new technology will remove the physical burden that a child poses during the duration of fetal development. University of Toronto bioethicists Eric Mathison and Jeremy Davis argue that women have a right to abortion – having the fetus removed from their bodies – but not a right to kill the fetus; by removing the fetus and placing it in ectogenesis the rights of both the mother and the fetus are respected. Mathison and Davis call this solution ectogenesis abortion’. Symons stated that other ethicists“ are suspicious of this view.” Joonas Rasanen wrote in the journal Bioethics, “…if ectogenesis abortions become reality, some women (and men) will have genetic children… who carry their genetic material without their consent…their right to genetic privacy has been violated, and the only way to avoid this is if they have a right to the death of the fetus…the genetic parents own the fetus, and because of that, their property rights are violated if the fetus is gestated in an artificial womb without their consent.”Boorman warns, “While this technology holds much promise for premature babies, we should…think through the potential ramifications…explore the ways in which artificial wombs could impact reproduction and our society…we must consider these potential outcomes with care. Technology is not to be feared, but the vast capacity of humans to use it for evil is important to guard against…as man’s power over nature increases, his ability to love and care for his fellow man is bound up with the ability to abuse and exploit him.”
Boorman refers to bioethicist Dena Davis of Lehigh University, who said that Biobags would ‘blur the line’ between a fetus and a baby, requiring an ‘overhaul of abortion law’. Clarke Forsythe of Americans United for Life explained that “according to the court’s formulation of abortion doctrine, ‘being born’ means ‘term’, but according to laws regarding fetal homicide, unlawful death, and fetal injury, ‘being born’ means ‘outside’ [the womb] without regard to gestational age.” Boorman reflects that “artificial wombs would force the law to line up with itself”. The legal definition of viability varies from state to state, and the artificial womb has the potential to push viability back much earlier than five months. Forsy the asked, “If you have an available artificial womb…can the law treat the child as viable?”
Another question raised by Boorman was if the “mere fact that artificial womb technology (AWT) can save an extremely premature baby [does that mean] that all babies of AWT-viable age should be protected from abortion? Complicating matters is that not just the artificial womb must exist, but the technology to evacuate the baby in a manner that is relatively safe for the mother.” Law professor Stephen G. Gilles argues that the “concept of viability is in question, not just the gestational age at which it is set.” The Roe v Wade and Casey decisions defined viability as when the fetus can survive outside any womb – not simply outside the mother’s womb. Gilles admits “the literal language about ‘artificial aid’ could be stretched to cover artificial wombs.”
The authors of the lamb study are aiming to help save human preemies between 22-24 weeks gestation. However, Boorman acknowledges that as technology advances, viability outside the womb could be pushed much earlier. Currently, “roughly 90% of all abortions are done in the first trimester, which is well beyond AWT’s supposed capability ten years out.”
Boorman points out several other questions that will be raised with AWT. Gilles argues that “the right to elective abortion will continue to apply to fetuses that are not yet developmentally viable-even though these fetuses can be rescued [with AWT].” Does a woman have a right to a ‘terminative abortion’ or an ‘evacuative abortion’? AWTforces abortion extremists to admit that abortion is not about bodily autonomy, but the right to beget a child. Should courts order the removal of preborn babies from damaging circumstances? Does the welfare of the child compel the government to override ‘my body, my choice?” Will AWT require ‘womb orphanages’ or ‘preborn care centers’ that are government-run or subsidized? Could the number of abandoned babies surpass the current number of abortions? The surrogate industry will be impacted by AWT. Matthew Eppinette of the Center for Bioethics and Culture warns that we would “still be faced with pregnancy contracts and the commodification of human life…[AWT] brings the specter of the manufacture of children to reality in a whole new way.” WillAWT lead to the growth of “fetus farms” for research and tissue harvesting? Will AWT lead to the degrading of the organic family? Epinette asks, “What is the line between sharing and forming children on the one hand, and designing and manufacturing them on the other? Where is the space to have this conversation, when the overriding factor is cost vs. benefits? The argument typically begins with, ‘this will relieve so much suffering.’ But it doesn’t end there. Soon it becomes, ‘We can control this rather than leaving it to chance. We can improve this. We should improve this. We must improve this.’And so on.” Submitted by Regina Carbonaro 631-243-1435
Editor’s Note: The Good Samaritan Family Resource Center affiliated with Planned Parenthood, referenced in the Nov. 2017 H & S column, is in San Francisco,CA.

Websites

Note: The article transcripts above have been generated from original source text. While the transcript rarely is inaccurate, thing happen. For a 100% percent accurate copy of any of the above articles, click the download button to get a PDF.

Assisted Suicide

Assisted Suicide

Jason Negri, M.S., J.D., of the Patients’ Rights Council, recommends that the term Doctor-Prescribed Suicide be used instead of Physician-Assisted Suicide or Medical-Aid-in-Dying, as it more accurately describes the process. His seminar on May 21st sponsored by the Long Island Coalition for Life Educational Trust was extremely informative.

One of the most glaring misunderstandings is that a patient takes “a pill” and slips away peacefully. However a massive dose of drugs is required – 90 to 100 pills. A doctor writes the prescription, but is not usually present when the individual ingests the pills. A therapeutic dosage for Seconal or Nembutal (barbituates) is 100 -200mg. A doctor-prescribed suicide dose is 90 to 100 times the usual therapeutic dose – 9000 to 10,000mg. Individuals often require “help” from a family member or friend to complete the process.

Negri warned that the Assisted Suicide/Euthanasia movement in the United States today is similar to the abortion movement pre-Roe (prior to 1973). Prior to the very public assisted suicide of Brittany Maynard in 2014, there were 5 to 8 states a year considering doctor-prescribed suicide. Negri stated that this year there are 28 states with proposed legislation.

Wesley Smith, in the Spring 2017 issue of the Life Legal Defense Foundation’s Lifeline magazine stated that the “greatest efforts [are] focused in Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey. While this issue mostly plays out at the state level, there is potential for the debate to go federal. In 1997, the United States Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that there is no constitutional right to assisted suicide. I believe advocates would like to try again for an assisted suicide Roe v. Wade – such as they recently achieved in Canada – but they would need around twenty states to legalize in order to make another go at it. Opponents of assisted suicide could strike a body blow by amending the Controlled Substances Act to prohibit the use of federally regulated drugs in the intentional ending of life. Indeed, during the Bush years, the Department of Justice interpreted the CSA to that effect, but that interpretation was deemed invalid by the United States Supreme Court, for failure to follow proper administrative procedures. It is worth noting, however, that the Court ruled that Congress could pass such a prohibition. Perhaps some intrepid congressperson or senator will take up that important cause.”

Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, reported at LifeNews.com (6/5/17) on a Canadian study that examined the reasons behind euthanasia cases in four major hospitals in the Toronto area. “The results of the study demonstrate that the main factor behind euthanasia deaths relates to existential distress. Indeed, the primary reason given by patients concerned the loss of autonomy – and not the unbearable pain that was conveniently sold to us from the beginning. Other reasons included fear of becoming a burden to those around them, fear of losing one’s dignity, or the fact of no longer appreciating one’s life. In other words, the Canadian picture continues a portrait well known in other parts of the world, in which the same motives are evoked to request assisted suicide. This pattern also confirms what we already knew: euthanasia is primarily a question of how we relate to others and how society views vulnerable people. Moreover, when loss of autonomy is evoked as an indignity that deserves death, we should first see it as a petty social judgment that affects all persons who suffer from a disability or a serious illness. Furthermore, we have the duty to fight this pernicious and intolerable verdic.”

Margaret Somerville reported at MercatorNet.com(5/22/17) that Dutch professor Dr. Theo Boer, a former member of one of Holland’s five Euthanasia RegionalReview Committees (2005-2014) will soon publish a study which shows, in Boer’s words, “the assumption that euthanasia will lead to lower suicide rates finds no support in the numbers. The percentage of euthanasia deaths of the total mortality rate tripled from 1.3% in 2002 to 4.08% in 2016. During that same period, the suicide numbers did not go down: From being 1,567 in 2002, they went up to 1,871 in 2015, a rise of 19.4%. The suicide rates reached a relative low of 1,353 in 2007, compared to which the 2015 numbers constitute a rise of 38.3%. This is even more significant given the fact that from 2007 on euthanasia started becoming available to people with chronic diseases – psychiatric diseases, dementia, and others…For the sake of comparison, I have looked at the suicide rates of some countries which are close to the Netherlands in terms of ethnicity, age, religion, and language, but which, with the exception of Belgium, lack the option of euthanasia. If the suicide numbers in the Netherlands have gone up, one would expect, at least a similar increase in the suicide numbers would occur in countries without the option of euthanasia. However… the Netherlands of all countries show the biggest increase in the suicide numbers.”

The national disability rights group Not Dead Yet countered the recent May 9th Albany lobby day for assisted suicide proponents by wearing hot pink Not Dead Yet– The Resistance t-shirts. The Albany Times Union reported “Opponents of aid in dying have said that if legislation is approved, medical research, health care providers and the disabled could be negatively impacted. Opponents also have warned that without proper oversight, there is potential for abuse by those who want to end the burden of caring for a terminally ill loved one.” Adam Prizio, manager of governmental affairs for the Center for Disability Rights, and Not Dead Yet’s attorney in the friend-of-the-court brief filed in the NY assisted suicide case that was heard in the NYS Court of Appeals in late May stated, “There’s no way to open this door just enough. No matter where you open it, some number of people with disabilities will be killed through coercion, through abuse, or through insurance companies trying to save money.” Schadenberg concluded, “In the face of this real ideological scourge, we must continue to promote a benevolent and inclusive vision that values those who are made vulnerable by sickness, old age, or disability by giving them the means to live with dignity and to be accompanied and comforted until their last breath.”

There are two physician-assisted suicide bills currently in committee in the NYS Legislature: A.5261B (Paulin) /S.5814 (Bonacic) and A.2129A (Rosenthal) / S.3685(Savino). A lawsuit has also been filed by an assisted suicide advocacy organization to overturn NY’s ban. NewYork’s current law prohibits assisting in suicide by anyone, including doctors who prescribe lethal doses of drugs. This law was challenged in 1994 and upheld as constitutional by the US Supreme Court in Vacco vs.Quill in 1997.

The 2011 Code of Medical Ethics of the AmericanMedical Association states, “Allowing physicians to participate in assisted suicide would cause more harm than good. Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.” The 2015 position statement of the MedicalSociety of the State of New York reads in part,”Compelling arguments have not been made for medicine to change its footing and to incorporate the active shortening of life into the norms of medical practice.

“The Memorandum of Opposition of the New York Association on Independent Living (NYAIL) states,” Assisted suicide legislation reinforces the idea that people with disabilities are burdensome and our lives are not worth living. Fears of becoming disabled and facing functional loss are often reported by doctors as reasons patients request assisted suicide. Proponents of assisted suicide often cite a loss of dignity as a reason to terminate one’s life. The disability community strongly opposes the belief that requiring the assistance of another individual activity of daily living such as dressing, bathing, and toileting is undignified or a legitimate reason to legalize physician-assisted suicide.

“Proponents of physician-assisted suicide often argue that this option is necessary to prevent suffering at the end of life. This is not the case as there are alternative options to prevent suffering. It is already legal in New York for individuals to create an advance directive to cease treatment under any circumstances they choose and to refuse treatment at any time. Palliative care is available and can provide pain relief to ensure a person is not in pain…NewYork should invest in educating the community about these options and focus on promoting and expanding palliative care so that it is an available option for anyone facing painful illness…The concern arises when a physician is permitted to sanction and actively facilitate such an act. People trust their doctors, yet doctors are sometimes wrong. Certainly, there are numerous instances where individuals have been told they have a terminal illness, only to live long, fulfilling lives. A CBS report last year found that12 million Americans annually are misdiagnosed. Yet patients tend to trust their doctors and may choose assisted suicide if it is presented as the best option without accurate informed consent, giving up good months or years of life.

“Furthermore, there is a significant risk that people may be steered into this decision for financial reasons. Government and private health insurance companies and healthcare providers would find physician-assisted suicide far less expensive than providing lifesaving treatments. Direct coercion is not even necessary. If insurers deny, or even merely delay, expensive life-saving treatment, the person will be steered toward assisted suicide. People with disabilities and serious illnesses should not be pressured into assisted suicide for economic reasons.

“The proposed legislation is based on the laws in Washington and Oregon, which have proven to have ineffectual safeguards against abuse. There is nothing in the legislation to effectively prevent a coercive family member or caregiver from doctor shopping with the individual to find a physician who will provide the fatal drug. There is nothing in the proposed legislation that would prevent an abusive caregiver or family member from steering the individual toward physician-assisted suicide, witnessing the request form, picking up the lethal dose, and even administering the drug. With no independent witness required at the death, there is no assurance of self-administration or even consent.

“Finally, the New York assisted suicide bills to contain no reporting requirements aside from a few entries in the medical record and the request form, which are subject to the strict confidentiality requirements of HIPAA. The proposed bills are simple immunity statutes, protecting everyone involved in the death except for the patient, no questions asked.”

The NYS Catholic Conference position paper on assisted suicide states, “New York State rightly spends millions of dollars each year in efforts to prevent suicide…. legalizing assisted suicide would send an inconsistent message by saying that some lives are not worth living. This double standard would be based entirely on disability, as patients fear “losing autonomy” or “being a burden” to others because of their disabilities from the terminal illness. LiftingNew York’s ban on assisted suicide would provide a deadly, unnecessary option to patients, many of whom fear pain, depression, and abandonment. These persons can be significantly helped through pain relief, palliative care, and the hospice environment and compassionate loving care.”

On September 11, 2015, the California legislaturepassed ABX2-15, the “End of Life Option Act,” whichlegalizes physician-assisted suicide. On October 5, 2015,California Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill saying hewouldn’t want to be in pain in his final days. Carol Tobiasof National Right to Life said the law “shows a blatant dis-regard for the lives of California’s medically vulnerablecitizens and sends a message to these citizens that theirlives are less worthy to be lived. The so-called ‘right to die’movement promotes these laws as simply ‘another medical option at the end of life,’ but their real goal is euthanasia on demand for any reason. There are no real safeguards…Itis a well-established fact that nearly every terminally illpatient who desires death is suffering from treatable de-pression…Rather than treat clinically depressed patients…the system that would be established by the Californiabill…indicates that you instead help the patients kill them-selves.” An article about the bill’s passage written by IanLovett in the New York Times referred to an observationby Dr. Aaron Kheriaty, director of the medical ethics pro-gram at the University of California, Irvine, School ofMedicine, “…[Kheriaty] said that low-income and underin-sured patients would inevitably feel pressure to end theirown lives in some cases, when the cost of continued treat-ment would be astronomical compared with the cost of afew lethal pills.” (www.lifenews.com, 10/5/15)

Jacqueline Harvey, Ph.D., and bioethicist with theCharlotte Lozier Institute, wrote an open letter to GovernorBrown regarding this bill. Her letter noted that “grosslyinappropriate tactics [were] employed to pass this hastylegislation without the vetting that killed virtually identicallegislation just months ago…The evidence on the dangersof assisted suicide has killed over 175 bills in 35 statessince the early ‘90’s. Assisted suicide bills fail 99.95% ofthe time when treated like every other piece of legislationand subjected to expert testimony, debate and possibleamendment…When legislators hear about the dangers ofassisted suicide in hearings, they reject it virtually everytime…This is what you will ensure for California, notmerely the death and destruction that legal assisted suicidewill wreak, but a bogged-down Assembly condemned todeal with the issue for years to come.” Harvey continued,“Consider that ABX2-15 was only passed by hijacking ses-sions you convened to focus on finding budgetary solutionsin health care and transportation …the healthcare financetopic in particular places you in a position of suggestingsuicide is a cost-containment measure in healthcare, like inOregon where requests for real treatment will not be paidfor, but suicide is completely covered. To affirm this be-havior by signing this bill would foremost result in badpolicy…As we end suicide prevention week, let your lega-cy be talking the suicidal down from the ledge – not givingthem a push.” (www.lifenews.com 9/16/15)

The American College of Physicians (ACP) sent a let-ter to Governor Brown on 9/16/15 urging him to veto thislegislation. The letter stated, “This is a physician-assistedsuicide (PAS) bill. ACP does not support PAS as an appro-priate action…Terms such as ‘end of life option’ and ‘aid-in-dying’ used in the bill are confusing and obscure what isat stake when physicians are asked to facilitate suicide. Weare deeply sympathetic to the concerns and fears patientsand their families have at the end of life. However, PAS isnot the answer and in fact, ACP sees it as abandonment ofthe dying patient. It is not the role of the physician to giveindividuals control over the cause and timing of death-themedicalization of suicide. The physician must always act inthe best interests of the patient as healer, comforter andtrusted advisor. PAS undermines trust in patient-physicianrelationships and trust in the profession of medicine. Pro-ponents of PAS claim it is an act of compassion in keepingwith the physician’s role as comforter. However, this argu-ment incorrectly assumes that physicians can only providecomfort for certain patients through facilitating suicide. Infact, physicians can and do provide comfort to dying pa-tients. It is a lack of awareness of these services and a per-ceived concern that patients will not have access to thiscare that helps drive interest in PAS as an option. We needto ensure that all patients have access to palliative care andhospice services at the end of life rather than promote sui-cide. Surveys show that many individuals do not knowwhat palliative care is but when told its definition, theyoverwhelmingly respond that they would want it for them-selves or their family members if they were severely ill…The highest priorities for care of dying patients should beexcellent palliative care, including alleviation of pain andother symptoms.”

The ACP letter concluded, “Patients often fear pain at the end of life, but physicians have an ethical obligation to treat pain with competence and compassion. Aggressive management of pain at the end of life is ethically acceptable, even when the risk of hastening death is foreseeable if the intent is to relieve pain…Procedurally, we were also very troubled by the last-minute inclusion of the PAS bill in the special legislative session on health care financing, bypassing usual procedures. We also note the paradox of access to PAS where there is no general right to health care. In Oregon, the irony of difficulties getting coverage for palliative services and pain drugs under the state’sMedicaid program-but no problem receiving PAS paid forms a covered service-has been noted…PAS is especially troubling in an environment of cost control in health care and continuing disparities in care. We hope you will join ACP in advocating that society should encourage those who seek suicide with a physician’s help to instead be provided with full access to the care and compassion that can alleviate their suffering. No Californian, or any American, should have to fear an undignified or pain-filled life or death. Providing greater access to palliative and hospice care needs our full attention. In this way, physicians can fulfill their mission and give dying patients and their families the care, compassion, and comfort they need and deserve.”

Note: Articles with a date come from the Health & Science Report in Long Island Coalition for Life’s Publication, “Life News”

News

Bioethics

Bioethics

Articles

Wesley J. Smith wrote the following at LifeNews.com on September 7th and 19th: “If you want to see what is likely to go awry in medical ethics and public healthcare policy, pay attention to the advocacy of bioethicists – at least those who don’t identify themselves as ‘conservative’ or ‘Catholic.’ In their many journal articles and presentations at academic symposia, they unabashedly advocate for discarding the sanctity – and equality-of-life ethic as our moral cornerstone. Instead, most favor invidious and systemic medical discrimination predicated on a patient’s ‘quality of life,’ which would endow the young, healthy, and able-bodied with the highest moral value – and hence, with the greatest claim to medical resources.

“Thanks to the work of bioethics, life-taking policies that a few decades ago were ‘unthinkable’ now are unremarkable. Withholding tube-supplied food and water from the cognitively disabled until they die – Terri Schiavo’s fate – is now legal and popularly accepted. The legalization of assisted suicide is a constant threat. (A reality now in 6 states.) Even where lethal prescriptions or injections cannot be legally provided, some of our most notable bioethicists urge that doctors be permitted to help elderly and others commit suicide by self-starvation – a process known in euthanasia advocacy circles as VSED (Voluntary Stopping of Eating and Drinking).” Some of the dangerous ‘advances’ being promoted in bioethics include:

Infanticide: “When German doctors were hanged at Nuremberg for committing infanticide, it was thought that killing disabled babies was an unrepeatable historical evil. But human memory is short…on September 4 of this year, Newsweek published an article promoting late-term abortion and infanticide in response to the Zika outbreak.” Cornell Law Professor Sherry F. Colb wrote, “Because bodily integrity may no longer be a plausible driver of the abortion right [at the late stage of pregnancy], the choice to terminate the life of the fetus or child truly becomes a form of euthanasia rather than abortion…the issue of euthanasia nonetheless lurks and beckons to us to answer the question: might some lives be better off ended than permitted to continue, given what is in store for them?” Smith concludes, “In the Netherlands, a checklist called the Groningen Protocol is used to determine which disabled or dying infants are eligible for infanticide. In our current bioethical climate, infanticide falls somewhere between ‘debatable’ and ‘justifiable’.

Killing for Organs: “The ‘dead donor rule’ which says that vital organs can only be taken from the certifiably deceased, has been under steady attack for years. The latest example was just published in the Journal of Medical Ethics by bioethicist Zoe Fritz: “Where it is inevitable that an incapacitous patient is going to die – and specifically when it has been agreed through the courts that a patient in a PVS is going to have CANH [tube-supplied sustenance] withdrawn, it could be in a patient’s best interests to have a drug that would stop their heart and to have vital organs donated to a family member…By extension, it could also be in the patient’s best interests to donate their organs to someone else, if that was consistent with their previously expressed wishes.” Smith comments, “I can think of no faster way to destroy people’s confidence in organ donation than to kill people for their organs. Not only that, but if this were permitted, decisions about withdrawing care would quickly become intertwined with the issue of organ harvesting, transforming patients into organ farms. Killing for organs – which is not yet happening – is currently considered ‘debatable’.” Euthanasia laws are some of the most liberal in the world in the Netherlands and Belgium. More than 40 patients have already had their organs harvested after being euthanized in these countries.

“Futile Care”: “Medical futility, or ‘futile care,’ permits a doctor to withdraw wanted life-sustaining treatment from a patient based on the doctor’s perception of the patient’s quality of life – and, less mentioned, based on the cost of the patient’s care. Texas has a law that allows hospital bioethics committees to refuse service or discontinue treatment – even against a patient’s written advance directive. Many a patient has died after such forced removal of treatment. There has been abundant litigation surrounding the issue, with the bioethics movement leading the charge to allow bioethicists and doctors to decide when a patient should die. Despite this contentiousness, I believe that futile care is at this point considered ‘justifiable.’ These and other policies that view imposed or chosen death as the answer to human suffering and medicalresource concerns are the products of careful planning and promotion. In 1970, an editorial in California Medicine celebrated the ‘inevitability of death selection and death control’ in a project that would culminate in the ‘fulfillment and betterment of mankind in what is almost certain to be a biologically oriented world society.’ Back then, the very idea of death control was unthinkable. A mere forty-six years later – intellectually gestated by the bioethics movement – it is quickly becoming unexceptionable.”

Michael Cook reported at MercatorNet.com on Oct 29th that Stephanie Packer,33, from California, has scleroderma, a terminal disease. She claims that her insurance company refused to pay for an expensive chemotherapy drug which could extend her life and give her more time with her children. However, the insurance company did agree to cover the cost of drugs for assisted suicide – and she would only have to pay $1.20 in out-of-pocket costs. She says the State’s broken health care system must be fixed “so that people start to live instead of feeling that they have to choose to die.”

Submitted by Regina Carbonaro 631-243-1435

HEALTH & SCIENCE

FDA PURCHASES ABORTED BABY PARTS

Information published by the FDA and the
General Services Administration indicate that the Food and Drug Administration has signed a new con- tract to purchase body parts from aborted babies. A June 13 ‘pre-solicitation notice’ for the contract stated, “The objective is to acquire tissue for humanized mice. [The contractor would] provide the human fetal tissue needed to continue the ongoing research being led by the FDA. Fresh human tissues are required for implantation into severely immune-compromised mice to create chimeric animals that have a human immune system.”

The GSA’s federal contract database states that Ad- vanced Bioscience Resources (ABR), a non-profit based in the San Francisco Bay area, was awarded this $15,900 contract, which runs through July 25, 2019. The Congressional Research Service states that “Fetal tissue used in research is obtained through elective abortions. CNS News reported that the FDA is using federal tax dollars to create a demand for human body parts that must be taken from babies who are aborted.” Steven Ertelt wrote at Lifenews.com on August 7th, “Because it would not be able to create its ‘humanized mice’ without fresh tissue taken from aborted babies, the FDA also has an interest in the continuation of le- galized abortions at a stage in fetal development when the tissue needed to create these mice can be retrieved from the aborted baby.”

CNS News contacted the FDA concerning this con- tract. The FDA confirmed that its June 13 pre- solicitation notice for a contract to “acquire tissue for humanized mice” and the July 25th contract it signed with ABR refer to the same deal. However, the FDA declined to answer 17 other questions from CNS News. The FDA provided CNS News with a three- paragraph statement, stressing that it was committed to making certain its research followed “all legal require- ments” and met “the highest ethical standards”.

Ertelt reported that in addition to the “destruction of human life and the exploitation of aborted babies by using their body parts for research, the pro-life move- ment has long questioned the ethics of transplanting human brain cells into other species.” Research at the University of Rochester involved injecting mice with glial cells from human fetuses. Glial cells…support neurons in the nervous system. The mice incorporated these glial cells into their brain and “outperformed normal mice almost fourfold in a variety of cognition tests.” The researchers stressed that the mice still had mouse brains, saying “This does not provide the ani- mals with additional capabilities that could in any way

be ascribed or perceived as specifically human. Ra- ther, the human cells are simply improving the effi- ciency of the mouse’s own neural networks. It’s still a mouse.”” The paper published in the Journal of Neuroscience clearly states that the glial cells came from second trimester abortions. The scientists are hoping to study the contribution of glial cells to hu- man neurological disorders. The ends can’t justify the means. Ertelt stated, “the source of the glial cells morally taints all their research. They could have used cells from ethical sources like a natural miscar- riage, but they did not.”

Ertelt notes that “the mixing of human brain cells with those of other species, especially those of other primates, raises serious ethical considerations.”

Dr. David Prentice, Vice President and Research Director at the Charlotte Lozier Institute stated, “It is outrageous that the FDA would aid in the trafficking of aborted baby parts and fetal tissue. This not only fosters government-sponsored participation in unethi- cal research but continues use of outdated scientific methods. Humanized mice can and have been made, for years, using ethical cell sources, including umbili- cal cord blood and peripheral blood stem cells. High quality, modern scientific research has no need for unethical, tainted practices and grisly sources. Our government should lead in ethics and science and should rescind any contracts for use of aborted tis- sue.”

Tom McClusky, President of March for Life Ac- tion noted, “After an undercover investigation (David Daleiden/CMP videos) and a Congressional investi- gation exposed the horrors of an industry that har- vests and sells baby body parts, there is no excuse for anyone, much less the taxpayer funded federal gov- ernment to enter into contracts that prop up this grue- some practice. Such contracts should be immediately terminated, and the baby body parts trafficking indus- try shut down.”

Lila Rose, Live Action Founder and President said, “The FDA’s purchasing of fetal tissue from aborted babies is immoral and horrific, violating hu- man dignity and implicating the American taxpayer in the gruesome trade of human body parts…These children deserved care and protection, but instead were violently stripped of their fundamental rights and are now being sold piecemeal. The company that the FDA is doing business with, ABR, is currently under federal investigation for colluding with Planned Parenthood to sell aborted baby body parts for profit. We call on the FDA to terminate its con- tract with ABR immediately and cease the experi- mentation on the bodies of aborted children.”

Submitted by Regina Carbonaro 631-243-1435

HEALTH & SCIENCE

FETAL TISSUE RESEARCH

Two house subcommittees were scheduled to hold a hearing December 13th regarding ethical alternatives to fetal tissue research. The Health and Human Ser- vices Department is reviewing contracts involving federal funds used for research involving fetal tissue harvested from elective abortions. In 2015, David Daleiden, through the Center for Medical Progress, released undercover videos which revealed repre- sentatives of abortion facilities and related compa- nies discussing the sale of baby body parts. Those videos led to congressional investigations which re- sulted in criminal referrals of procurement compa- nies and abortion providers. These violations in- volved profiting from the sale of tissue, infringing on patient privacy and modifying surgical abortion procedures to obtain certain tissues.

David Prentice and Tara Sander Lee, scholars from the Charlotte Lozier Institute, spoke at the Heritage Foundation’s “Fetal Tissue Research: Antiquated and Unethical” event in December. Prentice and Lee noted that in 1988 President Reagan issued a mora- torium on the use of federal funds for research using fetal tissue obtained through abortions. President Clinton lifted that moratorium in 1993. In 1993, Congress then passed legislation on transplantation research using fetal tissue which included provisions and guidelines for informed consent and payments for procuring and transferring the tissue.

Those who support fetal tissue research use the ex- ample of the polio vaccine. However, these propo- nents neglect to mention that advancements were made using ‘historic fetal cell lines.’ These cell lines do not rely on current abortions. The original polio vaccines used monkey tissue and fetal cell lines. Currently, there are no vaccines made with fresh fetal tissue. In addition, transplanting fetal tissue to treat diseases such as anemia, diabetes and Parkin- son’s has been unsuccessful. The transplantation of fetal stem cells has also been unsuccessful.

Prentice and Lee noted that fetal tissue research has become a $100 million industry with very little oversight. For example, a consent form from a Planned Parenthood facility to procure tissue from an aborted baby claimed that fetal tissue research led to a “cure for such diseases as diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and AIDS. Prentice and Lee said this blatantly false statement should never have been printed or used to influence a woman’s deci- sion regarding an abortion. Researchers are currently

targeting the use of fetal tissue for research regarding Zika, respiratory distress syndrome in infants, Down’s and HIV/ tuberculosis.

Lee said Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR), based out of California, is the “oldest continuously operating whole- saler of aborted fetal body parts in the United States. A re- port in September from the Center for Medical Progress concluded that Advanced Bioscience Resources has played middle-man for tens of millions of dollars in transactions over freshly aborted baby body parts since its founding in 1989.” ABR records indicated that in June 2014 they paid $60 for a 20-week-old aborted fetus, and sold the baby’s organs and tissues, including brain, eyes, liver, thymus and lungs to five researchers and received over $2,000. ABR considered that a ‘service fee’. They also charged for ship- ping, screening and freezing. Lee stated there “was much more money that was transferred in addition to just that ser- vice fee that they claim.”

Lee continued, “So the real question is, is this a service fee or was there a profit being made? [ABR] determined prices that they wanted to charge depending on how old the fetus was. If the fetus was in the second trimester, they would charge like $200 back in 2010. But then in 2015, they upped that to $340. Whereas for a first trimester fetus, they were charging $420 in 2010, but then that increased to $550 in 2015. If this is truly just a simple service fee, why did those numbers increase over the years?”

There are ethical alternatives to tissue derived from abor- tions. These sources include the placenta, umbilical cord, amniotic fluid, discarded surgical tissue, and postmortem tissue. Prentice and Lee highlighted the use of discarded surgical tissue to identify “key mechanisms involved in de- veloping human pulmonary valves.” They also brought to light the fact that a “small biopsy of skin may be used to grow cells that can imitate and resemble embryonic stem cells. Induced pluripotent stem cells then can be pro- grammed to generate an ‘organoid’ that can resemble a brain, lung, kidney, or liver.” Adult stem cells have been used to treat over 1.5 million people worldwide for cancer, stroke, spinal cord injury, and other diseases and conditions.

There have been so many scientific advances using ethical alternatives to aborted fetal tissue. HHS should issue a mor- atorium on federal funding for aborted fetal tissue research and promote ethical alternatives. As Lee noted, ethics must be our priority – “Using ethical sources is absolutely always the right decision.”

(Sources: The Daily Signal, Rachel Del Guidice, 12/3/18 and Melanie Israel 12/6/18)

Submitted by Regina Carbonaro 631-243-1435

HEALTH & SCIENCE

Genetic Disruption of Human Beings

Margaret Somerville, professor of Bioethics at the School of Medicine, University of Notre Dame Austral- ia, addressed the ethics of three-parent babies at Merca- torNet.com on July 18, 2018. She stated, “Now we are faced with unprecedented 21st century reproductive tech- nologies which can be used to change the genetic es- sence of ourselves (our DNA) when we are embryos and in such a way that the changes will be passed on to our future descendants. Should we do this? In other words, is it ethical to disrupt our modern-human genetic heritage which has evolved naturally over at least the last 200,000 years?” She continued, “proponents of the technology [three-parent IVF] want [the term] replaced by the less alarming and more normal and familiar sounding ‘mitochondrial DNA transplants.”

Currently in Australia it is criminal to create an em- bryo other than for reproduction, or with more than two biological parents, or who has inheritable alterations of the human germ line – genes passed on from generation to generation – or to implant such an embryo in a wom- an’s uterus.

Somerville said, “Good facts are essential to good ethics.” She then explained the technology involved in three-parent embryos. “An embryo results from the un- ion of a man’s sperm and a woman’s ovum. The ovum has a DNA nucleus and, external to that, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in the cytoplasm surrounding the nucle- us. The mtDNA is inherited only from the woman and, from the time we are conceived until we die, converts energy from nutrients to energy for the cells that consti- tute every human being. Some women have defective mtDNA which can result in mild to very serious disease in their children. Three-parent embryos are created using IVF and replacing the defective mtDNA of the woman who will have the child with the healthy mtDNA of an- other woman. This is known as mitochondrial replace- ment therapy (MRT) which can be carried out in four different ways, but the two most prominent are maternal spindle transfer (MST) and pronuclear transfer (PNT).

“MST involves using a donor ovum with healthy mtDNA, extracting its nuclear DNA and replacing it with the nuclear DNA removed from an ovum of the in- tended mother, resulting in a ‘combination ovum’ with mostly healthy mtDNA, which is fertilized with the fa- ther’s sperm to create an embryo. Importantly, MST does not involve creating an embryo from the donor’s ovum and then destroying that embryo by enucleating it. The embryo’s mtDNA is only ‘mostly healthy’, because some of the mother’s defective mtDNA in her ovum’s cytoplasm is ordinarily attached to the nuclear DNA and transferred with it.

“In contrast PNT does involve creating an embryo with the intention of destroying it. An embryo is created from the future mother’s ovum and the father’s sperm

(‘mother’s embryo’) and another embryo from a healthy mtDNA ovum donor and the father’s sperm (‘donor em- bryo’). The nuclear DNA is removed from the ‘donor embryo’, destroying it, and the nuclear DNA from the ‘mother’s embryo’ is transferred to the enucleated do- nor embryo creating an embryo with mostly healthy mitochondria.”

There are several ethical questions regarding this process. Three-parent embryos are created using IVF technology in the lab. Those who regard the IVF pro- cess as morally unacceptable would reject this process from the outset. There are others who may have “limiting conditions”. Those might include not creating more embryos than those that will be implanted, thus allowing all created embryos a chance to live. This would make MST acceptable, but not PNT, as PNT re- quires creating an embryo and then destroying it when the nuclear DNA is removed. Those who do not believe that embryos have any moral status would accept these procedures.

Somerville said the ethical concerns go “beyond the ethical issues raised by the technology itself to matters such as claims of rights to have a genetically related child, the ethics of alternative means of founding a fam- ily, and so on. A technology-related consideration in- cludes the ethics of alteration of the human germline, a possibility that for many elicits intense fear and for some great hope…when we didn’t have the technology to alter the germline, there was almost universal agree- ment among bioethicists that such alteration would al- ways be ethically wrong. Rather, we agreed that we had obligations to hold the germline intact for future genera- tions as the common heritage of human kind. Now, when human germline alteration has become possible, some bioethicists see it as ethically acceptable in order to avoid serious genetically transmitted diseases…If germline modification were allowed, we would need to consider whether its use as therapy for serious, other- wise untreatable, genetic diseases is ethically different from its use for enhancement, that is, creating designer children. Another issue is whether three-parent IVF would establish a precedent of the ethical acceptability of ‘designer children’”. She warns that we must look at the risks and harms of this procedure. It is possible for donors to be exploited. She asks if creating a three- parent embryo is “manufacturing a child…a contraven- tion of human dignity?” Somerville also addresses the question of informed consent. Would couples consent to great risk and harm in order to have a child? Does the child have the right to know the identity of the mtDNA donor? The IVF industry would support this technology as a source of increased business. Governments would likely support it as a cost-saving measure (social ser- vices costs for children with mtDNA disease). Canadian ethicist Francois Baylis concluded that this technology is inevitable as “no genetic or reproductive technology seems to be too dangerous or too transgressive” in to- day’s culture.

Submitted by Regina Carbonaro 631-243-1435

Last year, Chinese researcher He Jiankui an- nounced that he used the gene-editing tool Crispr to alter the DNA of twin girls by inserting a mu- tated variant of a gene into the girls’ chromosome at the embryo stage to make them immune to the HIV virus. Jiankui’s ‘creation’ of the first gene- edited babies was criticized world-wide as being unethical and risky. Chinese authorities subse- quently announced a moratorium on the practice stating it “seriously violates” national law and medical ethics.

A recently released study of genetic make-up and death registry information warned that indi- viduals with this mutated gene have a 20% higher risk of early death compared to the global popula- tion. The study was done by researchers at the University of Berkeley California. The study ex- amined data on over 400,000 people of British ancestry from the UK Biobank. Those studied inherited the specific mutation. Jiankui attempted to create the same mutation but failed. The twin girls carry different alterations of the same gene.

Malcolm Ritter explained at APNews.com on 6/3/19 that when the gene “is working normally, it lets certain cells of the immune system display a protein on their surfaces. HIV has co-opted that protein to use as a doorway to infect those cells. The mutation prevents that protein from appear- ing, and so sharply reduces the risk of HIV infec- tion…studies have suggested that carrying the mutation has some drawbacks, including a heightened risk of death from flu.” Ritter noted that the Berkeley study “suggests tinkering with a gene to try to fix one problem may cause others.”

Rasmus Nielsen, senior author of the study, stated, “You should consider all the effects of mutations you induce.” Ritter reported that Niel- sen said the study does not apply to gene therapy that is currently used to inactivate the gene in the blood cells of individuals already infected with HIV to keep the virus under control. In these cas- es, the disabled gene is probably an advantage.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, ex- plained that current gene editing experiments fo- cus on the replacement of a defective gene with a working gene or removing a harmful gene. The Nielsen study subjects did not have a normal working version of a gene. That is what Jiankui tried to create. Ritter wrote, “Fauci said the work

is more a lesson that genetic protection against one thing can raise vulnerability to something else.” The Berkeley study’s authors wrote, “The cost of resistance to HIV may be increased susceptibility to other, and perhaps more common, diseases…Introduction of new or derived mutations in humans using Crispr technology…comes with considerable risk even if the mutations provide a perceived advantage.”

Patrick Galey wrote at Agence France-Presse (6/3/19), that the authors warned “there was a clear statis- tical trend that should discourage repeats of He’s experi- ment…David Curtis, honorary Professor at University College London’s Genetics Institute said the new study provided a clear look at the possible unintended conse- quences of gene-editing in humans.” Curtis said, “There are many other examples in medicine where an interven- tion intended to treat one condition inadvertently causes major unexpected problems elsewhere. This sends us a warning that we should be extremely cautious around the introduction of therapies involving modifying the genetic code.” Galey also quoted Robin Lovell-Badge of the Francis Crick Institute in London: “All this shows once more that He Jiankui was foolish to choose CCR5 to mu- tate in his attempts at germline genome editing. We simply do not yet know enough about the gene.”

Christine Rousselle reported at CNA (6/4/19) that the House Appropriations Committee “reinstated a condition in 2020 spending bills prohibiting embryonic gene edit- ing. The amendment was passed in a vote of the full House Appropriations Committee…Without the amend- ment, U.S. scientists would be able to approve and con- duct clinical trials that would involve the creation or modification of human embryos…After a congressional subcommittee passed a draft of the annual appropriations bill omitting the rider, an amendment to reinsert the ban passed with near unanimous consent…Since 2016, the appropriations bill has contained language that bans the Food and Drug Administration from performing research in clinical trials “in which a human embryo is intentional- ly created or modified to include a heritable genetic mod- ification.”… Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), ranking member of the subcommittee…said that human genetic experimentation is loaded with ethical questions largely unaddressed by researchers. “If we cede this framework of science and ethics to maverick bioengineers who are detached from larger societal considerations, the risks of harm are real, and we will divert these resources away from real, viable alternatives.”” Dr. Francis Collins, head of the National Institutes of Health, stated in March 2019, “Given the lack of compelling medical need, the safety concerns, and the profound societal and philosophical issues—NIH strongly agrees that an international mora- torium on reproductive uses of human germline gene ed- iting should be put into effect.”

Submitted by Regina Carbonaro 631-243-1435

Human Animal Chimeras – September 2019

HEALTH & SCIENCE

Human Animal Chimeras

Nicola Davis reported at The Guardian on 8/3/19 that the ethical debate regarding the creation of hu- man-animal chimeras has been “rebooted” as a re- sult of a report in the Spanish newspaper El Paísthat researchers produced monkey-human chimeras. Chimeras are organisms with cells from two or more individuals [species]. Japanese researchers recently received government support to create mouse-human chimeras. This past March the Japa- nese lifted a ban on allowing these embryos to de- velop past 14 days and being planted in a uterus.

Michael Cook, editor of BioEdge, wrote on 8/3, “In a stunning example of evading ethical contro- versy by exporting it, Spanish and American re- searchers have created monkey-human chimeras in China. The hybrid embryos will be destroyed after they develop a central nervous system and will not be brought to term. The experiment is ethically risky. What if the human cells develop in the mon- key brain and become conscious? What if they be- come sperm or egg cells? Although the researchers, from the Salk Institute in California, and Murcia Catholic University brush off these fears, they are legitimate and widely shared…Letitia Meynell, of Dalhousie University told Gizmodo that it was “really depressing to see the willingness of scien- tists to engage in research tourism when the ethical standards in their home country make it impossible to conduct that research there. Certainly, these are ethically controversial issues. However, scientists who are willing to flout the ethics of their home countries and institutions should see themselves as obligated to make the ethical case for what they are doing.”

Davis explained that the development of chime- ras is related to the lack of organs for transplanta- tion and the issue of organ rejection. “Scientists believe organs genetically matched to a particular human recipient could one day be grown inside ani- mals. The approach is based on taking cells from an adult human and reprogramming them to become stem cells, which can give rise to any type of cell in the body. They are then introduced into the embryo of another species…scientists have previously man- aged to produce both pig embryos and sheep em- bryos which contain human cells, although the pro- portions are tiny…only one cell in 10,000 was hu- man. Pig-human and sheep-human chimeras are attractive in part because pigs and sheep have or- gans about the right size for transplantation into humans.”

Alejandro De Los Angeles of Yale University said the monkey-human chimeras were made to try to improve the proportion of human cells in the organisms. He stated, “Making human monkey chimeras could teach us how to make human-pig chimeras with the hope of making organs for transplantation. It could teach us which types of stem cells we should be using, or other ways of enhancing what’s called ‘human chimerism levels’ inside pigs.” De Los An- geles said the human-monkey chimeras are only permitted to develop for a few weeks, before organ formation. He has noted that monkey-human chimeras might provide a way to study neurological and psychiatric diseases in humans.

Robin Lovell-Badge of the Francis Crick Institute doesn’t feel the current experiments are ethically controver- sial because the embryos are not permitted to develop to the point where they have a nervous system. He did acknowledge that there would be concerns if the chimeras could develop more. “How do you restrict the contribution of the human cells just to the organ you want to make? If that is a pancreas or a heart or something, or kidney, then it is fine if you manage to do that. [But] if you allow these animals to go all the way through and be born, if you have a big contribution to the central nervous system from the hu- man cells, then that obviously becomes a concern…Clearly if any animal born had aspects of human appearance, their faces, their hands, their skin, then I suspect, while scientifi- cally very interesting, people might get a little upset with that.”

In response to the researcher’s admission that the study was being conducted in China where ethical standards are lower, Cook asked, “How do you classify that sort of atti- tude toward ethics? Arrogant, Undemocratic? Secretive? Publicity-hungry? Immoral? Take your pick.”page1image62943616page1image62944384page1image62943232page1image62941120page1image62943040

Submitted by Regina Carbonaro

631-243-1435

HEALTH & SCIENCE Oct. 2019

“What are they doing with the bodies”?

The August 23rd edition of ProLife This Week at American Life League asked, “What are they doing with the bodies?” The article noted that there is increased pressure in the United States to lift some of the restrictions on medication abor- tions (the abortion pill – Mifepristone – RU486). Medication abortion requires the administration of two pills. The first pill, Mifepristone (RU- 486), blocks progesterone, the hormone that helps in the development of the lining of the uterus dur- ing pregnancy. This lining is the source of nutri- tion and protection for the developing baby. Es- sentially, the baby is starved to death. The second pill, misoprostol, causes contractions which expel the baby from the womb. Some former FDA offi- cials as well as medical professionals support more access to medication abortions, including telemedicine abortions (video chat with a ‘doctor’ followed by administration of the first pill in the ‘office’).

Medication abortions result in a dead baby (usually 5 to 10 weeks old). “These dead babies leave the mother’s body in places other than a hospital, a clinic, or medical office… after taking the first pill at a facility, they take the second pill one to two days later – presumably at home or some other non-medical location. So, what do the mothers do with the bodies of these dead babies? The usual answer we get to the question is that they flush them down the toilet. But what then?

“Recently a STOPP researcher went to her local water treatment plant and asked for a tour of the facility. During the tour, she asked her guide: What do you do with the babies? The guide knew she was talking about the bodies of babies flushed down the toilet who would travel through the sewer system and wind up at the treatment plant. He said, the bodies get caught by the screening system in the plant and are taken, along with other debris, and dumped in a local landfill. Medication abortions are becoming the largest method of abortion in the United States. Hun- dreds of thousands of babies are aborted at home every year. It appears that most of their bodies wind up at the sewer plant and treated as just some kind of debris. Most states have laws gov- erning the disposal of fetal remains, but we have not, yet, found any medication abortion provider that tells the woman that they are expected to fol- low those laws to dispose of their baby’s body.

“Whenever you hear anyone talking about medication abortion and how it is growing in use and should be made more available, ask the question: What are they doing with the bodies? When you get a blank stare, ask again: What are they doing with the bodies? We try to stop as many abortions as possible, but when one does happen, we should know the answer to the question: What are they doing with the bodies?”

In-Utero Blood Transfusion

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children re- ported on 8/26/19, that an unborn child, Edward, had de- veloped anemia in the womb. A doctor used ultrasound to insert a needle through the uterus and into the umbilical cord. The boy received 5 blood transfusions before he was born. Michael Robinson, Director of Communica- tions for SPUC Scotland noted that “the option of in- utero surgery, which can save and improve the life expec- tancy of unborn children, is becoming a far more positive prospect. Currently, in-utero surgery can treat a number of fetal health conditions including Spina Bifida, fetal tumors, Cerebral Palsy, fetal cardiac conditions and Hy- perthyroidism.”

In May doctors “performed key-hole surgery on an unborn baby with Spina Bifida, which was the first opera- tion of its kind in the UK. Unborn baby Jaxon received the operation at just 27 weeks gestation, and as a result had the ability to move his legs after being born six weeks later. Similarly, unborn child Ethan Leibbrandt underwent in-utero surgery to remove the benign tumor which consumed 50% of his lung space. The in-utero sur- gery was successful and life saving as without it, Ethan would have died of cardiac failure.”

Robinson concluded, “The early interventions that can now be used to treat and save unborn children are truly astonishing. The story of Edward once again proves that science is on the side of the pro-life movement. Indeed, scientific developments and new technology is now in- stilling a sense of awe that society never really had be- fore, about the beauty and dignity of every unborn child. This case illustrates the terrible irony that medical teams spend enormous effort, time, and money to deliver babies safely and nurse premature infants back to health. Yet, in the UK we routinely and deliberately end the lives of 600 babies a day. Whilst pro-abortion campaigners insistently refer to unborn children as ‘blobs of cells’ or ‘parasites’, the use of in-utero surgery highlights that unborn children are human and worth saving and protecting.”

Submitted by Regina Carbonaro

631-243-1435

Note: The article transcripts above have been generated from original source text. While the transcript rarely is inaccurate, thing happen. For a 100% percent accurate copy of any of the above articles, click the download button to get a PDF.