2 Couples Sue After Children Are Born With Genetic Abnormality Traced Back to Donated Eggs

Time, 16 November 2017
Author: David Klepper
“Two couples are suing a New York fertility doctor and his clinic after giving birth to children with a genetic abnormality later traced back to donated eggs. The two children, both born in 2009, have Fragile X syndrome, a genetic condition that can lead to intellectual and developmental impairments. The parents, identified by initials and last names in legal papers, argue the doctor and the clinic failed to test the women who donated the eggs to determine whether they were carriers for Fragile X. They’re seeking damages for the added expenses of raising a disabled child.”
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U.S. top court to hear fight over California pregnancy center law

Reuters, 14 November 2017
Author: Larence Hurley
“The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide whether a California law requiring private facilities that counsel pregnant women against abortion to post signs telling clients how to get state-funded abortions and contraceptives violates free speech rights.”
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The global abortion policies database—legal knowledge as a health intervention

The BMJ Opinion, 1 November 2017
Author: Joanna Erdman
“In 2012, Savita Halappanavar died in an Irish hospital from miscarriage complications after being refused an abortion. The treating physicians believed that because the fetus still had a beating heart their “hands were tied.” Under Irish law, abortion is a criminal offence unless necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman, yet there is little clarity on this exception. Following nationwide protests, the government introduced the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 to clarify the law and to regulate access under it. Years earlier, the European Court of Human Rights called for precisely such regulation moved by the impossible position of physicians who “faced criminal charges, on the one hand, and an absence of clear legal, ethical, or medical guidelines, on the other.”
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Let us talk about eggs! Professional resistance to elective egg vitrification and gendered medical paternalism

Med Health Care and Philos (2017), p1-13
Authors: Judit Sándor, Lilla Vicsek, Zsófia Bauer
“In this paper, by applying a feminist bioethical perspective, we identify a new form of medical paternalism that still shapes contemporary legal policies on human egg cryopreservation performed without medical reasons. The fear of negligent, careless women who opt to delay their pregnancy for mere convenience is a widely known gender biased stereotype. Nevertheless, the opinions and judgments of medical professionals on this issue have not yet been sufficiently explored by in-depth research. In this essay, therefore, first we look at the broader bioethical, legal, and social aspects of human egg cryopreservation. In the second part of the paper we discuss a unique qualitative study conducted with professionals working at Hungarian IVF clinics.”
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Calvary Hospital, doctor sued for negligence after stillbirth of baby girl

SMH, 6 October 2017
Author: Alexandra Back
“A Canberra couple who tried unsuccessfully for years to have a baby is suing Calvary Hospital and an obstetrician for negligence, after their baby girl was stillborn in an operating theatre.”
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Nudge me, help my baby: on other-regarding nudges

Journal of Medical Ethics 2017; 43: 702-706.
Authors: Hafez Ismaili M’hamdi, Medard Hilhorst, Eric A P Steegers, Inez de Beaufort
“In the period surrounding pregnancy, maternal choice behaviour has a significant influence on perinatal morbidity and mortality as well as the development of chronic diseases later in life. One’s health is thus a matter of one’s own as well as one’s maternal choices. Therefore, self-regarding and other-regarding nudges should be considered as viable strategies to promote health. In this article, we introduce the concept of other-regarding nudges. We use the harm principle and the principle of beneficence to justify these other-regarding nudges. We conclude by stressing the importance of a fair assessment of expectations towards the nudgee, when determining whether a nudge is aimed at preventing harm or promoting a good.”
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A health issue, not a crime: it’s time to scrap outdated abortion laws

The Guardian, 25 June 2017
Author: Caroline de Costa Heather Douglas
“On Wednesday the Queensland law reform commission (QLRC) received a reference to consider how Queensland should amend laws relating to termination of pregnancy and remove abortion offences from the criminal code. The QLRC has 12 months to report on how to repeal these archaic Queensland laws dating back to 1861.”
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Decriminalisation in the NT signals abortion is part of normal health care

The Conversation, 24 March 2017
Author: Suzanne Belton
“The Northern Territory parliament this week passed a bill decriminalising abortion up to 24 weeks’ gestation, removing the requirement of parental approval for abortions in teenagers and providing early medical abortions with tablets.”
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