Brave New Britain: We Never Say No

The UK Human Fertility and Embryology Authority, which has become a rubber stamp for Big Biotech, has approved paying women to sell their eggs for use in human cloning research. From the story: “Women who go through the medical procedure to harvest the eggs from their ovaries, which doctors . . . . Continue Reading »

The (Gene) Devil Made Me Do It

Some scientists think we have no real free will, that our behavior and beliefs are dictated by our genes. (Then, they cannot be upset with me for thinking they are just so full of beans; my genes prevent me from seeing the light.) This theory is just one of many avenues to deny human exceptionalism, . . . . Continue Reading »

Why The Texas Futile Care Law Must Fall

This correspondence is from Texas lawyer Jerri Ward, who has proved worthy of the honorific, attorney at law for fighting tooth and tong against futile care impositions in Texas (Andrea Clarke, for example). Jerri asked that I post it here at Secondhand Smoke. I do so because I trust Jerri. She has . . . . Continue Reading »

Viagra Saves Baby ‘s Life

As everyone knows, Viagra is used (and sometimes abused) as a treatment for impotency. It works by expanding blood vessels. Apparently, a prematurely born baby was on the verge of death and, in connection with heart surgery, some enterprising doctor prescribed Viagra—opening the child’s . . . . Continue Reading »

That Nazi Thing

I was noticing a dust up between two regulars here at Secondhand Smoke regarding analogies to Germany and the Holocaust and some of the issues with which we grapple here. I thought it warranted more than a post response from me.This is a sensitive matter. The bioethicist Art Caplan once said, . . . . Continue Reading »

"Assisted Suicide": By Any Other Name

The Economist gets it. In an article on the fuss generated by assisted suicide advocates—who want to call assisted suicide anything but what it is, e.g., suicide, (a matter about which I have previously posted)—reads, in part, as follows: (No link: Subscription Required)“Now, . . . . Continue Reading »

Michael Chrichton on Gene Patenting

The best selling novelist Michael Chrichton’s most recent novel, Next, pokes hard at the business of biotechnology. He has also written this op/ed piece against gene patenting, a subject we have considered from time to time here at Secondhand Smoke. The following is part of what Chrichton . . . . Continue Reading »