I teach #philosophy and work as a researcher for the Iona Institute (www.ionainstitute.ie) Abruzzese. #Distributism
Capitalism has convinced you RSS is antiquated. The real reason it's fading is because it doesn't have ads and tracking. You going to tell me the news article is truly better on a browser with ads than on a little program you can open any time, on or offline?
A hundred of experts from all over the world, will work this Friday, March 3 to publish the #CasablancaDeclaration for the abolition of surrogacy, draw the attention of States and convince them that it is necessary to stop #reproductiveexploitation
CW LONG POST ORIGINAL CONTENT
A new organ donor bill is ethically questionable
If a proposed new law is passed, after you die your organs can be removed from your body for medical purposes unless you expressly say beforehand that you do not want this to happen. Consent is otherwise assumed. As usual, the law is going through the various parliamentary stages without proper debate, even though the proposal is ethically questionable. An Organ Donor Register, instead, should be established.
The proposed law is called the ‘Human Tissue 2022 Bill’. It covers issues such as the donation and transplantation of organs from deceased persons.
At present, an opt-in system exists. This means that only those who have expressly declared their intention to donate organs after they die will have them removed from their bodies, and even then only with the final approval of the family.
The new regime will mean consent is assumed, although final authorisation from a designated family member will still be needed.
The proposed regime is motivated by the good intention of addressing the problem of a shortage of organs for transplant in Ireland, but it is still ethically questionable as donation should arise only from an informed and deliberate decision on a person’s part.
Presumed consent is based instead on the assumption that we are all aware that our organs are available for transplantation upon death and we are happy with that. But what is this assumption really based on?
The HSE’s own consent policy says: “Consent involves a process of communication about the proposed intervention in which the person has received sufficient information to enable them to understand the nature, potential risks and benefits of the proposed intervention”.
It is very unlikely that the new system of presumed consent will meet these criteria.
To make the new system more ethical, patients should be explicitly asked to express their opinion on the matter when attending a hospital or their GP. This will prompt awareness and provoke conversation about donation, which must remain a choice freely and explicitly made and not assumed. Taking without asking is not giving.
As suggested by the Irish Kidney Association, there should be an Organ Donor Register, where all wishes – to opt in or out – are explicitly recorded. “Knowing that a loved one had proactively recorded their wish to be an organ donor makes the family decision to consent a much easier proposition”, a representative of the Irish Kidney Association told the Oireachtas.
What is positive in this new Bill is that it is not inspired by a principle of absolute bodily autonomy of the patients, but it requires the involvement of their families, who could even overrule the decision of the deceased and veto the donation.
There are many reasons why the ultimate word should be with the families rather than with the individual.
While it is important to honour the wish of the deceased, we need to consider that personal decisions affect others, particularly the family. Some cultures place special importance on respecting the integrity of the body after death. Moreover, when organ donation happens against the wish of the family, they might refuse to cooperate, or their discontent could also affect the work of the health-care staff.
A proper ethical system in this area should follow two basic principles: explicit (not presumed) consent from the individual, and approval from the family following the death of the person. The second principle is still followed, but not the first and more important one.
Photo by Robina Weermeijer on Unsplash
A record of how eugenics has taken hold in Ireland
CW Long post. Original content.
How parents of DS children are subtly directed toward abortion
There has been little reaction to the news that 95pc of babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome before birth at the Rotunda hospital are subsequently aborted in England.
The response to these horrendous figures has been silence or fatalism. For some, it is an individual “choice” to be respected. There is nothing to be worried about or, even when people find the figures regrettable, little can be done.
“I don’t have a view on whether that is the right thing. We don’t advocate for it, that is just the lived experience”, said prof Fergal Malone, master of the Rotunda.
Is it true? Is it really a purely personal choice, without outside influence or expectations from others? Two recent studies on the experience of parents of children with DS indicate otherwise.
Irish research published last year interviewed eight people following the birth of a child with DS. Some praised the doctors and nurses, but others said the information they received was too medically focused and too negative. It is very hard to believe the same does not happen to couples who are told their baby has DS before it is born.
“Don’t come in with a list of negatives, all the negatives that were put in your head initially we never expected her to be this good now”, said one of the interviewed mothers.
She recalls: “We received purely negative information that she could have this or that, …”
A father said, “Doctors should show compassion when they are delivering the news, have patience and don’t be rushing in and out”.
A Danish study spoke to parents who were told their babies had Down Syndrome before they were born. In Denmark, almost all children with DS are aborted.
The study notes: “Following the diagnosis, the couples were generally critical of the information provided by the hospital. Some felt that the health professionals had painted an unnecessarily grim picture of Down Syndrome based on what couples perceived as outdated information. … Some felt that there was an unnecessary focus on potential diseases and additional diagnoses when the couple was more interested in their potential for living a fulfilling life.”
Participants in the study report feeling pressure from health professionals they encountered to abort, or else that they were presented with overly negative information about their babies.
The research found that “couples felt that termination of pregnancy had been taken for granted following the diagnosis: ‘As the obstetrician sat down, she put those abortion application forms on the table in front of her’”, recalls a mother.
Even conveying apparently neutral information, such as presenting what other couples generally do, can condition parents. We tend to imitate others. Social expectations can be subtle and unconscious.
“Maybe there’s something wrong with me since I don’t just do what 98pc of all people would do”, said a Danish mother in the study, who decided to have the baby.
“The high percentage of terminations in Denmark was a source of doubt and uncertainty during the decision-making process. This left the couples feeling vulnerable”, it notes.
“Why is Down Syndrome the disability [considered] socially acceptable to terminate? And how do we come back from that?”, asks actress Sally Phillips in her documentary “Prenatal Genetic Testing” where she investigates how Non-Invasive Prenatal Tests have increased the number of babies with DS, and other genetic or chromosomal anomalies, who are being aborted. Phillips has a son with Down Syndrome.
These tests, which can take place in the first trimester of pregnancy, are becoming more affordable and available. They can be used to prepare families to welcome a child with medical anomalies, or they can be used to get rid of them, as almost always happens when a diagnosis of DS is given. A proper ethical debate about those prenatal tests has still to happen in Ireland.
In a society that has normalised abortion, the main way to fight the progressive elimination of children with DS is for doctors to portray life with the condition, and life for the parents of such a child, in far more positive terms than seems to be the case at the moment. The medical professionals claim to be neutral about their use, but being not directive isn’t enough when society goes in one direction only.
Certainly, a national debate is called for.
The Smithsonian has made over 4 MILLION images open source! You can create, copy, distribute, etc. This is amazing!
Government recognising commercial surrogacy in all but name https://familysolidarity.org/government-recognising-commercial-surrogacy-in-all-but-name/
These are all my non-academic articles published in 2022
4th January 2022
‘An important voice is raised up against Assisted Suicide’
7th January 2022
“The deadly inaccuracy of many prenatal tests”
11th January 2022
“Countries requiring vaccine passport to attend worship”
14th January 2022
“The female victims of anti-Christian persecution”
19th January 2022
“In Austria pharmacies are now allowed to sell suicide drugs”
26th January 2022
“A big victory for the rights of parents”
1st February 2022
“Officials warn against commercial overseas surrogacy”
4th February 2022
‘How during the pandemic couples have changed their plans to have children’
8th February 2022
“Radical assisted suicide organisation opens in Ireland to almost no reaction”
22nd February 2022
‘Here is a little science: religious practice is good for you’
23rd February 2022
‘Vendesi pillola per il suicidio fai-da-te nelle farmacie austriache’
4th March 2022
‘A new Irish law will allow for deliberate creation of semi-orphans’
9th March 2022
‘The review of the operation of Ireland’s abortion law’
10th March 2022
““do-it-yourself” Selbstmordpille in Osterreichischen Apotheken verkauft’
11th March 2022
‘Una soluzione alla “maternità surrogata” c’è: divieto totale’
22nd March 2022
‘A landmark victory for a pro-life doctor’
29th March 2022
‘A non-debate in the Dail about the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill’
5th April 2022
‘Europe’s growing anti-Christian intolerance problem’
12th April 2022
‘Oireachtas Committee told harsh facts of life about commercial surrogacy’
20th April 2022
‘An extreme exclusion zone law is debated in the Seanad’
26th April 2022
‘Yet another study confirms the benefit of religious practice’
9th May 2022
‘Marriage in Ireland continues its decline’
13th May 2022
‘How religious sisters are the real founders of modern nursing’
17th May 2022
‘Catholic healthcare better than the secular alternative’
24th May 2022
‘The poor state of marriage across the EU’
31st May 2022
‘Forcing religious run health centres to allow assisted suicide’
7th June 2022
‘Conscientious objection to abortion remains strong in Irish hospitals’
24th June 2022
‘Number of abortions in England hits new record of 214,869’
28th June 2022
‘Why Roe vs Wade was overturned’
5th July 2022
‘Ireland plays along another charade at the UN’
11th July 2022
‘The appalling recommendations of the surrogacy committee’
14th July 2022
‘More than 7,000 Irish women had abortions last year’
18th July 2022
‘The appalling recommendations of the surrogacy committee’
20th July 2022
‘Pro-choice campaigners no longer care how many abortions take place’
26th July 2022
‘The radical approach to sex education backed by the HSE’
29th July 2022
‘L’Irlanda sta legalizzando l’”utero in affitto”’
‘Italy to legalize uterus for rent’
31st July 2022
‘L’Irlande va légalizer la location d’utérus’
10th August 2022
’10,000 Canadians died by euthanasia last year’
12th August 2022
‘Archie Battersbee case was not black or white’
19th August 2022
‘Liberals still ignore the fact that family structure matters’
26th August 2022
‘Political ideology as a substitute for religion’
14th September 2022
‘Why governments should pay more attention to family stability’
17th September 2022
‘Più l’eutanasia è legale, più ammazza senza motivo’
21st September 2022
‘Exploring the link between family breakdown and anti-social behaviour’
23rd September 2022
‘Exploring the link between family breakdown and anti-social behaviour’
24th September 2022
‘The more euthanasia is legal the more it kills for no reason’
27th September 2022
‘Plus l’euthanasie est légale plus elle tue sans raison’
‘Government’s latest legislative programme bad news for pro-lifers’
3rd October 2022
‘The coming depopulation bomb’
6th October 2022
‘Je legaler die Euthanasie, desto mehr Menschen werden ohne Grund getötet’
10th October 2022
‘A partial victory for the right to life in European court’
15th October 2022
‘The happiness gap between conservatives and liberals’
21st October 2022
‘HSE pushes for exclusion zones outside abortion facilities’
28th October 2022
‘Poor mental health among young people linked to decline of religion’
11th November 2022
‘Extreme pro-abortion measures passed in three US states’
18th November 2022
‘How Covid curbs on church going harmed public health’
23rd November 2022
‘An Ireland without Down Syndrome’
28th November 2022
‘New report highlights worsening persecution of Christians’
7th December 2022
‘Canada slides right down the assisted suicide slippery slope’
16th December 2022
‘Government recognising commercial surrogacy in all but name’
CW Long post. Original article,
New assisted reproduction legislation will allow use of gametes from deceased person
The new assisted reproduction legislation will allow the use of sperm or eggs from a deceased person. Fatherless children will be created intentionally.
The Irish government has approved the publication of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill 2022 that will legislate for issues such as IVF, gametes donation, surrogacy.
The Bill is extremely problematic from an ethical point of view. For instance, it provides for posthumous assisted reproduction, which is the use of gametes (sperm or eggs) of a deceased person.
The final text of the Bill is not available yet but, based the previous draft, posthumous assisted reproduction will be permitted if a person has consented to use his sperm or her eggs when dead.
The law will also allow those gametes to be retrieved from the body of the dead person, if necessary, when the person has consented to it in advance.
Only the surviving partner of the deceased person can use the gamete, according to the Bill, and only after one year from the death.
This raises important ethical question. (It also complicates and delays the administration of estates on death https://www.irishexaminer.com/business/arid-20457958.html )
How is it in the interest of children to be deliberately conceived when their father or mother is already dead? The whole Bill favours and accommodates the desires of the adults over the child’s best interest.
What is even more shocking is that the law permits the use of the gametes of a dead person together with gametes coming from a sperm donor or an egg donor.
This means that not only one of the parents is already dead before the child is even conceived, but the child will be separated also by the other genetic parent. So, it will be legal for someone who is not even genetically related to the child to decide to create an orphan. How can this be in the best interest of the child?
No one should have a right to deliberately generate an orphan and this the reason why posthumous assisted reproduction is banned in many European countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Hungary.
But Ireland has taken the most liberal and adult-centred approach, avoiding any debate on the morality of such arrangements.
The same could be said about many other provisions of this new law, such as surrogacy for example.
According to the new law, the person who uses the gametes of her deceased partner must be a woman, as she has to carry the pregnancy.
This means that this provision will be used mainly by women using their dead partner’s sperm but nothing prevents a woman in a lesbian relationship from using the eggs of her deceased partner and carry the pregnancy herself. In this way, the resulting child will be denied both biological parents and will be intentionally created and brought up by someone with whom she, or he, has no genetic connection.
Again, how is this in the best interest of a child?
CW Long post. Original content
The deadly inaccuracy of many prenatal tests
Prenatal tests are a vital part of the thriving eugenics industry whereby unborn children with genetic defects are not considered fit for life and are aborted instead. But a report in The New York Times (not a pro-life paper) confirms that the tests for certain foetal abnormalities are often unreliable as they give too many false positive results.
Even if advertised as highly accurate, for some conditions positive test results were incorrect more than 90pc of the time.
We highlighted the problem of the inaccuracy of foetal tests in a previous blog three years ago.
Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is used to screen the probability that chromosomal abnormalities, such as Down Syndrome, are present. These tests are now offered for more and more conditions. A positive screening test should be followed by a diagnostic test, to confirm the presence of the abnormal condition. Unfortunately, many do not wait for the follow-up test and abort their babies, not knowing that those screening tests are often wrong, as the New York Times article showed. With rare conditions, the probability of mistakes grows.
In Ireland we saw the tragic case of a baby who was aborted in Holles Street National Maternity Hospital at 19 weeks after his parents were incorrectly told that he suffered from Edwards Syndrome, a condition that is usually fatal.
But this is not a one-off case. It is likely that many healthy babies are aborted on the false presumption that they are disabled or will not live long after birth.
Ten of the 17 brochures given to parents by prenatal tests services and reviewed by the New York Times never mention that a false positive can occur and only one mentioned how often positive results are wrong.
The newspaper looked at five conditions, namely DiGeorge Syndrome, 1p36 Deletion, Cri-du-chat Syndrome, Wolf Hirschhorn Syndrome and Prader-Willie and Angelman Syndromes, and found the prenatal tests are wrong almost all the time (81pc, 89pc, 80pc, 86pc and 93pc respectively). This is appalling.
In 2019, the UK Advertising Standard Authority ruled that the ads promoting prenatal screening tests were misleading. For instance, out of 100 tests indicating the presence of Edwards Syndrome, only 37 were correct. Still, the tests were presented as 99pc accurate because if the condition is present, it is detected 99pc of the times. Accurate does not mean correct because often the test mistakenly says it is present. (For a more detailed account see here: https://ionainstitute.ie/the-inaccurate-accurate-tests-for-foetal-abnormalities/ )
In simple words, those tests are oversensitive as they tend to err on the side of false positives.
Oversensitive NIPT would not be a problem in a society that does not kill those suffering of abnormal conditions. The tests should be used to prepare families and doctors to welcome the newborns and care for them according to their special needs. Moreover, decisions should be made once the diagnosis confirms the screening results.
But oversensitive tests are morally problematic in our society, where abortion is the default outcome of positive testing results. Many do not even wait for the follow-up diagnostic test.
In Ireland, there is no gestational time limit for abortions when the baby is not expected to live longer than 28 days and now campaigners want to extend this possibility also to non-fatal abnormalities. This would only increase the probability that healthy babies are aborted.
Even the most ardent pro-choice campaigners should want everyone told about the literally deadly inaccuracy of many of these tests.
CW long post, original content
An Ireland without Down Syndrome
The Master of the Rotunda, Professor Fergal Malone, has revealed that up to 95pc of parents who are informed by the hospital that their unborn babies have Down Syndrome (DS) opt for abortion. This is a horrifying figure that appears to have soared since the abortion referendum even though the terminations in these instances are performed mostly in England.
What is happening is, of course, a modern-day version of eugenics. We are creating an Ireland without Down Syndrome and it is provoking almost no debate or reaction.
Professor Malone mentioned the figure of 95pc to the Irish Independent last week, but in the run-up to the 2018 referendum, he told RTE’s Liveline that the figure was 56pc. This is a massive increase in a short period.
Rather than being shocked at what is happening, pro-choice activists want the abortion law changed so that unborn babies with non-fatal abnormalities can be aborted for that reason specifically.
These figures refer to the Rotunda, one of the biggest maternity hospitals in the country, where Malone is the Master, but there are no reasons to suppose rates being substantially different in other hospitals. We don’t know for sure if a similar percentage of parents from other maternity hospitals abort these babies, but it would not be at all surprising if it was also very high. The latest figure for England is 88pc.
In 2018, Dr Rhona Mahony, who was then Master of the National Maternity Hospital on Holles Street, was asked whether there would be an increase in abortions of babies with Down Syndrome if the 8th amendment was repealed. She didn’t give a clear answer, but she said that in her hospital at the time about half of the women told their unborn baby had DS opted to go to England for a termination.
When, during the campaign to save the 8th amendment, the pro-life side highlighted the fact that in countries with liberal abortion laws a very high percentage of babies with DS are aborted, we were accused of using these children for political purposes.
Prominent pro-repeal advocates were in denial.
Simon Harris, who was then the Minister for Health, said: “I do not believe women in this country adopt that approach when they have a diagnosis of a child with a disability. … I think it is somewhat offensive to suggest women in Ireland are seeking abortions for that reason.”
Irish Times columnist, Fintan O’Toole, wrote: “It is not true that the increase in screening has wiped out the births of DS children. … Admittedly access to screening in Ireland is problematic, but even so the numbers of Irish women taking this option is strikingly small.”
He was wrong then, as I explained in this blog, and even more nowadays, as the figures from prof. Malone prove.
What has increased since the referendum is not only the percentage of DS diagnoses ending in terminations but obviously their absolute number as well. This is driven in part by the fact that it has become easier to detect chromosomal or genetic anomalies through earlier prenatal testing.
In the UK, the number of babies born with Down Syndrome has fallen by 30pc in NHS hospitals that have introduced early screening.
Prenatal tests are becoming more common and affordable. Their number in Holles Street maternity hospital went from 1,005 in 2012 to 2,515 in 2021.
Irish women still go to England when they want to abort a baby with a non-fatal abnormality, unless it detected before 12 weeks, when abortions can take place for any reason.
We don’t have absolute figures of abortions for non-fatal disabilities in Ireland, but Irish women generally go abroad because this kind of termination is permitted here only before the 12-week limit and most of diagnoses of foetal abnormality happen afterwards.
In 2021, 59 Irish babies with Down Syndrome were aborted in England, 24 more than the year before (35). This number continues to grow, as predicted by the prolife activists who were accused of scaremongering. The figures were 27 in 2019 and 17 in 2018.
Would Down Syndrome Ireland and other similar organisations have anything to say?
The current law in Ireland allows abortions at any gestational age when the baby has a condition that could cause its death within 28 days from birth, or earlier. Before 12 weeks, abortion is allowed for any reason.
Dr Aoife Mullally, who leads the HSE’s abortion services, wants a relaxation of the law and allow abortion for not life-threatening disabilities after 12 weeks. This is eugenics for disabled babies. It is not clear if she would accept any time limits.
Prof. Malone supports such relaxation but acknowledges that this can only happen by legislating for abortion on grounds of disability. He believes that if this was proposed before the 2018 referendum, as per the recommendation of the Citizens’ Assembly, the vote in favour of repeal would not have been so high.
Liberals will always ask for more relaxations. For them, abortion for disabilities is not a taboo anymore. They might not like the word, but this is pure eugenics, the selection of the fittest.
#GospelToday (Jn 1:1-5, 9-14)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world came to be through him, but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept him. But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man's decision but of God.
And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth.
Rotunda master says 95% of parents in Down syndrome cases choose abortion https://www.irishtimes.com/health/2022/12/26/rotunda-master-says-95-of-parents-of-babies-diagnosed-with-down-syndrome-choose-abortion/
Actually cannot believe this. After 13 years, Sony/BMG have decided to take down Rick Astley's "Never gunna give you up" due to a dispute with Youtube over ad royalties.
It's completely blocked globally. Actual end of an era.
Government recognising commercial surrogacy in all but name https://ionainstitute.ie/government-recognising-commercial-surrogacy-in-all-but-name/
I teach #philosophy and work as a researcher for the Iona Institute (www.ionainstitute.ie) Abruzzese. #Distributism
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