A Russian woman wants 105 surrogate babies – and has the money to pay for them

BioEdge

Michael Cook

The Russian media has been abuzz with the news that a 23-year-old woman from Moscow named Christina Ozturk and her husband have embarked upon the ambitious project of having 105 of their own biological children. They already have 11 in their household – one which Christina had herself, and 10 in the last two years with surrogate mothers.

Mrs Ozturk met her 56-year-old husband, Galip, a Turkish businessman living in Georgia, at a resort in Batumi, where there is a well-established surrogacy industry. Each child costs about 8,000 Euros, but Mr Ozturk, who owns a chain of hotels, says that he can handle it easily. The Turkish media describes him as a billionaire, although he denies this. The project seems to have been his idea. . . [Full Text]

After all, what is really wrong with apotemnophilia?

BioEdge

Reproduced under Creative Commons Licence

Michael Cook*

Apotemnophilia is one of those words which may be useful in Scrabble© but seldom come up in day-to-day discourse, let alone medical practice. However, it is an increasingly contested issue in bioethics, though better known as BIID, Bodily Integrity Identity Disorder, or the amputation of healthy limbs.

BIID is a rare psychiatric condition in which people know that their leg (for instance) is normal and healthy, but still feel that it is not part of their identity; they want it cut off, even though they realise that they will become disabled. Oddly enough, however, they often do not seem to mind wearing a prosthesis to recover some of the limb’s functionality.

In a provocative article in The New Bioethics, Richard Gibson, of the University of Manchester Law School, in the UK, asks whether ultimately there would be anything wrong with BIID if a prosthesis provided equal or better functionality. . . [Full text]

Examining the thorny moral problem of foetal reduction

BioEdge

Michael Cook

It is a truth universally acknowledged that defending an opinion on abortion will make at least half of one’s readers unhappy. But Joona Räsänen, a Finnish bioethicist at the University of Oslo, defends an opinion on abortion in the Journal of Medical Ethics which is bound to make all of them unhappy.

He tackles the controversial question of foetal reduction: killing one or more foetuses in a multiple pregnancy. This may happen when one of them is diseased or has a birth defect or when the mother feels incapable of caring for more than one child. It often happens after IVF when a woman ends up with triplets or quadruplets – or even octuplets. Some doctors have refused to “reduce” the pregnancies because they regard it as immoral. . . [Full Text]

Australia’s legislative laboratory for euthanasia

BioEdge

Michael Cook

The Labor-majority Parliament of the Australian state of Victoria passed assisted dying legislation in December 2017. This came into effect in June and the first patient has already died. Applications from a dozen or so Victorians have already been approved. Two other Labor states are also debating euthanasia – and it appears that their legislation will be even more permissive than Victoria’s.

According to critics of euthanasia interviewed by The Australian, this is “death creep”, the slippery slope in action.

“There is serious concern about this slippage,” the chair of the Australian Medical Association’s ethics and medico legal committee, Chris Moye, says. “A lot of this (change) was happening even before the Victorian law, which is only two months old, has actually been tested. At this point, we haven’t seen how assisted dying works in Victoria and yet the slippage is happening across these various jurisdictions. I think there are two reasons: people were always going to be looking at it (the Victorian law) and the tendency always is to relax legislation.”

Critics focus on details of a proposed bill in the parliament of Western Australia. In Victoria, doctors are not allowed to raise the topic of assisted dying. But in WA, doctors would be permitted to suggest the possibility of euthanasia and no specialist has to be involved.

Conscientious objection is more difficult as well. In Victoria, objecting doctors are not obliged to refer the person on; in WA they would be.

In Queensland, a parliamentary committee is studying draft legislation. This is even more permissive than Victoria’s or WA’s. There is no time requirement – only that the patient have an incurable terminal illness which is causing intolerable and enduring suffering.

However, Professor Ben White, who helped write Queensland draft bill,  dismisses fears of a “slippery slope”. “When people talk about a slippery slope in terms of the law, they are talking about law X in a particular state or country that is enacted and over time gets changed,” he says. “We live in a federation … and there are differences in laws from one state to another, reflecting a range of factors, including geography. What might be appropriate for a state like Victoria might … require different solutions in Western Australia or Queensland.”


Australia’s legislative laboratory for euthanasiaThis article is published by Michael Cook and BioEdge under a Creative Commons licence. You may republish it or translate it free of charge with attribution for non-commercial purposes following these guidelines. If you teach at a university we ask that your department make a donation. Commercial media must contact us for permission and fees. Some articles on this site are published under different terms.

Quebec nurses back euthanasia for the demented to the hilt: survey

BioEdge

Michael Cook

An overwhelming majority of registered nurses working in Quebec nursing homes support euthanasia for dementia patients who have left a living will, researchers from Canada and the Netherlands. In an article in the journal Geriatric Nursing.

Euthanasia is legal in Canada, but only for patients who are competent, even if they had expressed a request for “medical aid in dying” in their lucid moments. However, this restriction is under pressure. After a man killed his demented wife, the Quebec Minister of Health and Social Services asked experts to study whether MAiD could be provided for patients with advance directives.

Although only doctors are able to euthanize patients, the researchers point out that “Given their unique experience and expertise, nurses’ voice must be taken into account in deciding whether or not to modify the current legislation to give incompetent patients access to MAiD.”

Five hundred and fourteen nurses were surveyed; 219 responded. Of these, “83.5% agreed with the current legislation that allows physicians to administer aid in dying to competent patients who are at the end of life and suffer unbearably. A similar proportion (83%) were in favor of extending medical aid in dying to incompetent patients who are at the terminal stage of Alzheimer disease, show signs of distress, and have made a written request before losing capacity.”

Just as interesting as the nurses’ attitudes towards incompetent patients was their feelings about how they would like to be treated themselves should they become demented. If diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, 79% said that they would make a formal request to die. If a love-ones were diagnosed, 65% would call a doctor to euthanise them (provided they had left a request).


Quebec nurses back euthanasia for the demented to the hilt: surveyThis article is published by Michael Cook and BioEdge under a Creative Commons licence. You may republish it or translate it free of charge with attribution for non-commercial purposes following these guidelines. If you teach at a university we ask that your department make a donation to BioEdge. Commercial media must contact BioEdge for permission and fees. Some articles on this site are published under different terms.