As we reported in one of our previous posts, the Committee for Social Affairs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) rejected on 22 September the contoversial resolution drafted by Belgian MP Petra De Sutter, which would have opened a way for the legalization of surrogacy. However, one part of Mr? De Sutter’s draft, a recommandation to the Committee of Ministers of the organisation consider the desirability and feasibility of “drawing up European guidelines to safeguard children’s rights in relation to surrogacy arrangements”, survived this defeat, and was thus put to a vote in the PACE’s plenary session today. Readers of our website will be delighted to learn that this remnant has now also been defeated. The outcome of the vote was 83 against 77 votes, with 7 abstentions. Continue reading
On 21 June, Dr. Petra De Sutter, a Belgian transgender senator and gynaecologist specialising in surrogacy and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), will try again to get the Committee on Social Affairs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to support the legalization of surrogacy, despite the rejection of his/her previous report in March and his/her clear conflict of interest.
The move flouts the values of the Council of Europe, both through the content of the motion and the pocedure through which it is promoted. Continue reading
Nicola “Nicky” Vendola, an Italian leftwing (formerly Communist) politician and LGBT activist who was President of Apulia from 2005 to 2015, is aspiring to “found a family”. Together with his same-sex “life partner” Eddy Testa, a man 20 years his junior, he has decided to use the services of a Canadian surrogate mother. Continue reading
One should be cautious with superlatives, and beware of using the term “historic” too frequently. But this is certainly one of the great moments of Church history: for the first time a Roman Pontiff has met the Hear of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia. Not for the first time after one thousand years, but for the first time ever. Continue reading
By giving permission to a group of researchers to genetically modify human embryos, the United Kingdom has re-affirmed its role as the EU country in which scientists have to comply with the lowest ethical standards. The British government apparently considers low ethics a competitive advantage.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has, for the first time, approved a licence to use gene editing in research. This decision recklessly tears down one of the last ethical barriers for research. From now on, ethics will never again be an obstacle for ambitious researchers, or for the multi-million industry behind them. Continue reading
“Reproductive medicine”, i.e. the production of babies in vitro for people who cannot have one (such as infertile couples, homosexual couples, or individual persons) is a big business that promises huge benefits for those involved in it. And quite obviously the baby-production industry has a big economic stake in ensuring that any legal obstacles for its activities to be removed, or, even better, in persuading lawmakers that these activities should be subsidized through public funding.
It is therefore self-evident that asking a “reproduction doctor” to be the rapporteur for a PACE resolution on surrogacy smacks of a conflict of interest. This is even more so if the person at question is not only a “reproduction doctor” (who happens to be the head of one among only 4 medical facilities in Belgium that offer surrogacy despite the absence of a legal framework for it), but also a well-known representative of the LGBT lobby, which seeks to create a legal entitlement for same-sex couples to get access to other people’s children. Continue reading
Konstanty Radziwiłł, the Health Minister of Poland, said that the state funding programme for in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) will only last until June 2016, and will not be prolonged. Couples wishing to have IVF treatment will therefore have to pay it out of their own pockets. This is likely to significantly reduce the market for the ethically controversial treatment.
The new Minister thus overturns a decision of the previous liberal Civic Platform (PO) government according which in-vitro fertilisation funding was to be extended until December 2019.