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BioNews Comment articles written by Dr Anna Smajdor:

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Sorry mate, you're a monkey…
26 April 2021 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
Many of our legal and moral frameworks are based on natural distinctions... [Read More]
Selfish and septuagenarian: when do reproductive rights end?
16 September 2019 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
A woman in India has given birth to twins. In itself, nothing particularly worth reporting there. Women give birth to babies all the time... [Read More]
It's a bumper harvest – but what about consent?
24 September 2018 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
In the wake of a recent Mail on Sunday article, one might wonder if there are grounds for moving from a small-scale subsistence-type approach to the harvest, to a more industrial approach. No, we are not talking about vegetables here, but… sperm... [Read More]
The silent seed
5 March 2018 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
A person's death need no longer spell the end of his or her future reproductive possibilities. A dead or dying person can have their reproductive tissue removed to enable someone else to have a child... [Read More]
Pig-human organs: policing the moral boundaries
20 June 2016 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
The recent of creation of pig embryos with human DNA blurs the boundaries between animals and ourselves, giving us a chance to consider whether our moral categories are correct... [Read More]
Do women have a right to freeze their eggs?
17 August 2015 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
From a Western perspective, China may seem excessively restrictive in preventing citizens from paying for egg freezing services but we have failed to use the democratic space we have to negotiate state policies in reproduction... [Read More]
Can I be my grandchild's mother?
9 March 2015 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
The Daily Mail recently reported that a 59-year-old woman is seeking to give birth to her own grandchild... [Read More]
Beyond the harm threshold
26 August 2014 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
Underlying many controversies in reproductive technology is an assumption that there is a 'harm threshold' – a point at which a child would suffer so much that it would have been harmed by coming into existence. This idea has an intuitive appeal, but the questions it raises are very difficult to answer... [Read More]
The sperm harvest
13 January 2014 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
Dilemmas relating to the perimortem retrieval and posthumous use of sperm have featured in a number of recent BioNews articles. These cases show us how variable attitudes toward consent may be in different countries... [Read More]
Whose sperm is it anyway?
1 October 2012 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
A woman whose husband became a sperm donor without her knowledge is seeking to change the law. Her claim is that a husband's sperm constitutes a 'marital asset', over which a wife should have some legally enforcable rights... [Read More]
The IVF lottery
8 August 2011 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
In 2007, the world's media reported - with various degrees of shock and disapproval - on a Big Brother-style TV programme being created in Holland. This was Big Brother with a bizarre twist: instead of a cash prize and a moment of minor celebrity, the winner would get ... a kidney. Fast forward to 2011. A similar media outcry has been provoked by the announcement by fertility charity To Hatch of a lottery where the prize is - not cash; not a kidney, but... fertility treatment... [Read More]
Should doctors harvest eggs from a comatose woman?
22 August 2010 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
A novel dilemma has arisen recently, recalling past debates over the removal of sperm from dead or dying men. However, the current case is a first, in that that it involves eggs, rather than sperm. Ultimately, the request was denied, but not necessarily for the right reasons... [Read More]
Consent for embryo creation and storage: time for a change in the law?
17 May 2010 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
When Natallie Evans lost her case to prevent the destruction of her embryos in 2007, many people were moved by her plight. The letter of the law had been followed, but with tragic consequences for her... [Read More]
Time to put a stop to postmenopausal mothers?
1 February 2010 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
When Liz Buttle (then aged 60) became the UK's oldest mother in 1997, she was subjected to a storm of media criticism. Since then, debate over appropriate age limits for fertility treatment has shown no signs of abatement, while a growing number of postmenopausal women seek treatment in the UK and abroad.... [Read More]
Genetic testing of children prior to adoption
24 August 2009 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
Recently, a new angle to the many and varied debates over predictive genetic testing has emerged. A number of clinical geneticists in the UK have been requested to undertake genetic tests on children who are up for adoption. When advised that these tests were not in the interests of the children concerned, several local authorities obtained court orders enforcing the tests.... [Read More]
Incarceration and infertility: do prisoners have the right to access IVF?
19 January 2009 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
In October 2008, it was reported that a Spanish woman, Elena Beloki, had been granted permission to receive IVF treatment. Beloki is currently serving a 13-year prison sentence for her involvement with the Basque separatist organisation, Eta. Her fertility treatment will be carried out while on bail, and will... [Read More]
Posthumous retrieval of gametes: a case of deja vu?
1 December 2008 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
To those who followed the story of Diane Blood in the '90s, the plight of the woman referred to as 'L' in recent news articles has a strong sense of deja vu (1). Once again, sperm has been obtained from the body of a man without his prior consent. Once... [Read More]
Artificial gametes: the end of infertility?
26 February 2008 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
An article published recently in the New Scientist alerted readers to ongoing developments in the creation of 'female' sperm and 'male' eggs (1). If - and it is a big if - this technological breakthrough ever comes about, it is suggested that such artificial gametes could offer the possibility of genetic reproduction... [Read More]
The review of the HFE Act: ethical expertise or moral cowardice?
6 November 2007 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
The development of reproductive technologies has continued apace since the birth of Louise Brown, the first IVF baby, in 1978. The regulatory framework is constantly assailed by new possibilities which may not have been envisaged by those who drew up the original legislation in this area. Do the moral arguments... [Read More]
There's no such thing as a free egg
13 August 2007 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
Earlier this year, at the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) conference in Lyons, France, it was reported that Melanie Boivin, a Canadian woman, had decided to have her eggs surgically extracted and preserved for the later use of her daughter, who at this time was seven years... [Read More]
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BioNews Review articles written by Dr Anna Smajdor:

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Book Review: The Ethics of Pregnancy, Abortion and Childbirth - Exploring Moral Choices in Childbearing
12 February 2018 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
Academics have written at length on the ethics of reproductive technologies, abortion and speculative possibilities such as reproductive cloning. But pregnancy itself up until recently has been a somewhat neglected topic... [Read More]
Report Review: Eugenics and the Ethics of Selective Reproduction
9 September 2013 - by Dr Anna Smajdor
The prospect of eugenics has re-emerged in multiple new guises. The polarising power of this concept is part of its fascination, but this is not necessarily fruitful for debate or policy-making. In their booklet, Stephen Wilkinson and Eve Garrard address this problem... [Read More]