Friday, June 05, 2009

Bioethics Student Scholar Forum

As part of the Women’s Bioethics Project’sFresh Voices Initiative” we are launching the Bioethics Student Scholar Forum featuring outstanding commentary by bioethics graduate students from around the world. Student scholar Jennifer deSante, University of Pennsylvania, wrote the inaugural commentary. In the wake of Octomom, Jennifer explores whether physicians have an ethical obligation to screen IVF applicants:
Can We Screen IVF Applicants?
The birth of Nadya Suleman’s octuplets captured the interest of the country and media. What began as amazement quickly turned to disbelief, then condemnation, even outrage. Hardly anyone could understand what would motivate a woman to use in vitro fertilization (IVF) to have fourteen children. The media became obsessed with Ms. Suleman: following her around town, releasing child services records, even sending Dr. Phil to her house. As it became clear that this woman had little emotional or financial support to raise these children, people began to attack her for being irresponsible. But how much responsibility falls on the physician that provided Ms. Suleman with her many cycles of IVF?
You can find her provocative and well-written paper here. Congratulations to Jennifer – we welcome your fresh voice to the bioethics dialogue. And many thanks to her bioethics mentor, Arthur Caplan, Ph.D. for recommending Jennifer's work. If you are currently an enrolled bioethics graduate student and would like to have your paper considered for publication, please ask your bioethics mentor to nominate your work by emailing info (at) (include paper abstract and contact information.)

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