Cook, Michael
639 Articles at

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Currently showing only those Articles posted in: 2016

New! A British Muslim pushes for polygamy after same-sex marriage

Although polygamy is permitted under sharia law, most Muslim men do not have two, three or four wives. In fact, according to "The Salafi Feminist", a Canadian blogger, average Muslims view second wives "as little more than secret mistresses, home-wreckers, and simply selfish".

Date posted: 2016-05-30

The wrong lesson from Hiroshima

It's not weakness to regard dropping atom bombs on two Japanese cities as immoral.

Date posted: 2016-05-15

Chinese policy on organ transplants is just smoke and mirrors, say critics

The issue of harvesting organs from political prisoners in China to supply the country's more than 160 transplant centres is not just controversial, but explosive.

Date posted: 2016-05-15

Dutch euthanasia cases up by 4%

The number of euthanasia cases in the Netherlands continues to rise steadily. According to the latest statistics released by the government, in 2015 there were 147,010 deaths in the country. Of these 5,516 were reported to be euthanasia or assisted suicide (only 208 cases). This is rise of 4% over the figures for 2014.

Date posted: 2016-05-15

Australian govt report backs ban on domestic commercial surrogacy

A government report has backed calls for an international treaty on surrogacy and for uniform legislation within Australia banning commercial surrogacy.

Date posted: 2016-05-15

Dutch paediatricians seek child euthanasia

The Dutch Health Minister, Edith Schippers, has earmarked almost 400,000 Euros for a study of whether to expand eligibility for euthanasia to children between 1 and 12. At the moment, children under 1 may be killed with the consent of their parents following criteria set out in the Groningen Protocols. Children older than 12 are already eligible.

Date posted: 2016-05-15

Indigenous Canadians fear impending euthanasia law

As southern Canada prepares to roll out euthanasia after last year's Supreme Court decision, the Dene, an aboriginal group of First Nation people, are awaiting it with fear.

Date posted: 2016-05-13

Donor anonymity is dead

Guaranteeing the anonymity of sperm and egg donors is a controversial topic. On the one hand children may want to connect with their biological parents; on the other, the parents may have agreed to donate only because the transaction was anonymous.

Date posted: 2016-05-05

Horrific abuse case raises questions over international surrogacy

An Australian case of sexual exploitation of infants has raised questions about international surrogacy. An unnamed 49-year-old man in rural Victoria has pleaded guilty to abusing not only two young nieces, but twins whom he fathered with the help of a donated egg from a woman in Ukraine at an IVF clinic in Asia.

Date posted: 2016-05-05

'Genetic sexual attraction' could become issue for kids of sperm donors

The British press is a fathomless mine of lurid but thought-provoking, strange-but-true explorations of the dark side of the human condition. Last week's revelation was published in a magazine called The New Day -- a passionate incestuous romance between a 51-year-old British woman and her 32-year-old American son.

Date posted: 2016-04-21

Chinese scientists modify human embryos in second experiment

A year after the first genetically-engineered human embryos were created in China, a different Chinese team has repeated the experiment, with much the same results: failure.

Date posted: 2016-04-21

Gendercide becomes an issue in Canada

The researchers believe that over the past 20 years, there are 4,472 "missing" girls in Canada as a result of a preference for males amongst Indian immigrants. This happens mostly when both parents were born in India.

Date posted: 2016-04-21

The tangled knot of the last taboo

The British press is a fathomless mine of lurid but thought-provoking, strange-but-true explorations of the dark side of the human condition.

Date posted: 2016-04-14

Testing anti-paedophilia drugs

How do you run an ethical randomised trial to stop paedophilia? This is the question that hovers over research into drugs which are intended to stop unwanted sexual impulses.

Date posted: 2016-04-14

Ban on embryo research survives challenge in Italy

Italy's Constitutional Court has reaffirmed the legitimacy of a ban on human embryo research. In a decision late last month the Court declared that Article 13 of Law 40, a 2004 law on assisted reproduction, was constitutional.

Date posted: 2016-04-14

Wrap yourself in a rainbow and carry a big stick

The Dominican Republic is the latest victim of LGBT bullying by the US government.

Date posted: 2016-04-14

The battle over bathrooms

Urinals as a political flashpoint? The last time urinals created so much controversy in the United States was in 1917 when the Surrealist artist Marcel Duchamp submitted a porcelain urinal to a New York art show. And in truth, there is something surrealistic about the debate surrounding North Carolina's new law on who can enter public bathrooms.

Date posted: 2016-04-14

LGBT rift over surrogacy?

It's not just bio-conservatives who are troubled and puzzled by the growth of surrogate motherhood. Writing in the Huffington Post, Keston Ott-Dahl, the lesbian co-mother of a Down syndrome daughter, confesses that there is conflict in the LGBT community as well.

Date posted: 2016-04-14

The Netherlands is normalising euthanasia, says Dutch ethicist

A former member of a euthanasia review board in the Netherlands has written a stinging attack on the policy he once formed part of.

Date posted: 2016-04-14

Doing the right thing by transgender kids is not easy

A US$5.7 million study of the long-term outcomes of medical treatment for transgender youth begins recruiting in May. But knotty ethical questions remain unanswered.

Date posted: 2016-04-14

That euthanasia stuff... does anyone remember what we decided?

Dr Fonck, a renal physician who was a minister in the government of Elio di Rupo, queried Health Minister Maggie De Block about why the full text of the country's euthanasia law has never been published.

Date posted: 2016-04-14

Everybody's a winner when euthanasia combines with organ donation, say doctors

Several Dutch and Belgian doctors have proposed legal reforms to increase the popularity of combining euthanasia and organ donation in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Date posted: 2016-04-12

UK health service may harvest organs from babies with lethal defects

The UK's National Health Service is to encourage pregnant women whose children have a fatal birth defect to bring them to term so that their organs can be harvested.

Date posted: 2016-03-20

Controversial report to support legalisation of surrogacy in Europe

With a range of inconsistent statutes amongst member states, surrogacy is becoming a political football in Europe. Accusations of conflict of interest are being raised in the lead-up to a debate next week in a committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

Date posted: 2016-03-20

Nurse ignites debate over euthanasia in Portugal

The head of Portugal's national nurses' association has blown the whistle on covert euthanasia in public hospitals. Ana Rita Cavaco told a radio program that she personally had heard doctors discussing the topic.

Date posted: 2016-03-18

Harvard's dark past as the "brain trust" of American eugenics

Harvard University is the richest, most famous and oldest university in the US - and it won the Harvard-Yale game last year 38-19. But one distinction which it would rather forget is that it was the "brain trust" of American eugenics.

Date posted: 2016-03-17

Is pornography a public health crisis?

The evidence is piling up. According to a report in The Economist, there are possibly 700 to 800 million individual porn pages, 60 percent of them in the US. A portal for pornography, PornHub, claims that it had nearly 80 billion video viewings in 2014 and more than 18 billion visits. It's obvious that we live in a pornography-saturated culture.

Date posted: 2016-03-03

Celebrating 15 years of Dutch euthanasia

Beginning today, the Dutch right-to-die association NVVE is celebrating Euthanasia Week with a selection of documentary films and youth outreach.

Date posted: 2016-02-28

A peek behind Belgium's euthanasia curtain

Another euthanasia scandal in Belgium. Two sisters have complained on a television program, Terzake, about the euthanasia of their sister. Tine Nys was 38 at the time and had broken up with her live-in boyfriend. On Christmas Eve 2009 she announced that she was going to be euthanased.

Date posted: 2016-02-28

Another euthanasia scandal in Belgium

Another euthanasia scandal in Belgium. Two sisters have complained on a television program, Terzake, about the euthanasia of their sister in April 2010.

Date posted: 2016-02-28

The wrong solution to Zika-caused microcephaly

Activists are trying to spook governments into allowing abortion. Don't do it, says a woman with the condition.

Date posted: 2016-02-06

The dark past of anonymous sperm donation

Few of the essentials have changed since the first recorded case in 1884.

Date posted: 2016-02-05

The dark past of progressive eugenics

The dark history of government-sponsored eugenics before World War II has largely been forgotten, although it is well documented.

Date posted: 2016-02-05

First euthanasia case in Quebec

At least one person and perhaps three have been euthanased in Quebec since the Canadian province's legislation went into effect in December.

Date posted: 2016-02-05

Half million at risk of female genital mutilation in US, says report

US government statistics show that more than half a million girls and women are at risk of female genital mutilation or its consequences in the United States. This figure has tripled over the last 25 years as a result of increased migration from countries where FGM is common.

Date posted: 2016-02-05

JAMA debates assisted suicide

The latest issue of JAMA showcases the views of leading American doctors and lawyers on physician-assisted suicide (PAS). The theme is captured by the headline above one of the articles: "Physician-Assisted Dying: Turning Point?"

Date posted: 2016-02-05

Upsetting the balance of nature

A British report on the irrelevance of "naturalness" could have far-reaching consequences.

Date posted: 2016-02-05

UK on verge of editing genome of human embryos

Scientists in the UK could begin genetically engineering human embryos as early as March, if the fertility regulator approves plans by researchers at the new Francis Crick Institute in London.

Date posted: 2016-01-31

Defending Catholic views on contraception

Although, with more than a billion members, the Catholic Church has immense influence on bioethical practice, its positions are rejected by many bioethical theorists. None is more disputed, even ridiculed, than its condemnation of contraception. However, this stand does have thoughtful defenders.

Date posted: 2016-01-31

Making eugenics fun in Belgium

Waffles, beer, chocolate and euthanasia: Belgium is famous for all of them. Will do-it-yourself eugenics be added to the list?

Date posted: 2016-01-30

ISIS has authorised forced organ removals of 'apostates'

Persistent rumours about organ trafficking by the Islamic State have some basis in fact.

Date posted: 2016-01-18

Demented patients can be euthanized in Netherlands

The Netherlands health ministry has revised its guidelines to allow severely demented patients to be euthanized. However, an advance directive which was made when the patient was lucid is required.

Date posted: 2016-01-18

Gay Israeli couple brings home wrong baby from Nepal

A stark reminder of the hazards of IVF and surrogacy.

Date posted: 2016-01-18

Hammering out the details in Canada's new euthanasia regime

Last February Canada's Supreme Court declared that denying patients access to assisted suicide and euthanasia is a violation of their human rights. The federal, provincial and territory governments were given a year - until February 6, 2016 - to enact legislation consistent with its decision.

Date posted: 2016-01-13

The mechanic who transitioned to a 6-year-old girl

Human interest stories are like earthquakes. Readers love earthquakes, but they get bored with the small ones that flatten a single city. Editors need devastated provinces and tsunamis up to wind up their interest. So the lives of transgender people are the gift that keeps on giving for tabloids. Readers are always interested and the stories keep getting weirder and weirder.

Date posted: 2016-01-10