Watt, Helen
9 Articles at Lifeissues.net

Dr Helen Watt is Senior Research Fellow at the Anscombe Bioethics Centre and a Research Fellow at Blackfriars Hall, Oxford. Her publications include The Ethics of Pregnancy, Abortion and Childbirth and the edited collection Cooperation, Complicity and Conscience.



Pro-Life Stings and Abortion Referrals: Formal Cooperation in Evil Is Always Wrong

Are pro-life stings justified to change hearts and minds? Or do they make us complicit in new wrongful choices?

Date posted: 2020-10-17

When a vaccine arrives, will it be ethical?

It is possible that it will be derived from foetal cell-lines. What then?

Date posted: 2020-04-25

A Brief Defense of Frozen Embryo Adoption

Is it ever right to "rescue" a frozen human embryo? Some Catholic writers hold that frozen embryos may be "rescued" or "adopted" by a woman who is not the genetic mother, but who is willing to gestate them. Others, while recognizing that this may offer the only hope of postnatal life for these embryos, claim that such a choice is intrinsically immoral. A woman should not become pregnant in this nonsexual way.

Date posted: 2003-09-08

Euthanasia: Unpacking the Debate

It is always helpful, when discussing euthanasia, to begin by looking at the meaning of the term, as definitions vary widely. The definition I will use reflects the way the word is often used in the bioethics literature, though as we shall see, the word is used in a more narrow sense in the Netherlands. By euthanasia, I mean the intentional shortening of life, by act or omission, on the grounds that it is not worth living.

Date posted: 2002-08-27

The Diane Blood Case

Whether or not some form of prior consent is given to the taking of sperm from a dead or unconscious person, it is wrong to use a dead or unconscious person as a source of genetic material for the generation of a child. Generating a child is an act of great importance, which must take place in a way which is consistent with good parenthood and the welfare of the child. Where a child is created through a conscious, loving, interpersonal act between husband and wife, he or she comes into being by means of an act which has its own inherent dignity, even apart from the fact that conception may result.

Date posted: 2002-08-21

Co-operation Problems in Biomedical Research

Formal co-operation in wrongful procedures is itself immoral, and must always be refused. In the case of material co-operation, we need to look at how close such co-operation is, and at the harm which will be done by co-operating, and by not co-operating.

Date posted: 2002-08-19

Pre-Implantation Diagnosis

One of the moral objections to IVF (in vitro fertilisation) is the way in which embryos are subjected to 'quality control' while they are still outside the mother's body. Even couples who are not infertile but are at risk of having children with genetic disorders may have IVF so that embryos can be screened and discarded if found to be affected.

Date posted: 2002-08-10

In Vitro Fertilization

In IVF, the child has its origin not in an act of marital self-giving but in a process of production -- of retrieving and combining biological materials. The emotional stake of the parents in the outcome of this process does not change the kind of process it is. As far as the human contribution is concerned, the IVF child is produced in a similar way to any product: through technical control over extracorporeal materials. It should therefore come as no surprise if the IVF child is treated as a product in others' control when it owes its existence, like a product, to control over the materials used to make it.

Date posted: 2002-08-09

Human Cloning

Cloning involves the production of a child to predetermined specifications: a child who will have no genetic parents in the true sense of the term. If the child created dies in the lab, to provide stem cells for someone else's use, this is hardly an improvement. Embryos are not raw material for our medical or scientific projects. They are young human beings, whose lives and bodies ought to be respected.

Date posted: 2002-08-04