Nobody’s Playing God

Nobody’s playing God says the Independent’s Editorial today all about three parent babies. The so called “three-parent babies” is when the DNA of a third party can be used to prevent painful and fatal inherited diseases in babies.

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‘People shouldn’t be ashamed of their fertility problems’ says John Legend

The singer John Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen have always been open about their fertility struggles and today John continued to be candid when saying that they’d resort to IVF again in an attempt at having three or four more babies.

“A lot of people struggle with fertility and they shouldn’t be ashamed of it. A lot of people want to have kids and maybe can’t do it the natural way… I think people should do it if that’s what will work for them.” The photo below show John Legend, Chrissy and their baby Luna.

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What’s IVF?

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Scientists say it’s time for ‘three person babies’

Doctors are saying they want to start making ‘three person babies‘. How does it work?Three-person IVF replaces the defective power packs in the mother’s egg – called mitochondria – with healthy ones from a donor woman. A three-person baby has most of its genetic inheritance from its parents, but also a tiny amount from the donor woman.

Even though Parliament have already approved this development there are some scientists who are saying they want more checks to be done to decide if it is completely safe or not.

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Should we believe doctors who hold our happiness in their hands?

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A new study has shown that all the add-ons that fertility clinics sell to patients, some costing up to £3,500, have no evidence to support that they’ll increase the chances of pregnancy.  The treatments include genetic screening tests, additional drugs, blood tests to measure the immune system and special devices to house an embryo. They can cost from £100 up to £3,500 each on top of the costs of IVF. People often presume that if a doctor is telling you something it would be be backed up by some evidence. Unfortunately this report shows it is not necessarily the case

“Some of these treatments are of no benefit to you whatsoever and some of them are harmful.”

Only one treatment, called an endometrial scratch, was supported by moderate quality evidence it would help. It involves a procedure to scratch the womb lining to help an embryo successfully implant, although the evidence for this treatment was not itself beyond doubt.

Jessica Hepburn spent over £70,000 on eleven cycles of IVF and had many different “add-ons”. She never had a baby. “These are doctors. We believe what doctors tell us and this is a doctor that holds my happiness in his hands,” she said.

What is IVF?

In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is one of several techniques available to help couples with fertility problems have a baby.

During IVF, an egg is removed from the woman’s ovaries and fertilised with sperm in a laboratory.

The fertilised egg, called an embryo, is then returned to the woman’s womb to grow and develop.

It can be carried out using a woman’s eggs and a man’s sperm, or eggs and/or sperm from donors.

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With Newborns being Handed Over in Car Parks There are Calls to Change Surrogacy Laws

The number of babies born through surrogacy has risen, due to improvements in fertility technology and the reduced stigma about non-traditional families. Some 214 surrogate babies were registered with the courts in 2014-15, up from 138 in 2011-12.

Surrogate births are governed by the 1985 Surrogacy Arrangements Act, which bans commercial payments and requires a six-week period immediately after a baby is born before parties can apply to the courts for a formal transfer of parental rights. Campaigners and lawyers argue such rules are now outdated. The Government has said that reforms to the surrogacy law could be introduced by 2020.

But for now new mothers are getting upset at how they are being forced to hold their new children in such sterile conditions as the hospital car park. One new mother described how “[Hospital staff] took us off the premises. They got the surrogate’s husband to come and escort us out. He physically carried the baby out of the hospital and handed us the baby in the car park. It seems hospitals don’t want to take any responsibility in case a legal dispute occurs and it has happened on their territory so they’re liable.”

She explained: “We felt like we were stealing a baby. It put a huge strain on everything. There’s an overwhelming sense you’ve done something wrong by having a child through surrogacy. We’re good law-abiding people and we were treated like we’d done something wrong. I felt incredibly vulnerable.”

An interesting link to this story is the recent BBC Scotland documentary by Alex Jones entitled Fertility and Me which sets out the statistics on infertility as well as the emotional turmoil couples feel when they don’t get pregnant as quickly or easily as they hope.

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Revising for your Morality Mock Exam

Keep an eye out over the coming week as more and more resources and information is posted on here to help you prepare for your GCSE Mock Exam in late November.

Ms Strachan posted numerous articles which will help you revise and learn about IVF, transplants, euthanasia, drugs, crime, and capital punishment on her previous wordpress: tkchum.wordpress.com. Just type into the search engine the topic you want to revise, or GCSE, and numerous articles should pop up. At her previous school they did Edexcel rather than AQA exam board so some of the references to units or sections won’t be quite right but the facts and knowledge will be!

These are the topics you’ll need for the Morality Mock exam:

  1. Matters of Life
  2. Elderly and Death
  3. Drug Abuse
  4. Crime and Punishment

On the exam paper there are 6 topics, but you only need to answer 4 (phew) and we’ve chosen the first 4 of the exam paper to keep things straightforward for you.

If you want to look at past exam papers and other information about the course check out AQA’s website. The past paper you’ll be interested is Unit 3 Morality and they’ve got them for 2013 – 2015.

TrueTube has some simple short videos which you can revise from:

I’ve checked out YouTube too:

  1. It might be an OCR video but it discusses what IVF is
  2. 8 minutes of questionable music choice and speedy facts about Elderly and Death
  3. For 8 minutes a teacher talks through the Drug Abuse part of an exam paper.
  4. Crime and Punishment 45 seconds

Below are links to three useful revision guides for three of our topics:

  1. We’re missing topic 1 sorry
  2. revision-guide-elderly-death-2014
  3. revision-guide-on-religious-attitudes-drug-abuse
  4. revision-notes-on-crime-and-punishment

And finally, if you didn’t believe me when I repeatedly said how important the 6 mark statement response question is then why not watch another RE teacher banging on about answering it with religious arguments!

Please leave a comment if you are finding these links useful and you’d like more of the same. Or more importantly if you’d like different revision resources get in contact.

 

Ethical Concerns for Three Person Baby

There are concerns that countries with less stringent laws are using scientific advancements for three person babies not as a means to help couples get pregnant without the presence of certain genetic diseases, but instead simply to boost fertility in places like the Ukraine.

We appear to be in a race to the bottom,” warned Dr Marcy Darnovsky from the US Centre for Genetics and Society. Criticising doctors offering the technique, she added: “They are ignoring ongoing policy debates and conducting dangerous and socially fraught experiments on mothers and children. And they appear to be actively seeking a media splash on the way down. Use of these biologically extreme procedures for infertility is based purely on speculation.”