The promise of the field of synbio as a whole is that scientists will be able to employ this type of genome synthesis to create customized life forms for a wide array of purposes. The peril is exactly the same as the promise.
It's increasingly difficult to figure out which of the numerous organizations claiming to offer "reproductive health services" actually provide termination referrals and which are merely sham clinics established by right-wing religious activists.
It shouldn't matter whether breast enhancement for GID patients is a "core" medical necessity. What ought to matter is that a human being is suffering and the medical establishment has the technology and resources to help.
By challenging this longstanding system of benign neglect, bishops and zealots may believe they will achieve ideological purity. What they are actually doing is jeopardizing Catholic hospitals and public health.
The treatment of a pregnant Tallahassee mother, Samantha Burton, by her obstetrician may well rank among the most egregious abuses perpetrated against a patient by her caregiver since the triumph of the patients' rights movement.
That a woman consented to use her body as a surrogate was irrelevant, because there are some acts to which nobody is permitted to consent. As well-meaning as this approach might have been, its underpinnings are inescapably sexist.
I have little doubt that the day will soon arrive when the CEOs of health "insurers" are dragged before Congress to face the same sort of interrogation to which the Waxman Hearings subjected Big Tobacco in the 1990s.
If one believes that the prevention of suffering may sometimes justify the withdrawal or withholding of care, then the very fact that Houben was conscious for twenty-three years might call more convincingly for such action.
Senator Coburn claims physician-patient privilege to avoid testifying against Ensign. But this is not a "Get out of Jail Free" card for physicians who acquire knowledge outside of their work as doctors.