About the Author

Cheryl Miller

Former New Atlantis blogger Cheryl Miller is a writer living in Washington, D.C. A 2007 Phillips Foundation Journalism Fellow, she is also the editor of Doublethink magazine. She can be reached at cmiller [at] thenewatlantis [dot] com.
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Cheryl Millerís Latest New Atlantis Articles

 Donated Generation” (Summer 2008)

 Blogging Infertility” (Winter 2008)

 The Painless Peace of Twilight Sleep” (Fall 2007)

 

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From our Winter 2008 issue


Cheryl Miller discusses her new article about infertility patients who have turned to blogs for medical advice and emotional support.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Body Shopping 

English writer and activist Donna Dickenson has a new book out, Body Shopping: The Economy Fuelled By Flesh and Blood. To judge from this op-ed in the London Times, it sounds promising:

This week, leading scientists and religious representatives will meet in London to hear each other out and try to overcome the black-and-white divide that has dominated debate. Not before time: the “God versus science” cliché has become a dangerous distraction.

As a (secular) bioethicist who also sits on ethics committees, I find it supremely unhelpful to be labelled either a luddite or a God-botherer when I pose ethical questions about scientific developments.

It’s not just the technology that’s changed since the 1980s; it’s also the economic environment in which science and medicine have to operate. We are living in an age when human organs, genes, eggs and other body parts are fast becoming commodities bought and sold on international markets: what I call “body shopping”. Our law lags behind: once tissue is taken from your body, it doesn’t legally belong to you. Instead, our common law views it as “no one’s thing”, or mere waste.

UPDATE: I interview Dickenson about her new book here.

posted by Cheryl Miller | 4:47 pm
File As: Bioethics and Medicine, Assisted Reproductive Technologies