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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

The Eugenic Egg Hunt



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The quest for the “perfect child” knows almost no bounds. From the Washington Post opinion blog by Melinda Henninger:

 “Exceptional egg donor needed,” said a recent ad in the Harvard Crimson. The couple looking for that donor, it said, is working with a “prestigious Los Angeles IVF clinic,” in search of a “100% Korean woman” with an excellent education, “outstanding” test scores, “extremely healthy family history,” plus an “altruistic nature,” and a “slim build.” The Nobel Prize in Physics is only optional, I guess, since the ideal candidate sought in such notices must also be under 28.

Apropos of my First Things column today about emotions too often trumping principle, today many believe they not only have a “right” to a child but to the child they want.

But the good news is that the Post commentator–wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles–actually sees the eugenics! And the danger to the “donor!” The column even quotes Jennifer Lahl of the Center for Bioethics and Culture (for which I am a paid consultant):

Jennifer Lahl, who’s spent the last three years traveling from college to college showing her documentary film “Eggsploitation” — interviews with women who did have serious complications as a result of egg donation — says she often feels like a latter-day opponent of Big Tobacco, outmatched by an lobby that’s “strong, wealthy and powerful.”

What she wants is what Big Tobacco finally had to provide: A warning label. A major survey of egg donors in 2008 found that one in five was unaware of any health risks, though with cash on the table, it’s easy to understand how the small print might have been overlooked. Can you even have informed consent with money at stake?

This is a rare case of the MSM actually presenting an issue from the heterodox side of the street–and without letting the emotional centrifuge trump all. Hooray!



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