Monday, November 30, 2015

Interests above Dignity?

The Council of Europe's Health Committee postpones discussion of a Report on Surrogacy

Last Monday, PACE’s Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development decided to postpone a discussion of a draft report on Surrogacy Motherhood, “Human Rights and ethical issues related to surrogacy”. This is good news, because there are many questions bout the position of the rapporteurThe rapporteur, Belgian senator Petra de Sutter[1] openly confirms that she is involved in surrogacy practices in the Belgian hospital where she works[2].

The motion of the resolution asked the rapporteur to actually investigate dangers that surrogacy pose to human dignity, e.g. of the woman carrier as her body and its reproductive function is commercialized. Additionally, the same resolution states that “the practice of surrogacy also disregards the rights and human dignity of the child by effectively turning the baby in question into a product” and that therefore “the Parliamentary Assembly should further examine the issues arising from the practice of surrogacy”[3].  

If you take this into consideration, how can a rapporteur objectively and without bias investigate the practice of surrogacy if she is performing it herself? This fact raises serious suspicions that Dr De Sutter might be in a position of a conflict of interest.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Terror in Paris

ECPM calls for a united front against terrorism

I was shocked when I learned the news of the terrible terrorist attack that befell innocent citizens and visitors of Paris last Friday. My heart is full of sorrow and concern. I pray for the victims, their families and friends as well as for protection for the people in Paris who now live in fear. Right after this terrible tragedy, ECPM made the following statement:

The ECPM is shocked and deeply saddened over the terrorist violence and many victims in Paris. We deeply sympathise with all who lost a beloved one or dear friend. Our prayers are with them. We stand with the people of Paris and the French government who now face an incredible challenge.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Corruption kills. Angered Romanians take to the streets

My thoughts on the recent tragedy in Romania

The recent tragic fire in a Bucharest night club that resulted in the death of 32 people, caused an unprecedented outpouring of anger and resentment that led to the resignation of Romania’s prime minister. What most upsets Romanians is the widespread corruption and the fact that public officials do not often take responsibility for their actions. People wonder that if for simple matters, like the licensing of a business venue, are so many irregularities, what will happen if a serious natural catastrophe occurs? For example, if Bucharest is hit again by an earthquake of similar magnitude to the one that occurred in the 70’s, will the authorities be in a position to deal with the situation? It is common knowledge among people on the street that the licensing system for new buildings has for many decades been very lax.