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Dr Deirdre Little, National Bioethics Convenor

Dr Deirdre Little, National Bioethics Convenor

Deirdre Little is a general practitioner/obstetrician practicing in Northern NSW. She has lived in Bellingen for 29 years where she is married to Don, also a GP, and where they have raised their three children. Both she and Don are also visiting medical officers at Bellingen River District Hospital and have maintained the anaesthetic and obstetric service there as well as emergency care.

Her involvement in Bioethics has arisen from her medical experience in public and private medical service. Modern medical care and 'best practice' increasingly raise issues of conflict with the Hippocratic Oath. Conflicts with the traditional ethos of medicine include the quality of informed consent; the morality of non-therapeutic prenatal testing with associated fetal morbidity and mortality; abortion; killing of the terminally ill, aged, or any patient for any reason; current in vitro fertilization; embryo experimentation; the effects of hormonal contraception; and even newer medical Codes of Ethics themselves.

Her writing in these fields has been published in professional, peer-reviewed and secular press.

Deirdre is midway through post graduate bioethics certificate studies (online) at Loyola University in Chicago.

She sees great beauty and wisdom in the teaching of the Church and the protection and grace Jesus promises through His Church to the end of time:

'I have come that they may have life and have it to the full'. John 10:10

bioethicsdecember14 150A little boy, commissioned by his parents and abandoned when he disappointed them, has brought a focus to many issues. Babies paid for under surrogacy contracts can become the objects of a business deal to the purchasing parents. The heart, mind, soul and body of the contracted child are not seen as the person—their son or their daughter— whom they would give their lives to protect. The child they are to pay cash for at the point of handover is not loved first and foremost, but assessed.