euthanasia

Dignity, Sickness, and Suffering

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Amy Hasbrouck, the executive director of Toujours Vivant/Not Dead Yet Canada, recently wrote a terrific piece on the ways in which journalists sometimes (often?) distort the realities of assisted suicide and euthanasia when they report on it. She takes as her jumping off point an HBO Vice “Right to Die” segment, which she finds to […]

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Belgium Euthanizes Child

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Belgium’s euthanasia law was expanded to apply to those under the age of 18 in 2014, and the first child to be euthanized under that expansion died within the past week. Because it involves a minor child, very few details are available. Let us be very clear: such an act is not a legitimate part […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Maltese Political Party Rejects Euthanasia The Alternattiva Demokratika party of Malta has rejected euthanasia and assisted suicide, and instead is seeking to emphasize the importance of living wills and palliative care in public policy. We also encourage the use of living wills. Even better is a durable power of attorney for healthcare that is […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Priorities at the VA The department of veterans affairs this week released the preliminary results of a new study on suicide among veterans. “In 2014, the latest year available, more than 7,400 veterans took their own lives, accounting for 18 percent of all suicides in America. Veterans make up less than 9 percent of […]

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Some Choices You Don’t Get to Make: What’s Wrong with Me Before You

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I’m just back from watching the controversial new film Me Before You, which opened on Friday, June 3, to modest reviews and much protest from disability rights groups like Not Dead Yet. Both the film’s screenplay and the best-selling book upon which it’s based were written by novelist JoJo Moyes. The film’s main characters are […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Call for Open, Transparent Discussion Denied Last Friday, 150 scientists, physicians, and bioethicists released an open letter calling for the World Health Organization (WHO) to consider moving or postponing the upcoming Olympic Games because of how much we simply do not know about the Zika virus, which is epidemic in Brazil. Specifically, the call […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Euthanasia Expansion If you need any evidence that the arguments in support of euthanasia or assisted-suicide are specious, read this story. A young woman in the Netherlands chose euthanasia by lethal injection. What was her terminal illness? She didn’t have one. Did she have less than six months to live? There is no evidence […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Welcome News from New York on Assisted Suicide The New York State Appellate Division has just issued a 36-page report stating there is no constitutional right to physician assisted suicide. In 1994, the New York State Task Force on Law and Life issued a report titled, “When Death Is Sought: Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Canada’s Assisted Suicide Law Excludes Americans The physician assisted suicide bill introduced by Canadian parliament this week will prevent Americans from accessing it—a move to prevent suicide tourism. A well-intentioned effort perhaps, but the very legalization of suicide is bad for public health outcomes, regardless of location. Suicide is a tragedy whenever and wherever it […]

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Rethinking Euthanasia?

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Dr. Theo de Boer, a professor of health care ethics at the Theological University in Kampen and associate professor of ethics at the Protestant Theological University in Groningen in the Netherlands, has just published an essay in which he distances himself from the very practice that he once helped shape the policy for implementation. In […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Canadians Reject Assisted Suicide for Mentally Ill One would hope this wouldn’t even be considered news, but just common decency. But after the latest news of Canada wanting to extend the practice of physician assisted suicide to physician assistants as well, it’s hard to know where it will stop. I suppose it’s somewhat comforting […]

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Canada’s Demand for Death

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I spent this past weekend in Montreal, Canada, where despite the expected joie de vivre that Francophone cultures are prone to celebrate, the province of Quebec seems to be spending more time and energy focused on death rather than life. Last year the Supreme Court of Canada overturned the country’s ban on physician assisted suicide […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. The Council of Europe Rejects Surrogacy Earlier this week the Council of Europe rejected a report that called for the regulation of surrogacy, rather than an outright ban on the practice. Intrinsic to the practice of surrogacy is exploitation and coercion—and that’s why we’re grateful that the Council of Europe rejected allowing it in […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Physician Assisted Suicide Fails in Maryland The state senator behind Maryland’s efforts to legalize physician assisted suicide withdrew his bill yesterday admitting that he did not have enough support to move it forward. Maryland was a key state for advocates of doctor prescribed suicide and this withdrawal marks a big victory for vulnerable patients […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. World Medical Association to Revise Hippocratic Oath The World Medical Association, which represents over 100 national medical associations, has announced that a working group will be revising the oath its members take. While no announcements have been made, I’d be willing to bet that one of the first orders of business will be to […]

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Euthanasia and Euphemisms

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A recent article in a Dutch newspaper exclaimed: “Euthanasia Patient Saves Five Lives with Organ Donation.” After suffering a stroke, the man decided he no longer wanted to live and asked to be euthanized. The article went on to note, “He gave his last breath in an operating room at the Erasmus Medical Center in […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. IVF Conceived Children Face Poor Health Outcomes A new study in the journal of Human Reproduction warns that IVF conceived children may suffer poor health outcomes such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. According to Dr. Pascal Gagneux, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California San Diego, “We’re engaging in an evolutionary […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Belgium Sets New Records for Euthanasia Most countries aim to set new health records by alleviating certain diseases, curing cancers, or improving overall health among their citizens. In Belgium, however, they aim to set records to see how many of their fellow countrymen their medical institutions can kill off. And in 2015, a record […]

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