Suicide

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. Dutch Doctors and Self-Starvation Our friend Wesley Smith has reviewed a document from the Dutch Medical Association that provides directions for doctors who are helping their patients commit suicide by self-starvation. Among the many deeply disturbing guidelines in the document, perhaps this is most chilling: “Older patients need not be advised against consciously choosing not […]

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Progressivism and Physician Assisted Suicide

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On Friday, a bill to advance physician assisted suicide in Colorado was approved by the House Judiciary Committee. It now makes its way to the full House for consideration. Leading the charge for the bill was a democratic House member, and all six democratic legislators on the committee voted in favor of the bill. After […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Assisted Suicide Law Now in Effect in Quebec Quebec’s assisted suicide law went into effect yesterday. According to the Minister of Justice, the law is aimed at “allowing people at the end of their lives to receive care that respects their dignity and their autonomy.” It’s both strange and tragic how suicide—normally condemned and […]

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Suicide and Social Contagion

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In a recent Washington Post opinion piece, Dr. Aaron Kheriaty chronicled suicide’s social contagion effects—and what this means for debates surrounding physician assisted suicide. Dr. Kheriaty, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California Irvine and a board member of the Center for Bioethics and Culture Network, discussed two social phenomenas that provide insight […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Germany Approves Physician Assisted Suicide Last Friday the government of Germany passed legislation that would regulate assisted suicide in the country. The new law will prevent the commercialization of the practice, but it will allow terminally ill patients to end their lives with the aid of a doctor. For a country whose recent history […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. New Medicare Rule Authorizes End of Life Consultations Last Friday the Obama administration issued a final rule that requires Medicare to pay physicians for end-of-life consultations. On its face, there is nothing necessarily harmful about this—and, indeed, many physicians and patients will benefit from this, as will families who will have an opportunity to […]

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Physician Assisted Suicide is Inconsistent with National Efforts to Reduce Suicide

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Yesterday’s New York Times featured a haunting portrayal of suicide in America. Across the nation, suicide rates are on the rise—particularly among rural adolescents. But, as the article highlights, “suicide is a threat not just to the young. Rates over all rose 7 percent in metropolitan counties from 2004 to 2013, according to the Centers […]

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Physician Assisted Suicide Proponents Fail to Recognize that We’re All Vulnerable

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Most proponents of physician assisted suicide argue that the practice should be legalized in order to respect individual autonomy when it comes to end of life decision making, but that such laws should also safeguard against vulnerable individuals, such as those with suicidal tendencies, that may be at increased risk. As bioethicist Margaret Somerville astutely […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. California Governor Signs Physician Assisted Suicide Law On Monday, Governor Jerry Brown signed California’s physician assisted suicide bill into law—stating that he would like to have the option if he were terminally ill. This decision is both selfish and reckless, and undermines the entire profession of medicine, which is aimed at healing and has […]

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Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

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September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. You may have seen postings on social media or billboards promoting resources available to those possibly considering ending their own life. It’s all the more tragic then that at the same time we are working to prevent suicide and raise awareness of the tragedy that many in the United […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Nepal Bans Commercial Surrogacy The Supreme Court of Nepal has banned commercial surrogacy in the country—delivering a win for women and children alike. Some commentators are twisting the news saying it would negatively effect gay couples in Israel who previously relied on Nepal’s surrogacy business. As we have long held, no one—gay, straight, married, […]

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CA Court Upholds Ban on Physician Assisted Suicide

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Last week we alerted you to the fact that a California court would consider the state’s ban on physician assisted suicide. As the state’s attorney general noted in advance of the hearing, “it is for the Legislature, not this court, to grapple with these important policy issues.” Fortunately, the Court agreed. As a CBS News article […]

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Voluntary Euthanasia Not Limited to Terminally Ill

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A chilling article appeared earlier this week in the Sydney Morning Herald chronicling the death of a twenty-six year old man who took his own life utilizing voluntary euthanasia—despite the fact that he was not terminally ill. It was only three years after his death when his mother discovered that her son was a member […]

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No One Should Have No One

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Last week while in the United Kingdom, I kept seeing the same advertisement posted throughout the London Underground: No one to say good morning to. No one to bless you when you sneeze. No one to take tea with. Or whisky, for that matter. No one on the end of the phone. No one to […]

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Disability Rights Groups Silenced in NJ PAS Debate

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Last month we alerted you to the effort underway to legalize physician assisted suicide (PAS) in New Jersey. The NJ state assembly has now successfully passed a bill in favor of the practice, though it’s unlikely to pass the senate. And if it were to reach his desk, Governor Chris Christie will almost certainly veto […]

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Making Life and Taking Life, One Law at a Time

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New York State Senator Brad Hoylman has been on the CBC radar for some time now. He’s been pushing legislation to make commercial surrogacy legal in his state. He’s the direct beneficiary of the practice, which allows paying women to have babies for others. He and his partner, David Sigal, paid a woman in San […]

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A Slippery Slope: Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide in Belgium

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Last month, Oxford’s Anscombe Bioethics Centre, along with the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics, the Centre for Bioethics and Emerging Technologies, St Mary’s University Twickenham, and KU Leuven, sponsored an important conference on “Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide: Lessons from Belgium.” ‘Assisted dying’ bills are pending in the UK, hence the motivation for the conference. A […]

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