Taking Life

This Week in Bioethics

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1. Can We? Should We? Our Christopher White this week highlighted two ways in which President George W. Bush’s decision — now 15 years ago — to limit federal funding for embryo destructive stem cell research has been vindicated. First, non-embryonic (aka adult) stem cells have proven to be much more powerful and useful that […]

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ICYMI — Our First Live Video Q&A

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In case you missed it, on Friday morning (Pacific time), Jennifer and I did our first ever live Q&A, an “Ask Us Anything About #Bioethics.” First of all, THANK YOU to all who participated. We had a number of great questions on several different areas of bioethics. The 20 minute video is archived on our […]

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Facebook Live Video Event

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This Friday, August 26 at 9:00am Pacific (Noon Eastern, 16:00 GMT), CBC Founder and President Jennifer Lahl and I will be appearing live on The Center for Bioethics and Culture Facebook page, taking questions on any area of bioethics. We often categorize the areas of bioethics under the headings of Taking Life (assisted suicide, euthanasia, stem […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Countering Physician Assisted Suicide: A How To Guide Ashton Ellis, one of our Paul Ramsey Institute Fellows, wrote a very insightful article on the ways in which proponents of physician assisted suicide have engaged in an active, and sadly very successful, campaign to spread the word that doctors in California may now legally kill […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. When is it Too Old to Have a Baby? Another post-menopausal woman (age 62), along with her 78 year old partner, has just given birth, making her Australia’s oldest mother, thanks to IVF. The Australian Medical Association has denounced this birth as “selfish and wrong” with no consideration for the child’s best interest. This […]

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Assisted Suicide is Not Medicine

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Dr. Philip Dreisbach, a California oncologist and hematologist, recently wrote an excellent and compelling piece on the dangers of physician assisted suicide. Unfortunately, the article remains locked behind the Wall Street Journal’s pay wall. Allow me then to highlight a few sections of Dr. Dreisbach’s writing, quoting from it more extensively than I normally would. […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. This Needs to be Read and Shared as Widely as Possible California oncologist and hematologist Dr. Philip Dreisbach writes in the Wall Street Journal as clearly and urgently as I have seen about the perils of physician assisted suicide. He begins by highlighting some of the problems specific to California’s recently enacted assisted suicide […]

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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. 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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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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How Much Further Down the Road of Artifice Should We Travel?

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The cover story in July 4 edition of Time magazine examines the gene editing technique known as CRISPR. The article is helpful for understanding the basics of the science of CRISPR, and it raises a number of the ethical issues involved—the unknowns of heritable genetic changes, the potential for weaponization, imperfections in the technique itself. […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. Hippocratic Telemedicine? Perhaps, like me, you have received emails from your health insurance company or seen ads on your social media letting you know about options that will allow you to “see” a health care provider by phone, email, webcam, or even text. According to the Wall Street Journal, if you haven’t received such […]

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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. Surrogacy Bill Becomes Law in Louisiana Louisiana Governor Edwards has signed into law a bill that makes surrogacy contracts enforceable in his state. Former Louisiana Governor Jindal vetoed similar legislation in 2013 and 2014, and we were hopeful that the new governor and his staff would also be attentive to the strong arguments against […]

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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. 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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