Taking Life

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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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. 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. Physician Assisted Suicide Fails to Gain Traction in Colorado After a bill to legalize physician assisted suicide was voted down by a Colorado House Committee and received only tepid support from the Senate Committee, the bill’s champion Roland Halpern of Compassion & Choices, a group dedicated to promoting physician assisted suicide, was forced to […]

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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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Physician Assisted Suicide’s Slippery Slope

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A common argument often heard in the debates over physician assisted suicide is that it will only be used for terminally ill patients. Indeed, in Oregon—the state that first legalized the practice in the United States and has become the model for other legalization attempts—the patient must be deemed to have less than six months […]

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Belgian Nursing Home Sued for Refusing to Euthanize Patient

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A Belgian nursing home is being sued by the family of a cancer patient for refusing to euthanize her. Yes, you read that correctly. An institution tasked with providing health care, treatment, and support to the ill and the infirmed is being taken to court for not wanting to perform a procedure that they viewed […]

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Stories that Matter

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Yesterday’s New York Times featured a beautiful piece titled “The Wisdom of the Aged,” where six elderly New Yorkers were followed and profiled over the course of a full year. The article captures their hopes, their struggles, and their daily routines as they live out their lives in their eighties and nineties—and while each of […]

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Quebec Court Upholds Physician Assisted Suicide Law

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Yesterday, the top court in Quebec overturned a lower court’s injunction and upheld the province’s physician assisted suicide law. It’s hard to see how the decision is at all compatible with the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, which states that “every human being has a right to life” and then goes on to […]

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This Week in Bioethics

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1. European Parliament Condemns Surrogacy This week the European Parliament condemned surrogacy—delivering a huge victory for women and children. In their statement, the EP concluded that surrogacy “undermines the human dignity of the woman since her body and its reproductive functions are used as a commodity.” We hope that policy makers around the world will […]

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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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Euthanasia is Incompatible with Palliative Care

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Since 2002, the Belgium government has aimed to provide “palliative care for all” as a part of its healthcare services. On the surface, this sounds like a laudable goal and one that should be encouraged. But, as a new report from the European Institute of Bioethics reveals, the Belgian government’s understanding of euthanasia as a […]

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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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