Human Exceptionalism

Center on Human Exceptionalism

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Old male doctor visiting young male patient
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When Death Is Our Physician

It is hard to tell the truth about assisted suicide. Or rather, it’s hard to get people to listen. Folks generally are about as eager to delve into the issue of assisted suicide as they are to work out the details of their own funeral. It’s a delicate and unnerving subject, involving the ultimate issues of life: the reality of Read More ›

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Intravenous cannula placed in the hand of an elderly patient for palliative care of a terminal patient.
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Don’t Kill the Pain Relief Bill

Last week, by a vote of 271-156, the House approved the Pain Relief Promotion Act, designed to promote effective medical treatment of pain while deterring the misuse of narcotics and other controlled substances for assisted suicide. The bill’s passage prompted an outpouring of hyperbole and misinformation from opponents. Here are the facts about the act: It would not outlaw assisted Read More ›

Kill the Bill, Not the Ill

Sacramento, California It was every liberal’s dream of diverse, grass-roots political activism: more than a hundred people demonstrating angrily in front of the California state capitol against pending legislation that threatened people who are poor, who are disabled, and who are vulnerable. Disability-rights activists in wheel-chairs marched in solidarity with white medical professionals, alongside African-American clergy and advocates for the Read More ›

Net neutrality: Obama’s FCC puts Internet, American innovation at risk

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its disastrous new network neutrality rules earlier this month, officially signaling to the world that the U.S. will adopt a policy destined to stifle technological advancement and put network investment into neutral.  By heeding President Obama’s call to make the Internet a government-regulated public utility, the FCC has adopted a system equipped to regulate Read More ›

Before He Kills Again

IT SEEMS AS IF HE HAS ALWAYS been part of the American cultural landscape, leaving dead bodies at hospital emergency-room doors, wearing Founding Father costumes to court, accusing his opponents of conducting a modern-day Inquisition. But only nine years ago, no one had heard of Jack Kevorkian, when a March 1990 newspaper article described an offer that seemed more like Read More ›

Dependency or Death?

Assisted suicide in Oregon has operated in a shroud of secrecy since the procedure was legalized by a 1997 referendum. But a new study, published in the┬áNew England Journal of Medicine, purports to shed light on the law’s actual workings. Advocates of assisted suicide claim the report proves all is well. But a close reading reveals that many of the Read More ›

Suicide in the West

WHEN EUTHANASIA ENTHUSIASTS urged Oregon voters to legalize assisted suicide, they promised an open, rational, and carefully regulated system in which physician-hastened death would be a “last resort.” Voters were also assured that life termination would be conducted under the watchful and protective eye of the state, with rigorous guidelines strictly enforced to prevent abuse. Assisted suicide was to be Read More ›

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Stem cell research for the treatment of cancer
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Michael Kinsley Out on a Limb

The Clinton Administration recently issued a new set of rules permitting federally funded research on embryonic stem cells. The guidelines were hailed in many quarters as a victory for “science.” But what kind of science? Astonishingly, some supporters are offering arguments that echo the ideas of the racist scientists who paved the way for the Third Reich. The medical value Read More ›