Humanize

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projection over male engineer
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COVID-19 Adult Stem-Cell Trials: A Hopeful Sign

I was disappointed in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s dour statement that “we will never be the same” and we that we won’t “get back to normal. There will be a new normal.” I understand he is dealing with excruciating issues of life and death, but given the history of the United States, such pessimism is unwarranted. We have faced far worse than this and have moved through the pain into a better tomorrow. We will this time too. Here’s a small reason for optimism. In addition to vaccine research, the potential of malaria drugs, and antiviral testing, adult stem cells are also being deployed in current or imminent human trials for treating the physical effects of the COVID-19 virus. One early study on Read More ›

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Physician in medical face mask holding syringe while senior lady keeping arm on cushion stock photo

Coronavirus: Triage if Necessary, Health-Care Rationing, Never

With the raging coronavirus pandemic threatening millions with infection, people are rightly worried that we could face the awful circumstance in which there are insufficient life-saving medical resources available for all catastrophically ill patients needing care. If that dark day comes, decisions will literally have to be made as to who among the seriously ill will be given an optimal chance to fight for life under intensive medical care, and who may have to face a likely death, albeit under palliative care. All over the country, doctors, bioethicists, policymakers, hospital administrators, and media commentators are discussing how to make such extremely difficult decisions if they become necessary. That’s proper and fitting. As the old saying goes, hope for the best and plan Read More ›

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Nevada Governor Partially Bars Use of Malaria Drug for Coronavirus

Some not bright people tragically poison themselves with a fish-tank cleaner because an ingredient in the compound is similar to those in the anti-malaria drugs that anecdotally have helped people deathly ill with coronavirus. Then, Nevada governor Steve Sisolak signs an emergency order preventing the medications’ use treating the virus in Nevada, which certainly seems extreme. What’s going on? Predictably, the AP story blames Trump: Nevada’s governor has signed an emergency order barring the use of anti-malaria drugs for someone who has the coronavirus. Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak’s order Tuesday restricting chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine comes after President Donald Trump touted the medication as a treatment for the virus. Trump last week falsely stated that the Food and Drug Administration had just approved the Read More ›

Doctor with handcuffs. Medical crime
Doctor with handcuffs. Medical crime

Argentinian Doctor Sentenced to Prison for Refusing to Terminate Pregnancy

In Sweden, midwives can be fired and deemed unemployable for refusing abortion. In Ontario, Canada, doctors can face professional discipline for refusing to administer (or refer for) euthanasia. Ditto to refusing an abortion in Victoria, Australia. In California, a Catholic hospital is being sued — with the explicit blessing of the courts — for refusing to allow a transgender hysterectomy. But now in Argentina, the right to obtain an abortion has been declared so fundamental that an objecting M.D. can be held criminally culpable for refusing to terminate a pregnancy. An Impossibility? That would seem to be a moral and legal impossibility. But Argentina just elevated the “medical conscience” controversy to a whole new level of concern — from the potential of not “only” having Read More ›

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Creating a Disposable Caste of People is a Bad Idea

I write in National Review this morning on the latest push to make euthanasia lawful: If you want to see what may soon go wrong in public policy, just read the professional literature. Bioethics journals are particularly illuminating in this regard because many of the leading voices in the field long ago discarded the sanctity/equality of life for the utilitarianish “quality of life” ethic, which grants higher value to some over others based on invidious distinctions such as disability, age, and health. An advocacy article in the current Clinical Ethics provides a case in point. In, “Counting the Cost of Denying Assisted Dying,” an academic bioethicist and a business management professor support legalizing euthanasia… You’ll have to read the full piece to understand Read More ›

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Biden’s Coronavirus Adviser Wants to Die at 75

Joe Biden has announced the creation of a “Public Health Advisory Committee,” consisting of Democratic experts to advise him about how to best grapple with the coronavirus during the campaign. The bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel — the most famous person on the committee — made headlines a few years ago by writing that he wants to die at age 75 before becoming "feeble, ineffectual". Joe Biden is 77. Read More ›
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Bloomberg: A Patient’s Care is ‘Futile’ if We Decide the Patient Has Little Value

Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign is over, but I want to return to something Bloomberg once said that was brought up by reporter Peter Hasson during Bloomberg’s most recent campaign that speaks to a fundamental issue in healthcare issue: Billionaire and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg said in a 2011 video that some elderly cancer patients should be denied treatment in order to cut health care costs. He drew on a hypothetical example of a “95-year old” with “prostate cancer” to signal an openness he would have to reform how Medicare provides treatment. “All of these costs keep going up, nobody wants to pay any more money, and at the rate we’re going, health care is going to bankrupt us,” said Read More ›

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Making Something Lawful Creates a Market for It

The Australian state of Victoria made it lawful to commit assisted suicide last year. The number of those who have killed themselves since “voluntary assisted dying” became legal is more than four times higher than the Victorian government had anticipated. Xavier Symons reports : The Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board’s first Report of Operations, released on Tuesday, provides information on how Victoria’s euthanasia legislation is being enacted, including details of how many people have been issued with a ‘VAD permit’, as well as information on some of the barriers preventing people from accessing the scheme.  According to the report, permits to access the lethal medication were issued to 70 patients between June 19, when the scheme first started, and December 31. Overall Read More ›

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Full-Bore Death on Demand Arrives in the West

The 1973 dystopian film Soylent Green featured several shocking moments, including overpopulation riots and men calling women “the furniture” required for sex. But the most disturbing scene showed Edward G. Robinson entering a euthanasia clinic, choosing to be put down rather than live with his existential anguish. What was once fiction is becoming reality. Assisted suicide, unthinkable then, is popular now. Since the movie was released, many have come to view human existence as a relative, rather than absolute, good. The sanctity of life ethic has been replaced by the drive to eliminate suffering, even if this requires eliminating the sufferer. And the raw power of this logic has led directly to suicide clinics and a right to death on demand—since no Read More ›