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by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

One of the changes that the Trump administration tried to make to the Affordable Care Act was to eliminate the requirementthat employer insurance plans cover the full cost of contraception. The new rules would have allowed businesses and nonprofits a religious and moral exemption from providing such coverage beginning this past Monday. Under the Obama administration, the Courts carved out exemptions for businesses that were religious in nature or that were privately run by a family of faith (see Little Sisters v. Burwelland Burwell v. Hobby Lobby). These efforts continued attempts under claims of religious libertythat people and companies should not be compelled to act in ways their religious and philosophical belief held was immoral—such as providing contraception and abortion.…

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The introduction of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as a means of preventing HIV infections those at high risk marked a significant step in the fight against the virus. PrEP involves taking the HIV medicine Truvada or a generic version daily. It is now gradually becoming available across the world, particularly for men who have sex with… Read more

The post Prevention Optimism: Does It Raise Ethical Questions About PrEP for HIV? appeared first on The Hastings Center.

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This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard oral argument in a constitutional challenge to the California Uniform Determination of Death Act.  Materials from the Israel Stinson brain death case are here.

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By Mark McQuain Many philosophers argue that attaining the threshold of self-awareness is more valuable in determining a human’s right-to-life than simply being a living member of the human race. They require a human being attain self-awareness (reaching so-called full “personhood”) before granting unrestricted right-to-life for that particular human being. Lacking observable self-awareness relegates one …

Continue reading "Self-Awareness, Personhood and Death"

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Chemotherapy drugs have become ridiculously expensive. Many new drugs come to market costing more than $100,000 per patient for a full course of treatment. Often, patients have to pay a significant portion of these costs. For example, a 20% co-insurance rate, … Continue reading

The post Think Generics Will Lower the Cost of Chemo? Think Again appeared first on PeterUbel.com.

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This month, many states introduced legislation to affirmatively legalize medical aid in dying. Notable among these is New Mexico's H.B. 90.   Last year, I criticized the new Hawaii law for adding "extra" safeguards that impede acce...

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It looks like the European Court of Human Rights will hear Mortier v. Belgium which concerns euthanasia safeguards for psychiatric conditions.

The patient's son (Tom Mortier) brought an application alleging that physicians euthanized his mother (Godelieva De Troyer), in 2012, without his or sister's knowledge. His mother was suffering from chronic depression.

Since 2012, the Belgian federal commission of control and evaluation (which is charged with verifying the procedure and conditions in the May 28, 2002 euthanasia law) found no infringement with the law. Similarly, neither the Brussels College of Physicians not criminal prosecutors pursued the matter.

Because no Belgian government authority would pursue the matter, the patient's son alleges that Belgium failed its positive obligations to protect the life of his mother, because the procedure provided for by the Law of 28 May 2002 was not complied with. He also alleges a violation of the procedural aspect of Article 2 of the Convention in view of the lack of a thorough and effective investigation. Among other things, the commission was not apparently not independent from the treating physician (Wim Distelmans).

The court has posed four questions to the parties to assess whether it should take the case.

1. Has the applicant exhausted domestic remedies within the meaning of Article 35 § 1 of the Convention?

2. Has the right to life of the applicant's mother as guaranteed by Article 2 of the Convention been respected? In particular, has the State complied with its preventive obligations under this provision?

3. Has an effective investigation in accordance with the requirements of Article 2 of the Convention been conducted in this case?

4. Does a separate question arise in respect of the applicant's right to respect for his private and family life as guaranteed by Article 8 of the Convention? If so, has this provision been misunderstood?

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My latest piece on VSED is forthcoming in the American Journal of Bioethics: "Whether, When, and How to Honor Advance VSED Requests for End-Stage Dementia Patients."  Other authors, like Paul Menzel, also address when to honor a surrogate's reque...

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Robert Truog delivered a tremendous lecture today at Johns Hopkins designed to establish that brain death is not biological death.

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Robert Truog delivered a tremendous lecture today at Johns Hopkins designed to establish that brain death is not biological death.

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