Blog Posts (28)
November 21, 2014
In keeping with the evaluation-obsessed spirit of the time, here is a little bioethics test. No multiple-choice fill-in-the-bubbles here, no simple true/false; but bioethics usually isn’t so simple, is it? So it’s OK if you don’t have a No. 2 pencil, you can still take today’s exam! _______________________ 1. The patient-physician relationship depends on trust, and close observation, and appreciating subtleties, and giving one’s full attention... // Read More »
November 6, 2014
We all know, as Steve Phillips reminded us yesterday, that Brittany Maynard took the pills this past Sunday, one day later than she had originally planned. In the days before that, she appealed to our compassion for her in her suffering—and powerfully at that. Equally powerful were stories from the likes of Kara Tippetts and, as Steve pointed out, Maggie Karner, two women with terminal... // Read More »
September 3, 2014
Currently the states of Texas and Louisiana have laws about the regulation of abortion clinics that are being disputed in the federal courts (see articles by CNN and The Christian Science Monitor). These are not laws about banning abortions. They are laws about safety regulations for abortion clinics. Within the past week federal judges have blocked the implementation of a law in Louisiana that would... // Read More »
August 28, 2014
World magazine suggests that the movie version of Lois Lowry’s youth novel The Giver is an important entrée to discussions about human dignity, abortion, and euthanasia. My wife and I saw it last weekend. Our response to the above: Maybe, but probably not. The overwhelming message of the movie seems to be about human freedom: If people have freedom, they will make bad choices, but... // Read More »
August 21, 2014
If you knew you had a gene mutation that confers a high risk of cancer, would you use IVF and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to prevent passing on the mutation to your offspring? That is the question that cancer doctors at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston put to 155 young women, still of childbearing potential, with breast cancer. The doctors actually asked their patients... // Read More »
July 18, 2014
ontinued litigation will not unite the country but compromise can. Forcing individuals and their companies to act against deeply held religious belief should not be done and will only inflame partisan rancor.
July 8, 2014
The recent Supreme Court decision, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, has been hailed as a victory for religious rights, but in the Supreme Court’s majority opinion there are ominous signs for bioethics. First, no commentator so far has mentioned that the Supreme Court decision implies that the only legally viable objection to underwriting abortifacient interventions must be religious in nature. The thin margin of decision by... // Read More »
July 3, 2014
I am in the camp that applauds this week’s Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case. But of course others disagree, and I was not surprised to see that there is alarm on the pages of the New England Journal of Medicine. A “Perspectives” article written by two attorneys (one with a bioethics degree) and one M.D. includes two graphs, in particular, that I... // Read More »
May 29, 2014
That is the title of a news piece accessible at Nature’s website this week. It refers to something that Steve Phillips and I posted on back in February; to wit, the potential for “three parent babies” resulting from the transfer of a nucleus (and its genetic material) from a diseased mother’s egg cell into the enucleated egg from a healthy donor. (I am skipping important... // Read More »
May 28, 2014
In my post last week I addressed the idea that uncertainty about the personhood of a human embryo or fetus should lead us to think that we should refrain from causing harm to any entity that might be a person. Therefore, if we are uncertain about whether a human embryo or fetus is a person we should protect that embryo or fetus in case it... // Read More »
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March 5, 2014 3:04 pm
Planned Parenthood and a Tucson gynecologist are asking a federal judge to block new rules that will sharply restrict ability to perform abortions using drugs instead of surgery.
February 3, 2014 2:49 pm
The abortion rate in the U.S. has reached its lowest level since Roe v Wade. Why credit should go to Planned Parenthood, not the GOP.
March 15, 2013 5:02 pm
Little more than a week after Arkansas adopted the country’s most stringent abortion limits, banning the procedure at 12 weeks of pregnancy, the North Dakota Legislature on Friday passed a more restrictive bill that would ban most abortions as early as 6 weeks into pregnancy.
January 16, 2013 2:11 pm
Most Americans remain opposed to overturning the controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which 40 years ago legalized abortion at least in the first three months of pregnancy, according to a poll released Wednesday.
December 11, 2012 2:42 pm
A federal judge has permanently blocked North Carolina from issuing an anti-abortion specialty license plate, ruling that offering plates with a “Choose Life” slogan without an alternative supporting abortion rights is unconstitutional.
November 15, 2012 6:41 pm
Ireland’s government pledged on Thursday to clarify its abortion laws after an Indian woman who was refused a termination died from blood poisoning in an Irish hospital. Activists say the refusal by doctors to terminate the pregnancy earlier may have contributed to her death.
August 2, 2012 10:01 am
On Thursday, Arizona’s new abortion law will take effect, outlawing the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy — a much earlier threshold than in any other law that has been upheld in court. Like-minded laws have been enacted in Nebraska, Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Oklahoma, Georgia and Louisiana, and a bill similarly limiting abortion in the District drew support Tuesday from a majority of the U.S. House, but not from enough members to pass.
June 7, 2012 12:37 pm
“Civil disobedience,” is what they called for. Two prominent doctors, Marcia Angell and Michael Greene — both professors at Harvard Medical School; Angell the former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine – were saying doctors should disobey some of the most common abortion restrictions. “They should make it clear that they will not perform procedures, such as ultrasound examinations, unless they are medically indicated and desired by their patients,” Angell and Greene wrote in an Op-Ed in USA Today on May 15. “And they should refuse to provide inaccurate information about the consequences of abortion, or to follow any other prepared script in counseling their patients, particularly when it involves treating women like children.”
June 1, 2012 9:05 am
The House on Thursday rejected a measure that sought to impose fines and prison terms on doctors who perform abortions on women who are trying to select the gender of their offspring — a practice known as sex-selective abortion. The legislation, which required two-thirds support to win passage under the fast-track procedure used to bring it to the floor, fell short on a vote of 246 to 168. Republicans did not anticipate that the legislation would pass, but saw it as an opportunity to force Democrats to vote on an issue with appeal among conservatives.
May 21, 2012 4:50 pm
Since the choice to terminate an unwanted pregnancy was established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 inRoe v. Wade, almost one in three women have had abortions. The legality of contraception was established even earlier, in 1965, in Griswold v. Connecticut, and tens of millions of women use some form of artificial contraception. But there is now an unprecedented and sweeping legal assault on women’s reproductive rights. New legislation is being introduced, and sometimes passed, in state after state that would roll back access to abortion and contraception, mainly by intruding on the relationship between doctor and patient.
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