Tag: end of life

Blog Posts (88)

January 21, 2016

Can there be a “Right to Die?”

I generally give 5 reasons for opposing physician-assisted suicide (PAS), which is commonly recommended by its advocates by invoking the notion of a “right to die”:  it destroys the soul of medicine as the profession dedicated to healing; it deflects attention from palliative care; it rests on a very slippery slope; a right to die implies a reciprocal duty to kill; and the notion of... // Read More »
January 19, 2016

New guidelines for euthanasia in the Netherlands

As I was doing some research on the issue of physician assisted suicide and patient requests for death, I came across a news headline titled “Euthanasia Rules Relaxed for People with Serious Dementia.” Intrigued, I followed the link to learn that the Netherlands are now allowing for aid in dying to occur when severely demented patients have a written euthanasia request. From my understanding, this... // Read More »
January 7, 2016

A Book for Anyone Interested in Bioethics

Being Human: Core Readings in the Humanities, edited by Leon Kass, is one book worth a spot on the shelf of anyone interested in bioethics or concerns about human dignity.  A series of excerpts from things that we read—or should have read—in high school or college, it was selected by the members of President George W. Bush’s President’s Council on Bioethics in 2003.  The readings... // Read More »
December 24, 2015

A Tale of Two Friends

I am thinking of two friends from church with advanced cancer, both men about my age, 60-ish. One has a high-grade brain tumor, persistent after standard therapy and more than one experimental new treatment.  He’s a fighter, looking for something new to try.  He’s an ex-Marine, famously fit at baseline, willing and able to tolerate some toxicity.  He also tells me that he is trusting... // Read More »
December 18, 2015

Jahi McMath “at 15″

One year ago today (12/17/14), Steve Phillips posted on this blog on the approximate one year anniversary (Dec. 12) of the declaration that then 13-year old Jahi McMath was brain dead, after complications of, of all things, what one would think should have been a simple tonsillectomy.  At the time, she was described as having her vital functions artificially maintained, as her parents pressed their... // Read More »
October 1, 2015

PAS and Conscience?

Wesley Smith offers this link to a Dutch story about a family considering legal action against the general physician who declined to support a family member’s wish for assistance in dying. The article, which I was able to read only after Google toolbar translation from the Dutch, describes the case of a person who apparently was 19 years old and wanting to end her life... // Read More »
September 28, 2015

The Lost Narrative

In their article “Autonomy vs. Selflessness at the End of Life” published in the Summer 2015 edition of Ethics & Medicine, Hannah Martin and Daryl Sas provide a useful foray into the battle over the meaning of human dignity. The authors describe an alternative to the “flat” version of human dignity espoused by proponents of physician-assisted suicide (PAS)—a version based solely on self-determination. In other... // Read More »
September 25, 2015

A Modest Proposal to Solve the Physician-Assisted Suicide Debate

Yesterday’s Chicago Tribune carries an editorial by Steve Chapman entitled “The Case for the ‘right to die.’” Aside from missing the central point of the whole question, Chapman does a creditable job of marshalling arguments and bioethicists to support his support for physician-assisted suicide. However, he does neglect the central point, which, of course, is that doctors do not and should not kill — including not giving... // Read More »
September 14, 2015

Oh, Those Darned Terms!

In a recent post Jon Holmlund cited Thomas B. Edsall’s op-ed in the New York Times, “The Republican Conception of Conception.” Edsall was referring to the concept that life begins at conception. It is his hope that Republicans either stake a consistent position regarding the morality of post-conception “contraception” and incur the disfavor of the electorate, or abandon their “moral purity” in favor of “pragmatism” and... // Read More »
September 10, 2015

Addendum: It’s National Suicide Prevention Week

https://www.afsp.org/news-events/in-the-news/national-suicide-prevention-week I didn’t realize that when I published the post that just went up. So the vote in California is timely, I guess. A Hat Tip to Wesley Smith, who linked to this in a post today on National Review Online’s “The Corner.”