Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: pharmacists must also have the right to conscientious objection

Life Institute Blog
Reproduced with permission

Bernadette Flood

Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia: pharmacists must also have the right to conscientious objection

In jurisdictions where euthanasia and/or assisted suicide is legal, experience shows there are profound implications for pharmacy practice.1 Little attention in the current euthanasia debate has been paid to the role of Irish pharmacists. Pharmacists are employed  in the Irish healthcare system in a variety of locations: hospital, long term care, care of vulnerable populations, community, academia/research, education, industry, palliative care/hospice care, legislation, policy, drug information, HIQA etc. All may be challenged professionally and personally if euthanasia and assisted suicide are introduced. . . . continue reading

How Surrogacy Arrangements Fail Children

Public Discourse

Seow Hon Tan

Surrogacy ad
Ad for surrogate mothers, Burbank, California, USA. Cory Doctorow, Flickr

Surrogacy arrangements are in the spotlight again. Recently, Chinese actress Zheng Shuang was accused by her former partner of abandoning two babies conceived through surrogacy in the United States. Apparently, she wanted the surrogates to undergo abortion when she broke up with him. But abortion was not feasible, as the surrogates were in the third trimester of pregnancy.

Surrogacy supporters tend to emphasize how much children are desired and valued by commissioning parents. . .

It is surprising that the best interests of the child have been so neglected in debates over the ethics of surrogacy. After all, adoption and custody decisions focus on the best interests of the child. The truth is, surrogacy undermines the human flourishing of surrogates and children. In this essay, I will lay out a few reasons why such separation is not in the best interests of the child, focusing particularly on what we can learn from relevant scientific data. These reasons suggest that lawmakers should not legalize surrogacy. . . [Full text]

The Dark Side of CRISPR

Its potential ability to “fix” people at the genetic level is a threat to those who are judged by society to be biologically inferior

Scientific American

Sandy Sufian, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson

Americans have celebrated the fact that the Biden administration is embracing science and returning the country to evidence-based policymaking. We agree that science should guide policy—except in cases where it wouldn’t assist people to live their lives but would, instead, exclude them.

The CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology, for which biochemists Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, has the potential to do just that. So do other forms of scientific technologies. We should therefore always be aware of the ethical choices these technologies can pose. . . continue reading

How Bill C-7 will sacrifice the medical profession’s standard of care

Amendments to assisted dying laws are a stunning reversal of the central role of the medical and legal concept of the standard of care

Trudo Lemmens, Mary Shariff, Leonie Herx

As Parliament discusses Bill C-7’s expansion of the Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) Act, one issue has been conspicuously absent from public debate, even though it has major implications for medicine and for patients: the impact of the bill on the role of the medical profession in determining the standard of care, as it applies to MAiD.

The government introduced Bill C-7 in response to the decision of Quebec Superior Court Justice Christine Beaudouin (in the Truchon case), who ruled unconstitutional the current law’s limiting of MAiD to those whose natural death is “reasonably foreseeable.”. . . [Full Text]

After all, what is really wrong with apotemnophilia?

BioEdge

Reproduced under Creative Commons Licence

Michael Cook*

Apotemnophilia is one of those words which may be useful in Scrabble© but seldom come up in day-to-day discourse, let alone medical practice. However, it is an increasingly contested issue in bioethics, though better known as BIID, Bodily Integrity Identity Disorder, or the amputation of healthy limbs.

BIID is a rare psychiatric condition in which people know that their leg (for instance) is normal and healthy, but still feel that it is not part of their identity; they want it cut off, even though they realise that they will become disabled. Oddly enough, however, they often do not seem to mind wearing a prosthesis to recover some of the limb’s functionality.

In a provocative article in The New Bioethics, Richard Gibson, of the University of Manchester Law School, in the UK, asks whether ultimately there would be anything wrong with BIID if a prosthesis provided equal or better functionality. . . [Full text]