In December 2018 The Tribunal issued an interim judgement:
“The Tribunal’s members are certain – unanimously, and sure beyond reasonable doubt – that in China forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience has been practiced for a substantial period of time involving a very substantial number of victims.”
. . .The Tribunal has considered evidence, in its many forms, and dealt with individual issues according to the evidence relating to each issue and nothing else and thereby reached a series of conclusions that are free of any influence caused by the PRC’s reputation or other potential causes of prejudice. . .
These individual conclusions, when combined, led to the unavoidable final conclusion that;
Forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale and that Falun Gong practitioners have been one – and probably the main – source of organ supply. The concerted persecution and medical testing of the Uyghurs is more recent and it may be that evidence of forced organ harvesting of this group may emerge in due course. The Tribunal has had no evidence that the significant infrastructure associated with China’s transplantation industry has been dismantled and absent a satisfactory explanation as to the source of readily available organs concludes that forced organ harvesting continues till today.
. . . Governments and any who interact in any substantial way with the PRC including:
- Doctors and medical institutions;
- Industry, and businesses, most specifically airlines, travel companies, financial services businesses, law firms and pharmaceutical and insurance companies together with individual tourists,
- Educational establishments;
- Arts establishments
should now recognise that they are, to the extent revealed above, interacting with a criminal state.
China Tribunal Summary Report – VIEW/DOWNLOAD HERE
On April 1, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a Missouri death-row inmate’s claim that executing him using the state’s lethal-injection protocol would violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on “cruel and unusual punishment” because blood-filled tumors in his head, neck, and throat could rupture and cause him to choke and suffer “excruciating” and “prolonged pain.”. . . the opinion’s unusual facts and circumstances throw into sharp relief the pervasiveness of physician participation in lethal injection despite the medical community’s professed condemnation of such involvement. . .
Denno DW. Physician Participation in Lethal Injection. N Engl J Med 2019; 380:1790-1791 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1814786
[Referring to Sinmyee et al] This seems to us to be an important, landmark paper. This is because the issues it addresses are important in their own right: how to ensure death without suffering in jurisdictions where assisted dying (including assisted suicide or euthanasia) is allowed, and also, because the technicalities are the same, in cases of capital punishment by lethal injection. Moreover, the paper shows the potential for the use of anaesthesia in contexts beyond surgery. Anaesthesia in its ordinary uses is intended to facilitate surgery designed to restore a patient to improved health and functioning. In assisted dying, however, there is no question of restoring health. The proposition is to use anaesthesia primarily to prevent suffering in a patient who is about to die and, in this sense, places anaesthesia on a new footing as a primary medical intervention, serving a purpose in its own right.
Savulescu J, Radcliffe-Richards J. A right to be unconscious. Anaesthesia. 2019 May; 74(5): 557-559
Drawing the line on physician assistance in physician-assisted death (PAD) continues to be a contentious issue in many legal jurisdictions across the USA, Canada and Europe. PAD is a medical practice that occurs when physicians either prescribe or administer lethal medication to their patients. As more legal jurisdictions establish PAD for at least some class of patients, the question of the proper scope of this practice has become pressing. This paper presents an argument for restricting PAD to the terminally ill that can be accepted by defenders as well as critics of PAD for the terminally ill. The argument appeals to fairness-based paternalism and the social meaning of medical practice. These two considerations interact in various ways, as the paper explains. The right way to think about the social meaning of medical practice bears on fair paternalism as it relates to PAD and vice versa. The paper contends that these considerations have substantial force when directed against proposals to extend PAD to non-terminally ill patients, but considerably less force when directed against PAD for the terminally ill. The paper pays special attention to the case of non-terminally ill patients who suffer from treatment-resistant depression, as these patients present a potentially strong case for extending PAD beyond the terminally ill.
Jansen LA, Wall S, Miller FG. Drawing the line on physician-assisted death. J Med Ethics. 2019;45:190-197.
Oklahoma wants to go where no state has gone before: Executing death row inmates with nitrogen gas. Officials say nitrogen will bring quick, painless deaths, but the research is slim — and it has never been used in U.S. executions.
The case for nitrogen hypoxia sounds simple. Nitrogen is already in the air we breathe, but, as long as humans get the right mix, nitrogen is safe. The state wants to make death row inmates breathe pure nitrogen.
State Sen. Ervin Yen, R-Oklahoma City, is a cardiac anesthesiologist who signed his name to the bill that made nitrogen hypoxia a legal execution method in 2015. He says the inmates would die from “lack of oxygen,” not exposure to nitrogen. . . [Full text]