Bioethics

… and suicide. On watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” last night, I was struck by many things. But maybe most of all by the accuracy of its portrayal of the suicide. As Paul McHugh says in The Mind Has Mountains … “Most suicidally depressed patients are not rational individuals who have weighed the balance sheet […]

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Following the Patient: The Key to Medical Care

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“ … the point that obsessed Sophocles’ Antigone: that to not bury her brother, to not treat the war criminal like a human being, would ultimately have been to forfeit her own humanity.” Daniel Mendelsohn in The New Yorker “Unburied: Tamerlan Tsarnaev and the lessons of  Greed tragedy”

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… read about the witness of Canadian teenagers before the “Dying with Dignity” commission and learn why Canadian journalist Laureen Pindera said “these people speak not simply about what treatment to give their patients, but about how they accompany them in their journey of suffering. They speak about how to love them.”

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Farr Curlin discusses Jeffrey Bishop’s book The Anticipatory Corpse … In The Anticipatory Corpse: Medicine, Power, and the Care of the Dying, physician-philosopher Jeffrey Bishop argues that modern medicine has adopted a “metaphysics of efficient causation”—a focus on the immediate cause of things that ignores their ultimate purpose. As a result, medicine now takes its […]

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an article about Dr. Elvira Parravicini and her work in neo-natal hospice … “The only road is reality. Reality speaks. The baby gives us all the signs we need, because he is given, to the parents and to me, to us, who cannot define his destiny. Only the One who gave it knows where it […]

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Victoria Kennedy in opposition to Massachusetts’s proposed assisted suicide law … also Ira Byock … Ezekiel Emmanuel … Ben Mattlin.

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“ … I begin to look at reality as a friend, every circumstance as a friend, and whoever enters my horizon,regardless of the intentions with which she or he does it,right or wrong,sets me in motion.If each of us does not respond to this, life passes by for us without achieving the goal for which […]

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Daniel Callahan and Peter Augustine Lawler discuss end-of-life care. More and more, our end-of-life care looks like the trench warfare of World War I: heavier and heavier economic and human costs with increasingly less ground being won. (Callahan) People today think of themselves less than ever as part of wholes greater than themselves—as part of […]

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The Supreme Court of British Columbia recently declared unconstitutional criminal code provisions prohibiting assisting in a suicide … effectively legalizing assisted suicide. The National Post story, BioEdge comments, from Margaret Somerville’s analysis … “People who support legalizing assisted suicide/euthanasia simply assume that individual autonomy is the value that takes priority. But research shows that the […]

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