Bioethics @ TIU

A pause for doctor-assisted suicide in California

Posted May 17th, 2018 by Jon Holmlund

Readers of this blog probably saw this week’s news that a California judge blocked the state’s End of Life Options Act, the one that legalized doctor-assisted suicide in California.  The law passed after apparent failure in a regular California Legislature session, when its sponsors brought it up again in a special session that was supposed to be about Medicaid funding.  The judge said that inserting… // Read More »

Choosing to die

Posted May 9th, 2018 by Steve Phillips

When people present an argument for the moral permissibility of euthanasia they commonly start with a case in which a person is suffering from a terminal illness and has uncontrolled pain. They say that we should have no moral reason to say that it is wrong to assist those in such a condition who choose to end their life as a means of ending their… // Read More »

Euthanasia and those who live with disabilities

Posted April 25th, 2018 by Steve Phillips

This week the students in the medical ethics class that I teach are looking at the issue of euthanasia and physician assisted suicide. An article in The Catholic Register reminded me of the important role that people with disabilities have played in the public discussion of euthanasia. The article discusses the concerns that Taylor Hyatt, policy analyst and outreach coordinator for the disability rights group… // Read More »

The death and resurrection of Jesus and how we view death

Posted March 28th, 2018 by Steve Phillips

This is the week when we who are Christians particularly focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus. As I have been reflecting on this I have been thinking about how Jesus’ death and resurrection impact how I think about bioethics. I think that the largest impact is on how I think about death. Whether we realize it or not, much of bioethics is impacted… // Read More »

The Bioethics of a Modern Death Mask

Posted March 20th, 2018 by Mark McQuain

By the time you read this, a company called Nectome will have pitched its business plan to investors at Y Combinator as a company who has designed a technology called Aldehyde-Stabilized Cryopreservation to preserve all of your connectome, which is all of your brain’s interconnected synapses. Doing this, they argue, can preserve your memories, allowing the company to effectively “upload your mind”. One problem with… // Read More »

Doctor-assisted death: resisting the slippery slope

Posted March 9th, 2018 by Jon Holmlund

The New England Journal of Medicine has two new “op-ed”-style pieces raising concerns about extending physician-assisted suicide (PAS) from people with end-stage terminal illness to people who may express a desire to die because of (non-terminal) mental illness.  (Regrettably, both require subscription access.)  PAS in these cases is being exercised in Belgium and the Netherlands, and is being considered in Canada In one article, the… // Read More »

Belgian Euthanasia: Volunteers No Longer Necessary?

Posted March 6th, 2018 by Mark McQuain

A recent resignation letter by one member of Belgium’s Euthanasia Commission suggests the slippery slope of who meets the criteria for legal euthanasia is becoming even more slippery. Dr. Ledo Vanopdenbosch sent his resignation letter to members of the Belgian Parliament who oversee the commission. His concern was with one of the main requirements of the law, which demands that the individual patient formally request… // Read More »

Does the possibility of misdiagnosis make the concept of brain death invalid?

Posted January 31st, 2018 by Steve Phillips

Recently I read the detailed account of what has happened with Jahi McMath, titled “What Does It Mean to Die?” in the most recent issue of The New Yorker. It made me reassess what I think about the concept of brain death. Four years ago, Jahi McMath was a thirteen-year-old African American girl who had a tonsillectomy to treat severe sleep apnea. She had a… // Read More »

What’s really happening with doctor-assisted suicide?

Posted January 18th, 2018 by Jon Holmlund

Recently, Wesley Smith posted on the National Review’s “Corner” blog new concerns that Oregon’s “Death With Dignity” law may not be as tightly regulated as advertised.  Specifically, a Swedish fellow named Fabian Stahle, who evidently is troubled by the prospect that his country might embrace doctor-assisted suicide, claims to have carried out an e-mail exchange with someone in the Oregon Health Authority to ask how… // Read More »

The DNR Tattoo

Posted December 4th, 2017 by Neil Skjoldal

National media outlets have reported the fascinating account of the unconscious 70-year old brought into the Jackson Hospital (Miami) emergency room with a “Do Not Resuscitate” tattoo on his chest. In correspondence to the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors involved in the case explain the process by which the medical team used to evaluate the case. At first, the team did not plan to… // Read More »