689 - Peace & Life: Good News on Euthanasia/Bad News on Hate Crimes - November 17, 2023
Good News! The AMA Rejects Euthanasia Again
As it has done previously, the American Medical Association just rejected an effort to change its policy, either to favor assisted suicide or to be neutral.
An excerpt from the current policy remaining in effect:
Euthanasia is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.
Euthanasia could readily be extended to incompetent patients and other vulnerable populations.
Instead of engaging in euthanasia, physicians must aggressively respond to the needs of patients at the end of life.
Bad News: Spike in Hate Crimes. Of Course.
In the ongoing saga of how violence breeds violence, there’s been an upsurge in both antisemitic and Islamophobic attacks, both verbal and physical. We’re sickened to see this predictable side-effect of war.
But be clear: it’s not antisemitic to criticize the Israeli government; after all, Israelis themselves do that. A November 3 poll found 76% want Prime Minister Netanyahu to resign.
Nor is it Islamophobic to criticize the Hamas government. It was elected in Gaza back in 2006, with no elections since. They presented themselves as moderates at that time, the other political party was corrupt, and they did a better job of providing social services. But they’ve now lost all credibility as a government. Palestinians deserve to be able to vote in a different one, if only they could be allowed to.
The online conference on November 11 went very well. Many on our board attended and have good screenshots and reflections, which we anticipate will be our blog post for next week.
Session on the Israel/Palestine war
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Our Latest Blog Post
Veteran’s Day was November 11, and surviving combat veterans have always been among those badly damaged by war.
Sarah Terzo covers one aspect of this in Heartbreakingly Common: Suicide Among Veterans.
Quotation of the Week
Angelus, November 3, 2023
Just as we educate and advocate for a consistent ethic of life with other issues — like abortion, assisted suicide of
the disabled, dehydration of people in a (so-called) persistent vegetative state, and human sex trafficking — we need to start raising our voices to ensure that members of the human family who are infirm or nearing death are treated with the same dignity we treat all human beings.
. . . since the early 1980s, virtually all states . . . adopted a “neurological” standard: one which said “whole brain death” also signifies that death has occurred. . .
But some problems presented themselves: it turns out that human beings declared brain dead could still fight off infections, increase their heart rate in response to bodily trauma, successfully gestate a child to birth, and even reach puberty . . .
Disturbingly, I learned . . . that a good number of physicians, lawyers, and others actually want a standard which doesn’t test for whole brain death.
In their view, it isn’t being a living member of Homo sapiens that matters — but whether certain members of the human family have “morally relevant” traits.