Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians rejects euthanasia

The Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians has rejected a recommendation from a Quebec legislative committee that euthanasia and physician assisted suicide be legalized.  The Society stated that the procedures contradict “a fundamental tenet” of the Society and most palliative care physicians.  The president of the Society said “We are concerned that, despite the fact that our members are unwilling to provide these services, this may be mandated if it becomes law in Quebec.” [CSPCP statement]

German Medical Association apologizes for physician complicty in Nazi atrocities

The German Medical Association has acknowledged and apologized for the participation of German physicians in Nazi programs of forced sterilization, euthanasia, and human experimentation.  The statement also acknowledged that “leading members of the medical community” were involved. [Washington Post]

Embryocidal devices said to be superior forms of birth control

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that intra-uterine devices, DMPA injections and contraceptive implants are significantly more effective than birth control pills, patches or rings.

Brooke Winner, M.D., et al, Effectiveness of Long-Acting Reversible Contraception. N Engl J Med 2012; 366:1998-2007

Concern expressed in United Kingdom over proposed physician guidelines

Bishop Tom Williams, chairman of the Healthcare Reference Group of Britain’s Catholic bishops’ conference, is encouraging Catholic physicians and others to respond to the General Medical Council’s draft guideline on personal beliefs and medical practice.  Bishop Williams warned that the document is likely to produce an “atmosphere of fear” among physicians who are religious believers.  The General Medical Council is the state agency that regulates the medical profession. [Catholic Herald]

Artificial reproduction extended in United Kingdom

Britain’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has directed the National Health Service (NHS) to provide artificial reproduction at public expense to homosexual couples and to women up to the age of 42.  The change was preceded by the abolition of a legal requirement that a child’s need for a father be taken into account when assessing requests for treatment [The Telegraph].

12 lawsuits, 43 plaintiffs sue US federal government over birth control mandate

43 Catholic dioceses, organizations and and institutions have filed 12 lawsuits against the U.S. federal government to stop the federal regulation that will compel objecting employers to provide insurance for contraceptives, embryocides and sterilization.  The news has been welcomed by the Catholic Medical Association, and applauded by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops as “a compelling display of the unity of the Church in defense of religious liberty.” The Conference is not a party to the suits [CMA news release; USCCB news release; Washington Examiner].  The lawsuits and plaintiffs are:

1.  District of Columbia Lawsuit

  • Archdiocese of Washington
  • Consortium of Catholic Academies
  • Archbishop Carroll High School
  • Catholic Charities of D.C.
  • The Catholic University of America

2.  E.D.N.Y. Lawsuit

  • Diocese of Rockville Centre
  • Catholic Health Services of Long Island
  • Catholic Charities of Rockville Centre
  • Archdiocese of N.Y.
  • ArchCare

3.  W.D.Pa. (Erie Div.) Lawsuit

  • Diocese of Erie
  • St. Martin Center
  • Prince of Peace Center

4.  W.D.Pa. (Pitt. Div.) Lawsuit

  • Diocese of Pittsburgh
  • Catholic Charities of Diocese of Pittsburgh
  • Catholic Cemeteries Association of Diocese of Pittsburgh

5.  N.D.Tex. (Dallas Div.) Lawsuit

  • Diocese of Dallas

6.  N.D.Tex. (Fort Worth Div.) Lawsuit

  • Diocese of Fort Worth

7.  S.D. Ohio (Columbus Div.) Lawsuit

  • Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Michigan Catholic Conference

8.  S.D.Miss. (Gulfport Div.) Lawsuit

  • Diocese of Jackson
  • Catholic Charities of Jackson
  • Vicksburg Catholic School
  • St. Joseph’s Catholic School
  • Diocese of Biloxi
  • De l’Epee Deaf Center Inc.
  • Catholic Social & Community Services Inc.
  • Resurrection Catholic School
  • Sacred Heart Catholic School
  • St. Dominic Health Services

9.  N.D.Ind. (South Bend Div.) Lawsuit

  • The University of Notre Dame

10.  N.D. Ind. (Fort Wayne Div.) Lawsuit

  • Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend
  • Catholic Charities of Fort Wayne-South Bend
  • St. Anne Home
  • Franciscan Alliance
  • Our Sunday Visitor
  • University of St. Francis

11.  N.D.Ill. Lawsuit

  • Diocese of Joliet
  • Catholic Charities of Joliet
  • Diocese of Springfield
  • Catholic Charities of Springfield

12. E.D.Mo. (St. Louis Div.)

  • Archdiocese of St. Louis
  • Catholic Charities of St. Louis

US Catholic Bishops call Obama administration policy unlawful

Lawyers representing the US Conference of Catholic Bishops say that a federal regulation that will force objecting employers to provide health insurance coverage for contraceptives, embryocides and sterilization  is “unlawful.”  The submission points out that the regulation has not been changed to accommodate objecting religious believers and institutions, and warns that a lawsuit may prove to be “the only remaining recourse.” [CNA, EWTN]

Prominent Masschusetts physicians advocate civil disobedience

A former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine and a professor at Harvard Medical school are urging that American physicians practice civil disobedience by refusing to obey laws that block access to abortion and contraception.  “The unspoken assumption by state legislators seems to be that doctors will,” write Marcia Angell and Michael Greene,”. . . acquiesce with these new laws, that they are simply neutral agents who will comply with whatever the state orders.”  They argue that physicians “have ethical commitments to patients that they cannot and should not be required by state law to set aside.” [USA Today]

Franciscan University in Ohio drops student health insurance

The Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, has announced that, effective 15 August, 2012, it will no longer provide health insurance coverage for students nor require them to have health insurance.  The decision was made because the University refuses to comply with a federal regulation that requires such plans to provide coverage for contraceptives, sterilization and embryocides.[University statement]