Kaiser Health News
Two years after an abrupt price hike for a lethal drug used by terminally ill patients to end their lives, doctors in the Northwest are once again rethinking aid-in-dying medications — this time because they’re taking too long to work.
The concerned physicians say they’ve come up with yet another alternative to Seconal, the powerful sedative that was the drug of choice under Death with Dignity laws until prices charged by a Canadian company doubled to more than $3,000 per dose.
It’s the third drug mixture recommended by the doctors whose medication protocols help guide decisions for prescribers in the six U.S. states where aid-in-dying is allowed. . . [Full text]
The Catholic Register
It’s not surprising patients fall in love with Dr. Ramona Coelho. Not just because she’s a young, pretty doctor who smiles easily, laughs frequently and focuses her attention completely on whoever is talking to her.
Her patients in London, Ont., know that she’s a doctor who is in it for something more than the status, money or security attached to most medical practices.
“I love my work,” Coelho confesses. “I love being a doctor. I love helping people and being with them — trying to find solutions for them.”
Her practice is heavily slanted to marginalized patients. Her waiting room is full of refugees, ex-cons, the poor. Many of her patients are on permanent disability. . . . [Full text]
Sex reassignment surgery requires the intervention of doctors. But what kind of treatment is it? Is it a therapy for a disease which should be offered only after psychiatric authorization? Or is it a biomedical enhancement which anyone can freely choose?
The answer to this theoretical question has practical consequences. If it is a therapy, then transgenderism is a disease. If it is an enhancement, then it hardly deserves to be funded by the government.
In a very interesting article in the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, Tomislav Bracanović, of the University of Zagreb, in Croatia, analyses the competing conceptions. . . [Full text]
NOTODDEN, Norway, February 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Last week, a Norwegian court ruled against Katarzyna Jachimowicz, a Polish Catholic doctor fired for her unwillingness to insert intrauterine devices (IUDs).
The determined doctor decided in 2016 to fight for freedom based on conscience protections and tolerance for family doctors. However, on February 9, a district judge explained that the government has no desire to protect conscience in this case any further than absolutely necessary according to the European Convention on Human Rights. It simply prioritized the interest of women in accordance with “traditional Norwegian values.” The court found the discrimination against Catholic minorities in Norway irrelevant. . . [Full text]
CN Cronkite News
PHOENIX – “Please don’t ask me to do that,” Dr. Paul Liu, a pediatric critical-care physician, said to grieving parents who had asked him to quietly end their child’s life.
Liu said he was frank with the parents, who wanted to put a stop to their sons’s suffering from a terminal illness. He advised them not to pursue an early death for their child because it’s not something they would want on their conscience.
“In their pain and suffering they wanted to end it much more quickly than natural courses would take,” said Liu, who recalled the story as he spoke in favor of Senate Bill 1439 at a Senate health and human services committee meeting this week.
Some support the bill to shield health care providers from retaliation or discrimination if they deny an ailing patient’s wishes to avoid expansive medical measures or, as the bill reads, end their life early, such as by “assisted suicide, euthanasia or mercy killing.”
“We need this protection to be able to do what our conscience tells us to do,” said Liu, a doctor at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. . . . [Full text]
The Fresno Bee
An Islamic scholar who served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense regarding Middle Eastern affairs and who helped draft Iraq’s constitution is this year’s Fresno Interfaith Scholar Weekend speaker.
“With what is going on in the world, we immediately decided it was an Islamic scholar that we needed – a great Islamic mind to share with us,” Jim Grant, chairman of the Fresno Interfaith Scholar Weekend Committee and director of the Social Justice Ministry for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno, said about this year’s speaker, Abdulaziz Sachedina.
Sachedina is the International Institute of Islamic Thought chairman of Islamic Studies at George Mason University in Virginia. He will present a series of talks Friday through Feb. 26 at the Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno, Temple Beth Israel, Wesley United Methodist Church and Fresno City College centered around the theme, “Islam, Human Rights, and Interfaith Dialogue.” The annual event is sponsored by around 30 churches and organizations in the central San Joaquin Valley. . . [Full text]
Catholic News Agency
WASHINGTON, D.C. Objectors to abortion need stronger conscience protections in federal law, the U.S. bishops have said in a letter supporting a bill being considered by Congress.
“While existing federal laws already protect conscientious objection to abortion in theory, this protection has not proved effective in practice,” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said.
They said the proposed Conscience Protection Act of 2017 is essential to protect health care providers’ fundamental rights and ensure that they are not “forced by government to help destroy innocent unborn children.” . . . [Full text]
TORONTO, February 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A Calgary conscience rights group has joined Ontario Christian doctors in fighting a requirement that they refer patients for euthanasia and abortion — and perform both procedures in emergencies.
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) was granted intervenor status in a legal action launched by five Ontario Christian doctors, the Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada (CMDS), and other doctors’ groups.
Their target is the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, which controls the profession with the power to licence and de-licence doctors. In June, the Christian doctors will go to court in an attempt to have two new college policies ruled unconstitutional. . . .[Full text]
Ottawa has seen 28 people take their life with the help of a doctor since legislation came into force.
Since new legislation came into place last year, 28 people in Ottawa have ended their lives with the help of a physician.
Advocates say the new legislation, which came into force last June, is taking a toll on some doctors, who are finding it difficult to help patients who want to die. . . .
Jeff Blackmer, vice-president for medical professionalism at the Canadian Medical Association, said doctors have been telling his group that they struggle with taking part in assisted-death procedures. . .. [Full text]