Connect with us

News

AMA appears to change their stance on assisted suicide

Published

on

This may wind up being a sort of seismic shift in how medicine is practiced in the United States, though the objections raised will be loud and long-lasting. This week the American Medical Association voted to override a recommendation from their Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs that the organization continue to oppose doctor assisted suicide (DAS) for the terminally ill. This wasn’t a move intended to endorse, the practice, but simply to adopt an ethically neutral position on it. (Free Beacon)

America’s largest doctors’ lobby may reconsider its longstanding opposition to assisted suicide after its governing body voted to ignore its own ethics council.

On Monday, a majority of delegates from the American Medical Association refused to confirm the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs’s recommendation that it continue to oppose assisted suicide. The council spent two years studying the issue following a resolution from the Oregon delegation asking the AMA to shift to a neutral position on the question of whether physicians can ethically prescribe lethal medication to a patient diagnosed as terminally ill. Its final report acknowledged that advocates of assisted suicide had made strides in advancing the practice and did not condemn physicians who participate in assisted suicide where it is legal, but recommended on maintaining the AMA’s position that “Physician-assisted suicide is fundamentally incompatible with the physician’s role as healer, would be difficult or impossible to control, and would pose serious societal risks.”

“The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs therefore recommends that the Code of Medical Ethics not be amended,” the council said in its report.

Being someone who is definitely in the minority among the ranks of conservatives on this subject, I can understand the objections while being cautiously optimistic about the AMA moving in this direction. Critics of DAS rightly worry about the slippery slope aspect of such treatment. The potential for a wider circle of people being allowed to choose that option is clearly worrying, though we deal with slippery slopes on a regular basis and manage to avoid plunging down most of them. Still, it’s worth our time to look at what’s happened in some European countries where they’ve begun allowing young patients with depression to kill themselves despite not suffering from any terminal physical ailments. Were the AMA to begin drifting in that direction the worst fears of DAS opponents would be justified indeed.

I also understand and accept the concerns of those who firmly believe that a moral objection to DAS should be made, what with suicide being a sin in the eyes of the church. But while it’s fair to express that opinion and preach it loudly if you wish, I also don’t believe that this is a subject where the government (or even the AMA) should be dictating end of life choices for the terminally ill, particularly when palliative care is either ineffective or debilitating in its own right.

One restriction which needs to be enforced is that this should never be a decision made by the doctor, the government or anyone but the patient. Exceptions to that could conceivably include people who prepare in advance a specific document outlining their wishes, similar to a Do Not Resuscitate order. But for some people, when the end is obviously near, the medical professionals have even abandoned all hope and there is nothing on the horizon but pain and a seemingly endless wait for the end, DAS may be the only light they see at the end of the tunnel. Recognizing how controversial that position is, I’ve given it a lot of thought and I remain comfortable with the answer.

If the AMA removes the stigma from doctors who wish to provide this type of care, it would open up new options for the terminally ill. Doctors would need to be carefully monitored with some sort of board approval process in place before doing the deed legally, but it still seems as if it can be managed. (I specify “legally” there because as many doctors would tell you in moments of candor, this goes on already in the United States, with the deaths simply being listed as “natural causes.”)

Leave a comment

Continue Reading

News

Forecast: GOP now more likely to have *at least* 54 Senate seats next year than to lose its majority

Published

on

By

A nifty catch by Philip Klein, eyeballing the latest data from Nate Silver’s model (as of 5:15 p.m. ET). Check it yourself. Democrats momentarily have an 18.4 percent chance of gaining two seats and winning a majority next month. Whereas Republicans have a 9.1 percent chance of gaining three, a 5.5 percent chance of gaining four, a 3.2 percent chance of gaining five, a 1.4 percent of gaining six, a 0.7 percent chance of gaining seven, and a 0.3 percent chance of shooting the lights out and gaining eight (which would leave them one seat shy of a filibuster-proof majority, for what it’s worth). Add those up and you get a 20.2 percent chance of 54 or better.

Which can be summed up in four words: Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Klein on the path to 54:

Though Republicans were always favorites to keep the Senate, their odds have improved in recent weeks, with three states in particular giving them a boost. Republicans are now considered “likely” to keep their seats in Texas and Tennessee and North Dakota seems ready to flip into the Republican column. Barring any other major upsets, victories in those three races would be enough for Republicans to keep the Senate — hence their 81.6 percent chances overall.

To get to 54, the most likely scenario would be that Republicans win the tossup states of Nevada and Missouri, and then surge to victory in Arizona and Florida (two races that are currently tilting Democrat, but well within range of Republican victory). Beyond that, they’d have to start flipping some seats that are currently considered “likely” to remain Democrat, such as Montana and West Virginia.

Eh, I don’t know if Montana and Indiana, the latter of which he neglected to mention, are all that “likely” to remain Democratic. They’re leaning that way, with both Jon Tester and Joe Donnelly clinging to three-point leads. But Montana hasn’t been polled in three weeks and the latest from Indiana has Donnelly up four but with just 44 percent of the vote. In fact, in none of the four polls dating back to August has Donnelly topped 44, suggesting that a lot of Hoosiers are thinking hard about whether to stick with the incumbent. It’s likely that the GOP will be disappointed somewhere on Election Night — Missouri, Nevada, and Arizona are all leading candidates — but going for one for two on Montana and Indiana seems doable.

Whichever way they do it, if they can get to 54 then Collins and Murkowski might well be nonfactors during the next SCOTUS battle. Flake won’t be in the Senate at all, of course. Trump really might have the arsenal he needs to fill a Ginsburg or Breyer vacancy with a conservative.

That’s the good news. The not-so-good news, also from Silver’s model:

Click the link and add up the different probable outcomes and you’ll see that the GOP has about the same odds of holding the House as Democrats do of winning … at least 54 seats. They’ve got a 10 percent chance of winning at least 60. Gonna be a lot of subpoenas for Pat Cipollone to cope with next year.

There are no new swing-state polls as I write this but keep an eye on the one of Arizona that’s currently in progress (yes, in progress) at the NYT’s site, the Upshot. As I write this at a little after 5 p.m. on the east coast, they’ve compiled a sample of 299 people — not large enough yet to give us confidence in the topline numbers but large enough to make it worth paying attention to. Currently Martha McSally leads Kyrsten Sinema by four points, 49/45. If that holds through the end of the poll, it would be the second straight survey showing McSally ahead after trailing for most of the race. (The previous poll had her up six.) Stay tuned.

Leave a comment

Continue Reading

News

Midterm 2018 TEXAS: Robert (Beto) O’Rourke vs. Ted Cruz

Published

on

By

Texas is Texas.

You don’t mess with Texas!

Texans don’t want a far left US Senator who lies about his background and police records, DUI included, and abuses everything the Lone Star State stands for.

Senator Ted Cruz is up by at least 5 points — but that is not enough.

Cruz is a real conservative and an intellectual giant. He has the highest possible ratings from conservative groups as a sitting US Senator.


We can’t let him down.

His opponent Beto (really Robert) O’Rourke isn’t Hispanic but he is loudly PROGRESSIVE.

He is a phony.

He is a Democratic Socialist and would spell doom for our Republic.

He wants open borders, more rights for criminals, and an end to the petroleum economy.

In Texas?

Trump won Texas by 9 points.

Cruz should win reelection by at least that amount.

Recall Cruz not only voted for Judge Kavanaugh but he articulately defended due process and innocent until proven guilty – the very hallmark of western jurisprudence.

We need him; America needs his voice in the Senate.

There has not been a Democrat to hold statewide office in Texas since 1994!

Keep it that way.

Cruz is a star in national politics and a firm vote for our side. He makes America first! And he is the best advocate for Texas bare none.

Turnout is critical.

Cruz MUST win.

Make this viral in every corner of Texas.

You Might Like

Leave a comment

Continue Reading

News

Pat Robertson: C’mon, we’re not going to blow up a key Middle East alliance over one little murder

Published

on

By

Lefties are marveling that a brand-name Christian conservative would be encouraging followers to look the other way at an assassination, but they’re forgetting Jesus’s parting words at the end of the Sermon on the Mount: “If you want to make an omelette, you’ve got to break a few eggs.”

Wait, am I misremembering? My youthful memories of the gospels are not the best. I think perhaps the savior’s actual parting words were “Velvet glove, iron fist.”

I mean, that at least sounds like Jesus.

Lotta mixed feelings about the evangelical turn towards hard-nosed realpolitik under Trump. On the one hand, the gripe about Christian conservatives used to be that they were forever trying to inject morals into the messy business of politics, made more uncomfortable by the fact that many millions of people disagree with some of their stances on sexual morality and resent their attempts to convert them into policy. Well, good news: Between Robertson’s take on the Khashoggi affair and the complete pass given to Trump on matters like Stormygate, there’s less moralizing than ever.

The bad news? I’m unclear from the clip below on how many murders Pastor Robertson would be willing to tolerate in the name of preserving the alliance and “$100 billion worth of arms sales,” as he notes in passing. Presumably his interest in the latter answers my question: Some of those weapons will be used to continue killing civilians in neighboring Yemen, as he doubtless knows. If Robertson’s willing to condone that in the name of checking Iran, naturally he would condone looking the other way at a lot of things, Khashoggi’s murder just one among them. Christianity’s nice and all but we’ve gotta live in the real world.

I honestly don’t know whether to call him a fraud or to salute him for taking a cold but sober view of the international chessboard.

There may be another reason why he and POTUS’s friends at CBN are rushing to provide cover here, though:

To some extent the Saudis’ problem is Trump’s problem. Right now Trump can afford to ignore the Democrats’ interest in finding out how much his and the Kingdom’s interests overlap. In three months, with the House likely in Democratic hands, it’ll be harder.

Leave a comment

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Like us on Facebook

Advertisement

Trending

Close