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AMA appears to change their stance on assisted suicide

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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.”)

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New York Times on latest Scott Pruitt “scandal”: Never mind

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When we were recently discussing the Washington Post’s fervent desires to somehow see EPA administrator Scott Pruitt impeached, I provided a roundup of some of the latest “scandals” which have been run up the flagpole. That list only brought us up to Lunchgate, however, and another one slipped past me. (They come up with scandals over there so quickly that nobody can possibly keep track.) In just the past few days the New York Times turned in some additional crackerjack reporting claiming that Pruitt has been abusing the goodwill of his staff and employing his influence as a cabinet member to land his daughter a spot in the University of Virginia Law School.

While perhaps not technically illegal, that’s still dirty pool. Children of powerful government executives shouldn’t get a leg up and a free pass to prestigious schools at any level while regular citizens sweat it out hoping to land a spot for their own kids. (Right President Obama and Michelle?) We can’t allow Scott Pruitt to use his position as a Cabinet member to gain special perks for his family. This is an outrage! Somebody needs to get to the bottom of this and…

Wait a minute. What’s that you say, New York Times? Nevermind? (Emphasis added)

An article on Saturday about senior staff members at the Environmental Protection Agency who said they frequently felt pressured by Scott Pruitt to help in nonwork matters included an item that erroneously described Mr. Pruitt’s use of his position for personal matters. While a Virginia lawmaker, William Howell, said he wrote a letter of recommendation to the University of Virginia Law School on behalf of Mr. Pruitt’s daughter, McKenna, he actually wrote it while Mr. Pruitt was the attorney general of Oklahoma. After publication of the article, additional research by a legislative aide, Mr. Howell said, showed he had incorrectly stated the date of the letter, which he said was actually written on Nov. 1, 2016, more than three months before Mr. Pruitt was confirmed as E.P.A. administrator, in February 2017. The law school, which had declined to comment for the article because of privacy concerns, issued a statement on Saturday saying Ms. Pruitt had given the school permission to confirm that she had been offered early admission in late November 2016 and that the “application was evaluated according to our usual admissions procedures.”

I see. Pruitt’s daughter had gotten her letter confirming early admission months before Donald Trump was even sworn into office. I would have brought this to all of your attention earlier but it took a while to find it. You see, while the news of the original “scandal” was plastered all over page 1 in the Times, this correction showed up at the bottom of page A-17. It was melded in with a correction to the caption under a photograph from somebody’s funeral. (I’m not even kidding.)

Well, mistakes happen, right? Some day we’ll all look back on this and laugh, I’m sure. It will be hilarious, just like that fun-filled time last summer when the Gray Lady reported that Pruitt had taken a secret meeting with the head of Dow Chemicals. (It was some spot on, incisive reporting except for the fact that they later admitted the meeting never happened.) Or that laugh riot from a couple of months ago when the Times reported that a member of Pruitt’s inner circle had been seen out drinking with the EPA Inspector General. (A story which was absolutely accurate, except for the part about the member of Pruitt’s inner circle being out drinking with the EPA Inspector General.)

Good times all, and we shall no doubt remember them fondly down the road. And besides, who among us hasn’t been tracking the Cabinet official we’re trying to paint as being under a cloud of scandal and suspicion and made the odd mistake over and over and over and over and over again?

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FBI Director Wray Praises Mueller “I Do Not Believe Special Counsel Mueller is on a Witch Hunt” (VIDEO)

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FBI Director Christopher Wray testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday on the IG report’s findings of the Clinton email investigation.

Christopher Wray told Senator Leahy (D-VT) that Robert Mueller’s investigation is ‘not a witch hunt.’

FBI Director Wray once again proves he serves the Deep State swamp rather than the interests of the American people.

FBI Director Christopher Wray held a press conference last Thursday afternoon from the FBI headquarters in DC following the release of the IG report was released.

Wray defended the swamp; he said the IG report “did not find any evidence of political bias or improper considerations actually impacting the investigation under review.”

On Monday, the FBI Director praised Mueller and said the dirty cop is not on a witch hunt.

Truly disgusting.

VIDEO:

We shouldn’t be surprised as Wray defended the corrupt officials in the FBI brass last week in a disgraceful press conference.

Americans are disgusted after reading more anti-Trump text messages from FBI agents.

What a disgrace.
The top officials at the FBI and DOJ hated Donald Trump and his supporters.

The Deep State hacks called Trump supporters: F***ing Idiots, Sad, Pathetic, Retarded.

Chris Wray told reporters there was “no evidence of political bias.”
This is the same FBI that had spies inside the Trump campaign and continued to spy on President-elect Trump after his election and inauguration.
And the FBI spy infiltrating the Trump campaign openly advocated for Hillary Clinton during the election.

According to Wray, there’s no political bias and Mueller is not on a witch hunt despite KGB tactics of breaking down doors and raiding anyone connected to the president without even naming the crime.

Wray needs to go.

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Study: The states with the most psychopaths seem to be blue

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Why on Earth would we talk about a Social Science Research Center study like this? The real question is… how could we not?

Reported at QZ, this new study by Southern Methodist University Professor Ryan Murphy correlated a bunch of data which I can’t make heads or tails of and figured out how psychopathic the residents of every state are. He was looking at the “levels of big five personality traits” (extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience) in each state. These apparently correlate with other traits which identify psychopathic tendencies. To put it mildly, the news was not good for the blue states.

Sometimes, it can feel like there are psychopaths everywhere. If you live in the United States, it’s now possible to move to less psychopathic environs, thanks to new research ranking 48 contiguous states by psychopathy.

Connecticut wins the dubious award of most psychopathic state in the US, followed by California in second, and New Jersey third. New York and Wyoming tie for joint fourth place, followed by Maine. The least psychopathic state is West Virginia, followed by Vermont, Tennessee, North Carolina, and New Mexico…

Earlier research shows that psychopathy is composed of disinhibition, boldness, and meanness, and a forthcoming paper shows that these characteristics can be translated into the big five traits.

I’m still not sure how things like “meanness” and disinhibition translate over to characteristics typical of psychopaths, but then, I only lasted for a few classes in pre-med. It’s still interesting to note that while the five states with the highest psychopath rating were almost entirely blue states in the northeast (plus California), the least psychopathic ones were in red (or at least reddish purple) areas. Who would have guessed that West Virginia would be the best location, particularly if you’ve ever watched the movies based in that region?

Oh, there was one more kicker to the study results. You might have been wondering where the District of Columbia landed. The answer is that it’s not on the list because it rang up a psychopath rating that was off the charts but was disqualified due to mitigating circumstances. (Emphasis added)

Murphy also included the District of Columbia in his research, and found it had a psychopathy level far higher than any other state. But this finding is an outlier, as Murphy notes, as it’s an entirely urban area and cannot be fairly compared with larger, more geographically diverse, US states. That said, as Murphy notes, “The presence of psychopaths in District of Columbia is consistent with the conjecture found in Murphy (2016) that psychopaths are likely to be effective in the political sphere.”

So if you’re looking for the highest concentration of psychopaths in the country, head to Washington, D.C. Apparently they have more of them than you can shake a stick at and the majority are working “in the political sphere.”

C’mon, man. You’re not going to sit there and tell me you’re surprised.

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