Sunday, January 29, 2012

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This just in from a friend of mine who is watching the activities of the very powerful Ohio-based "pro-life" group (which recently endorsed Rick Santorum) FAMiLY LEADER, headed by Bob Vander Plaats:

End of Life Decisions
House Study Bill 511 under the direction of Representative Joel Fry advanced out of the Human Resources committee on Wednesday. The legislation supports what are known as Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST). Intended for terminally ill patients, these orders specify the desires of the individual patient regarding life support. Safeguards are established to protect against unwarranted termination of care. The FAMiLY LEADER cautioned against the tendency to “drift” in the direction of physician-assisted suicide. We trust and respect Representative Fry, and encourage our readers to pray for him to have wisdom as he prepares for House debate on the bill. As a cautionary signal, The FAMiLY LEADER is registered as “Undecided” on the bill.

BioEdge reminds us that the "dead donor rule," the medical standard that is used to determine when life ends for the purpose of organ removal, is in need of a revisit.

The prison population across the nation is getting old and prison administrators are grappling with how to best handle health and aging concerns, Fox reports. A new report by Human Rights Watch report on the aging prisoner population is here.

Catholic Health Care West has changed it's name to Dignity Healthcare, to varied reactions. Here's "pro-life" advocate Wesley J. Smith's.

Hawaiians support aid in dying, a new poll finds. While support is slightly higher there, the poll is consistent with attitudes across the rest of the nation.

While I'm all for advancement of medicine--who isn't?--the recent push to "kill" or redefine the persistent vegetative state diagnosis is fascinating and a little worrisome. Ever since the death of Terri Schiavo, activists have been working to undermine the diagnosis and qualify it as a severe disability. Studies like the recent one that shows "some" PVS patients wake up when given a sleeping pill or that EEGs can help find "locked in" patients have caused huge amounts of attention but are strangely politically motivated and seemingly statistically unviable. Furthering understanding of PVS and brain dead patients (both, admittedly, are nebulous terms that offer no hard answers) is necessary. But the irresponsibility of some of the articles these recent studies is hard to stomach. Truth, they say, is truth. With issues as profound as the definition of life, truths look a lot more like wishes, on which beggars and activists can ride.

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