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It seems particularly disturbing to imagine legalizing euthanasia in this moment, let alone expanding access to euthanasia if it is already legal. Even so, this is precisely what is underway in Canada.
The contagion of assisted suicide, once the command “Thou shalt not kill” is set aside, quickly spreads elsewhere. True compassion does not abandon people at their most vulnerable.
Belgium has the most permissive euthanasia laws in the world, and one of every twenty deaths in Belgium is now deliberately caused. Suicide is becoming a moral obligation in a culture that promotes euthanasia as a dignified exit that offers relief to caregivers.
For both principled and practical reasons, the Supreme Court of Canada should maintain the country’s legal ban on euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.
Now is the time for renewed vigilance for those who oppose euthanasia. The worst of this battle is yet to come.
A new book tells the harrowing story of Memorial Medical Center, where some physicians took the lives of their patients during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Canada’s infamy has led many to rethink their support for assisted dying, no matter how strong the purported safeguards may be.
The public bioethics conversations of the twenty-first century will be much more nuanced and complicated than the abortion debate of the last fifty years. If we want to speak thoughtfully about how these and other technologies are shaping our future, we will need to move beyond a reductionist approach to human dignity.
Ultimately, the defeat of these terrorist groups is the primary ethical imperative. This will benefit not only Israel but also the Gazan civilians who suffer longer under their terrorist leaders and the continuous warfare that they breed. There is a moral cost to not acting decisively, and a strategic cost to forgetting the moral justification for killing in war.
Reflections on right reason plus a roundup of this month's essays
It’s useful to heed the words of Gabriel Marcel when it comes to desire. To paraphrase his “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived,” perhaps we could instead say: “Desire is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.” Girard himself refers to desire as a “mystery” on numerous occasions. I think he spent his entire life trying to understand that mystery.
If Ms. Cox is unwilling to parent a disabled child, she should terminate her parental rights upon birth, giving others the chance to show charity to a small but greatly treasured life. To hold that child’s hand as he or she drew a final breath would be to sit on hallowed ground.
Much work must be done to restore the proper understanding of personhood—what it means to be human—in societies that permit euthanasia. This work will take not just years, but decades and possibly even longer than that.
Laws and moral prohibitions—even seemingly obvious ones like the prohibition of killing innocents—do not function in a vacuum; their meanings and powers stem from a prior metaphysical order, independent of any individual’s perception, in which they originate and can be understood.
In the past fifteen years, we’ve published articles on the moral, cultural, religious, and political issues of our time, including the most controversial and sensitive; but we have done so in a manner of which we can be proud, respecting the intellect and personhood of our readers, interlocutors, and intellectual contestants.
Playing a strictly defensive game of knocking down attempts to legalize physician-assisted killing—especially as the United States secularizes and becomes more like Canada—seems like an untenable strategy for protecting the most vulnerable from this deadly violence. Locking in dignity and radical equality of all human beings will require more. In short, it is time to go on offense.
We already know that ChatGPT’s coding is biased. But even ChatGPT recognizes that logic is logic, and it is willing to admit the contradiction in the pro-choice position. If only our human interlocutors would be so honest.
Articulating and responding to common misconceptions concerning the ethics of abortion will help to clarify and advance the debate, moving past misleading slogans to engage in a forthright and respectful public dialogue in the wake of Dobbs, and seeking to build a genuine culture of life that supports the needs of both women and children.
Body-self dualism, and its social manifestation in expressive individualism, underlie the rejection of our given human natures. Rather than seeing ourselves as somehow inhabiting bodies that are used as mere instruments, we should see ourselves as incarnate, bodily beings embedded in communities and bound by natural and supernatural laws.
For P. D. James, we are drawn to detective fiction because it shows that even when social evils such as war, terrorism, and pandemic cannot be conquered, individual crimes can be solved by rational means—thus confirming our hope that peace and order can be restored from disruption and chaos.
The growing movement to legalize physician-assisted suicide raises fundamental questions about how to die well. The late medieval Ars moriendi text, which argues that preparation for death should be directed toward the goal of union with God, provides a valuable framework for more successfully incorporating the art of dying into a contemporary context.
How we treat imperiled newborns—not only after a failed abortion attempt, but also in a more traditional NICU setting—is essential for fully grasping the current understanding of the right to abortion. When we examine the central role ableism plays in both sets of issues, thinking about them together provides an anti-ableist critique that has important implications for both prenatal and neonatal justice.
Part I addresses the threat that technology poses to human dignity because of the threat it poses to humanity itself—both elites and non-elites. Transgenderism is the first step on the road to a miserable posthuman future. Part II argues that we must recommit to the virtue of religion if we’re to resist this technologized, posthuman threat.
Moral and ethical reflection, making normative sense of the world and striving to live accordingly, is an essential part of being human. Public leaders need to better grasp the role that conscience rights play in a free and democratic society. If they do not, freedom of conscience and the kind of society we cherish will eventually disappear.