That Nazi Thing

I was noticing a dust up between two regulars here at Secondhand Smoke regarding analogies to Germany and the Holocaust and some of the issues with which we grapple here. I thought it warranted more than a post response from me.This is a sensitive matter. The bioethicist Art Caplan once said, . . . . Continue Reading »

"Assisted Suicide": By Any Other Name

The Economist gets it. In an article on the fuss generated by assisted suicide advocates—who want to call assisted suicide anything but what it is, e.g., suicide, (a matter about which I have previously posted)—reads, in part, as follows: (No link: Subscription Required)“Now, . . . . Continue Reading »

Michael Chrichton on Gene Patenting

The best selling novelist Michael Chrichton’s most recent novel, Next, pokes hard at the business of biotechnology. He has also written this op/ed piece against gene patenting, a subject we have considered from time to time here at Secondhand Smoke. The following is part of what Chrichton . . . . Continue Reading »

Brit Doctors Admit to Age Discrimination

A study of British doctors found that some doctors admit they deem elderly people “less deserving” of optimal care. This is not unexpected. The signs have been there for years. From the story in the Telegraph:”Doctors in Britain regularly discriminate against older patients by . . . . Continue Reading »

Dying for Cloning?

The poignant letter reproduced below is from the mother of a woman who died donating eggs (for IVF). The death of Jacqueline belies the smug assertions being made by would-be human cloners and their advocates that women who donate eggs for biotechnology will face little danger. It is, of course, . . . . Continue Reading »

They Keep Pushing

The assisted suicide fanatics are at it again in the UK, getting behind the lawsuit of a woman who wants to die. Apparently Kelly Taylor, a woman with a terribly painful heart and lung condition, is suing to be given what is sometimes called terminal sedation. It should be called palliative . . . . Continue Reading »

Adult Stem Cells Build Muscle Tissue

This story is unremarkable—in the sense that adult stem cell advances are so ubiquitous. Apparently human adult stem cells have rebuilt muscle tissue in mice, moving the technology toward potential treatment for muscular dystrophy. Not yet ready for human trials, apparently, but definitely . . . . Continue Reading »