Misdiagnosing Permanent Unconsciousness

This is an important story, byline Carol Burczuk, the jist of which needs to be repeated until it finally sinks in: Just because doctors say someone is “unconscious,” it doesn’t mean they really are. Often, people are aware but cannot communicate—as in this story. Note, that . . . . Continue Reading »

Raising the Call to Fight Slavery

I have begun to pay more attention to the crucial human rights issue of slavery, which by its imposition on human beings, denies human exceptionalism and our intrinsic moral worth. Happily, my think tank the Discovery Institute is moving in the same direction. John R. Miller—who I had the . . . . Continue Reading »

Ralph Nader’s New Book

If you will all excuse a time out from our usual discussions here at Secondhand Smoke for a personal note: My friend Ralph Nader has a new book out and it looks to be a very special contribution from the man who has dedicated his life to civic engagement. It is called The Seventeen Traditions, and . . . . Continue Reading »

Shame on Pinker for Using the V-Word

In his Time essay, about which I just commented, Steven Pinker uses the V-word to describe someone with profound cognitive incapacities. He really shouldn’t. None of us should ever use that word any more than we would the odious N-word for black folk, or the C-word for women. Even used . . . . Continue Reading »

Attack on Human Exceptionalism in TIME

We shouldn’t be surprised that Time magazine would allow the evolutionary psychologist Steven Pinker to write about what science knows—or thinks it knows—about the phenomenon of consciousness. But the magazine also lets him move way beyond the scientific realm and a recitation of . . . . Continue Reading »

Swiss Death on Demand Ruling Verified

Anyone who asserts seriously that euthanasia/assisted suicide is “only for the terminally ill for whom nothing else can be done to alleviate suffering,” just doesn’t want to see the writing on the wall. We have seen euthanasia for the depressed approved in the Netherlands by that . . . . Continue Reading »

My Letter in Today’s NYT

I have a letter in today’s NYT about “Ashely’s Case.” Here it is:“A Disabled Girl’s RightsPeter Singer (‘A Convenient Truth,’ Op-Ed, Jan. 26) supports subjecting ‘Ashley,’ a profoundly intellectually disabled girl, to surgical and hormonal . . . . Continue Reading »

Anything Goes

Comes now the International Society for Stem Cell Research with its “Guidelines for the Conduct of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research.” Par for the course, it is almost anything goes that can be done today—including creating new embryos through IVF fertilization for use in ESCR, . . . . Continue Reading »