Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism, and consults for the Patients Rights Council.
Doctors don’t take the Hippocratic Oath anymore, and haven’t for several decades. The oath’s ethical proscriptions against participating in abortion and assisted suicide cut against the contemporary moral grain, leading medical schools to dumb it down or dispose of it altogether in order to comport with modern sensibilities.
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Hospice is about living, not dying. More precisely, hospice supports life with dignity for its patients and offers invaluable social and emotional support for patients’ families. Continue Reading »
Gender dysphoria (transgenderism)formerly known as gender identity disorderwas once considered a mental illness. Today, the conditionand how individuals and society react to itis a prominent civil rights issue, the “T” in LGBT. Continue Reading »
I am often asked for interviews by students who are writing papers about the assisted suicide issue. I am always happy to oblige. Most ask why I oppose assisted suicide and whether I think guidelines can prevent the slippery slope. But, the other day, I was contacted by a high-schooler writing a paper about something I had never considered: the historical significance of Jack Kevorkian. Continue Reading »
I sometimes see reflections of my Eastern Orthodox faith in unexpected places. Take the hit CBS television show Elementary, a contemporary rendition of the great Sherlock Holmes stories. Continue Reading »
Disruption can be an effective protest tactic if limited and carefully targeted. But disruption seems to have been the ultimate purpose of the recent “Ferguson” eruptionsand I am referring not to the rioters but to the nonviolent marchers who closed down bridges, stopped trains, and blocked traffic. We all know why the protesters are upset. Grand juries refused to indict police officers in the deaths of African-Americans Michael Brown and Eric Garner. Their anger and disappointment are understandable. Continue Reading »
The West, we are told, has entered the secular age. Religious faith is irreversibly shriveling, opening space for a society governed by reason. What such statements miss is that while traditional religion may well fade, we will never see an end to something like religious belief. We’re subjective . . . . Continue Reading »
We don’t speak plainly in public discourse anymore. Rather, we equivocate and deploy euphemisms to sanitize our debates. Take the passing of Brittany Maynard by her own hand, which the media has repeatedly characterized as an act of “dignity.” To be sure, Maynard died with human dignitybut not because she committed suicide. Human dignity is intrinsic. Indeed, to accept the premise of suicide as death with dignity saysor at least strongly impliesthat patients who expire naturally die with indignity. Continue Reading »
A few months ago, my wife noticed that (to borrow from Wordsworth) the world was too much with me. We talked a bit about my malaise, and she said: “You need to go to a monastery.” Continue Reading »
Michael Landon, the hugely popular television star of Bonanza, Little House on the Prairie, and Highway to Heaven, died in 1991 at age fifty-four. Landon’s last actif you willwas widely hailed as his best: He publicly announced his diagnosis with terminal pancreatic cancer, appeared on the Tonight Show to openly discuss his pending death with Johnny Carson (almost unprecedented back then), and gave several interviews announcing his determination to hang on until the end. He told Life, “If I’m gonna die, death’s gonna have to do a lot of fighting to get me.” Continue Reading »