First Things RSS Feed - Wesley J. Smith
Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism, and consults for the Patients Rights Council. en-usCopyright 2016 First Things. All Rights Reserved.email@example.com (The Editors)firstname.lastname@example.org (The Editors)Mon, 24 Oct 2016 08:26:48 -0400https://d25wp47b6tla3u.cloudfront.net/img/favicon-196.pngFirst Things RSS Feed Image
Fri, 14 Oct 2016 06:00:00 -0400The death of a terminally ill seventeen-year-old boy
recently, as Belgium’s first case of child euthanasia. I don’t understand the sudden fuss. The Netherlands has long allowed minors to request and receive euthanasia: Dutch children down to age sixteen can receive euthanasia without their parents’ consent, and children can be killed by doctors with parental consent starting at age twelve.
Animal Rights Would Ban Petshttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/09/animal-rights-would-ban-pets
Fri, 30 Sep 2016 06:00:00 -0400“A
nimal rights” is often conflated “animal welfare.” But they are not the same—not even close.
]]>“Death Control” and the Bioethics Perilhttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/09/death-control-and-the-bioethics-peril
Fri, 16 Sep 2016 06:00:00 -0400If you want to see what is likely to go awry in medical ethics and public healthcare policy, pay attention to the advocacy of bioethicists—at least of those who don’t identify themselves as “conservative” or “Catholic.” In their many journal articles and presentations at academic symposia, they unabashedly advocate for discarding the sanctity- and equality-of-life ethic as our moral cornerstone. Instead, most favor invidious and systemic medical discrimination predicated on a patient’s “quality of life,” which would endow the young, healthy, and able-bodied with the highest moral value—and, hence, with the greatest claim to medical resources.
]]>The Dangers of Abandoning the Terminally Ill in Suicide Preventionhttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/09/the-dangers-of-abandoning-the-terminally-ill-in-suicide-prevention
Fri, 02 Sep 2016 06:00:00 -0400Have you noticed that suicide prevention campaigns these days don’t mention assisted suicide? Perhaps they don’t want to court controversy, or perhaps organizers have swallowed the notion that the suicide of the terminally ill isn’t really suicide—it’s “death with dignity.” Whatever the reason, this crucial lapse of proffered care illustrates how our society is less concerned about the suicides of terminally ill people than about the suicides of people who choose to die for other reasons.
]]>Federal Marijuana Policy Undermines Rule of Lawhttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/08/federal-marijuana-policy-undermines-rule-of-law
Thu, 18 Aug 2016 06:00:00 -0400Federal marijuana policies subvert the rule of law in two ways: First, the law as currently written embodies a clear scientific falsehood—that marijuana has no medical uses. Second, instead of changing the law to reflect contemporary knowledge, the administration has chosen simply not to enforce the law in the states in which “medical marijuana” has been legalized. This sends a message that a law need be obeyed only if one agrees with its precepts.
]]>Brave New World Should Be an Election Issue https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/08/brave-new-world-should-be-an-election-issue
Fri, 05 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0400“T
he theme of
Brave New World
is not the advancement of science as such,” wrote Aldous Huxley in a 1946 foreword to the republication of his
. It is “the advancement of science as it affects human individuals.” Huxley worried that science was leading “a really revolutionary revolution” to “be achieved, not in the external world, but in the souls and flesh of human beings.” In other words, human biology—and indeed,
human nature itself
—could, Huxley feared, become the subject and object of scientific manipulation.
]]>Religious and Pro-Life Conscience Unwelcome in Healthcarehttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/07/religious-and-pro-life-conscience-unwelcome-in-healthcare
Fri, 22 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0400Healthcare is quickly becoming about much more than the provision and reception of medical treatment. To a disturbing degree, healthcare public policy is becoming a means of imposing a secularist, anti–sanctity-of-life ideology on all of society.
]]>The Worst MDs Free to Be Suicide Doctorshttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/06/the-worst-mds-free-to-be-suicide-doctors
Fri, 24 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0400There’s an old joke that goes something like this:
]]>Euphemisms for Killinghttps://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2016/05/euphemisms-for-killing
Fri, 27 May 2016 22:00:00 -0400Words matter. The terminology we employ not only reflects our values but helps to define them. Language is particularly important in bioethical debates, in which dehumanizing verbiage can distance us from our fellow human beings.