Hawaii’s House of Representatives have “deferred” a medical aid in dying bill, just weeks after it was overwhelmingly approved in the Senate. The state’s seven-member House Health Committee said the bill lacked appropriate safeguards details about clinical oversight.
"We're concerned about safeguards, the record-keeping, the physician training to be able to do this prescribing for aid in dying," said Democrat Della Au Bellati, the chair of the committee.
Republican Andria Tupola, also a member of the committee, said the measure was poorly written. “It literally said you could pick it up from the pharmacy, do it at home, and it didn't even mandate that someone had to be present and you had to do it in a private place,” she said.
The bill would have allowed would have allowed terminally ill patients with less than six months to live to obtain a prescription for barbiturates.
Bioethicist Wesley Smith said that the defeat of the bill showed that euthanasia was “not inevitable”: “Now, after losing recently in New Mexico, add Hawaii to the “not inevitable” list.”
Sunday, April 2, 2017
Here’s something very odd. Back in 2015 terrifying news came from Brazil about an epidemic of microcephaly – babies born with very small heads and brain damage. It seemed to be associated with the mosquito-borne Zika virus. Neighbouring countries prepared for the spread of Zika with a sense of dread. Lobby groups urged relaxation of abortion restrictions.
But how often in the past six months have we heard about the Zika virus and microenphaly? A graph on Google trends shows that it has dropped off the media’s radar. With good reason – there has been no epidemic of microcephaly. The experts expected 1,000 cases, but there were only about 100.
Nobody knows why this is. There is an association between Zika and microcephaly, but it must be more complicated than scientists first thought. An article in the NEJM this week reports the good and canvases a number of explanations. It may be that for microencephaly to occur, a woman needs to contract both Zika and Dengue fever.
Perhaps there is a lesson here – however bad the news is, DON'T PANIC!! In particular, there is no need to push for changes in abortion legislation before we know all the facts...
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