The Wisconsin bishops released a statement warning people about the spreading use of Physician (or Provider) Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST). They did it in a carefully but clearly worded pastoral letter Upholding the Dignity of Human Life.
A POLST form presents options for treatments as if they were morally neutral. In fact, they are not. Because we cannot predict the future, it is difficult to determine in advance whether specific medical treatments, from an ethical perspective, are absolutely necessary or optional. These decisions depend upon factors such as the benefits, expected outcomes, and the risks or burdens of the treatment.
A POLST oversimplifies these decisions and bears the real risk that an indication may be made on it to withhold a treatment that, in particular circumstances, might be an act of euthanasia. Despite the possible benefits of these documents, this risk is too grave to be acceptable.
Finally, the design and use of the POLST document raises concerns as to whether it accurately reflects and protects a person’s wishes.
These have all been concerns for years in the medical/legal system, which became a riveting national debate while Terri Schiavo was being starved and dehydrated to death. It also became a discussion around a lot of family tables across the country at that time, causing a lot of media coverage of things like ‘living wills’ and a lot of Americans to rush to arrange them or sign already prepared ones that appeared online in a number of places.…
That’s how the president sees his main mistake in his first term.
President Obama tells CBS News that the biggest mistake of his first term boils down to communication with the public: emphasizing policy over storytelling.
“When I think about what we’ve done well and what we haven’t done well, the mistake of my first term — couple of years — was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right,” Obama told CBS This Morning anchor Charlie Rose in an interview taped today.
“And that’s important,” Obama said. “But the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times.”
Wait. With all due respect, Mr. President, we know our story and whence our unity and purpose come, and for what we have real and authentic hope.
Mitt Romney chimed in, saying in a statement that, “President Obama believes that millions of Americans have lost their homes, their jobs and their livelihood because he failed to tell a good story. Being president is not about telling stories. Being president is about leading, and President Obama has failed to lead. No wonder Americans are losing faith in his presidency.”
Republican spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said Obama’s economic policies are the problem.
“With 23 million people struggling under our slow economy, the decision for voters isn’t ‘can the president tell a good story,’” Kukowski said.…
That thought crossed my mind in the middle of the day, seeing coverage of both celebrations of the Fourth across the country and deliberations of the ObamaCare ruling across the news networks. I’ve been traveling a lot lately and maybe it’s a good thing not to try keeping pace with the onslaught of analysis pouring out over the past week of what Chief Justice John Roberts might have been thinking when he issued the decisive and historic opinion in upholding ObamaCare as constitutional, as a tax. Especially in its implications for the integrity of the Supreme Court.
Had a majority of the justices struck down Obamacare, the court — fairly or unfairly — would have become a bigger issue in the presidential campaign than usual and in ways that could have been damaging to its authority.
Everything has become political. Even the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.
Americans know that the Declaration of Independence proclaims as a matter of fact that they “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” But when Obama recites this line, he omits the word “Creator.”
Listen carefully to how Obama censors that famous line. Here are his own words: “all men are created equal, that each of us are endowed with certain inalienable rights.” He doesn’t say who endowed us.
Obama has done this so often that it can’t be a slip of the tongue or a glitch of the teleprompter.…
More frequently these days, news stories sound just Orwellian.
Like this CNN piece: ‘House debates abortion ban for sex of fetus.’ Really?
One of the most divisive issues in politics is set to take center stage in Congress on Thursday as the House of Representatives votes on a measure banning abortions based on the sex of a fetus.
Have we really descended to that?
Supporters characterize the proposal as a necessary defense of the civil rights of unborn children; opponents consider it part of a broader so-called “war on women” and an ongoing assault on legalized abortion.
Somebody has got to stop this “war on women” nonsense before it’s taken more seriously, or allowed to be hijacked as a concept taken even remotely seriously, rather than the transparent political strategy it has become since the announcement of the HHS mandate.
So back to the ‘abortion ban on gender selection’ story…Opponents ‘consider it part of a broader war on women’? Who are they worried about? The mother who gets an abortion or the baby girl whose life is terminated?
That House measure failed to pass, believe it or not.
A bill to outlaw abortions based on a child’s gender received a strong majority of votes in the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday but failed to gain the two-thirds margin of support needed for passage.
The House voted 246-168 in favor of H.R. 3541, known as the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA)…
The bill would make it a federal offense to knowingly perform a sex-selection abortion or coerce a woman into such a procedure, or to transport a woman across state lines or into the United States to obtain a sex-selection abortion.…
I’ve quoted Walter Lippmann for years on the ability to shape public opinion by feeding the public information chosen from a field of topics and presented in a calculated light with crafted language framed within fixed parameters. He’s getting more relevant all the time.
Here are two circumstances that call this to mind.
At the start of last week, a well-coordinated and darned near unprecedented legal challenge was launched by 43 Catholic institutions against the president and his administration over a federal mandate to purchase or provide something that violated their First Amendment right to religious liberty and fundamental right to human conscience.
In what had to be more willful and calculated than inept, the media largely ignored the story.
For the third night in a row the broadcast networks have refused to cover this correctly. This momentum is fueled by CBS Evening News’ outrageous decision not only to spike the Catholic lawsuits but instead to lead the news with yet another story about the Catholic sex abuse scandal. The broadcast devoted two minutes and 31 seconds to the accused abusers and allegations that occurred decades ago. That’s roughly eight times more coverage than CBS Evening News gave the historic lawsuit on Monday.
With all due respect to Brent Bozell and the Media Research Council, I have to say this is not surprising and deserves the jabs but only constitutes ‘more of same’ in the realm of news reporting these days.…
The Obama administration was involved at the highest levels of diplomacy with China last week to negotiate a deal over the fate of a human rights activist targeted by the Chinese government because he exposed so much abuse tied to China’s population control policy. Big media did a good job driving that story and keeping Chen’s fate a top and prominent focus.
Some of them noted this president’s difficulties with human rights affairs around the world. But since this crisis was tied to China’s one-child policy, their draconian population control response to a perceived global crisis, it presented a particularly gnarly problem for a president whose science adviser is a disciple of the population control guru Paul Ehrlich.
To pick up where the post below left off, on an excerpt from Merchants of Despair…
Until the mid-1960s, American population control programs, both at home and abroad, were largely funded and implemented by private organizations such as the Population Council and Planned Parenthood — groups with deep roots in the eugenics movement…
This situation changed radically in the mid-1960s, when the U.S. Congress, responding to the agitation of overpopulation ideologues, finally appropriated federal funds to underwrite first domestic and then foreign population control programs. Suddenly, instead of mere millions, there were hundreds of millions and eventually billions of dollars available to fund global campaigns of mass abortion and forced sterilization. The result would be human catastrophe on a worldwide scale.…
He has used other bluffs to their fullest extent. Now the president and his team are playing his ’killed Osama bin Laden’ card for all it’s worth. Is it a gamble?
I think so. For many reasons. But first, let me just say I’m very uncomfortable with the president of the United States ‘gloating‘ over this or any other killing, even though this one took out a deadly public enemy who eluded allied forces for about a decade.
With the May 1 anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s killing upon us, the White House is going to great lengths to remind everyone all about it. For starters, there’s Joe Biden’s new stock phrase: “Bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive.” Then there’s the ad suggesting that Mitt Romney wouldn’t have had the guts to approve the raid. And it culminates with an interview of President Obama by NBC’s Brian Williams that airs next week from the White House Situation Room, notes Politico. That’s where the now-iconic photo was taken of top officials watching the raid.
“Few presidents have talked about the killing of an individual enemy in such an expansive way,” says the New York Times in a story today about the strategy. It could be a risky one.
It started with a weird and, I think, unpresidential ‘victory lap’ a year ago, as Saturday Night Live captured in a ripe parody. Lately, it’s been ramping up as a campaign boast, and that gets us up to speed, sort of.…
He shouldn’t be an ‘also ran’ or even an afterthought. And he’s not being taken as one, at least by those who realize the importance and strength of the candidate’s following.
I’ve been saying for a while now that whoever wins the GOP nomination had better take Ron Paul and his followers, more like a movement, seriously. I’m staring to hear news pundits say something similar. Like the political analyst on one of the networks who noted “Ron Paul’s campaign is about $2 million in the black. And he’ll probably have a role in the convention on the platform.” Good for him. He deserves it.
All the GOP contenders should have a voice in hammering out the platform and policies on the issues, social and fiscal, domestic and foreign.
But Ron Paul is that sure and steady candidate still actively campaigning in order to keep his message in the forum. And it’s being heard.
If forcing his philosophy into the mainstream is the benchmark, Paul can claim victory. Listening to his rivals in the Republican debates demand that the Fed be audited and the Departments of Energy and Education be shuttered, it’s clear that many of Paul’s positions, once considered extreme, are now Republican talking points. Paul’s influence outweighs his low poll rankings and back-of-the-pack primary returns.
“Our time has come,” says Paul, tempering the display of optimism. “It’s still going to be a knock-down, dragged-out fight.”
Paul leaves behind a small army of brawlers itching to take up the battle in his name.…
At its core, stewardship of the environment is an important ideal. At its extremes, it has become an anti-human ideology.
Dr. Robert Zubrin explains in detail with extensive references in his book Merchants of Despair. From the forward:
Antihumanism is not environmentalism, though it sometimes masquerades as such. Environmentalism, properly conceived, is an effort to apply practical solutions to real environmental problems, such as air and water pollution, for the purpose of making the world a better place for all humans to thrive in. Antihumanism, in contrast, rejects the goal of advancing the cause of mankind. Rather, it uses instances of inadvertent human damage to the environment as points of agitation to promote its fundamental thesis that human beings are pathogens whose activities need to be suppressed in order to protect a fixed ecological order with interests that stand above those of humanity.
It’s that inverted order of things that’s causing controversy in the scientific and academic community. And in the culture. And Zubrin challenges it in his ideological throwdown.
Antihumanism has recently enormously expanded its influence by raising hysteria about global warming. This phenomenon, by lengthening the growing season and increasing rainfall and the availability of atmospheric carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, has actually significantly enhanced the abundance of nature, to the benefit of both agriculture and the wild biosphere alike.
Nevertheless, according to antihumanism, punitive measures, especially harmful to the world’s poor, are required to suppress mankind’s activity and economic growth in order to deal with this putative threat.…
I remember being very impressed many years ago hearing a man of celebrity status earnestly credit his wife in an interview with having the toughest job in the world. She worked in the home raising their children, and he marveled at it, saying it was far more demanding than what he did.
That came to mind last week when I heard the remark Hilary Rosen made about Ann Romney. It came to mind again when I read this piece about it in the Weekly Standard.
I, and every conservative I know, have been eagerly polite, warmly encouraging to women who chose to work—from the very beginning, from the 1970s or ‘80s, when working women first changed the national landscape.
But that’s not the way liberals play it.
Not one Republican of national standing or any importance has ever announced that working mothers prefer dollars to their children’s happiness; that working mothers have chosen to let their children suffer a little, cry a little, and keep a little more sadness inside to satisfy their own vanity or avarice or (far more often) their husband’s avarice. Nor have I ever said such things to a friend, an enemy, anyone; I’ve never allowed anyone associated with me to say those things, because (this might be hard for Ms. Hilary Rosen to grasp) I don’t believe them. I don’t want to denounce working mothers, or any mothers. Working mothers do their best by their own lights.…