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07/04/2011 - 8:07pm

In Rasouli v. Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, the Court of Appeal of Ontario held that intractable surrogate-physician disputes over the appropriateness of continuing life-sustaining treatment must go to the Consent and Capacity Board.  That is generally a fine dispute resolution mechanism.  Physicians, including physicians from Sunnybrook, are often successful there. 

Notably, the Court of Appeal’s decision is significantly narrowed in two ways.  Indeed, one might even say that the Court of Appeals has actually announced a ruling affirmatively permitting providers (at least as far as the HCCA is concerned) to unilaterally stop non-beneficial treatment with just two exceptions.STATUTORY INTERPRETATION...

07/04/2011 - 7:06pm
This Wall Street Journal article reminds you about planning that you should have already done.
07/04/2011 - 10:42am

It’s not easy selling carbonated sugar-water. Or rather, the selling part is all too easy. The hard part is steering a course between the conflicting desires of shareholders and activists. Shareholders want profits. That means selling more of high-profit-margin products like Pepsi and Doritos. Activists want companies to stop pushing unhealthy products like Pepsi and Doritos, and to focus on healthier — but less profitable — products.

…The snack-food and beverage giant is launching the first new advertising campaign for its flagship Pepsi-Cola in three years—offering one of the most visible signs PepsiCo is throwing new weight behind its biggest brand after it sank to No. 3 in U.S. soda sales last year, trailing not only Coke but Diet Coke…....

07/03/2011 - 12:59pm
This startling, controversial collection of essays by pundit/provocateur and IEET Affiliate Scholar Hank Pellissier promotes his hedonist-transhumanist-egalitarian vision of the future. The articles, backed by data and optimistic imagination, examine numerous bio-ethical and politically flammable topics: sexbots, in-vitro meat, Israel, parent licenses, women-only leadership, public nudity, artificial wombs and cryonics. With a forward by IEET’s Dr. J.
07/03/2011 - 11:39am

“My body, my choice.” We hear that slogan constantly, but what the hell do those four words mean?

Many of us have one or two political issues surrounding our bodies that get us fired up. Many of you reading this right now probably have some hot-button issue on your mind. Maybe it’s abortion, or recreational drug usage, or marriage rights, or surrogate pregnancy, or assisted suicide, or sex work, or voluntary amputation, or gender reassignment surgery....

07/03/2011 - 11:25am

The idea of a pending technological Singularity is under attack again with a number of prominent futurists arguing against the possibility—the most prominent being Charlie Stross and his astonishingly unconvincing article, ”Three arguments against the singularity.” While it’s not my intention to write a comprehensive rebuttal at this time, I would like to bring something to everyone’s attention: The early rumblings of the coming Singularity are becoming increasingly evident and obvious.

Make no mistake. It’s coming....

07/03/2011 - 10:35am

Dr. J. joined host Arnell Dowret on WBAI’s Equal Time for Freethought on July 2, 2011:

07/03/2011 - 8:16am
PBS stations across the country are starting to broadcast "Consider the Conversation."  It is also available on DVD from Amazon.  This documentary sheds light on how 21st-century Americans struggle to communicate about and prepare for the end of their lives.  It evolved from the experiences of two Wisconsin men with losing loved ones and clients.  The film features interviews with terminally-ill patients, their families, their medical practitioners, and with a wide range of experts on medical, spiritual, legal, and social-service issues surrounding when and how to die.
07/02/2011 - 7:03am
Yesterday, an independent review for the UK Secretary of State for Health issued a 100-page report, "Finding the Right Care and Support for Everyone."  The report finds that nearly 100,000 are not getting good palliative care.  The report addresses how the state funds a good, safe death, and it proposes a per-patient funding mechanism for palliative care.  The report's recommendations promise not only to deliver better outcomes for patients but also to provide better value for the NHS.
07/01/2011 - 7:43pm
Do you ever worry that Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) wasn’t really giving informed consent when he agreed to become enhanced? Or are curious as to why someone might choose a bionic hand over a real one? The awesome Maggie Koerth-Baker of and I had some of the same questions. We chat about the ethics of superheroes and our perception of science in this week’s Science Saturday on