Update on American HHS controversy

The Becket Fund reports that there are 79 court cases involving 200 plaintiffs now moving through the U.S. courts, challenging the federal regulation requiring employers with over 50 employees to provide health insurance for birth control and surgical sterilization.  Of the 40 lawsuits filed by for-profit corporations, 32 have been granted injunctions against the law, and only six refused.

 

Belgium considering euthanasia for children

Belgian politicians are debating a bill proposed by the governing Socialist party to legalize euthanasia for children (with parental consent).  The bill would also abolish the current 5 year limitation on advance directives for euthanasia in order to make the procedure available to persons with dementia.  [ABC News]

 

Rethinking Voluntary Euthanasia

J Med Philos (2013) 38 (6): 674-695. doi: 10.1093/jmp/jht045

Byron J. Stoyles and  Sorin Costreie

Abstract

Our goal in this article is to explicate the way, and the extent to which, euthanasia can be voluntary from both the perspective of the patient and the perspective of the health care providers involved in the patient’s care. More significantly, we aim to challenge the way in which those engaged in ongoing philosophical debates regarding the morality of euthanasia draw distinctions between voluntary, involuntary, and nonvoluntary euthanasia on the grounds that drawing the distinctions in the traditional manner (1) fails to reflect what is important from the patient’s perspective and (2) fails to reflect the significance of health care providers’ interests, including their autonomy and integrity. [Full Text]

 

European parliament narrowly rejects report attacking freedom of conscience

By a narrow margin (351/319) the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe rejected a Report on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights put forward by Edite Estrela of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality.   The report complained of what it called “the abuse of conscientious objection” with respect to abortion in Ireland, Malta and Poland and other countries:

Conscientious objection’s practice has denied many women access to
reproductive health services, such as information about, access to, and purchase of contraception, prenatal testing, and lawful interruption of pregnancy. There are cases reported from Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Ireland and Italy where nearly 70% of all gynaecologists and 40% of all anaesthesiologists conscientiously object to providing abortion services.

It described conscientious objection to abortion as “widespread” and demanded that states should regulate and monitor the exercise of freedom of conscience – at least freedom of conscience exercised by “reproductive health care providers.”  The authors also assert institutions (such as hospitals) should not be allowed to operate according to conscientious or religious convictions. In its complaints about “the unregulated use of conscientious objection,” the report repeated the complaint of a 2010 report that was also rejected by the Assembly.

However, a minority opinion by author Anna Zaborska stated:

This non-binding resolution violates the EU Treaty and cannot be used to introduce right to abortion. . .No international legally binding treaty nor the ECHR nor customary international law can accurately be cited as establishing or recognizing such right. All EU institutions, bodies and agencies must remain neutral on the issue of abortion. . . . The human right of conscientious objection together with the responsibility of the state to ensure that patients are able to access medical care in particular in cases of emergency prenatal and maternal health care must be upheld. No person, hospital or institution shall be coerced, held liable or discriminated against in any manner because of a refusal to perform, accommodate, assist or submit to practices which could cause the death of a human embryo.

The report has been returned to the committee for review, but there is no doubt that a similar report will be returned for another vote some time in the future. [Christian Medical CommentCNS News]

 

 

Hearings on Quebec Bill 52: Committee of Legal Experts

Jean-Pierre Ménard, Michelle Giroux

Thursday, 10 October 2013 – Vol. 43 No. 46

Note: The following translation is the product of a first run through Google Translate.  In most cases it is sufficient to identify statements of interest, but more careful translation is required to properly understand the text.  Translation block numbers (T#) have been assigned by the Project as references to facilitate analysis and discussion.

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17 h (version non révisée)
Unrevised version
(Reprise à 17 h 14)
La Présidente (Mme Proulx) : À l’ordre, s’il vous plaît! La commission va poursuivre ses travaux. 001 The Chair (Mrs. Proulx): Order, please! The Committee will continue its work.
Alors, je souhaite la bienvenue à nos invités. Je vous demanderais tout d’abord de vous présenter et je vous rappelle que vous disposez d’environ 15 minutes pour votre présentation. La parole est à vous. 002 So I welcome our guests. I would ask you first introduce yourself and let me remind you that you have 15 minutes for your presentation. The floor is yours.
M. Ménard (Jean-Pierre): Alors donc, bonjour, Mme la ministre, mesdames, messieurs les députés. Alors, mon nom est Jean-Pierre Ménard, je suis président du Comité de juristes experts que le précédent gouvernement avait désigné en 2012 pour examiner la suite à donner aux recommandations de la commission de mourir dans la dignité. 003 Mr. Ménard (Jean-Pierre): So then, hello, Madam Minister, ladies and gentlemen. So, my name is Jean-Pierre Ménard, I am Chairman of the legal experts that the previous government had appointed in 2012 to review the follow-up to the recommendations of the Committee on Dying with Dignity

Full Translation

Hearings on Quebec Bill 52: Palliative Home Care Society of Greater Montreal

Elsie Monereau, Bérard Riverin

Thursday, 10 October 2013 – Vol. 43 No. 46

Note: The following translation is the product of a first run through Google Translate.  In most cases it is sufficient to identify statements of interest, but more careful translation is required to properly understand the text.  Translation block numbers (T#) have been assigned by the Project as references to facilitate analysis and discussion.

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(Reprise à 12 h 28)
Le Président (M. Bergman) : (panne de son) …du Grand Montréal pour prendre leur place à la table. M. Riverin, Mme Monereau. 001 The Chairman (Mr. Bergman) (failure of the) … Greater Montreal to take their place at the table. Mr. Riverin, Ms. Monereau.
Des voix : 002
Le Président (M. Bergman) : À l’ordre, s’il vous plaît! Alors, M. Riverin, Mme Monereau, bienvenue. Vous avez 15 minutes pour faire votre présentation, suivi d’un échange avec les membres de la commission. On vous demande de nous donner vos noms et vos titres, et les prochaines 15 minutes sont à vous. M. Riverin. 003 The Chairman (Mr. Bergman): Order, please! So Mr. Riverin, Ms. Monereau, welcome. You have 15 minutes to make your presentation, followed by a discussion with the members of the commission. We ask you to give us your names and titles, and the next 15 minutes are yours. Mr. Riverin.
Mme Monereau (Elsie) : Alors, je suis Elsie Monereau, je suis la directrice de soins palliatifs à la société de soins palliatifs du Grand Montréal. 004 Ms. Monereau (Elsie): So I am Elsie Monereau, I am the director of palliative care at the Palliative Home Care Society of Greater Montreal.
M. Riverin (Bérard): Je suis Bérard Riverin, directeur général, donc je suis un simple laïque parmi les cliniciens. Je travaille avec des grands cliniciens comme Mme Monereau à chaque jour, mais… Je vais essayer de vous livrer mon point de vue en tant que directeur général, et Mme Monereau, qui est, à mon point de vue, une des sommités en matière de soins palliatifs au Québec, vous livrera la partie un petit peu plus clinique et organisation des soins. 005 Mr. Riverin (Bérard): I Riverin Bérard, CEO, so I am a layman among clinicians. I work with great clinicians as Ms. Monereau every day, but … I’ll try to give you my perspective as CEO, and Ms. Monereau, which is, in my view, one of the leading experts in palliative care in Quebec, will deliver the a little more clinical part and organization of care.

|Full Translation

Hearings on Quebec Bill 52: Professor Margaret Somerville

Wednesday, 9 October 2013 – Vol. 43 N° 45

Note: The following translation is the product of a first run through Google Translate.  In most cases it is sufficient to identify statements of interest, but more careful translation is required to properly understand the text.  Translation block numbers (T#) have been assigned by the Project as references to facilitate analysis and discussion.

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15H (version non révisée)
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(Reprise à 15 h 10)
Le Président (M. Bergman): À l’ordre, s’il vous plaît! La commission reprend ses travaux. Je demande à toutes les personnes dans la salle de bien vouloir éteindre leurs téléphones cellulaires. 001 The Chairman (Mr. Bergman): Order, please! The committee resumed. I ask everyone in the room to please turn off their cell phones.
Nous allons poursuivre, sans plus tarder, les consultations particulières et les auditions publiques sur le projet de loi no. 52, Loi concernant les soins de fin de vie. 002 We will continue, without further ado, the special consultations and public hearings on the Bill. 52, An Act respecting the end-of-life.
Je souhaite la bienvenue à notre invitée, qui s’exprime en anglais. Et vous avez la possibilité d’avoir la traduction avec les items devant vous. 003 Welcome to our guest, who speaks English. And you can have the translation with the items before you.

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Original Text

Le Président (M. Bergman): Mme Somerville, je vous souhaite la bienvenue à la Commission des services sociaux et de santé. Je comprends que vous serez vous exprimer sur une présentation de 15 minutes, suivie de la … collègues … mes collègues des deux côtés de la Chambre. Tous les côtés de la Chambre auront une chance de vous poser quelques questions. Donc, si vous pouviez nous donner votre nom et votre titre, et aller de l’avant avec la présentation de 15 minutes. Je vous remercie. 004 Le Président (M. Bergman): Mrs. Somerville, I want to welcome you to the Health and Social services Commission. I understand that you’ll be expressing yourself on a presentation of 15 minutes, followed the… colleagues… my colleagues on both sides of the House. All sides of the House will have a chance to ask you some questions. So, if you could just give us your name and your title, and go ahead with your presentation of 15 minutes. Thank you.
Mme Somerville (Margaret): Je vous remercie, Monsieur le Président. Mon nom est Margaret Somerville, je suis la chaire Samuel Gale en droit, professeur à la Faculté de médecine, fondateur et directeur du Centre McGill pour la médecine, éthique et droit, tous à l’Université McGill à Montréal. 005 Mme Somerville (Margaret):Thank you, Mr. President. My name is Margaret Somerville, I’m the Samuel Gale Professor of Law, Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Founding Director of the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law, all at McGill University in Montréal.

Full Translation

Hearings on Quebec Bill 52: Dr. Annie Tremblay, Dr. Pierre Gagnon

Wednesday, 9 October 2013 – Vol. 43 N° 45

Note: The following translation is the product of a first run through Google Translate.  In most cases it is sufficient to identify statements of interest, but more careful translation is required to properly understand the text.  Translation block numbers (T#) have been assigned by the Project as references to facilitate analysis and discussion.

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(version non révisée)
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 (Reprise à 17 h 15)
Le Président (M. Bergman) : À l’ordre, s’il vous plaît! 001
Des voix : 002
Le Président (M. Bergman) : À l’ordre, s’il vous plaît! Alors, collègues, on reçoit aujourd’hui Dre Annie Tremblay et Dr Pierre Gagnon. Bienvenue. Vous avez 15 minutes pour faire votre présentation, suivi d’un échange avec les membres de la commission. S’il vous plaît, encore donner à nouveau vos noms, vos titres, et le prochain 15 minutes est à vous. 003 The Chairman (Mr. Bergman): Order, please! So, colleagues, today we get Dr. Annie Tremblay and Dr. Pierre Gagnon. Welcome. You have 15 minutes to make your presentation, followed by a discussion with the members of the commission. Please also give your new names, tickets, and the next 15 minutes is yours.
Mme Tremblay (Annie) : Dre Annie Tremblay, psychiatre spécialisée en oncologie à l’Hôtel-Dieu de Québec du CHU. 004 Mrs. Tremblay (Annie): Dr. Annie Tremblay, a psychiatrist specializing in oncology at the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec Hospital
M. Gagnon (Pierre) : Pierre Gagnon, psychiatre spécialisé en psycho-oncologie, Hôtel-Dieu de Québec du CHU et Maison Michel Sarrazin. 005 Mr. Gagnon (Pierre): Pierre Gagnon, psychiatrist specializing in psycho-oncology, Hôtel-Dieu de Québec Hospital and Maison Michel Sarrazin.

Full Translation

Hearings on Quebec Bill 52: Quebec Association of Clinical Ethicists

Delphine Roigt, Emilia Guévin, Michel Lorange

Wednesday, 9 October 2013 – Vol. 43 N° 45

Note: The following translation is the product of a first run through Google Translate.  In most cases it is sufficient to identify statements of interest, but more careful translation is required to properly understand the text.  Translation block numbers (T#) have been assigned by the Project as references to facilitate analysis and discussion.

Original Text

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 (version non révisée)
Unrevised version
 (Reprise à 16 h 10)
Le Président (M. Bergman) : À l’ordre, s’il vous plaît! Alors, Me Roigt, bienvenue. Vous avez 15 minutes pour faire votre présentation, suivie d’un échange avec les membres de la commission. S’il vous plaît, donnez-nous votre nom, votre titre, ainsi que ceux qui vous accompagnent. Et le prochain 15 minutes, c’est à vous. 001 The Chairman (Mr. Bergman): Order, please! So Me Roigt, welcome. You have 15 minutes to make your presentation, followed by a discussion with the members of the commission. Please give us your name, title, and those who accompany you. And the next 15 minutes, it’s up to you.
Mme Roigt (Delphine): Parfait. Merci. Alors, je suis Delphine Roigt, éthicienne clinique et avocate, présidente de l’Association québécoise en éthique clinique. Je suis accompagnée d’Émilie Guévin qui a participé à la recherche et à la rédaction sur le mémoire, donc Me Émilie Guévin, et Michel Lorange qui est vice-président de l’Association québécoise en éthique clinique. Merci. 002 Ms. Roigt (Delphine): Perfect. Thank you. So I’m Delphine Roigt, clinical ethicist and lawyer, president of the Quebec Association of Clinical Ethicists. I am accompanied by Emilia Guévin who participated in the research and writing on the memory, so Emilia Guévin Me and Michel Lorange who is vice-president of the Quebec Association Clinical Ethics. Thank you.
Alors, M. le Président, Mme la ministre, membres de la commission, je tiens d’abord à vous remercier de l’invitation qui m’a été faite de venir partager mes réflexions sur cet important projet de loi. D’entrée de jeu, puisque j’avais l’opportunité de m’adresser à vous en tant qu’éthicienne clinique et avocate, j’ai décidé, avec mes collègues éthiciens cliniques, de le faire aussi à tire de présidente de l’Association québécoise en éthique clinique. 003 So, Mr. President, Madam Minister, members of the committee, I want to thank you for the invitation that was made to me to come and share my thoughts on this important bill. From the outset, since I had the opportunity to speak to you as a clinical ethicist and lawyer, I decided with my colleagues clinical ethicists, do also draws President of the Quebec Association for clinical Ethics.

Full Translation