Beyond cultural stereotyping: views on end-of-life decision making among religious and secular persons in the USA, Germany, and Israel

BMC Medical Ethics 2017 18:13
Authors: Mark Schweda, Silke Schicktanz, Aviad Raz, Anita Silvers
“End-of-life decision making constitutes a major challenge for bioethical deliberation and political governance in modern democracies: On the one hand, it touches upon fundamental convictions about life, death, and the human condition. On the other, it is deeply rooted in religious traditions and historical experiences and thus shows great socio-cultural diversity. The bioethical discussion of such cultural issues oscillates between liberal individualism and cultural stereotyping. Our paper confronts the bioethical expert discourse with public moral attitudes.”
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Federal judge halts transgender health protections

The Hill, 31 December 2017
Author: Mallory Shelbourne
“A federal judge in Texas on Saturday halted enforcement of federal rules aimed at preventing doctors from discriminating against transgender individuals. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor granted the temporary injunction, saying the rules “likely violate” the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, according to The Associated Press.”
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Personal autonomy in health settings and Shi’i Islamic Jurisprudence: a literature review

Med Health Care and Philos (2016). doi:10.1007/s11019-016-9738-x
Authors: Zohrehsadat NajiZari ZamaniSofia A., KoutlakiPayman Salamati
“Respect for personal autonomy in decision-making is one of the four ethical principles in medical circumstances. This paper aims to present evidence that can be considered good exemplars in the clarification of the ethical viewpoints of the western and Shi’i Islamic perspectives on this issue.”
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Plaintiffs Say ACA Equity Rules Illegally Require Abortion, Gender Transition Services

Health Affairs Blog, 24 August 2016
Author: Timothy Jost
“The complaint alleges that the section 1557 regulations force the plaintiff professionals and facilities to provide gender transition services against their medical judgment and religious beliefs. It also asserts that the regulations prohibit discrimination on the basis of “termination of pregnancy” and fail to provide an exclusion for abortions, thus requiring coverage of abortions. The states allege that the regulation requires them to cover gender transition services and interferes with their “zealous” protection of the physician-patient relationship.”
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Uni code demands teaching against abortion, IVF for gays

The Australian, 11 August 2016
Author: Sharri Markson
“Teachers at the medical school of Notre Dame University have to commit to teach under a code of standards that bans contraception. This code advises contraception is not permissible, healthcare facilities should resist pressure to offer prenatal testing, as it is futile because abortion is not banned even in the case of abnormalities, and gay and unmarried couples should not have access to IVF. AMA president Dr Michael Gannon said it was unlawful for medical practitioners to discriminate against ­people on the basis of sexual preference or gender.”
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Divided Supreme Court rejects family pharmacy’s religious claim

Reuters, 28 June 2016
Author: Lawrence Hurley
“A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday turned away an appeal by a family-owned pharmacy that cited Christian beliefs in objecting to providing emergency contraceptives to women under a Washington state rule, prompting a searing dissent by conservative Justice Samuel Alito. The justices left in place a July 2015 ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld a state regulation that requires pharmacies to deliver all prescribed drugs, including contraceptives, in a timely manner.”
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The Supreme Court Is Not Doing Its Job

Slate, online 19 May 2016
Author: Dhalia Lithwick
“On the merits, Monday’s Supreme Court unsigned opinion in Zubik v. Burwell, a vitally important contraception mandate case, is being read by some as a win for the Little Sisters of the Poor because the court didn’t brush off their claims that notifying the government they are unable to cover contraception for employees, thereby enabling insurers to do so, burdens their religious freedom. Others are hailing it as a big win for the Obama administration, which will get most of what it wanted if the Little Sisters can live with the court’s proposed compromise, including “seamless” health coverage for women employees. Really, though, Zubik—which raised crucial questions about whether one person’s religious freedom can trump a worker’s entitlement to preventative healthcare—is mainly just an inkblot for the ages; a placeholder until a real court can be reconstituted to do its job.”
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Mandating Disclosure of Conscience-Based Limitations on Medical Practice

American Journal of Law & Medicine March 2016 vol. 42 no. 1 85-128
Author: Nadia N. Sawicki
“Stakeholders in law, medicine, and religion are unable to reach consensus about how best to address conflicts between healthcare providers’ conscientious objections to treatment and patients’ rights to access medical care. Conscience laws that protect objecting providers and institutions from liability are criticized as too broad by patient advocates and as too narrow by defenders of religious freedom. This article posits that some of the tension between these stakeholders could be mitigated by statutory recognition of a duty on the part of healthcare institutions or providers to disclose conscientiously motivated limitations on practice.”
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The law will not end infant circumcisions, but education just might

The Guardian, 21 April 2016
Author: Ally Fogg
“A judge’s remarks have reignited the debate on the practice. While banning it is no solution, the case for better information and regulation is incontrovertible. Across the world, attitudes towards routine or ritual infant circumcision are changing. Even among Jewish and Muslim communities, there is a small but growing movement to abandon the tradition. What right do or should parents have to impose permanent bodily alteration or, as many would call it, mutilation, on their own children? What rights do or should cultural communities have to preserve their own religious rites and customs?”
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