Monday, July 25, 2016

Non-Permanence 7/24/16 - Dharma Talk

Does this new CA physician-assisted suicide law encourage killing even as it calls it something else? Who benefits? What does this encourage in terms of experiencing? In terms of self-centeredness? In terms of seeing clearly ongoing change, nonself and the unsatisfactoriness in seeking permanence and self?

Here are some thoughts by a California MD:

"Our state’s physician-assisted suicide law instantly removes penal-code protections from a vulnerable segment of the population deemed “terminally ill.” The law allows anyone labeled as terminally ill to request assisted suicide—but it also accepts heirs and the owners of caregiving facilities to formally witness such requests, even though the probate code does not even accept “interested” parties as witnesses to a will.

The law does not require an attending physician to refer the patient for psychological assessment. It thus does not allow for screening for possible coercion, or for underlying mental conditions that could be behind the suicide request—unless the patient has signs of mental problems, which may not be visible to a suicide-specialist doctor they may not even know. In these and other ways, the law devastates elder-abuse law and mental-health legal protections, and it deprives those labeled as terminally ill of equal-protection rights that all other Americans enjoy."

For the rest of this article see:

How do you see this matter? How has this come up in your life? In the lives of those close to you?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A counter-intuitive proposal - "What large mammal regularly kills humans in the Eastern United States? And what other large mammal might significantly reduce those deaths?"

"The answer to the first question is the white-tailed deer. Deer do not set out to murder people, as far as anyone knows, but they do jump out in front of vehicles so often that they cause more than a million collisions a year, resulting in more than 200 deaths.

The answer to the second question, according to a new scientific study, is the cougar.

Laura R. Prugh, a wildlife scientist at the University of Washington; Sophie L. Gilbert, a wildlife ecologist at the University of Idaho; and several colleagues argue in the journal Conservation Letters that if eastern cougars returned to their historic range, they could prevent 155 human deaths and 21,400 human injuries, and save $2.3 billion, over the course of 30 years.

And although cougars do kill humans sometimes, the scientists estimated that number would be less than one per year, for a total of less than 30 lives lost, far less than the number of lives saved."

For the rest of this article see: 

Would you take any action if it was up to you?

Is this proposal skillful? Is it appropriate?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Creating suffering and harm where it need not be - self-centeredness in Zika politics

Evidence shows that just in the US to-date, July 16, 2016, at least 649 women have a Zika infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is a bill that has passed both Houses of Congress, has been through conference and House conference report approval, that is now awaiting Senate approval of the conference report to then get to Presidential approval. Approval would lead to funding - but self-centered politics is now getting in the way of reducing harm.

Here is an excerpt from a critical editorial, with a link to the full article:

"A bipartisan $1.1 billion compromise on the White House funding request passed both the House and Senate overwhelmingly, and the House recently passed the conference report, which can’t be amended. Only after the report came to the floor of the Senate did Democrats discover they couldn’t support the bill, which failed in a 52-44 procedural vote.

Democrats now claim the measure would have “banned” Planned Parenthood from the health-care providers list and restricted funding for birth control. In fact, Planned Parenthood simply isn’t on the specific list of public health clinics and community health centers that will receive additional and immediate social-services block-grant funding in Zika-hit locales like Puerto Rico."

After reading the details in the editorial, what do you think?

Are the reasons given for changing their support of the bill and the Zika prevention funding into opposition to this funding bill, to vote against the bill, are these reasons sufficient to justify the increased threat and harm to mothers, children and society?

What is appropriate and skillful action for those with legislative responsibility in the face of the Zika virus threat?

What about the rest of us?