Daily Archives: January 9, 2012
Introductory note–In this series of op-ed articles, three authors explore a range of perspectives on the question of whether physicians should engage patients on the topic of spirituality.
Listen to it all should you wish to.
There are jobs for philosophers. But the irksome perception persists that a philosophy degree is only slightly more useful than an English degree, and so it was thought that a panel such as this might give frightened philosophers, many of whom came to this conference in search of gainful employment, some hope.
Philosophers: If you are pinning hopes of gainful employment on blogging, don’t.
But the three men on the panel have done so, and splendidly, with varying degrees of national recognition for their thoughtful punditry on political and cultural issues. Besides Sullivan, who has a Ph.D. in political philosophy and is known for his writings on conservatism and gay marriage, the other participants included Slate blogger Matthew Yglesias, who majored in philosophy at Harvard, and Grist magazine writer/blogger David Roberts, who has a master’s in philosophy.
The elected officers of the Diocese and Diocesan Corporation were extremely pleased today to learn that the Texas State Supreme Court has granted our motion for direct appeal. The Court has agreed to reconsider the February 2011 decision by the 141st District Court, which would result in the surrender of all property to representatives of the New York-based Episcopal Church.
The Diocese’s written brief is due to be filed with the Court by Feb. 6. The opposing parties may respond by Feb. 27, after which the Diocese will have about two weeks to reply. A hearing date has not been set.
Commenting on the news, Bishop Jack L. Iker said, “We are delighted with the decision of the Texas Supreme Court to grant our request for a direct appeal in the lawsuit brought against us by The Episcopal Church. It is very rare for a direct appeal to be filed in the first place, and it is even rarer for the Supreme Court to grant one. It is clear that the Court understands that key questions of the constitutionality of Texas statutes, trust codes, and property laws are at issue in this litigation.
“It is our hope and expectation that the Supreme Court, using neutral principles of law, will rule in our favor.”
With one Episcopal church property appeal from the Church of the Good Shepherd in San Angelo already before the Court, it is even more significant that the court has moved so swiftly to take up our case. This announcement encourages us to believe that the Court finds merit in our case, and it renews our hope of an early conclusion to litigation that has already consumed almost three years and millions of dollars in legal expenses.
“It is gratifying,” said Fort Worth attorney J. Shelby Sharpe, who heads the diocesan legal team,“ that the court has granted the petition for direct appeal in this critical religious freedom case. We look forward to the court’s ultimate decision, which should be helpful to other courts facing similar issues.”
I am back at it today after a time for a more Christmas and Epiphany focus and some (needed) time with family. There is a lot of catching up to do–KSH.
Last month, an expert panel of the Royal Society of Canada, chaired by Udo Schuklenk, a professor of bioethics at Queens University, released a report on decision-making at the end of life. The report provides a strong argument for allowing doctors to help their patients to die, provided that the patients are competent and freely request such assistance.
The ethical basis of the panel’s argument is not so much the avoidance of unnecessary suffering in terminally ill patients, but rather the core value of individual autonomy or self-determination. “The manner of our dying,” the panel concludes, “reflects our sense of what is important just as much as do the other central decisions in our lives.” In a state that protects individual rights, therefore, deciding how to die ought to be recognized as such a right.
The report also offers an up-to-date review of how assistance by physicians in ending life is working in the “living laboratories” – the jurisdictions where it is legal. In Switzerland, as well as in the American states of Oregon, Washington and Montana, the law now permits physicians, on request, to supply a terminally ill patient with a prescription for a drug that will bring about a peaceful death. In The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg, doctors have the additional option of responding to the patient’s request by giving the patient a lethal injection.
The banged up Steelers simply didn’t have enough this year; Tim Tebow played especially well.
The U.S. job market is showing signs of a sustained recovery. But the country’s prolonged struggle with unemployment will leave scars that are likely to remain for years, if not generations.
The latest labor-market snapshot, out Friday, gave cause for continued, if tepid, optimism. U.S. employers added 200,000 jobs in December, and the unemployment rate ticked down to 8.5%, its lowest level since early 2009.
But economists gathered here [in Chicago] for the American Economic Association’s annual convention took a longer and generally dimmer view. Even if recent progress continues, the recession already has had a lasting effect on a generation of workers. Worse, the crisis has laid bare problems in the U.S. labor market that won’t quickly recover when the economy eventually rebounds. And the longer that unemployment remains high, the greater the risk that it will create structural problems that will endure.
Iran’s rulers are feeling the heat. The Islamic Republic was forced to prop up its currency on Jan. 4, just days after the U.S. imposed tough new sanctions to goad it into abandoning its nuclear weapons program. A European curb on Iranian crude imports would add to pressure on Tehran ahead of elections in March.
Iran’s nuclear ambitions are a problem. But more sanctions may not be a solution. If China doesn’t co-operate, they may just end up distorting oil markets.
O Almighty God, who hast compassed us about with so great a cloud of witnesses: Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of thy servant Julia, may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at length, through thy mercy, we may with her attain to thine eternal joy; through Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
O God, who didst manifest thy only begotten Son to the Gentiles, and hast commanded thy Church to preach the gospel to every creature: Bless all thy servants who are labouring for thee in distant lands. Have compassion upon the heathen and upon all who know thee not, and lead them by thy Holy Spirit to him who is the light of the world, even the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power.