Rights, Duties, and Species

A little earlier this year, there was a case brought before the New York courts concerning a chimpanzee called Tommy: the matter was the lawfulness of keeping Tommy confined.  Acting on Tommy’s behalf was an organisation called the NonHuman Rights Project.  The legal documentation filed is available here.  The basis of the case was not so […]

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Saatchi Bill – Update

Damn. Damn, damn, damn. It turns out that the version of the Medical Innovation Bill about which I wrote this morning isn’t the most recent: the most recent version is available here.  Naïvely, I’d assumed that the government would make sure the latest version was the easiest to find.  Silly me. Here’s the updated version […]

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An Innovation Too Far?

NB – Update/ erratum here.  Ooops. One of the things I’ve been doing since I last posted here has involved me looking at the Medical Innovation Bill – the so-called “Saatchi Bill”, after its titular sponsor.  Partly, I got interested out of necessity – Radio 4 invited me to go on to the Sunday programme to talk […]

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How Not to Argue against a Proposed Law

Yes, yes: it’s tedious and internecine, but it’s almost a year since I had a pop at Kevin Yuill’s book on assisted dying; how about an update?  Well, conveniently, there’s this, in which he tries “to convince my fellow liberal minded atheists to reconsider their support for legalized assisted dying”.  OK, then.  First up, this isn’t […]

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What should we Think about Belgium’s Child Euthanasia Law?

With any luck, the nuts real-world work schedule of the past few months* will begin to ease in a few days, so I should be able to start blogging more frequently soon; but I thought I’d take a moment out from writing jurisprudence lectures to do some thinking out loud about Belgium’s recent change to […]

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Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust v James: Best Interests and Futility under the Judicial Microscope

Guest post by Daniel Sokol, barrister at 12 King’s Bench Walk / King’s College London. Eight years after coming into force, the Mental Capacity Act 2005 has finally reached the scrutiny of the Supreme Court in Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust v James [2013] UKSC 67. David James was a professional musician, and a family […]

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But that’s not what it says, is it?

Today’s blast of righteous indignation is directed towards New Mexico.  House Bill 206 says, in essence, that… well, it’s short, so here it is in full: HOUSE BILL 206 51ST LEGISLATURE – STATE OF NEW MEXICO – FIRST SESSION, 2013 INTRODUCED BY Cathrynn N. Brown AN ACT RELATING TO CRIMINAL LAW; SPECIFYING PROCURING OF AN ABORTION AS TAMPERING WITH EVIDENCE IN CASES […]

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Is Medical Equipment Halal? Kosher?

A recent intercalating student of mine got in touch with this query the other day: Total parenteral nutrition is given as a replacement for nutrition where the patient cannot or should not be digesting food: it is given intravenously so bypasses digestion.  Two patients have asked my current educational supervisor if the TPN solution is […]

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