good essay by Hadley Arkes

Here is a link to an excellent essay by Hadley Arkes in the May 2017 issue of First Things. The essay is entitled “The Moral Turn” and it is a thought-provoking essay on natural law and the judicial role, with considerable focus on abortion. The essay is definitely well worth reading.

“A Reality Check on Assisted Suicide in Oregon”

Here  is a link to Richard Doerflinger’s analysis of assisted suicide in Oregon. Here’s a bit from his conclusion:

“In short, despite a thoroughly inadequate reporting system designed to cover up rather than reveal problems, Oregon shows exactly the problems that critics predicted: No meaningful protection against coercion, influence by others on patients with depression and dementia, an expansion beyond imminently dying patients, and a road toward active euthanasia.”

Roe v. Wade is not settled law

Here is a very good piece by Clarke Forsythe (from Americans United for Life) explaining why Roe v. Wade is not settled law, and why there are good reasons to believe that Roe will eventually be  overruled.

Trump Administration to defund UNFPA

Here and here are links (from LifeNews and the National Right to Life News) to stories about the Trump Administration’s plans to defund The United Nations Population Fund, which has been complicit in China’s forced population control activities for many years. In explaining the decision, the US State Department stated:“This determination was made based on the fact that China’s family planning policies still involve the use of coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization, and UNFPA partners on family planning activities with the Chinese government agency responsible for these coercive policies.”

UK High Court rejects challenge to assisted suicide law

Here is a link to a blog post from Alex Schadenberg about a March 30, 2017 decision from the UK High Court rejecting a challenge to the law banning assisted suicide.

Here is a link to the opinion.

New York assisted suicide case update

In May 2016, in Myers v. Schneiderman, an intermediate appellate court in New York upheld the constitutionality of New York’s ban on assisted suicide. (I discussed the case in this paper presented at the 2016 University Faculty for Life conference.) The New York Court of Appeals, which is the highest court in the state, has agreed to review this decision. The case will be argued on May 30, 2017. Here is a link to the docket in the New York Court of Appeals (just search for Myers v. Schneiderman). The docket provides links to the briefs, including good briefs filed by the New York State Catholic Conference and Not Dead Yet.

There has been in recent years a slow movement towards the legalization of assisted suicide, although this has largely happened outside the courts. It would be a surprise if the New York Court of Appeals were to reverse the lower court ruling and hold New York’s law unconstitutional (under the New York Constitution).  Last summer, the New Mexico Supreme Court rejected a constitutional challenge to New Mexico’s prohibition on assisted suicide. Let’s hope the New York court follows suit.