Doctors challenged on ethical health care after Roe v. Wade ruling

Discussion with Louise Perkins King, a surgeon and bioethicist at Harvard

It doesn’t change our ethical obligations; it makes them more challenging, because to meet our ethical obligations, to provide abortion—which is health care—in some states physicians will be facing criminal and financial penalties. And, from a utilitarian standpoint, if you meet your ethical obligations and ignore the law and risk those criminal and financial penalties, it may be that you’re then no longer available to treat other patients. Figuring out how to thread that needle is difficult, as is figuring out when you can legally treat women who are pregnant, if they’re facing various emergencies, because it is very difficult to know what you can and cannot do…

My personal opinion is that many of the legislative approaches to abortion that existed were inappropriate. The actual legislation that we have in Massachusetts—the one that I support, and I’m very glad that we have here—is called the roe Act, and it allows for abortion up to twenty-four weeks. After that time frame, meaning essentially in the third trimester, abortion is still permitted when necessary to save the life of a person who’s pregnant or in the setting of lethal anomalies or anomalies not compatible with life. That allows meaningful access to abortion, the meaningful exercise of people’s rights to bodily autonomy, and a meaningful interaction with teams of doctors, midwives, and other health-care professionals who can help people reach decisions on these matters and who can help determine in that third trimester when abortion is truly necessary—which is exceptionally rare but sometimes important.

And the discussion continues…not only pointed and well-informed; but, offering more useful information than most of the pap in print.

Journalists shouldn’t censor Trump – they can help the public identify lies and ignorance

In times of mortal strife, humans crave information more than ever, and it’s journalists’ responsibility to deliver it. But what if that information is inaccurate, or could even kill people?

That’s the quandary journalists have found themselves in as they decide whether to cover President Donald J. Trump’s press briefings live…

When the president of the United States speaks, it matters – it is newsworthy, it’s history in the making. Relaying that event to the public as it plays out is critical for citizens, who can see and hear for themselves what their leader is saying, and evaluate the facts for themselves so that they may adequately self-govern.

That’s true even if leaders lie. Actually, it’s even more important when leaders lie.

And there’s nothing to stop you from pointing out the lies – especially in a live telecast.

JP Morgan settles in class-action suit over dads, parental leave


Derek Rotondo with his son, LincolnMaddie McGarvey/NYTimes

❝ For years, scholars, activists and mothers have criticized policies that place the burden of child-rearing overwhelmingly on women. Increasingly, fathers are joining the criticism of these policies — and asserting their legal rights to challenge them.

…JPMorgan Chase announced that it had reached a tentative settlement in a class-action case initiated by a father who was denied the 16-week paid parental leave that the company began offering in 2016. He was offered only two weeks, on the grounds that he was not the primary caregiver…

❝ As part of the proposed settlement, the company will take steps to ensure that its policy is administered in a gender-neutral way. And it will create a $5 million fund to compensate up to about 5,000 fathers who were shortchanged in the past.

An interesting read for the legal hoops that had to be jumped through for what is a pretty basic understanding of modern life. As in most legal conflicts with a sensible lifestyle, putting the dollar-hurt on corporate stiffs once again turns out to be the best way to advance the cause.

Yukon glaciers thinning fast — maybe forever!


Glaciologist Gwenn Flowers on Kaskawulsh glacierSusan Ormiston/CBC

❝ “We as Canadians are stewards of about a third of the world’s mountain glaciers and ice caps, so this is our responsibility,” Gwenn Flowers says.

The dramatic changes to the glaciers in the Yukon are an early warning of what climate change could mean for the rest of the planet, researchers say. And Flowers sees lots of reason for concern reflected in the state of the ice…

❝ Her tiny team of three is mapping the Kaskawulsh glacier — 70 kilometres long and five kilometres wide — as it struggles under the double threat of a warming climate and diminishing snow cover.

The research boils down to an inescapable conclusion: The glacier can’t compensate for the volume it’s losing now each year.

The shame is that those who have caused – and continue to cause – climate change take little or no responsibility for the results of their greed. Neither they nor the political hacks prancing through government halls are willing to confront or respond to what we learn from science and history.

SCOTUS rejects corporate appeal — Lead Paint Decision Stands!

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected appeals from Conagra Brands and Sherwin-Williams Co., leaving intact a ruling that requires them to pay more than $400 million for lead-paint remediation in California.

The rebuff, issued without comment Monday, is a blow to business groups, which had called for high court review in the hope of derailing other suits over climate change, opioid addiction and gun violence…

The cities and counties said the companies and their trade associations promoted lead paint as safe well after they learned that it caused irreversible neurological harm, particularly to children. Lead paint was banned in the U.S. in 1978 but remains on the walls of many homes.

Overdue – not just the ruling; but, corporate profiteers taking responsibility for the poison they maintained for years after they new of the risk presented by lead paint. Time to pay up for the clean up.

Shell and Exxon worried about the climate change they were causing – and told no one else…

❝ In the 1980s, oil companies like Exxon and Shell carried out internal assessments of the carbon dioxide released by fossil fuels, and forecast the planetary consequences of these emissions. In 1982, for example, Exxon predicted that by about 2060, CO2 levels would reach around 560 parts per million – double the preindustrial level – and that this would push the planet’s average temperatures up by about 2°C over then-current levels (and even more compared to pre-industrial levels).

❝ Later that decade, in 1988, an internal report by Shell projected similar effects but also found that CO2 could double even earlier, by 2030. Privately, these companies did not dispute the links between their products, global warming, and ecological calamity. On the contrary, their research confirmed the connections.

❝ The documents make for frightening reading. And the effect is all the more chilling in view of the oil giants’ refusal to warn the public about the damage that their own researchers predicted. Shell’s report, marked “confidential,” was first disclosed by a Dutch news organization earlier this year. Exxon’s study was not intended for external distribution, either; it was leaked in 2015.

I haven’t much concern for the excuses these firms and their peers raise to shield their greed, sophistry. Nor am I surprised at the culpability of our politicians, the ignorant acceptance of corporate lies by the US population in general. We are the poster child for advertising abuse and lies.

“Not a cough in a carload” indeed! Multiply that by millions and begin to comprehend the global crime we face – living in the belly of the beast that has been devouring the whole world for decades.

Norway Donates US$250 Million to Protect Colombian Rainforests


Norwegian PM Erna Solberg and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos

❝ Colombia’s fight against illegal logging is being extended to 2025 as part of the nation’s pay-for results strategy, Norway’s prime minister announced after donating US$250 million to the project.

As part of the 2015 pact signed between Germany, the United Kingdom, Norway and Colombia, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg confirmed the cooperative battle to save Colombia’s rainforest would be extended by five years…

❝ Colombian Environment Minister Luis Gilberto Murillo said that within the next 12 years the government hopes to reduce deforestation to zero.

Norway’s donation represents the first alliance of climate and forest under the Paris Agreement. Prime Minister Solberg hopes the agreement will bring higher standards for inter-institutional collaboration in climate initiatives.

The Paris Agreement is just another one of those historically useful, politically constructive agreements, constructed by smart politicians in modern nations.

So, of course, our fake president withdrew the United States from all provisions of this agreement. And BTW, at minimum projected costs, a donation like this is less than 3 new F35s, the latest toy for our military..