Wesley J. Smith | All Articles

Wesley J. Smith
Wesley J. Smith
Senior Fellow, The Discovery Institute
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      Wesley J. Smith

      Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. He also consults for the Patients Rights Council and is a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture.

Ethicists attack religious parents for refusing to pull the plug

A notorious bioethics journal has published a piercing attack on the right of Christians and other religious believers to make crucial end-of-life medical decisions for their own children. The title — “Should Religious Beliefs be Allowed to Stonewall a Secular Approach to Withdrawing and Withholding Treatment in Children?” — reveals the game that is afoot. The article is published in the Journal of Medical Ethics, which also permitted advocacy for “after-birth abortion” in its pages. The article’s authors blame “fundamentalist Christian” parents for causing their children to “suffer unnecessarily” by refusing to remove life support.

IPAB: the part of Obamacare that can’t be repealed

5:18 PM 07/06/2012

There is much talk in the wake of the recent Supreme Court “it’s a tax” indigestion that the Senate can now repeal the individual mandate without fear of filibuster. Perhaps. But repealing the mandate/tax wouldn’t rid us of one of Obamacare’s most dangerous big-government intrusions: the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). And therein lies a significant rub for accountable governance.

Obamacare ruling reflects technocratic imperative

1:39 PM 06/28/2012

Why is anyone surprised? Obamacare was never going to be overturned. Not that it is constitutional, as the Constitution was originally conceived. It surely isn’t. But that Constitution has been terminally ill for a long time. Now it is dead.

‘Futile care’ duty to die may be coming to a hospital near you

7:55 PM 05/11/2012

When a Canadian man named Hassan Rasouli suffered complications after brain surgery, his doctors wanted to pull the plug. But his Muslim family said no. It was against Hassan’s values, and moreover, they believed he showed signs of improvement. In any event, they wanted him to be able to continue to fight for life.

Good grief: Now, it’s pea personhood!

11:50 AM 05/01/2012

Just when you thought things could not get any weirder: Last Sunday, The New York Times --- of course! --- ran a piece in its Sunday opinion section by a university professor --- of course! --- claiming that it is unethical to eat certain plants.

Ecocide would be a crime against humanity

11:03 AM 04/10/2012

Contemporary environmentalism is growing increasingly nihilistic, anti-modern and anti-human, these days even rejecting the noble concept of conservationism because many contemporary greens reject the moral propriety of exploiting natural resources and developing the land to promote human wealth and thriving. For example, a growing “nature rights” movement would require that nature be viewed as the legal equal of humans, a concept already the law in Ecuador and Bolivia. A form of the nature rights concept has even been adopted by more than 20 United States municipalities, including Pittsburgh and Santa Monica.

Let’s punish the promiscuous for increasing health care costs

8:32 PM 03/28/2012

By seizing control of health care benefits and coverage, the Obama administration set primal forces into motion that will soon have us fighting each other like a pack of hyenas battling over a small carcass. Indeed, by creating a system in which we perceive that the money our neighbors spend on medical care reduces the resources available for our own, Obamacare has sown the seeds of cultural discord and cracked the foundations of societal comity.

Peter Singer has no right to judge anyone’s ethics

8:03 PM 03/21/2012

Only The New York Times would hold an essay contest about “ethics” and make the most unethical “ethicist” in the country a judge. Here’s the story: “The Ethicist” — a high-brow Dear Abby-type feature that runs weekly in the Sunday Magazine — announced a contest challenging meat eaters to defend the ethics of their diet. Needless to say, the essays will be judged by anti-meat eaters, described by the paper as “a veritable murderer’s row.”

The after-birth abortion advocates’ non-apology apology

5:56 PM 03/06/2012

Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva created quite a ruckus when they proposed permitting "after-birth abortion" in a recent article in the Journal of Medical Ethics. To be sure, some of the reaction was too extreme. Death threats are never acceptable. But people had every right to push back hard against an agenda that would effectively destroy the very concept of universal rights by excluding the most weak and vulnerable among us from the right to life.

Latest infanticide push about more than killing babies

2:44 PM 02/29/2012

The ancient Romans used to expose unwanted babies on hillsides. Thankfully, we have come a long way since those bad old days. We would never countenance letting a baby die of exposure or get eaten by animals. No, today’s infanticide promoters insist that babies be killed painlessly. After all, we aren’t barbarians!

Obama and Santorum agreed on the Terri Schiavo law

6:57 PM 02/15/2012

Newt Gingrich likes to write “alternate history” novels, such as “Gettysburg,” in which the South wins the epochal battle that in the real world saved the Union. Such fantasies are harmless fun because everyone knows they merely are a game of let’s play pretend.

The killing-for-organs pushers

5:02 PM 02/10/2012

If you want to see where our culture may next go off the rails, read professional journals. There, in often eye-crossing and passive arcane prose of the medical intelligentsia, you will discover an astonishing level of antipathy to the sanctity of human life — to the point now that some advocate killing the profoundly disabled for their organs.

Beware the ‘rights of nature’

9:23 PM 12/30/2011

Mother Earth has rights too! At least that’s what radical environmentalists say. And they mean it literally. Deep ecologists, global warming alarmists and other assorted green radicals want to accord legally enforceable “rights” to “nature,” thereby subverting human exceptionalism by demoting us, in effect, to just another species in the forest.

Should doctors be forced to kill?

10:48 AM 12/16/2011

Fifty years ago, doctors would have been excoriated professionally for assisting a patient’s suicide or performing a non-therapeutic abortion. After all, the Hippocratic Oath proscribed both practices, while the laws of most states made them felonies.

The principled way to permit medical marijuana

5:03 PM 11/14/2011

Unprincipled. That’s what it is. No, not the federal government’s too-long-delayed police crackdown on California’s recreational marijuana industry. That’s right, “recreational,” not “medical”: When Golden State sellers of marijuana bring in $1.5 billion each year, they are clearly doing much more than merely “providing sick people their medicine.”