health

Free To Die?

  Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, in his New York Times column titled "Free to Die" (9/15/2011), pointed out that back in 1980, his late fellow Nobel laureate Milton Friedman lent his voice to the nation's shift to the political right in his famous 10-part TV series, Free To Choose. Nowadays, Krugman says, "'free to [...]

The Strange Journey from Mitt to Newt

  It's not hard to understand why so many conservatives spurn Mitt Romney. He's had to slink away from past liberal positions on one major issue after another: health care reform, abortion, gun control and climate change. Many on the right are not reassured. They want a true conservative who's been with them all along. [...]

Hollywood’s Soda-Pop Statism

  The Hollywood elite's concern for the children stops at the water's edge of physical fitness. They simply do not touch the subject of moral fitness. On The Huffington Post, former entertainment executive Laurie David offered this pre-holiday piece of encouragement: "Thanksgiving Conversation Starter: Is It Time to Ban Soda Ads on Prime Time Television?" [...]

Eat Less Salt, or Else

  "Put down the salt shaker and back away from the table. And don't even think about going for the chips." Those are lines you may hear on a TV police drama of the future, when the federal drive to curb salt consumption reaches cruising speed. Last year, the government's Institute of Medicine urged the [...]

Abortion, Mental Health, and Politicized Science

The news site Mercatornet.com conducted an important interview with psychologist Priscilla Coleman, who has published contrarian research results on the link between abortion and mental health problems. Priscilla K. Coleman is a Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Dr Coleman has nearly 50 peer-reviewed journal articles published, [...]

Newt Gingrich, Myth and Mouth

Republican voters' esteem for Newt Gingrich has been rising fast. At this rate it might someday equal, though not surpass, his regard for himself. Gingrich is not a person with an ego. He's an ego with a person. Just listen to his explanation of why it took him a while to catch on with voters: [...]

Upholding the Insurance Mandate Would Encourage Endless Meddling

  A couple of months ago, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Beth Brinkmann was standing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, defending the federal law requiring Americans to buy government-approved health insurance, when Judge Laurence Silberman asked her about broccoli. Specifically, he wanted to know whether a law requiring Americans to buy [...]

What Lies Beneath

My husband and I are madly in love. I feel the need to announce this publicly because, on the surface, it can be hard to tell sometimes. Some days, the most romantic thing Dan and I do is grunt at one another about the funny noise the dishwasher is making again before going to bed, [...]

The Folly of Federal ‘Safe Sex’ Campaigns

Earlier this year the Australian federal government unveiled draft legislation to introduce plain packaging laws for cigarettes. Health minister Nicola Roxon was unequivocal in her determination to put the final nail in the coffin of the tobacco industry. Showing off the new compulsory olive green packaging with vivid images of clogged arteries, cancerous gums and [...]

The Financial Mess in the U.S. and Europe

What's the common thread between Europe's financial mess, particularly among the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain), and the financial mess in the U.S.? That question could be more easily answered if we asked instead: What's necessary to cure the financial mess in Europe and the U.S.? If European governments and the U.S. Congress [...]

Universal Health Care Means Rationing

During the last Republican presidential debate, Herman Cain argued that, as a survivor of colon and liver cancer, he would have died if “Obamacare” had been in place when he sought critical treatment. It was a stunning statement, and it certainly underscores the real concern that people have with bureaucratic control of their health care. [...]

Bioethical Breaches, Past and Present

  For the past year, it has been bioethical bow, scrape and grovel time in Washington DC. After learning that American public health researchers had infected about hundreds of Guatemalans with venereal diseases between 1946 and 1948, President Obama had to telephone his Guatemalan counterpart to apologize. He then set up a commission to investigate [...]

The Fight to Be Catholic

The fight to protect Catholic institutions from the Obama administration's new health-insurance mandate is not only a dispute over contraception and abortion. For many colleges, schools, and charities, it is a fight for the right to be Catholic. If the outrageously narrow "religious employer exemption" put forward by the Department of Health and Human Services [...]

Misleading Research on Teen Sex

  “Young people are having sex for the first time at younger and younger ages.” “The average age at which American (British, Swedish, Australian…) adolescents begin sexual activity is 15 (16, 17…).” “HIV/AIDS education needs to take place at correspondingly young ages.” How many times do we read statements like this in news stories and studies? And how [...]

Big Government Gets Ugly

It's not unusual for the federal government to provoke widespread retching among its citizens, but it rarely does so intentionally. The new warning labels required on cigarette packs, however, have that goal. Designed to evoke disgust with smoking, they may also induce revulsion at excessive uses of power. The old cigarette warnings inform consumers of [...]

Actually, We Have Too Much Health Insurance

  One of the arguments for healthcare reform is that millions of Americans with employer-provided healthcare are underinsured. Proponents of this view are saying that people are underinsured if they are paying too many of their healthcare costs out-of-pocket. Quite the contrary, a little reflection on what insurance is and is supposed to do suggests [...]

The Case against the Circumcision Ban

  This November the citizens of San Francisco will decide whether to ban circumcision, a practice that dates from antiquity and is embraced by at least three of the world’s major religions. Now, the fact that something stretches far back into human history is by no means a guarantee that it has social value. Slavery, [...]

Prescription Death: Refuting the ‘Right to Die’

As health care costs continue to rise and a growing number of Baby Boomers approach old age, end-of-life issues are looming larger than ever in the public debate. What is "the right to die"? How should we, as a society, approach questions of health care, treatment for the elderly, and euthanasia? The Patients Rights Council, [...]

Scandal and Lavender Gowns, 2011 Edition

Ever hear of a "lavender commencement"? For some Catholic college students, gone are the days of traditional pomp and circumstance. On May 2, homosexual students at the nation's oldest Catholic university cheered anti-homophobia remarks from the director of the campus LBGTQ (lesbian-bisexual-gay-transgender-queer) Resource Center and paraded around campus with a rainbow flag. The "commencement" speaker [...]

There Is No Third Way

Catholic discussion of economic policy usually takes place on a ridiculous level of abstraction. What is fairness, and can the market accomplish that? Shouldn't the civic order bear responsibility for the health and well-being of its members? How can we balance the demands of social equality and individual ownership? These are all very high-minded questions, [...]

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