Smith, Wesley J.
30 Articles at Lifeissues.net

Wesley J. Smith is the author of the recently published Forced Exit: The Slippery Slope From Assisted Suicide to Legalized Murder and Culture of Death: The Destruction of Medical Ethics in America. He is also the author, with Ralph Nader, of No Contest: Corporate Lawyers and the Perversion of Justice in America, and Collision Course: The Truth Airline Safety.

Contact: wesleyjs@mindspring.com

Articles

Interview: Dissecting the age of 'do harm' medicine

This is a thoroughly revised edition of a book you published 16 years ago. In your view, is there less respect for life in American medical culture now? Are there any bright spots?

Date posted: 2016-06-25

The Trouble with Transhumanism

For those who may not know, transhumanism is a Utopian social movement and philosophy that looks toward a massive breakthrough in technological prowess, known as "the singularity," that will open the door for transhumanists to "seize control of human evolution" and create a "post human species" of near immortals. Don't roll your eyes. Transhumanists believe in their ageless post human future with a desperate passion that borders on - and often serves as a substitute for - religious faith.

Date posted: 2011-08-14

Abandoning the Most Vulnerable

On July 4, 1995, Myrna Lebov, age 52, committed suicide in her Manhattan apartment. The case generated national headlines when her husband, George Delury, announced that he had assisted Lebov's suicide at her request because she was suffering the debilitations of progressive multiple sclerosis. Delury became an instant celebrity. He was acclaimed as a dedicated husband willing to risk jail to help his beloved wife achieve her desired end. The assisted-suicide movement set up a defense fund and renewed calls for legalization. Delury made numerous television appearances and was invited to speak to a convention of the American Psychiatric Association. He signed a deal for a book, later published under the title But What If She Wants to Die? Delury soon copped a plea to attempted manslaughter and served a few months in jail.

Date posted: 2009-10-10

A Myth Is as Good as a Mile: Why the assisted-suicide movement is winning

Two thousand and eight was a banner year for the assisted-suicide/ euthanasia movement. It's likely that no new states will legalize assisted suicide this year. But if the last 20 years prove anything, it is that euthanasia advocates are passionately committed, work hard, and feel that time is on their side. Are their opponents equally committed?

Date posted: 2009-09-08

Assisted Suicide and the Corruption of Palliative Care

Assisted-suicide advocates wish to transform hospice into "hemlock" (as one advocate once put it), a facilitator of suicide rather than a preventer. They believe that access to lethal prescriptions should be considered merely another menu item available for dying patients (and ultimately others) "to control the timing and manner of their deaths."

Date posted: 2008-11-17

Knocked off the Pedestal

What gives a being, a life, or an organism ultimate moral value? For most people the answer is simple: Being a member of the human race. Sometimes called "human exceptionalism," this fundamental belief holds that each and every one of us is imbued with equal and ultimate moral value. Human exceptionalism was once deemed a self evident truth. No more. Today, an increasing number of people reject human exceptionalism as hubristic and arrogant, indeed, an act of "speciesism," that discriminates against animals. Wesley Smith warns us that much is at stake when human beings are knocked off the pedestal.

Date posted: 2007-08-21

Word Games

Imagine the difficulty of engaging in a political debate in front of an audience that didn't speak your language. Empirical analysis would mean nothing: What use would be the marshalling of facts and evidence when your audience wouldn't be able to understand what you were saying? And as for the art of persuasion, forget about it. No matter how brilliant your argument, to your audience, it would just be confusing noise.

Date posted: 2004-12-22

Death Duties

Recent years have seen a rebirth of eugenic thought, with advocacy for eugenic abortion, human cloning, and the drive to learn how to "enhance" the human genome. This phenomenon seems to be repeating itself in the contemporary divisions among churches over social issues such as abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem-cell research, and therapeutic cloning -- agendas that, like eugenics, undercut belief in the sanctity of human life.

Date posted: 2004-07-19

Embryonic Stem Cell Research Likely Won't Cure Any Diseases

The advances in adult-stem-cell research: Meanwhile, research into harnessing non-embryonic sources of stem cells for use in medical therapies is advancing at an astounding pace, both in animal studies and early human trials.

Date posted: 2004-06-07

A Bad Investment

Ian Wilmut, co-creator of Dolly the cloned sheep, wants your tax dollars to pay Big Biotech and their business partners in elite university life-science departments to conduct research into human cloning.

Date posted: 2004-06-04

Assisted Suicide in Oregon: Abandonment not Compassion

Another great article by Wesley Smith that exposes another case showing the harsh reality behind the much-touted "strict safeguards" in Oregon.

Date posted: 2004-06-04

The Wrong Tree

The media is so excited about the supposed potential of embryonic stem cells that it gives far too little attention to the many and serious problems associated with this potential source of regenerative medicine. Listening to the hype, one might think that ESCR is on the verge of tremendous success. But the hard truth is that it does not appear likely that embryonic stem cells will soon become the panacea that fervid supporters of the research often claim.

Date posted: 2004-05-16

Oregon Asssited Suicide Abuses

A paper presented at last week's American Psychiatric Association meeting demonstrates once again that the legalization of physician-assisted suicide in Oregon was one of the great public policy con jobs of all time. Earnest euthanasia advocates -- generally abetted by a compliant media -- spun the myth that assisted suicide would invariably be a rational "choice," strictly regulated by the state, a last resort of dying patients when nothing else could be done to alleviate their suffering. But the more we learn about how doctor-facilitated death is actually being practiced in Oregon, the clearer it becomes that these assurances were false.

Date posted: 2004-05-10

Cloning for California?

Investors "aren't committing billions of dollars," in cloning and embryonic-stem-cell research because "society hasn't clearly decided whether the research is moral," "the field is too risky," and researchers "don't know how to do it cheaply, conveniently, or consistently enough to make it a viable business."

Date posted: 2004-05-10

Postmodernism Comes to Science

"Postmodernism" is an intellectual movement, especially prevalent in European academic and literary circles, which asserts that there is no such thing as objective truth. Postmodernists not only deny the existence of universal principles, but also celebrate incoherence, fragmentation, and meaninglessness.

Date posted: 2004-04-11

The Politics Of Stem Cells: The Good News You Never Hear

The opportunities for developing successful therapies from stem cells that do not require the destruction of human embryos should be very big news. But where are the headlines?

Date posted: 2003-08-17

Taking Requests, Doing Harm

If medicine and mental-health counseling are to remain truly professional, "anything goes," cannot be their creed. Rather, health-care professionals need to energetically revive and defend the venerable Hippocratic principle that doctors are duty-bound not to harm any patient even if that is what the patient desperately wants. To do otherwise is to abandon those who are least capable of protecting themselves to the horrors of self-abuse and destruction.

Date posted: 2003-08-08

A License to Clone

It is becoming increasingly clear that the bio-anarchists leading the charge to Brave New World want a virtually unlimited license to engage in human cloning. The proof is in the legislation they keep trying to pass.

Date posted: 2003-04-04

Assisted Suicide, It's All About Money

With the advent of managed care, profits in health care increasingly come from cutting costs. With assisted suicides costing such little money, what "treatment" could be more cost effective than assisted suicide? And since it is a well-known human failing that our values often follow our pocketbooks, ignoring the significant financial stakes involved in the assisted-suicide debate is to overlook a crucial part of the story.

Date posted: 2002-09-12

Spinning Stem Cells

The pattern in the media reportage about stem cells is growing very wearisome. When a research advance occurs with embryonic stem cells, the media usually give the story the brass-band treatment. However, when researchers announce even greater success using adult stem cells, the media reportage is generally about as intense and excited as a stifled yawn.

Date posted: 2002-09-11

Killing Isn't Medicine

Assisted-suicide activists intentionally redefine, distort, and subvert medicine, medical ethics, and the morality of health-care public policy in pursuit of their dream of obtaining the right to "choose the time and manner" of their own deaths.

Date posted: 2002-05-10

Media Bias on Adult Stem Cell Research Continues

The media continue to imply that embryos hold the key to the future. But increasingly, it looks as if our own body cells offer the quickest and best hope for regenerative medicine. The time has come for the public to insist that the media stop acting as if adult stem cells are the "wrong" kind of stem cells, and report to the American people fully and fairly the remarkable advances continually being made in adult regenerative medicine.

Date posted: 2002-04-09

The Politics of Stem Cells

What will surprise many people is that none of these remarkable achievements relied on the use of stem cells from embryos or the products of abortion. Indeed, all of these experiments involved adult stem cells or undifferentiated stem cells obtained from other non-embryo sources.

Date posted: 2002-03-08

Science or Propaganda?

The cloning debate is morally difficult and scientifically complex. Much is at stake, not the least our view of the inherent value of human life.

Date posted: 2001-12-07

Why adult-stem-cell-research successes get downplayed by the media.

It is no secret that most members of the media are politically liberal and adherents to a rational materialist worldview. They are also (generally) emotionally pro-choice on abortion. Because the cloning/ESCR issues force us to dwell on whether unborn human life has intrinsic value simply because it is human, the issue tends to be viewed by journalists through a distorting abortion prism.

Date posted: 2001-12-06

Closing in on Cloning

The Brave New World Order is hurtling toward us at Mach speed. With the announcement by Advanced Cell Technology that it has created the first human clones and developed them into six-cell embryos, the country finds itself at an ethical point of no return. Either Congress will ban human cloning, or human cloning will soon be a fait accompli.

Date posted: 2001-12-05

Brave New World here we come.

On January 22, 2001, Britain's House of Lords voted overwhelmingly to permit the cloning and maintenance of human embryos up to 14 days old for the purposes of medical experimentation, thereby taking the first terrible step toward the legalization of full-blown human cloning.

Date posted: 2001-12-04

The Betrayal of Hippocrates

In his book, Smith argues that, at the urging of an elite group of bioethicists, the health care industry is moving away from the 'do no harm' model established by Hippocrates and toward a stark utilitarian system that would legitimize medical discrimination against -- and even in some cases, the killing of -- the weakest and most defenseless of society.

Date posted: 2001-12-03

Is Bioethics Ethical?

The values and presumptions of bioethics ideology are not shared generally throughout society. This is alarming Unlike adherents to this ideology, most people believe that being human in and of itself confers a special moral status. Most people view a newborn infant as having the same moral worth as all other humans and want their doctors to subscribe to the Hippocratic oath.

Date posted: 2001-12-02

Philanthropy's Brave New World:

Meaning 'good in birth,' eugenicists believed that society could improve the physical, mental, cultural, and social health of humanity through selective breeding techniques that would eventually eliminate feeblemindedness, epilepsy, criminality, insanity, alcoholism, and pauperism. Of course, this utopia all ended horribly.

Date posted: 2001-12-01