George J Annas, Theodore W Ruger, Jennifer Prah Ruger
Extract Our incremental, fragmented, and incomplete health insurance system means that different Americans have different access to health care on the basis of their income, employment status, age, and sex. The decision in Hobby Lobby unravels only one more thread, perhaps, but it tugs on a quilt that is already inequitable and uneven. A central goal of the ACA was to repair some of this incremental fragmentation by universalizing certain basic health care entitlements. In ruling in favor of idiosyncratic religious claims over such universality, the Court has once again expressed its disagreement with this foundational health-policy goal.
Extract Physicians should not lend their medical expertise to the state to make executions more palatable to the public, even by advising on drug protocols, doses, and routes of administration. Even physicians who support the death penalty should stay out of its execution, because the problem that the state seeks to solve by using physicians is one of the state’s own making by its refusal to abolish capital punishment and its insistence on execution by lethal injection.
Extract The chair of the President’s Council on Bioethics, Edmund Pellegrino, has insisted that medical ethics are and must be the same for civilian and military physicians, “except in the most extreme contingencies.” There is no special medical ethics for active-duty military physicians any more than there is for Veterans Affairs physicians, National Guard physicians, public health physicians, prison physicians, or managed care physicians. The only question is whether there are “extreme contingencies” that justify physicians’ suspension of their medical–ethical obligations.
Extract The Nazi doctors defended themselves primarily by arguing that they were engaged in necessary wartime medical research and were following the orders of their superiors. These defenses were rejected because they are at odds with the Nuremberg Principles, articulated a year earlier, at the conclusion of the multinational war crimes trial in 1946, that there are crimes against humanity (such as torture), that individuals can be held to be criminally responsible for committing them, and that obeying orders is no defense.