Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Mar 08 2013

Profile Image of claire01pd2014

Assisted Suicide – Considering the Individual or the Community

Filed under Euthanasia, Uncategorized

Every year many people visit Switzerland and spend thousands on one of the many significant tourist attractions of Switzerland – assisted suicide. Assisted suicide is the process of ending one’s life with the help of another, usually a doctor. The usual customers who pay for assisted suicide, otherwise known as euthanasia, are terminally ill patients who choose to end their lives in order to ameliorate their circumstances. However, in many countries, assisted suicide is not legalized and many patients are forced to pay for expensive euthanasia operations in Switzerland. So the question is, should assisted suicide be legalized? And is there any justification for assisted suicide?
A. C. Grayling argues that assisted suicide should be legalized in England, primarily because obviously one does not want to continuously suffer from pain and helplessness from his/her illness, and that with a well thought-out decision, such a choice should be a human right. Peter C. Glover’s position is that assisted suicide should not be legalized and is not justified, because often the tendency towards suicide is transient and legalizing euthanasia would create “a culture of uncertainty”, meaning that the quality of life would be questioned and doubts of the effects of remaining alive or dead would be drawn upon society.
“While the biblical and conservative worldview is focused on the higher good of the community, one usually finds that the secular liberal focuses on the rights of the individual.”, says Glover, the Christian man who believes that assisted suicide can never be justified. His reasoning is how euthanasia will affect the community. My take on this? The community has no correlation with one’s life, and doesn’t own the person’s life. Yes a person has to consider his/her community and important associations, but regardless of the community, it isn’t the community who is suffering an illness. Rather, I’m inclined to Grayling’s position – “when one has requested that help while mentally competent and with a settled resolution, is a human right that ought to be respected.”
I feel that as human beings, since we are able to make our own decisions, and since we are willing, and if not willing, forced to accept the consequences, then choosing assisted suicide is a choice that should be allowed. After all it is only from the choices that we make, that we can only learn and progress on from. And what the community decides on or thinks, may not necessarily reflect on one’s true desire and true thoughts, thus it’s rather incompetent to consider the community rather than one’s own opinion.


Grayling, A. C. “It Is Compassionate to Permit Assisted Suicide.” Assisted Suicide. Ed. Noël Merino. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. Current Controversies. Rpt. from “Allowing People to Arrange Their Death Is a Simple Act of Kindness.” Times 31 Mar. 2009. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 8 Mar. 2013.

Glover, Peter C. “There Is No Justification for Legalizing Euthanasia.” Assisted Suicide. Ed. Noël Merino. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. Current Controversies. Rpt. from “Euthanasia: Can It Ever Be Right to Legalise It?”Catholic Insight 17.2 (Feb. 2009): 8-9. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 8 Mar. 2013.

No responses yet

Mar 08 2013

Profile Image of laurie01pd2014

Abortion: Do Women Know What It Means?

“War of the Wombs” by Abigail Pesta provides pro-life advocate Keith Mason’s opinion on abortion and a brief background of his pro-life group Personhood USA.  Similarly, “A Man Who Trusted Women” by Michele Kort describes the background and legacy of Dr. George Tiller, one of the first pioneers of abortion medicine.   “War of the Wombs” focuses on Mason’s belief that all forms of abortion need abolishment, including morning after pills as well as copper IUDs.  He believes that as soon as sperm hits and fertilizes egg, the cell qualifies not only as a human embryo, but also as a person.  Regardless of the means of conception, the mother must carry their child to term, not only for the benefit of the child, but also for the psychological benefit of the mother.  However, in “A Man Who Trusted Women,” Kort states that Dr. Tiller believed women should have the right to determine whether or not their fetus reaches birth.  Repeatedly, expecting mothers discover that their child’s organs have developed outside of his or her body and that if the child was born, he or she would have major defects/would die within days, weeks, or months.  “A Man Who Trusted Women” argues that Dr. Tiller allowed women the choice to bring their defective child into life, or not whereas Mason in “War of the Wombs” argues that all children, regardless of their physical or mental defects, should have the right of life as a person.

While both sides have valid points, each has narrow views on abortion.  I do not dispute that Dr. Tiller performed courageous operations on many distressed women with complications with their pregnancies; nevertheless, several women often choose to terminate their normal, healthy fetus purely because they do not want one.  In the event that a mother past the first trimester of her pregnancy chooses to abort her child then I agree with Mason – abortion denies the child life, and resembles slaughter.  Conversely, Mason’s argument – the law should require all mothers to birth their children – does not offer sufficient consideration to mothers with malformed children or those who conceived as victims of rape.  Although science has yet to determine when a “human” reaches consciousness in the womb, Mason deemed that a single cell can constitute a person and should therefore have a person’s rights.  His argument has strong basis in ethics and religion; Dr. Tiller also had strong moral values.  He believed women had the capability to appropriately choose the best life for their child; Mason neglects this capability of women as both mothers choosing the best for their child, and as individuals who must consider their own mental and physical health.  He warrants that many mothers considering abortion have clouded judgment; therefore, they cannot properly comprehend the meaning of removing their fetus from the womb.  I believe when a mother chooses to abort her child, then she has carefully considered the ethical, physical and mental ramifications; rather than condemnation, her choice deserves the government’s and society’s respect.

Kort, M. (n.d.). A Man Who Trusted Women. SIRS Knowledge Source. Retrieved March 4, 2013, from

Pesta, A. (2012, July 2). War of the Wombs. SIRS Knowledge Source. Retrieved March 4, 2013, from

No responses yet

Mar 08 2013

Profile Image of brittany01pd2014

Opposing views on autism

Filed under Uncategorized

The two essays I read had opposing viewpoints on the issue of whether autism can be considered an epidemic. Anne Dachel, the author first essay, “Autism Is a Serious Public Health Crisis,” argues that there has been a significant increase in autism rates caused by an increase in the number of mercury-containing vaccines approved by the CDC. Lawrence Scahill, the author of the second essay, “Autism is Not an Epidemic,” argues that the statistical increase in autism diagnoses does not mean an increase in people with autism; it actually results from changes in the autism diagnosis method. Both authors agree that doctors in the past considered autism an extremely rare condition, while doctors today find that cases of autism has become significantly more frequent.

Dachel points out that the CDC fails to take into account the increasing mercury percentages in vaccines. She claims that the ignorance on the part of the CDC has caused the rates for autism to explode. However, Scahill points out that a careful evaluation of the MMR vaccine (the vaccine often blamed for autism) has failed to find a causal link with autism. Scahill contends that the rise in rates stems from the broadening of the diagnostic rules for the disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental Disorders has been recently (1994) broadened the definition of autism. Scahill reasons that “any time you broaden the definition of a disorder, the prevalence of that condition will go up.” On the other hand, Dachel states that the CDC, similarly to Scahill, has justified the rise in autism rates with the explanation of “greater awareness” and “better diagnosing,” an explanation she deems “the really big lie.” She predicts that as autism rates rise further, the “really big lie” will fall apart to expose the causation relationship between mercury-containing vaccines and autism cases. Nevertheless, Scahill underlines many systematic changes in the diagnosing and sampling process to explain this perceived increase. Today’s instruments are more accurate in detecting the difference between mental retardation and autism. In addition, doctors have recently broadened their sampling population to provide a more accurate rate.

I agree more with Scahill; I believe that this perceived rise in autism is caused by changes in sampling and diagnosing, rather than an increase linked with mercury in vaccines. There have definitely been changes in the recent diagnosis and sampling procedure for autism; this bias cannot be disregarded to suggest a causal link between vaccines and autism. Dachel doesn’t mention anything specific, solid evidence to deny the relationship between the diagnosis methods and the increase in autism rate. She just uses her personal experiences with her autistic son to conclude that there are more autistic kids now than before. However, she does make the reasonable argument that, if the same amount of autistic kids has been around before, schools would have noticed them and done something about it.

I think there could be a causal relationship between vaccines and autism, but I don’t think there is sufficient evidence to prove it, so the current perceived increase in autism rate results from changes in diagnosis and sampling.


McElroy, A. (n.d.). Autism Is a Serious Public Health Crisis. Gale Opposing Viewpoints. Retrieved March 8, 2013, from

Scahill, L. (n.d.). Autism Is Not an Epidemic. Gale Opposing Viewpoints. Retrieved March 8, 2013, from

No responses yet

Mar 11 2011

Profile Image of grace01pd2012

Eating Disorders-Are They Even Real?

Filed under Uncategorized

As eating disorders, defined by both under eating and over eating, begin to consume the world, various discussions arise. The foremost debate surrounds the issue of whether or not eating disorders qualify as a serious problem, or if their effects are exaggerated. Another issue involving the role of eating disorders deals with the world’s obesity epidemic. Because of the fact that there are an estimated 8 million Americans currently suffering from eating disorders (Source 1), their presence and impact is very much real; so real, in fact, that the often hidden binge-eating disorder (BED) plays a major role in growing obesity.

Many studies show that eating disorders put both a person’s psyche and body in danger (Source 1). They are a concrete issue with true risks like suicide, infertility, cognitive impairment, malnutrition, and death.  I have personally viewed its grasp on a friend’s life, and because of that, I know that it is a tangible disease. Some argue that in the constant discussion of obesity and eating disorders, eating disorder victims are pushed to define their disease (Source 2). In doing so, others believe that the individual loses the ability to self-help. Although I agree that there is indeed a pressure to identify the issue of an eating disorder, I do not believe that people are pushed into this identification, causing the term to become overused. The effects of eating disorders remain evident, and the matter severe.

With the rise of eating disorders, another issue, obesity, has emerged. The question becomes whether or not there is any correlation between the two. More than 30% of US adults are obese (Source 3). At the same time, BED is becoming a greater force to be reckoned with. Although being fat does not mean one is doomed (Source 4), BED contributes to many overweight people. This disease shows opposite signs of anorexia, for example, so a person is unable to control his or her eating. Again, fate does not equal unhealthy, but when it reaches obesity extremes (BMI equal to or greater than 30kg/m^2), it is a problem. BED victims must also search for treatment in order to protect their health, and hopefully decrease t

he obesity statistics.


Source 1: Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy & Action, testimony at the Hearing on Women’s Health before the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee, Subcommittee on Public Health, on the “Promoting Healthy Eating Behaviors in Youth Act of 2002 as Part of a Women’s Omnibus Health Bill,” 107th Cong., 2nd sess., April 25, 2002.

Source 2: Evans, Malcom, “Is the Term ‘Eating Disorders’ Being Used Too Freely?”, August 21, 2006.

Source 3: Yanovski, Susan Z, “Binge Eating Disorder and Obesity in 2003: Could Treating an Eating Disorder Have a Positive Effect on the obesity Epidemic?” International Journal of Eating Disorders, vol. 34, March 2003, pp. 117-20. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Source 4: Martin, Courtney M, “One Big Fat Lie,” AlterNet, March 2, 2006. Media Institute.

No responses yet

Jan 18 2011

Profile Image of dparker

Hello world!

Filed under Uncategorized

Welcome to Shanghai American School Student Blogs. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

One response so far

« Newer Posts