Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Briefing Now Complete in Brain Death Dispute before Nevada Supreme Court

Briefing was completed, this week, in the Aden Hailu case before the Nevada Supreme Court.  

The case concerns the proper determination of death on neurological criteria.  The case should soon be set for oral argument.

Physician Aid in Dying - Legal History Worldwide

Various forms of medical aid in dying have been approved across the world.  The World Right-to-Die News List compiled the following states and nations.  Each law has its own limits, rules and guidelines.

I like this list because it avoids the too common and overly simplistic legal vs. illegal framework.  There are not just two but rather at least four distinct categories:
  1. Legal with affirmative guidance (e.g. CA, OR, VT, WA)
  2. Legal without affirmative guidance (e.g. MT, NM before the intermediate ruling, Colombia before regulations, VT had the sunset come into effect, NY if lawsuit succeeds)
  3. Illegal but with guidance (e.g. UK)
  4. Illegal (e.g. ID)  

Switzerland   1940
Oregon  1994
Colombia  1997
The Netherlands  2002
Belgium  2002
Washington  2008
Luxembourg   2009
Montana   2009 (court ruling only)
England & Wales  2010 (prosecution policy statement)
Vermont  2014
Quebec  2015
California  2015
Canada  2016 (details pending)

"Fragility" [EOL in Art 149]

In "Fragility" Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva fills the central atrium of Fabrica’s building, a former church,  with a series of delicate veils: rising from floor to ceiling, diffusing the light, obscuring the way forward. Two narrow passages, carefully pierced through the veined walls, invited us in. At the centre of the work one clear viewpoint toward the filtered light from the main window was revealed, an experience the artist compared to the flash of light reportedly observed when close to death.

"Fragility," like much of the artist’s work over the past decade, re-appropriated animal viscera. In this instance caul fat, a membrane that holds the vital organs together, was transformed from a perishable waste product of the pork industry into a sublimely beautiful translucent material via a lengthy chemical process akin to embalming.

Beyond its sensory impact, much of the pleasure in the work lay in understanding its inherent contradictions: the disconnect between the initial state of the material and its aesthetically pleasing result; the artist’s need to witness decay and her effort to halt it, and her desire to bury the viewer in a corporeal labyrinth whilst all the time suggesting a dimension beyond the physical.

8th Annual Pediatric Bioethics Conference (Nov. 6 in Jacksonville, FL)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The 2015 Quality of Death Index

The Economist Intelligence Unit has just released the 2015 Quality of Death Index.  
This 72-page report is a measure of the quality of palliative care in 80 countries.  
The UK ranks first.  Australia and New Zealand take second and third place.  The USA is 9th.

Wake Up to Dying Project [EOL in Art 148]

This traveling exhibit offers a safe and engaging place for visitors to consider what death, dying, and life mean to them.