FDA wants information about fetal affects on drug labels, What are the ethics of sex selection?, UN releases report on HIV/AIDS efforts.
Reproductive health is not a strong enough theme in any of the millenium development goals. And as the MDGs remain a primary international development agenda at least until 2015, that means a continuing compromise for reproductive health in international development.
Illegal abortions are one of the top ten causes of maternal death in Jamaica. Safe, legal abortions are only accessible to those who can afford one. Existing abortion “common law” in Jamaica is ambiguous and differs than legislation on the books. Jamaica is in the midst of a heated abortion debate.
This Memorial Day we remember 25 million souls lost to 25 years of AIDS. Motivated by the death of the love of my early life in 1996 from AIDS, I started thinking about death politically. Carl died just months before medications the developed world takes for granted became available, and months after the US Navy denied him compassionate access to those meds after a five-year study in which he participated. Months meant the difference in him seeing his two sons grow up and our lives continuing together.
In 1997, I began a journey working with Oregon’s Death with Dignity Law, culminating early this year in the US Supreme Court affirming Oregon’s law 6-3: the federal government had no right to interfere in a doctor or pharmacist’s compassionate decision to alleviate suffering at the request of the patient. Strict safeguards make that once controversial law a model of compromise among medical, legal, political, ethics, policy, mental health, faith, hospice, and most importantly, patient and family communities. Compromise works.