Purposeful Summaries- J6128

  1. Belgium: Senate Approves Measure Allowing Doctors to Euthanize Children

It seems counterintuitive that individuals ranging in age from adulthood to even childhood have the right to physician assisted suicide through the process of euthanasia, when most people have a high regard for human life and view suicide as morally wrong, but that is exactly what’s happening in Belgium legally since 2002. The Belgian Senate passed a law extending euthanasia to children with disabilities while the previous euthanasia law limited people to be at least 18 years old. The law specifically granted minors the right to request euthanasia under certain conditions as well as extending the rights to request euthanasia to adults suffering from dementia. Due to the fact the law did not set a specific age limit, children who are euthanized would have to “possess the capacity of discernment.” Although euthanasia is legal in several countries in Europe, Belgium is the first country in the world to not enforce age restrictions.

The extension of the euthanasia law sparked outrage amongst pro-life advocates who argue that the law is being used as a way to “cover-up medical errors.” Pro-life advocates also argue that life should be valued, regardless of the type of disability a person possesses in which it is the government’s responsibilty to use exisitng research to provide care and relieve symptoms for patients who are phyiscally suffering in a moral way. 

  1. Vancouver combats heroin by giving its addicts the best smack in the World


It seems counterintuitive that heroin addicts would be provided clean syringes filled with the world’s best heroine while being under the supervision of a nurse, but that is exactly what’s happening in Vancouver, Canada- especially in one town notoriously known as the “Downtown Eastside.” Vancouver has tried to address their heroin problem for years, and in response the city created a safe zone for heroin addicts called Insite. This program treats heroin addicts by giving them free heroin two or three times a day prescribed by a doctor on a daily basis. Currently only 26 people living in Vancouver are receiving heroin treatment from the Insite program.  

As for heroin addicts who didn’t take heroin alternatives to get clean or tried countless times to defeat the heroin habit but failed, doctors then decide to use an alternative form of treatment called harm reduction which involves giving doses of heroin everyday to heroin addicts in order to keep them relaxed, focused and obedient. Furthermore, this alternative treatment plan prevents heroin addicts from causing harm to themselves and society by giving them the drug that they most desire and crave without going through extremes to obtain it ex:prostitution and theft. The harm reduction program has its roots in Europe in countries like Switzerland, Germany, Britain and the Netherlands.

Those opposed to harm reduction programs believe it is a form of blackmail in which the program targets the most severe heroin addicts because there is no hope for them getting off the drug and therefore providing them heroin daily in order for the addicts to remain obedient in society. They believe this form of treatment is a nicer way of killing them legally. Medical practitioners in rehab centers treating heroin addicts- even the most severe argue that they are able to get their patients off heroin addictions without using the harm reduction approach.      

  1. Do Multivitamins Really Work?

  It seems counterintuitive that multivitamins do not actually make healthy people healthier, but there is mounting evidence proving exactly that. Nearly a third of Americans take vitamins regularly, believing the $28 billion supplementary industry that they create nutritional wonders. Despite the supplementary industries claims that multivitamins fend off chronic illness; a 2009 study conducted on postmenopausal women discovered that the multivitamins didn’t protect against any of the dieases studied which includes heart disease, lung, breast and colon cancer.

Furthermore, habitual vitamin users get their portion of vitamins from food alone more than nonusers.This proves to show that the foods we are consuming on a daily basis have an adequate nutrient intake. Due to the fact that there are increasingly more fortified foods in supermarkets, it is not difficult to consume and exceed the daily limits for certain vitamins and minerals in which in some cases it can potentially be dangerous; for example pregnant women who consume vitamins containing a retinol form of vitamin A increase the risks of birth defects. Although health officials recommend multivitamins to picky-eater kids, anorexics and specific supplements for certain categories of people like vegetarians for example, nutritionists tell their healthy patients to stop worrying about vitamin consumption and focus more on their diet.

It also seems counterintuitive that the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate the labeling of supplements when the purpose of the administration is to protect the public health of Americans, but unfortunately that is the case. In a study conducted on 60 common multivitamins, Consumerlab discovered wrongdoing with roughly a third of the vitamin label claims. By forcing multivitamin manufacturers to put a warning label on they’re supplements it would highlight the potential health risks associated with the vitamins that customers should have a right to know.  

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