Saturday, December 20, 2014

One bit of good news and one of bad

Administering medicinal cannabis oil
First this:

Users and advocates of medical cannabis in the U.S can celebrate. Tucked deep inside a 1,603-page federal spending measure passed last week is a provision that effectively ends the federal government's prohibition on medical marijuana and signals a major shift in drug policy.

The bill protects medical marijuana programs in the 23 states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, as well as 11 additional states that have legalized CBD oils, a non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that has shown to be beneficial in some severe cases of epilepsy.

There's more here.

We can only hope this will enable researchers to prove incontrovertibly the efficacy of medical cannabis in treating epilepsy and end reliance on mere anecdotal evidence.

Then this:

An Australian couple just helped bring us closer to a "disability-free" world when they aborted their baby in the 28th week of pregnancy. It had the "disability" of ectrodactyly, or cleft hand. [Background here.]

Cleft hand
I had to read that last phrase several times before it actually sank in.

Here is the mother explaining why she so desperately wanted an abortion even at that late stage. So desperately that she fought for it after being initially rejected.
"I grew up with many people who were disabled, and… there was discrimination," she said. "I didn't want my child to be discriminated against. The problem is... obvious because it is the fingers, and I think the child would have a very hard life." [The emphasis is mine.]
So, it appears that if you've got psychological issues with disability, in certain jurisdictions you will be permitted to act on them regardless of the repercussions (e.g. termination of a viable fetus - at 28 weeks the baby survives.)

Ainsley Newson, a senior lecturer in bioethics at the University of Sydney, said that "late-term abortion was a fraught area of ethics and law" (no duh) adding this double-talk:
"We need to ask ourselves how we can best balance the justifiable need for reproductive choice with promoting good knowledge about disability and difference,"
And they tell us society is progressing toward greater acceptance and inclusion of those with disabilities. Not apparent to me.

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