Bioethicist: Give Self-Cutters Sterile Razors

How off the rails of decency and true compassion is bioethics discourse becoming? Try this. Rather than try to prevent disturbed self-cutters from harming themselves instead give them sterile razors.

So says University of Manchester Law School professor of “Social Ethics and Policy,” Patrick J. Sullivan, because, well, harm minimilization and obeisance to the great modern god AUTONOMY.

From his article in the Journal of Medical Ethics:

It has been argued that healthcare professionals may sometimes have good reasons to allow harm, in fact they routinely do so; allowing harm is not necessarily contrary to the professionals’ duty of care, and in fact it may be required if the benefits are significant and likely to outweigh such harm.

As part of the therapeutic process, self-injury is accepted as necessary during a period when different coping strategies are developed. For many individuals this acceptance of risk may prove beneficial and provides the flexibility to work with the individual in a way that aims to contain rather than control risk based on an understanding of what works for the individual…

Harm minimisation provides a means of working with an individual in a way that recognises their autonomy and accepts that they have a different way of coping with distress. By trying to prevent their injury we harm them, we may fail to help them.

I conclude that healthcare professionals sometimes have an obligation to allow harm.

Hippocrates’ head just exploded.

In debates, I have argued that if we are going to help people commit suicide, why not give cigarettes to self-harmers so they can burn themselves.

We’re thee-e-e-e-r-r-r-re.

In the current age, reductio ad absurdum no longer works.

Wesley J. Smith — Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism.

Most Popular

Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More