Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Kudos to the NJ Supreme Court

Finally, some good news! The NJ Supreme Court today in a 5-0 decision rejected the claim of a plaintiff that a Doc had committed malpractice by failing to advise her that her abortion would terminate the life a whole, separate, irreplaceable human being. In a nutshell, the Court held that this was not medical information, and surely not medical information about which there is any consensus either within the citizenry of New Jersey, or the medical community.

Instead, the Court said that this is a philosophical and moral statement about which people must reach their own decisions, and that compelling a physician to make such statements would be tantamount to compelling the physician to tell the woman that the abortion is murder.

"’On the profound issue of when life begins, this court cannot drive public policy in one particular direction by the engine of the common law when the opposing sides, which represent so many of our citizens, are arrayed along a deep societal and philosophical divide,’ Justice Barry T. Albin wrote for New Jersey's highest court. The decision, citing past rulings, said the court ‘will not place a duty on doctors when there is no consensus in the medical community or among the public’ on when life begins.”

I'm guessing the case will no doubt be challenged, but for the moment, we can rejoice.


I want to say a bit more on the Britney Spears thing. I do not, by any stretch, think that she is fat. What I do think is that it's impossible to look at Britney outside of the image/package she helped create and used to market and sell herself. Part of that package was an extremely sexy image that relied in no small part on her displaying a remarkably toned and taut body. She has knowingly relied on that image, denying that recent photos of herself (indicating a similarly fit and toned body) were airbrushed. Regardless of whether or not this standard is fair -- and I would argue it is not -- that is what she sold, what her fans expect and what she recently failed to deliver. This, I suggest, is why the commentary on her body seems less unjust than it would be if she weren't the icon into which she turned herself.

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