Jacqueline Laing's blog

Euthanasia, Belgium and the Slippery Slope

      The slippery slope argument is rightly regarded a logical fallacy, but a prediction based on sound reasoning is far from irrational. As if to prove the accuracy of predictions once widely dismissed as slippery slope fallacies, the Belgian Senate Committee has voted 13 to 4 in favour of allowing euthanasia for those with early dementia and for sick and disabled children. This means that the matter proceeds to the Belgian parliament for debate.

More serviceable dupes

In my last post I made the following observation about professionals who agitate for the substantial lowering, if not outright abolition, of the age of consent.  

Destigmatising Paedophilia

After certain press criticism and a productive online backlash in the blogosphere, the American Psychiatric Association is performing a gratifying volte-face in its use of the term sexual "orientation" for paedophilia.

A Useful Natural Law Resource

My new book co-edited with Russell Wilcox is now out. The book aims to supply a useful resource for courses in philosophy and law.


The Natural Law Reader, eds. Jacqueline A. Laing & Russell Wilcox (Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, 2013).

Book Cover

Royal Successor Can't Marry a Catholic But Can Marry a Man

The Act of Settlement 1700 section II prohibits the new royal baby boy (qua successor to the throne) from ever being a Catholic. Efforts by way of the Succession to the Crown Act 2013 to allow the royal successor to marry a Catholic are still not law. At the same time, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill has received the Royal Assent without the requirement of any Commonwealth constitutional consensus. Accordingly, on any plain reading of the law, the royal successor cannot marry a Catholic but can marry a man. Any legislative effort to prohibit this state of affairs would itself be in breach of equalities legislation, would it not?

Normalising a Homicidal Culture of Healthcare

The question of widespread neglect and passive euthanasia in hospitals, hospices and care homes has long been the subject of public and professional disquiet. For years, many of us have been warning of the lethal implications of institutionalising passive euthanasia and, in particular, sedation-dehydration regimes, as part of any national strategy especially in view of the catalogue of financial, political and research interests that there are ininstitutionalising homicide. The sick and elderly are costly and time-consuming, tissue and body parts are valuable, hospital beds, expensive, and cadavers all too useful.

Perils of Hyperovulation

Describing the process of becoming biological mother to at least two children she will never herself nurture or rear, a former Californian college student, Leah Campbell, highlights the perils of hyperovulation. In a naive yet candid account, she describes the pleasure of having passed the "pre-screenings with flying colours" and her hopes of paving the way to a "debt-free postgraduate life for [herself]".

Presumed Consent to Organ Harvesting

Wales is now the first country in the United Kingdom to insist on a system of presumed consent to use of a person's organs for transplant. The introduction of this legislation has set a dangerous precedent for the UK. Interestingly it was assisted by supine 'faith leaders' whose nauseating appeasement of oppressive and reckless practices meant that they agitated only for 'soft' presumed consent legislation instead of opposing the practice altogether.

Genetically Modified Humans and Three Parent Children

The British fertility industry and the Department of Health have announced their intention to press ahead with attempts to introduce internationally novel legislation to permit human germ-line gene modification involving genetic material from three human parents.

Cultural relativism and 'honour' killing

Cultural relativism too often stifles free discussion of human rights abuse where it appears in a non-Western context. At the same time and conversely, there is also a tendency among non-Westerners to regard the freedoms of modern industrial nations as co-extensive with the decadence triggered by the relatively recent boom in the Kinsey-inspired pornography industry. But the foundation of Western values should not be conflated with these excesses. And the safety and security afforded women in the West is a great social good worth protecting. Cultural relativism will never tell us what is wrong with these and other enormities. I reproduce here the faces of some young women who have suffered and died at the hands of abusers who invariably refer back to their own cultures to rationalise their behaviour. In many cases, the perpetrators would have thought themselves morally and religiously justified.


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