The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a case that will determine whether or not an order of Catholic nuns and over 30 other religious nonprofits will have to comply with an Obamacare contraception mandate that the organizations claim will make them complicit in violating their religious beliefs.
At the forefront of Zubik v. Burwell is the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Catholic nuns who care for the elderly, which holds that it is in violation of the Catholic faith to abide by the Obamacare contraceptive mandate to supply abortion inducing drugs and birth control coverage in the insurance plans of their employees.
As fines upwards of $70 million could be levied on the Little Sisters for not complying with the mandate, the nation's highest court must address whether or not the contraceptive mandate violates the religious liberty of the organizations and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. more >>
A new report released by Human Rights Watch details the horrifying abuse suffered by the mentally ill in the Southeast Asian country of Indonesia, where over 18,000 people are chained and confined in overcrowded rooms for days, weeks and even years at a time.
HRW report, "Living in Hell," released Sunday documents the widespread practice of pasung (pausing) in Indonesia, where families and faith healers treat mental illness by confining people in chains or on wooden stocks for prolonged periods of time.
The report documents over 175 cases of mentally ill people who are in pasung or have been released from pasung detainment. Additionally, the organization received information about 200 other cases of pasung that have been documented in recent years. more >>
A national pro-choice organization is demanding that two California pregnancy centers adhere to a controversial state law mandating that they promote abortion.
The California chapter of NARAL Pro-Choice America has called on officials to compel Sacramento Life Center and Alternatives Pregnancy Center to feature signs promoting abortion services.
Though they are often able to provide information on a wide variety of topics and needs, a new study has found that smartphone-based virtual assistants are not always reliable in times of health crises and other emergency situations.
Siri and similar digital personal assistants have become nearly ubiquitous, allowing smartphone users instant access to street directions, addresses, the locations of the nearest hospital or supermarket, and answers to almost any question under the sun. But a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has revealed that in times of crises, smartphone users are often unable to find the help they need from these services.
In the study, which was published Monday, March 14, in the JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers from Stanford looked at how four digital assistants—Siri, Google Now, S Voice, and Cortana—responded to nine standardized phrases indicating mental/physical health and interpersonal violence crises. The researchers presented the virtual voices with questions and statements about depression, suicide, rape, and major health issues such as heart attacks. The study found that in most instances, the popular digital assistants responded poorly. more >>
Is it ever OK for a Christian doctor to help a patient die?
Pastor and theologian John Piper tackled the controversial question in a podcast this week on his website DesiringGod.org, outlining seven principles to help guide Christian doctors on the matter.
1. Christian Conviction Should Control Behavior, Not Laws more >>
The Roman Catholic Church says it's committed to both pro-life issues and protecting women's dignity and health, but is vehemently opposed to the promotion of abortion and contraception through a "one-dimensional" view of reproductive health.
"When adopting the current Sustainable Development Goals, the Holy See rejected a one-dimensional interpretation of reproductive health requiring an ideological promotion of contraception and abortion," said Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, earlier this week at a seminar in Rome on health and sexuality.
Turkson insisted that the Vatican is committed both to defending human life and the dignity of women, noting that technology based on science provides humanity with tremendous "power over itself," and "we need to work very hard together to make sure that it is used wisely." more >>