Humanize From Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism


tell receptors
T-cell receptors, illustration

Study: Natural Immunity Effective at Preventing Severe Reinfection

The vaccine mandates are an exploding cigar. Not only are they causing severe societal dislocation, but they have been implemented in a one-size-fits-all approach that is not justified by current scientific understandings. Read More ›
cracked soil sunset
The picture shows the effect of drought, cracked soil, no seasonal rain. Because caused by global warming. global warming concept

Global Warming as the New COVID

When COVID finally fades, how will the new authoritarianism that the public-health emergency enabled, be retained? By turning global warming/climate change into the next major public-health emergency. Read More ›
air pollution

‘Personal Carbon Allowances’ Pushed to Fight Global Warming

If we lack the courage, if we acquiesce—again—to significant liberty constraints in the name of protecting health, the soft totalitarianism we will have facilitated will not be their fault. It will be ours. Read More ›
projection over male engineer

COVID-19 Adult Stem-Cell Trials: A Hopeful Sign

I was disappointed in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s dour statement that “we will never be the same” and we that we won’t “get back to normal. There will be a new normal.” I understand he is dealing with excruciating issues of life and death, but given the history of the United States, such pessimism is unwarranted. We have faced far worse than this and have moved through the pain into a better tomorrow. We will this time too. Here’s a small reason for optimism. In addition to vaccine research, the potential of malaria drugs, and antiviral testing, adult stem cells are also being deployed in current or imminent human trials for treating the physical effects of the COVID-19 virus. One early study on seven patients with corona viral pneumonia has been completed with hopeful results. From the study published in Aging and Disease: The pulmonary function and symptoms of these seven patients were significantly improved in 2 days after MSC [Mesenchymal stem cells] transplantation. Among them, two common and one severe patient were recovered and discharged in 10 days after treatment. After treatment, the peripheral lymphocytes were increased, the C-reactive protein decreased, and the overactivated cytokine-secreting immune cells CXCR3+CD4+ T cells, CXCR3+CD8+ T cells, and CXCR3+ NK cells disappeared in 3-6 days. The scientists’ conclusion about the potential of these stem cells? The intravenous transplantation of MSCs was safe and effective for treatment in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, especially for the patients in critically severe condition. Is This a “Cure”? No, it is not a cure. Much more work remains to be done to even get close to saying it is. But it is a hopeful sign (among many). As we mourn the dead, succor the ill, hunker down in social isolation, and aid the suddenly unemployed, let’s not lose sight of the fact that progress is being made. And that’s the point. With the public and private sectors energetically engaged in finding treatments and vaccines, manufacturing durable medical equipment, keeping food on our tables, electricity in our homes, and caring for the sick, this too shall pass. We will thrive again.


In Canada, No Need to be ‘End of Life’ in Order to End Life

The Canadian government wants legal homicide to be available for generally healthy, non-terminal persons. Canada wants a future where a physician will be expected to hand over a fatal overdose or perhaps even authorize a lethal injection for, literally, children. Read More ›

Suicide Prevention Means Rejecting Suicide Assistance

A friend calls you up to let you know that she’s thinking of ending her life. What do you tell her? She’s getting older and has experienced a life-threatening (but not terminal) condition for many years. She feels beaten down, alone, and like she’s too great a burden for those who were once closest to her, but who’ve generally stopped visiting in recent years. She’s looking to you for good counsel. If you’re like most, you wouldn’t respond by affirming her hopelessness. If you’re like most, you wouldn’t respond by enthusiastically affirming her “right to die” or by encouraging her to pursue a means of suicide. Instead, you would recognize her vulnerability. Instead, you would strive to stand alongside her in solidarity and love. Instead, you would become a better witness to her than you have been, showing her how important she is in your life and in the world. Instead, you would ensure she was afforded every ounce of suicide prevention available. You would do these things because you love her. Affirmation and solidarity, strangely, are increasingly ridiculed and outright litigated against by “right to die” activists who are more concerned with easier access to suicide than with better treatment and care. Kirsten Powers diagnosed the problem with “right to die” activism a few years ago when she pointed out that pro-suicide activists “take advantage of human vulnerability” to “obfuscate [the] reality of assisted suicide”. What these activists are doing in states where suicide is now lawful is to “sweep some of society’s most vulnerable—the elderly, the terminally ill and disabled—prematurely into the hereafter.” Courtney Hempton of the Monash Bioethics Centre offers a case study in pro-suicide activism dressed up as medical ethics in writing on Australia’s embrace of suicide in the form of “voluntary assisted dying”: Eight months after voluntary assisted dying became an option for the terminally ill in Victoria, three bioethicists have raised concerns about a unique ‘gag clause’ preventing doctors from raising the subject with patients. Section 8 of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 (Vic) prevents a registered health practitioner from initiating discussion about voluntary assisted dying, or suggesting it as a possibility. Monash PhD candidate Courtney Hempton describes the gag clause as “unwarranted, unprecedented and ethically-problematic”. Breaching section 8 may result in the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency revoking a health practitioners’ licence for “unprofessional conduct”. When the Act became law on 19 June, 2019, the Victorian Government described it as the world’s safest and most conservative regime for the terminally ill, with ‘68 safeguards’ designed to protect the rights of vulnerable patients. Let’s set aside the fact that “terminal” no longer necessarily means “near death” or even “dying” in certain jurisdictions, but can mean simply that a person has a chronic or otherwise unwelcome disability or condition. Amazing how quickly a common sense patient protection provision comes under attack—Victoria’s “Voluntary Assisted Dying Act of 2017” only came into force this past June. No doubt that this suicide-indifferent Act won passage at least in part precisely because it was seen as “the world’s safest and most conservative” approach to lawful suicide. Now, some eight months later, it is precisely those “safeguards” designed “to protect the rights of vulnerable patients” that will be viciously attacked by those who want physicians to be able to pro-actively recommend suicide to their patients. As Wesley J. Smith routinely documents, this is how pro-suicide activists operate: When pitching legalization, they solemnly promise that they have written, oh so “protective guidelines” into the legislation to prevent abuse. Then, once the law is safely in place, advocates grouse that the guidelines they touted are “obstacles” or “barriers” that unjustly prevent suffering people from accessing assisted suicide. Eventually, political agitation begins to amend the law to make things, shall we say, more flexible. … The emphasized items, now called “barriers,” were lauded as protections in the campaign to convince voters to legalize assisted suicide. We can have a culture that either pursues suicide as if it were a positive good or we can have a culture where we strive to prevent suicide because we recognize that it is a threat to public health and human flourishing. Choose your path. Be honest and clear-eyed about what you’re striving for. We can’t do both at the same time.