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Showing posts from September, 2013

A shout-out to blogging buddies, book buddies, and crossword puzzle lovers

My kids are gamers. Not the electronic kind. More the board game kind. Most of the time they are playing something that involves strategy, conquests, and "guns vs. butter" analysis. Currently a favorite is The Settlers of Catan. I usually leave them to it. I enjoy games as well but I lean more towards word games like Scrabble or Boggle or card games like Hearts or Gin. I absolutely love crossword puzzles. Last night my kids introduced my husband and me to a game that was perfect for all of us, Dixit.

This is a very simple game played with a deck of 84 cards. Each card has a charming whimsical illustration by Marie Cardouat. The active player looks at his hand of 6 cards and chooses one. Without revealing his choice to the other players, he offers a caption--word, phrase, sound-- that describes the card. Each of the other players then looks at his own hand and chooses a card that could fit this caption. The choices are all secretly submitted, shuffled, then displayed. Players…

Organ donation requires strong ethical principles

My latest article for Zenit has been published. In it, I look at the compromise of ethical principles for organ donation when the procurement system moves to "presumed consent". Under this policy, everyone is considered an organ donor unless they have actively taken themselves out of consideration. The state claims it owns your bodily organs and has the right to control their use for the common good. You are only borrowing them during your lifetime.

One of the key criterion for ethical organ donation programs is that donors must be fully informed and freely give their consent to be a donor. Removing the need for free and informed consent opens the door to abuses. This becomes more relevant as a utilitarian philosophy seeps into health care policy and practices.

Organ donation is a supremely generous, life-giving and virtuous act when done under strict ethical guidelines. Once the ethics breaks down, it quickly degenerates into a dehumanizing work of evil.

New School Year Resolutions

I am working on an article and the deadline is looming so after Mass this morning I planted myself at the local Panera's for some focused working. When I am at home there are so many distractions that make it easy to procrastinate. Laundry needs to be done, the bathroom needs to be scrubbed, dust on various bookshelves just screams to be cleared, and of course since Mom is home, everyone else who is home has a question/problem that needs to be answered.

In a couple hours I made real headway on my article. I didn't finish it, but I have a good idea of where I am going. This progress was made in spite of being surrounded by the constant din of parents and children having one last outing before school begins tomorrow. All of my children are either in undergraduate college studies, graduate school, or out in the work force. I realized that I miss the fervor of the first day of school. Fresh new binders, neatly stacked paper, perfectly sharpened pencils, a plethora of pens, markers…