Treadmills Boost your health but make sure you choose the right one

Treadmills can transfrom your health but it is vital that you choose the right one. If the essential tips are what you need then this article is a must if you are trying to keep fit and in perfect shape.

Treadmills are very popular methods of exercise. These exercise machines have been helping people lose weight and get in shape for many years now. Buying a treadmill is not hard but if you have ever done it, you know that it can be expensive. It is an investment you will greatly benefit from but you need to choose carefully before you buy. There are many reasons why you would choose a treadmill for yourself. You can improve your fitness and your health. You can build and maintain your fitness level all in the comfort of your home. However, you also need to be sure that before you buy a treadmill and begin a training program that you do it in the correct way to remain safe and healthy.

Before you purchase a treadmill you need to know what features to look for to be sure you are getting the best one for you and your needs. Some things to look for are:

The Motor: A motorized treadmill has an inbuilt motor that makes the belt and lift operate. A bonus of motorized treadmills is that they let you raise and lower the incline easily. With motors you can change the pace of your workout how you need it to be.

Horsepower: The horsepower is the measure of the treadmill motor. The continuous horsepower is how well the treadmill can work without lagging. The peak horsepower is how much power the treadmill has for short bursts.

Incline: The incline is used to mimic the natural human style of walking or running. Manual incline lets you change it yourself by speeding up your pace. A power incline lets you adjust the incline while you are walking or running.

Belts and Decks: A thicker belt gives you more cushion for your legs and joints. Short belts give you a faster pace and some people prefer these.

Speed: When you think of a treadmill, you often think of the speed. Most go from 0 to 10 MPH.

Computer Controls: Treadmills all have some type of computer control to keep them going. Many have odometers and speedometers and some even have pre-programmed workouts.

How To Start The Year With The Right Fitness Regime

It’s the New Year and the time for new resolutions. Nine times out of ten, people decide to incorporate a fitness regime in their New Year resolution. Every person wants to stay healthy, yes, even people who are obese! But, they just don’t know how to go about being fit. Every year fitness centric New Year resolutions are made and forgotten. Here is how you can start your New Year with the right fitness regime that will suit your needs.

It’s the New Year and the time for new resolutions. Nine times out of ten, people decide to incorporate a fitness regime in their New Year resolution. Every person wants to stay healthy, yes, even people who are obese! But, they just don’t know how to go about being fit. Every year fitness centric New Year resolutions are made and forgotten. Here is how you can start your New Year with the right fitness regime that will suit your needs.

Answering the Question: Why?
Different people have different requirements. Some people want to lose excess weight, while others just want to maintain their weight. There are still others who just want to keep fit. A few others, suffering from medical conditions, see a fitness regime as one of the ways, which might affect their condition is a manner that is positive and curative. Once you answer the question as to why you want to embark upon a fitness regime, you can effectively work out a program that is good for you and the one that you can adhere to.

Objective of the Fitness Regime
It’s necessary to have a goal when you start a fitness program. This will help you pace yourself better and if there is an objective in mind, there is a reason not to stop exercising. Having a specific goal, will also help map your progress when you workout and help you decide whether the chosen fitness regime is effective or not. A goal is a very important part of your New Year’s fitness resolution.

You can either quantify your objective, meaning, arrive at a weight loss figure that you want to reach; or you can have a general goal. However, one thing must be made certain of. Aim for a goal that you can achieve.
Gym is not the Only Option

Most people, who want to lose weight or achieve certain standards of fitness, make their way to the gym; however this option requires loads of time and effort. This is, of course, apart from the sweat you work up, with the exercise.

Typically, when you decide to go to a gym, you need to spare the time taken to reach the gym, park the car, waiting time for the equipment, shower, and then the time taken to go back home. Many a times, people just cannot afford to spend the time required, or follow the daily routine demanded by the gym. Before you choose this option, you must know for sure, the amount of time you can devote to a planned workout, in a gym. Only then must you join a gym.
Home Based Fitness Regime

You can even embark upon a fitness regime from the comfort of your home. There are numerous workout equipments available in the market today, like a treadmill, bicycle etc. Fitness experts would tell you that walking and running are the easier, natural, and more pleasing forms of exercise, which also help build stamina, promote weight loss, and make for healthy living.

You can accomplish all this from your home, using a treadmill. Using a treadmill or any other exercise equipment can be done in your own time, and in a manner that is comfortable and secure.
Be Prepared For a Diet

Fitness and diet go hand in hand. You cannot start a fitness program and not have a clear cut diet plan. Once you get rid of those excess calories on a daily basis, you must see to it that, your body is replenished with enough nutrients. A nutritious diet is the key to a successful fitness program. Only a judicious mix of exercise and diet can help achieve the New Year fitness objective that you have set for yourself.

This is one abstract that must make for a significant component of your fitness endeavor. Commitment cannot be quantified, but it’s definitely required in huge amounts if you are to have any hope of following your New Year’s resolution to the letter.

A fixed daily routine becomes quite boring after a while. It’s important to not lose interest and continue with your exercise and diet plan. Most people, stop exercising, once they think that they can no longer lose more weight then than they have lost. Others just get lazy or are plain unexcited by the prospect of the daily exercise regimen.

Incorporate an interest factor in your fitness program. You can do this by making certain changes in the exercises or focusing on short-term goals. The lesser the monotonous nature of the regimen, the more the chances, that you will carry the resolution through till the very end.

These are just a few pointers that must be considered before you start working on your New Years Resolution. These are definitely not the only factors that one must consider to start the year with the right fitness regime, but they will definitely help you embark upon a successful fitness plan.

Handicap Scooter vs. Wheelchair ? How to Tell Which One is Right for You

Right now you may be at a point in your life where you need help getting around. You can?t move around the house and outside like you used to. And walking in a grocery store to do your shopping is now a monumental task. In these instances, that?s where a good electric wheelchair or handicap scooter comes into play. Problem is, which one do you pick? What follows are different points to keep in mind so as to help you make the right decision.

Right now you may be at a point in your life where you need help getting around. You can?t move around the house and outside like you used to. And walking in a grocery store to do your shopping is now a monumental task. In these instances, that?s where a good electric wheelchair or handicap scooter comes into play. Problem is, which one do you pick? What follows are different points to keep in mind so as to help you make the right decision.

? First off, if you?re working with a clinician or aid, talk with them about your particular situation and get their feedback. Odds are, they?ll be able to tell you decisively whether a scooter or wheelchair is right for you.

? The control issue: Keep in mind scooters are steered with a tiller much like a bicycle?s handlebar. While electric wheelchairs are operated by a programmable joystick. That said, your upper body ability to manipulate a ?handlebar? style control vs. a joystick will go a long way in determining which one you choose.

? Posture/Support issue: If the mobility aid user has a posture/spinal support issue then a wheelchair will usually be the better buy as they tend to offer features like power stand, power recline, power tilt, and power elevation.

? The transportation issue: When it comes to the user of the mobility aid doing a lot of driving and traveling, which device you choose will largely be based on this too. For instance, handicap scooters depending upon the model can be broken down into multiple parts for each storage in a car?s trunk or stored in a min-van or SUV. Whereas, a wheelchair (unless a foldable, non-electric) cannot be stored in the trunk. In that case, an electric wheelchair requires what?s called a lift and may very well require a wheelchair van for transportation.

? On the driving issue: When it comes to going from your mobility aid to actually driving your VAN/Mini-van, it?s important to note that scooters aren?t as safe as a seat in a motor vehicle. They?re also harder to tie down. However, you can operate your vehicle from a power wheelchair ? and they?re safer than a handicap scooter because they have a 4-point tie down.

? On price: Scooters are more affordable than wheelchairs. Of course, when comparing the two a lot of it has to do with the ?add-on? features you request.

Euthanasia and the Right to Die

Euthanasia, whether in a medical setting (hospital, clinic, hospice) or not (at home) is often erroneously described as “mercy killing”. Most forms of euthanasia are, indeed, motivated by (some say: misplaced) mercy. Not so others. In Greek, “eu” means both “well” and “easy” and “Thanatos” is death.

I. Definitions of Types of Euthanasia

Euthanasia, whether in a medical setting (hospital, clinic, hospice) or not (at home) is often erroneously described as “mercy killing”. Most forms of euthanasia are, indeed, motivated by (some say: misplaced) mercy. Not so others. In Greek, “eu” means both “well” and “easy” and “Thanatos” is death.

Euthanasia is the intentional premature termination of another person’s life either by direct intervention (active euthanasia) or by withholding life-prolonging measures and resources (passive euthanasia), either at the express or implied request of that person (voluntary euthanasia), or in the absence of such approval (non-voluntary euthanasia). Involuntary euthanasia – where the individual wishes to go on living – is an euphemism for murder.

To my mind, passive euthanasia is immoral. The abrupt withdrawal of medical treatment, feeding, and hydration results in a slow and (potentially) torturous death. It took Terri Schiavo 13 days to die, when her tubes were withdrawn in the last two weeks of March 2005. Since it is impossible to conclusively prove that patients in PVS (Persistent Vegetative State) do not suffer pain, it is morally wrong to subject them to such potential gratuitous suffering. Even animals should be treated better. Moreover, passive euthanasia allows us to evade personal responsibility for the patient’s death. In active euthanasia, the relationship between the act (of administering a lethal medication, for instance) and its consequences is direct and unambiguous.

As the philosopher John Finnis notes, to qualify as euthanasia, the termination of life has to be the main and intended aim of the act or omission that lead to it. If the loss of life is incidental (a side effect), the agent is still morally responsible but to describe his actions and omissions as euthanasia would be misleading. Volntariness (accepting the foreseen but unintended consequences of one’s actions and omissions) should be distinguished from intention.

Still, this sophistry obscures the main issue:

If the sanctity of life is a supreme and overriding value (“basic good”), it ought to surely preclude and proscribe all acts and omissions which may shorten it, even when the shortening of life is a mere deleterious side effect.

But this is not the case. The sanctity and value of life compete with a host of other equally potent moral demands. Even the most devout pro-life ethicist accepts that certain medical decisions – for instance, to administer strong analgesics – inevitably truncate the patient’s life. Yet, this is considered moral because the resulting euthanasia is not the main intention of the pain-relieving doctor.

Moreover, the apparent dilemma between the two values (reduce suffering or preserve life) is non-existent.

There are four possible situations. Imagine a patient writhing with insufferable pain.

1. The patient’s life is not at risk if she is not medicated with painkillers (she risks dying if she is medicated)

2. The patient’s life is not at risk either way, medicated or not

3. The patient’s life is at risk either way, medicated or not

4. The patient’s life is at risk if she is not medicated with painkillers

In all four cases, the decisions our doctor has to make are ethically clear cut. He should administer pain-alleviating drugs, except when the patient risks dying (in 1 above). The (possible) shortening of the patient’s life (which is guesswork, at best) is immaterial.


It is easy to distinguish euthanasia from all other forms of termination of life. Voluntary active euthanasia is morally defensible, at least in principle (see below). Not so other types of euthanasia.

II. Who is or Should Be Subject to Euthanasia? The Problem of Dualism vs. Reductionism

With the exception of radical animal rights activists, most philosophers and laymen consider people – human beings – to be entitled to “special treatment”, to be in possession of unique rights (and commensurate obligations), and to be capable of feats unparalleled in other species.

Thus, opponents of euthanasia universally oppose the killing of “persons”. As the (pro-euthanasia) philosopher John Harris puts it:

” … concern for their welfare, respect for their wishes, respect for the intrinsic value of their lives and respect for their interests.”

Ronald Dworkin emphasizes the investments – made by nature, the person involved, and others – which euthanasia wastes. But he also draws attention to the person’s “critical interests” – the interests whose satisfaction makes life better to live. The manner of one’s own death may be such a critical interest. Hence, one should have the right to choose how one dies because the “right kind” of death (e.g., painless, quick, dignified) reflects on one’s entire life, affirms and improves it.

But who is a person? What makes us human? Many things, most of which are irrelevant to our discussion.

Broadly speaking, though, there are two schools of thought:

(i) That we are rendered human by the very event of our conception (egg meets sperm), or, at the latest, our birth; or

(ii) That we are considered human only when we act and think as conscious humans do.

The proponents of the first case (i) claim that merely possessing a human body (or the potential to come to possess such a body) is enough to qualify us as “persons”. There is no distinction between mind and abode – thought, feelings, and actions are merely manifestations of one underlying unity. The fact that some of these manifestations have yet to materialize (in the case of an embryo) or are mere potentials (in the case of a comatose patient) does not detract from our essential, incontrovertible, and indivisible humanity. We may be immature or damaged persons – but we are persons all the same (and always will be persons).

Though considered “religious” and “spiritual”, this notion is actually a form of reductionism. The mind, “soul”, and “spirit” are mere expressions of one unity, grounded in our “hardware” – in our bodies.

Those who argue the second case (ii) postulate that it is possible to have a human body which does not host a person. People in Persistent Vegetative States, for instance – or fetuses, for that matter – are human but also non-persons. This is because they do not yet – or are unable to – exercise their faculties. Personhood is complexity. When the latter ceases, so does the former. Personhood is acquired and is an extensive parameter, a total, defining state of being. One is either awake or asleep, either dead or alive, either in a state of personhood or not

The latter approach involves fine distinctions between potential, capacity, and skill. A human body (or fertilized egg) have the potential to think, write poetry, feel pain, and value life. At the right phase of somatic development, this potential becomes capacity and, once it is competently exercised – it is a skill.

Embryos and comatose people may have the potential to do and think – but, in the absence of capacities and skills, they are not full-fledged persons. Indeed, in all important respects, they are already dead.

Taken to its logical conclusion, this definition of a person also excludes newborn infants, the severely retarded, the hopelessly quadriplegic, and the catatonic. “Who is a person” becomes a matter of culturally-bound and medically-informed judgment which may be influenced by both ignorance and fashion and, thus, be arbitrary and immoral.

Imagine a computer infected by a computer virus which cannot be quarantined, deleted, or fixed. The virus disables the host and renders it “dead”. Is it still a computer? If someone broke into my house and stole it, can I file an insurance claim? If a colleague destroys it, can I sue her for the damages? The answer is yes. A computer is a computer for as long as it exists physically and a cure is bound to be found even against the most trenchant virus.


The definition of personhood must rely on objective, determinate and determinable criteria. The anti-euthanasia camp relies on bodily existence as one such criterion. The pro-euthanasia faction has yet to reciprocate.

III. Euthanasia and Suicide

Self-sacrifice, avoidable martyrdom, engaging in life risking activities, refusal to prolong one’s life through medical treatment, euthanasia, overdosing, and self-destruction that is the result of coercion – are all closely related to suicide. They all involve a deliberately self-inflicted death.

But while suicide is chiefly intended to terminate a life ? the other acts are aimed at perpetuating, strengthening, and defending values or other people. Many – not only religious people – are appalled by the choice implied in suicide – of death over life. They feel that it demeans life and abnegates its meaning.

Life’s meaning – the outcome of active selection by the individual – is either external (such as “God’s plan”) or internal, the outcome of an arbitrary frame of reference, such as having a career goal. Our life is rendered meaningful only by integrating into an eternal thing, process, design, or being. Suicide makes life trivial because the act is not natural – not part of the eternal framework, the undying process, the timeless cycle of birth and death. Suicide is a break with eternity.

Henry Sidgwick said that only conscious (i.e., intelligent) beings can appreciate values and meanings. So, life is significant to conscious, intelligent, though finite, beings – because it is a part of some eternal goal, plan, process, thing, design, or being. Suicide flies in the face of Sidgwick’s dictum. It is a statement by an intelligent and conscious being about the meaninglessness of life.

If suicide is a statement, than society, in this case, is against the freedom of expression. In the case of suicide, free speech dissonantly clashes with the sanctity of a meaningful life. To rid itself of the anxiety brought on by this conflict, society cast suicide as a depraved or even criminal act and its perpetrators are much castigated.

The suicide violates not only the social contract but, many will add, covenants with God or nature. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote in the “Summa Theologiae” that – since organisms strive to survive – suicide is an unnatural act. Moreover, it adversely affects the community and violates the property rights of God, the imputed owner of one’s spirit. Christianity regards the immortal soul as a gift and, in Jewish writings, it is a deposit. Suicide amounts to the abuse or misuse of God’s possessions, temporarily lodged in a corporeal mansion.

This paternalism was propagated, centuries later, by Sir William Blackstone, the codifier of British Law. Suicide – being self-murder – is a grave felony, which the state has a right to prevent and to punish for. In certain countries this still is the case. In Israel, for instance, a soldier is considered to be “military property” and an attempted suicide is severely punished as “the corruption of an army chattel”.

Paternalism, a malignant mutation of benevolence, is about objectifying people and treating them as possessions. Even fully-informed and consenting adults are not granted full, unmitigated autonomy, freedom, and privacy. This tends to breed “victimless crimes”. The “culprits” – gamblers, homosexuals, communists, suicides, drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes ? are “protected from themselves” by an intrusive nanny state.

The possession of a right by a person imposes on others a corresponding obligation not to act to frustrate its exercise. Suicide is often the choice of a mentally and legally competent adult. Life is such a basic and deep set phenomenon that even the incompetents – the mentally retarded or mentally insane or minors – can fully gauge its significance and make “informed” decisions, in my view.

The paternalists claim counterfactually that no competent adult “in his right mind” will ever decide to commit suicide. They cite the cases of suicides who survived and felt very happy that they have – as a compelling reason to intervene. But we all make irreversible decisions for which, sometimes, we are sorry. It gives no one the right to interfere.

Paternalism is a slippery slope. Should the state be allowed to prevent the birth of a genetically defective child or forbid his parents to marry in the first place? Should unhealthy adults be forced to abstain from smoking, or steer clear from alcohol? Should they be coerced to exercise?

Suicide is subject to a double moral standard. People are permitted – nay, encouraged – to sacrifice their life only in certain, socially sanctioned, ways. To die on the battlefield or in defense of one’s religion is commendable. This hypocrisy reveals how power structures – the state, institutional religion, political parties, national movements – aim to monopolize the lives of citizens and adherents to do with as they see fit. Suicide threatens this monopoly. Hence the taboo.

Does one have a right to take one’s life?

The answer is: it depends. Certain cultures and societies encourage suicide. Both Japanese kamikaze and Jewish martyrs were extolled for their suicidal actions. Certain professions are knowingly life-threatening – soldiers, firemen, policemen. Certain industries – like the manufacture of armaments, cigarettes, and alcohol – boost overall mortality rates.

In general, suicide is commended when it serves social ends, enhances the cohesion of the group, upholds its values, multiplies its wealth, or defends it from external and internal threats. Social structures and human collectives – empires, countries, firms, bands, institutions – often commit suicide. This is considered to be a healthy process.

More about suicide, the meaning of life, and related considerations – HERE.

Back to our central dilemma:

Is it morally justified to commit suicide in order to avoid certain, forthcoming, unavoidable, and unrelenting torture, pain, or coma?

Is it morally justified to ask others to help you to commit suicide (for instance, if you are incapacitated)?

Imagine a society that venerates life-with-dignity by making euthanasia mandatory (Trollope’s Britannula in “The Fixed Period”) – would it then and there be morally justified to refuse to commit suicide or to help in it?


Though legal in many countries, suicide is still frowned upon, except when it amounts to socially-sanctioned self-sacrifice.

Assisted suicide is both condemned and illegal in most parts of the world. This is logically inconsistent but reflects society’s fear of a “slippery slope” which may lead from assisted suicide to murder.

IV. Euthanasia and Murder

Imagine killing someone before we have ascertained her preferences as to the manner of her death and whether she wants to die at all. This constitutes murder even if, after the fact, we can prove conclusively that the victim wanted to die.

Is murder, therefore, merely the act of taking life, regardless of circumstances – or is it the nature of the interpersonal interaction that counts? If the latter, the victim’s will counts – if the former, it is irrelevant.

V. Euthanasia, the Value of Life, and the Right to Life

Few philosophers, legislators, and laymen support non-voluntary or involuntary euthanasia. These types of “mercy” killing are associated with the most heinous crimes against humanity committed by the Nazi regime on both its own people and other nations. They are and were also an integral part of every program of active eugenics.

The arguments against killing someone who hasn’t expressed a wish to die (let alone someone who has expressed a desire to go on living) revolve around the right to life. People are assumed to value their life, cherish it, and protect it. Euthanasia – especially the non-voluntary forms – amounts to depriving someone (as well as their nearest and dearest) of something they value.

The right to life – at least as far as human beings are concerned – is a rarely questioned fundamental moral principle. In Western cultures, it is assumed to be inalienable and indivisible (i.e., monolithic). Yet, it is neither. Even if we accept the axiomatic – and therefore arbitrary – source of this right, we are still faced with intractable dilemmas. All said, the right to life may be nothing more than a cultural construct, dependent on social mores, historical contexts, and exegetic systems.

Rights – whether moral or legal – impose obligations or duties on third parties towards the right-holder. One has a right AGAINST other people and thus can prescribe to them certain obligatory behaviors and proscribe certain acts or omissions. Rights and duties are two sides of the same Janus-like ethical coin.

This duality confuses people. They often erroneously identify rights with their attendant duties or obligations, with the morally decent, or even with the morally permissible. One’s rights inform other people how they MUST behave towards one – not how they SHOULD or OUGHT to act morally. Moral behavior is not dependent on the existence of a right. Obligations are.

To complicate matters further, many apparently simple and straightforward rights are amalgams of more basic moral or legal principles. To treat such rights as unities is to mistreat them.

Take the right to life. It is a compendium of no less than eight distinct rights: the right to be brought to life, the right to be born, the right to have one’s life maintained, the right not to be killed, the right to have one’s life saved, the right to save one’s life (wrongly reduced to the right to self-defence), the right to terminate one’s life, and the right to have one’s life terminated.

None of these rights is self-evident, or unambiguous, or universal, or immutable, or automatically applicable. It is safe to say, therefore, that these rights are not primary as hitherto believed – but derivative.

Go HERE to learn more about the Right to Life.

Of the eight strands comprising the right to life, we are concerned with a mere two.

The Right to Have One’s Life Maintained

This leads to a more general quandary. To what extent can one use other people’s bodies, their property, their time, their resources and to deprive them of pleasure, comfort, material possessions, income, or any other thing – in order to maintain one’s life?

Even if it were possible in reality, it is indefensible to maintain that I have a right to sustain, improve, or prolong my life at another’s expense. I cannot demand – though I can morally expect – even a trivial and minimal sacrifice from another in order to prolong my life. I have no right to do so.

Of course, the existence of an implicit, let alone explicit, contract between myself and another party would change the picture. The right to demand sacrifices commensurate with the provisions of the contract would then crystallize and create corresponding duties and obligations.

No embryo has a right to sustain its life, maintain, or prolong it at its mother’s expense. This is true regardless of how insignificant the sacrifice required of her is.

Yet, by knowingly and intentionally conceiving the embryo, the mother can be said to have signed a contract with it. The contract causes the right of the embryo to demand such sacrifices from his mother to crystallize. It also creates corresponding duties and obligations of the mother towards her embryo.

We often find ourselves in a situation where we do not have a given right against other individuals – but we do possess this very same right against society. Society owes us what no constituent-individual does.

Thus, we all have a right to sustain our lives, maintain, prolong, or even improve them at society’s expense – no matter how major and significant the resources required. Public hospitals, state pension schemes, and police forces may be needed in order to fulfill society’s obligations to prolong, maintain, and improve our lives – but fulfill them it must.

Still, each one of us can sign a contract with society – implicitly or explicitly – and abrogate this right. One can volunteer to join the army. Such an act constitutes a contract in which the individual assumes the duty or obligation to give up his or her life.

The Right not to be Killed

It is commonly agreed that every person has the right not to be killed unjustly. Admittedly, what is just and what is unjust is determined by an ethical calculus or a social contract – both constantly in flux.

Still, even if we assume an Archimedean immutable point of moral reference – does A’s right not to be killed mean that third parties are to refrain from enforcing the rights of other people against A? What if the only way to right wrongs committed by A against others – was to kill A? The moral obligation to right wrongs is about restoring the rights of the wronged.

If the continued existence of A is predicated on the repeated and continuous violation of the rights of others – and these other people object to it – then A must be killed if that is the only way to right the wrong and re-assert the rights of A’s victims.

The Right to have One’s Life Saved

There is no such right because there is no moral obligation or duty to save a life. That people believe otherwise demonstrates the muddle between the morally commendable, desirable, and decent (“ought”, “should”) and the morally obligatory, the result of other people’s rights (“must”). In some countries, the obligation to save a life is codified in the law of the land. But legal rights and obligations do not always correspond to moral rights and obligations, or give rise to them.

VI. Euthanasia and Personal Autonomy

The right to have one’s life terminated at will (euthanasia), is subject to social, ethical, and legal strictures. In some countries – such as the Netherlands – it is legal (and socially acceptable) to have one’s life terminated with the help of third parties given a sufficient deterioration in the quality of life and given the imminence of death. One has to be of sound mind and will one’s death knowingly, intentionally, repeatedly, and forcefully.

Should we have a right to die (given hopeless medical circumstances)? When our wish to end it all conflicts with society’s (admittedly, paternalistic) judgment of what is right and what is good for us and for others – what should prevail?

One the one hand, as Patrick Henry put it, “give me liberty or give me death”. A life without personal autonomy and without the freedom to make unpopular and non-conformist decisions is, arguably, not worth living at all!

As Dworkin states:

“Making someone die in a way that others approve, but he believes a horrifying contradiction of his life, is a devastating, odious form of tyranny”.

Still, even the victim’s express wishes may prove to be transient and circumstantial (due to depression, misinformation, or clouded judgment). Can we regard them as immutable and invariable? Moreover, what if the circumstances prove everyone – the victim included – wrong? What if a cure to the victim’s disease is found ten minutes after the euthanasia?


Personal autonomy is an important value in conflict with other, equally important values. Hence the debate about euthanasia. The problem is intractable and insoluble. No moral calculus (itself based implicitly or explicitly on a hierarchy of values) can tell us which value overrides another and what are the true basic goods.

VII. Euthanasia and Society

It is commonly accepted that where two equally potent values clash, society steps in as an arbiter. The right to material welfare (food, shelter, basic possessions) often conflicts with the right to own private property and to benefit from it. Society strikes a fine balance by, on the one hand, taking from the rich and giving to the poor (through redistributive taxation) and, on the other hand, prohibiting and punishing theft and looting.

Euthanasia involves a few such finely-balanced values: the sanctity of life vs. personal autonomy, the welfare of the many vs. the welfare of the individual, the relief of pain vs. the prolongation and preservation of life.

Why can’t society step in as arbiter in these cases as well?

Moreover, what if a person is rendered incapable of expressing his preferences with regards to the manner and timing of his death – should society step in (through the agency of his family or through the courts or legislature) and make the decision for him?

In a variety of legal situations, parents, court-appointed guardians, custodians, and conservators act for, on behalf of, and in lieu of underage children, the physically and mentally challenged and the disabled. Why not here?

We must distinguish between four situations:

1. The patient foresaw the circumstances and provided an advance directive (living will), asking explicitly for his life to be terminated when certain conditions are met.

2. The patient did not provide an advanced directive but expressed his preference clearly before he was incapacitated. The risk here is that self-interested family members may lie.

3. The patient did not provide an advance directive and did not express his preference aloud – but the decision to terminate his life is commensurate with both his character and with other decisions he made.

4. There is no indication, however indirect, that the patient wishes or would have wished to die had he been capable of expression but the patient is no longer a “person” and, therefore, has no interests to respect, observe, and protect. Moreover, the patient is a burden to himself, to his nearest and dearest, and to society at large. Euthanasia is the right, just, and most efficient thing to do.


Society can (and often does) legalize euthanasia in the first case and, subject to rigorous fact checking, in the second and third cases. To prevent economically-motivated murder disguised as euthanasia, non-voluntary and involuntary euthanasia (as set in the forth case above) should be banned outright.

VIII. Slippery Slope Arguments

Issues in the Calculus of Rights – The Hierarchy of Rights

The right to life supersedes – in Western moral and legal systems – all other rights. It overrules the right to one’s body, to comfort, to the avoidance of pain, or to ownership of property. Given such lack of equivocation, the amount of dilemmas and controversies surrounding the right to life is, therefore, surprising.

When there is a clash between equally potent rights – for instance, the conflicting rights to life of two people – we can decide among them randomly (by flipping a coin, or casting dice). Alternatively, we can add and subtract rights in a somewhat macabre arithmetic.

Thus, if the continued life of an embryo or a fetus threatens the mother’s life – that is, assuming, controversially, that both of them have an equal right to life – we can decide to kill the fetus. By adding to the mother’s right to life her right to her own body we outweigh the fetus’ right to life.

The Difference between Killing and Letting Die

Counterintuitively, there is a moral gulf between killing (taking a life) and letting die (not saving a life). The right not to be killed is undisputed. There is no right to have one’s own life saved. Where there is a right – and only where there is one – there is an obligation. Thus, while there is an obligation not to kill – there is no obligation to save a life.

Anti-euthanasia ethicists fear that allowing one kind of euthanasia – even under the strictest and explicit conditions – will open the floodgates. The value of life will be depreciated and made subordinate to considerations of economic efficacy and personal convenience. Murders, disguised as acts of euthanasia, will proliferate and none of us will be safe once we reach old age or become disabled.

Years of legally-sanctioned euthanasia in the Netherlands, parts of Australia, and a state or two in the United States (living wills have been accepted and complied with throughout the Western world for a well over a decade now) tend to fly in the face of such fears. Doctors did not regard these shifts in public opinion and legislative climate as a blanket license to kill their charges. Family members proved to be far less bloodthirsty and avaricious than feared.


As long as non-voluntary and involuntary types of euthanasia are treated as felonies, it seems safe to allow patients to exercise their personal autonomy and grant them the right to die. Legalizing the institution of “advance directive” will go a long way towards regulating the field – as would a new code of medical ethics that will recognize and embrace reality: doctors, patients, and family members collude in their millions to commit numerous acts and omissions of euthanasia every day. It is their way of restoring dignity to the shattered lives and bodies of loved ones.

LASIK MD – How To Find The Right Doctor!

Finding the right LASIK MD should not be very difficult if you know what to look for and more importantly what is important. Today, with the increased popularity of Lasik eye surgery, it’s possible to find doctors and eye centers now advertising using direct mail and newspaper ads. Although this may be a way to start the search for the right Lasik surgeon, it’s not the way to decide who will do the procedure

Finding the right LASIK MD should not be very difficult if you know what to look for and more importantly what is important. Today, with the increased popularity of Lasik eye surgery, it’s possible to find doctors and eye centers now advertising using direct mail and newspaper ads. Although this may be a way to start the search for the right Lasik surgeon, it’s not the way to decide who will do the procedure

LASIK is the most popular refractive surgery procedure used today and stands for Laser Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis. Due to advances in technology, there are newer procedures however most are focused on delivering a better result for the patient. Due to the increase in popularity, the price of refractive corrective surgery has continued to drop

Do not assume however that the way to find the right doctor is by price alone. Here’s a short checklist to see if the doctors or eye care facilities that are being considered should stay on the short list of possible prospects

1. Education. Medical licenses are typically a general authorization to practice almost any type of medicine. Just being a medical doctor isn’t enough. Look for someone with specialized refractive eye surgery education. Although all ophthalmologists are considered specialists, they all aren’t qualified to do refractive surgery.
2. Experience. How many of the surgeries has the doctor successfully completed? Although technology continues to make it easier to obtain a satisfactory result, experience does matter.
3. Equipment and procedure to be used. Today there are many difference “flavors” of Lasik. Customer Lasik using Wavefront technology offers some of the latest advances in this field. No need to go to someone using yesterday’s technology when the newest equipment is out there and available.

Finally, there’s price. Looking in almost any major city Sunday newspaper and it becomes evident where the larger eye centers and Lasik Centers are located. These are the ones that advertise using expensive full page and color pages in the newspaper. Although most focus on price, note that due to their size, these groups and Lasik surgeons typically do a lot of business. This means experience! It also suggests that they have the capital to purchase the latest equipment. So don’t be quick to eliminate the heavy advertisers without due consideration.

Finding the right Lasik MD is not difficult considering the growth of this field. Due to competition, many doctors and eye centers, even those using the latest technological advances, are very price competitive. The most important part of finding the right medical facility to doctor is not to decide who will do your procedure based solely on price alone

Lasik Eye Surgery: Is It Right For You?

If you have poor eyesight and you have worn eyeglasses or contact lenses all your life, then you might want to consider LASIK eye surgery.

If you have poor eyesight and you have worn eyeglasses or contact lenses all your life, then you might want to consider LASIK eye surgery.

LASIK is the acronym for Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileuses. This is a procedure where the patient has to undergo surgery to reduce or totally eliminate a person’s poor eyesight.

There are certain eye imperfections that cause poor eyesight. Examples of these are:

– Astigmatism

A person with astigmatism sees ‘distorted’ imaged which is a result of deformities or irregularities on the lenses of the eyes.

– Nearsightedness

A person who is nearsighted has a condition called myopia. Here, the patient experiences difficulties seeing objects at a distance.

– Farsightedness

On the other hand, a person who is farsighted sees far objects without difficulty but the same does not apply to near objects. This condition is
also called hyperopia.

To treat these ailments, LASIK eye surgery is used, and this is the most common method of refractive surgery performed for patients nowadays.

‘The Procedure’

In LASIK surgery, there is a knife-like tool that is mainly used for the procedure: the microkeratome.

This is used to produce a very thin and rounded flap in the clear, outer layer covering the front or the eye which is the cornea. A more technologically-advanced way to create this flap is by the use of laser.

The shape of the cornea is changed permanently once this surgery is performed.

After the flap on one side of the eye is produced, this is folded back to reveal the stroma. The stroma is the mid-section of the cornea.

Afterwards, the microkeratome or the laser beam will vaporize a part of the stroma by producing computer-controlled pulses.

Then, the flap is put back into place after making the necessary corrections.

There are other types of refractive surgery that may be performed on a patient,depending on the degree of visual disability.

‘The Pros & Cons’

This type of surgery that aims to correct poor vision is very popular. Why do you think this is so? Here is a list of the advantages of LASIK eye surgery:

1. You will not feel pain while undergoing the procedure.

2. The results are immediate. Right after the surgery, you will experience an improvement with your eyesight. At the very least, you will get to literally “see” results a day or two after the operation.

Still, there is a downside to this type of medical procedure. Take a look at some of them and decide for yourself if undergoing the surgery is worth the risk:

1. Complications may arise.

Different patients respond differently to treatment. If there are certain health issued that your doctor is not aware of, the procedure may not have positive results.

2. There are certain jobs or profession which prohibit an employee undergoing LASIK eye surgery.

Be sure to check with your employer first if you think that this surgery might in any way inhibit you from doing your work.

3. The procedure is quite costly.

Over the years and because of its gaining popularity, the costs have gone down considerably.

However, it is still quite a hefty amount to squeeze out of your pocket if you are on a budget.

If you plan to undergo this type of surgery, ask your doctor about the

‘Should You Do It?’

If you are not the type of person to boldly take risks,LASIK eye surgery may not be right for you.

Before deciding to undergo the procedure, make sure that you know about the costs, health risks and take all the necessary precautions.

Also, talk with your doctor about what you should do before, during and after the surgery.

Ask them what you can expect to feel and the results that you will get right after the procedure.

Chemical Peel Facts – Is It Right For You

Nowadays, there are a lot of options available towards getting that youthful glow for your skin. From the most complicated of plastic surgeries, to a simple face lift or chemical peel – there are about a hundred options that one can choose from to remove dead skin cells and get rid of that old, wrinkled look to give your spirits a lift and your morale a boost.

Nowadays, there are a lot of options available towards getting that youthful glow for your skin. From the most complicated of plastic surgeries, to a simple face lift or chemical peel – there are about a hundred options that one can choose from to remove dead skin cells and get rid of that old, wrinkled look to give your spirits a lift and your morale a boost.

1. Skin Damage

When we go out and get exposed to sunlight, the outer layer of our skin gets damaged and dead skin cells remain embedded on our skin, resulting from the dirt that gets stuck to the pores. Thus, as we grow old, the skin looks more dull and lifeless. When you add the acne scars, freckles and other facial blemishes, you really would like to have an option to restore that youthful glow that only movie stars seem to exude on screen, no matter how old or young they are.

2. What Is A Chemical Peel?

If you would not like to go for the surgical and more complicated procedures such as face lift and plastic surgery, chemical peel is definitely an option for you. There are three basic types of chemical peel that you can choose from, depending your individual need and skin type. Basically, a chemical peel is a procedure wherein the dead skin cells and the damaged outer layers of the skin are removed. There is that chemical word in the term because a chemical solution is used to smoothen or even out the texture of the skin. Eventually, the chemical applied causes the skin to peel off, hence the term chemical peel. This is typically done on the face, neck or hands. The procedure also enhances your overall look by removing the damaged outer skin layers. This is applicable and recommended for people with uneven skin tones, for people with wrinkles and facial scars from pimple/acne, and for people who just need to improve their skin texture.

3. Mild Peel

This procedure removes the superficial skin layer. This is the most skin-friendly type of peel and may be performed on all skin types. It is used to treat simple acne and pimple scars and uneven skin pigmentation. The chemical peel involves a dilute acid solution, which normally stays on the skin for a few minutes. After the chemical has been applied, the skin is neutralized with water, then the solution is wiped off. This type of peeling procedure produces a light peel, and will result to a smoother and brighter-looking skin and improved skin texture.

4. Medium Peel

This procedure goes a little beyond the superficial layer of the skin. After the treatment, the person undergoing the procedure will experience a sun-burned look and the skin might look chafed. The chemical solution stays longer on the skin, as compared to mild peels. This is applicable for people with more sun-damaged skin types, and can treat wrinkles as well as uneven skin pigmentation.

5. Deep Peel (RARELY USED)

As compared to the mild and medium-depth peel, the chemical used for this type of peeling goes through several skin layers. This can treat more pronounced skin pigmentations and wrinkles, as well as pre-cancerous growths. Moreover, this has more medical complications and considerations so it is better to consult a medical professional before undergoing a deep chemical peel. The procedure will definitely take a longer time, about more than an hour, for the chemical applied on the affected skin to take effect. However, the results are more glaring than the first two types.

After the treatment, whether you opt to go for a mild, medium-depth or deep peel, the person who underwent the procedure will experience redness of the skin. This will be followed by scaling, then peeling. The number of days that the skin will peel depends on the strength of the treatment. It is also important to avoid sun exposure after undergoing the chemical peel procedure. Finally, it is always good to consult a medical professional before undergoing any procedure, to be on the safe side. It is better to know every detail about the treatment that you would like to undergo, so that you would know how your skin would be treated and what to expect right after the treatment.

The Search For The Holy Grail (Or Finding The Right Bra)

We’ve been hearing it for years. Seven out of ten of us are wearing the wrong size bra, ladies! And having a bra fit by a ‘professional’ may not help at all!

We’ve been hearing it for years. Seven out of ten of us are wearing the wrong size bra, ladies! And having a bra fit by a ‘professional’ may not help at all!

Too often, we rely on those silly little things called tape measures to ‘tell’ us what size we are and stick to it like gum on a shoe, when in reality, the fit will be different depending on the style, manufacturer and fabric. Charts and measurements are often no help, especially when it comes to larger sizes.

Women who have gone to have a sizing done by a professional bra fitter do not always get the best results, especially if the fitter is inexperienced or has received little training. Your best bet? Grab a handful-no pun intended- of bras in your general size and start trying them on!

The most common problem: cups and underwires. Cups should fit comfortably. In other words, your cup should not runneth over-no bulges from the front or sides; nor should they be baggy. Underwires should fit under and around the breast, resting comfortably on the ribcage-never on the breast itself and you should be able to raise your arms above your head comfortably, also.

To find the right fit you?ll also need time. Take a Saturday and make it your mission to find ‘the right one’. If you decide to see a professional, a good fitter will make you feel comfortable and at ease and will explain what she is doing. She will check where the wire, the underband and the straps fit and have the ability to know from a mathematical formula how to fit you with a bra that is supportive and comfortable, not to mention attractive and flattering to your figure.

You don’t have to spend a fortune but every woman needs a few bras of good quality in her drawer. Remember, you get what you pay for. At last, you won’t have to be one of those 7 out of 10 women walking around doing the bra cha-cha (1, 2, 3-tug and adjust).
Won’t that be nice?

Are Liquid Supplements Right For Your Healthy Diet?

Liquid nutrition products like Ensure ™ and Boost ™ have been used almost exclusively in nursing homes and hoispitals, until recently. Lately we have seen nutritional companies marketing these drinks to people of all ages and all stages of health.

Liquid nutrition products like Ensure ™ and Boost ™ have been used almost exclusively in nursing homes and hoispitals, until recently. Lately we have seen nutritional companies marketing these drinks to people of all ages and all stages of health.

Liquid supplements are supposed to be the answer for busy moms running around with the kids, business people running out the door out without time for a sit-down breakfast, and older adults wanting to insure that they will be able to enjoy their grandchildren. But what do these liquid nutrion product really offer?

In general, these supplements are composed of water, sugar, milk and soy proteins, oils, vitamins, and minerals. An 8-ounce can generally has 250 calories, and the deluxe version may have as many as 355 calories. Most are lactose free, some have added fiber, and some are specifically designed for children or adults with certain health problems.

These companies are also selling supplements in the form of pudding cups and candy bar type products, with varous nutrientional content.

What nutritional need are companies trying to help consumers answer? Below are some of the reasons companies give for buying their products.

These companies ad campaigns are using fear tactics to make you worry that you are not getting proper nutrition from your ordinary meals. True, some people are consuming less than the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for some nutrients, this doesn’t mean they will develop a deficiency disease. If you truly feel you are not getting enough nutrients from your food, you should contact a registered dietitian or a KSU Extension Specialist in nutrition. They can help you determine your needs for additional supplements.

These ?Eat on The run? Liquid supplements may be a quick way to get vitamins, minerals and protein, but there is more needed for good health! Scientists continue to discover new ingredienets in foods that provide health benefits. Consider this; the canned supplements have a severe lack of fiber and other healthy components but are really high in sugars and calories. Although this was ideal for the original intent of the products, most healthy consumers don?t want or need all the extra calories that the supplement provides.

In summary, while there is a need for liquid nutritional supplements in some medical conditions, these products are unnecessary for the average, healthy person. In addition, one must consider the cost of an 8 once can of these liquid supplements to determine if they should be included in their dietary regimen.

Japanese Hair Straightening ? Is It Right for You?

Japanese Hair Straightening is all the rage but is it really risk free?

Japanese Hair Straightening, also known as Thermal Reconditioning, is one very popular hair straightening technique you just might want to think twice about before having done.

Originating in Japan in the late 90?s the chemical products used in the process go by the names Liscio, Yuko and U.S. made Bio Ionics.

The treatment can take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours and involves numerous steps with costs ranging from $300 to $1,500 depending on the salon.

A cheaper price should raise some red flags as to the quality of the chemicals used or the expertise of the stylist according to the experts.

The result is permanently straight hair but after 4 to 6 months any new hair growth will need to be treated as well. This usually costs close to the same amount as the original treatment because it is a more time-consuming process involving straightening hair closer to the roots.

Because of the chemicals and techniques used you will not be able to curl the treated hair so you definitely want to take that into consideration beforehand.

There is also a growing concern from some stylists that thermal reconditioning may not be the perfect hair straightening solution after all.

First off, experts estimate that at least 80 percent of people that are having the treatment are not really good reconditioning candidates for several reasons:

Any recent chemical processes done to your hair such as hair coloring, bleaching or hair relaxing can cause serious problems including hair loss and breakage if you elect to have the treatment done. A hair strand test must be done first to determine whether your hair can accept the chemicals. If the salon does not offer a strand test you might want to reconsider who you trust your hair to.

It does not work on African hair because it is too fragile and can?t take the heat required during the straightening process. It is not the same as a hair relaxer which is made especially for African hair.

In fact, a growing number of women are claiming serious hair breakage problems and it has been reported in the press that one of the top Hollywood celebrity hair stylists refuses to perform the treatment because she thinks it is too much of a risk to her client?s hair.

Many women are led to believe that the process is actually good for your hair but there have been no clinical studies to prove this and by definition anything that physically alters the hair structure at the molecular level is damaging.

Even though many women have had the Japanese Hair Straightening process done to their hair with great success you should know that there can be some risk involved and if you decide to have it done to your hair be sure you use a reputable salon with properly trained stylists that will test your hair first.