Wednesday, March 28, 2012

bites of bioethics, life and death

The Oxford Centre for Neuroethics  (using the UK spelling) posts short discussions on topics related to our ongoing discussion.   Many are thought-provoking.   The talks are available at their website and on iTunes.
http://www.neuroethics.ox.ac.uk/bio-ethics_bites

One in particular (scroll down to Peter Singer) is on topic as we explore the Massachusetts ballot initiative to legalize physician assisted suicide.

PETER SINGER (MP3) - Life and Death
If a patient decides she doesn’t want to live any longer, should she be allowed to die? Should she be allowed to kill herself? If a patient is no person to decide – perhaps she’s in a coma – then should somebody else be able to decide to kill her? Who? Is there a moral difference between killing and allowing someone to die? And is the role of the doctor always to prolong life? Peter Singer, of Princeton University, is one of the world’s leading bio-ethicists, and has been reflecting on life and death issues for four decades.  
Peter Singer
Peter Singer first became well-known internationally after the publication of Animal Liberation in 1975. Since then he has written, co-authored, edited or co-edited more than 40 other books, including Practical Ethics; The Expanding Circle; How Are We to Live?, Rethinking Life and Death, The Ethics of What We Eat (with Jim Mason) and most recently, The Life You Can Save. Outside academic life, Peter Singer is a member of the Leadership Council of Oxfam America, a Vice-President of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (UK),and a member of the Advisory Board of GiveWell.net. In 2005 Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

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