Should We Prepare For The End?

New Report Calls for Decriminalisation of Assisted Dying In Canada 

End of Life Report, BioethicsA report commissioned by the Royal Society of Canada, and published earlier this week in the journal Bioethics, claims that assisted suicide should be legally permitted for competent individuals who make a free and informed decision, while on both a personal and a national level insufficient plans and policies are made for the end of life.  

End-of-life decision-making is an issue wrapped in controversy and contradictions for Canadians. The report found that most people want to die at home, but few do; most believe planning for dying is important and should be started while people are healthy, but almost no one does it. And while most Canadians support the decriminalisation of voluntary euthanasia and assisted suicide, both remain illegal under the Criminal Code of Canada. 

The Royal Society of Canada (RSC), a national organisation of distinguished scholars, artists and scientists, believes the time has come for a national debate on end-of-life decision making as assisted dying is a critically important public policy issue, where opinion, practice and the law seem out of alignment. 

Read this report for free now!

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Banning Discussion of Suicide?

Newspaper and pages are currently impressed with the melancholoy story of two stangers (Joanne Lee and Steve Lumb) who met on a suicide discussion forum and subsequently met for the first time in order to fulfill a suicide pact, dying together in a fume-filled car.

Of course the circumstances of these deaths are incredibly sad and we should have sympathy for those affected by their demise. However, when individuals like the understandably distraught father of one of those now dead call for the banning of newsgroups and forums focused on suicide on the grounds that they provide an opportunity for depressed individuals to be both encouraged to end their own lives and instructed on preferred methods, they’re simply mistaking the medium of communication for the message. Continue reading “Banning Discussion of Suicide?”

Virtual Conference Report: Day Nine (29 Oct, 2009)

Beowulf.firstpageBy Paula Bowles

Today marked the penultimate day of Wiley-Blackwell’s first Virtual Conference. As I am sure you will all agree, thus far, each day has contained many gems, and today has been no different. Eileen Joy’s (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville) keynote lecture: ‘Reading Beowulf in the Ruins of Grozny: Pre/modern, Post/human, and the Question of Being‐Together’ looks at the aftermath of the Russian bombing of Chechnya through the lens of Beowulf.

The two final papers of the conference were provided by P. Grady Dixon (Mississippi State University) & Adam J Kalkstein (United States Military Academy) and Nicole Mathieu (CNRS, University of Paris). Their papers respectively entitled: ‘Climate–Suicide Relationships: A Research Problem in Need of Geographic Methods and Cross‐Disciplinary Perspectives’ and ‘Constructing an interdisciplinary concept of sustainable urban milieu’ have looked at indisciplinarity from a geographical and environmental perspective.

The final publishing workshop was ‘How to Survive the Review Process’ by Greg Maney (Hofstra University). Although, the conference is due to end tomorrow it is not too late to register and take advantage of the book discount and free journal access. Each of the papers and podcasts will remain on the website, and it is hoped that you will keep the comments coming in.