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Is Assisted Dying Ever Morally Justified and Should UK Law Reflect This?

End of life choices are of perpetual debate amongst medical practitioners, legal professionals, academia and society at large. Recent media coverage of the pronouncements made on Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia legislation by Keir Starmer QC (Director of Public Prosecutions) has emphasised the pressing need for more clarity – what constitutes a ‘voluntary decision’ to end one’s life? How do we measure which course of action is most compassionate for the terminally ill? When does assisted suicide become mercy killing? Can UK law even adequately account for the nuances of this delicate issue?
On April 22nd at Conway Hall all of these questions, and more, will be discussed by a panel of diverse and influential opinion-makers and experts. Join us to debate one of the defining ethical dilemmas of our times.

SIMON BLACKBURN is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge, Vice-President of the British Humanist Association and former editor of the journal Mind.
DR MARGARET BRANTHWAITE is a former consultant physician and anaesthetist. She took early retirement from medicine in 1993 and retrained as a barrister, subsequently practising at the independent Bar, as a deputy Coroner and ultimately as an employed barrister with Medical Defence Organisations.
CHARLES FOSTER is a barrister, author and tutor in medical law and ethics at the University of Oxford.
BRENDAN O'NEILL is the editor of Spiked Online, which proclaims itself as “an independent online phenomenon dedicated to raising the horizons of humanity”. O'Neill has contributed articles to The Spectator, the New Statesman, The Guardian and BBC News Online, amongst others.
DR PETER SAUNDERS is a former general surgeon and director of Care Not Killing, a UK-based alliance of individuals and organisations which campaigns to promote better palliative care and oppose changes to existing euthanasia laws.
SARAH WOOTTON is chief executive of Dignity in Dying, which campaigns for greater patient choice at the end of life. Prior to this, she was head of communications and change at the Equal Opportunities Commission.
Chairing the debate will be JIM HERRICK, who is Chair of South Place Ethical Society and former editor of both New Humanist and The Freethinker.

The debate is FREE and open to the public – no bookings are required but please arrive early to guarantee a seat.


For more info please contact programme@ethicalsoc.org.uk


Professor Simon Blackburn | talks
Dr Peter Saunders | talks
Sarah Sarah Wootton | talks
Brendan O'Neill | talks | www
Charles Foster | talks
Dr Margaret Branthwaite | talks


Date and Time:

22 April 2010 at 6:00 pm


2 hours



Conway Hall
Conway Hall
25 Red Lion Square
0207 242 8034

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