MercatorNet: promoting human dignity

Michael Cook

Michael Cook likes bad puns, bushwalking and black coffee. He did a BA at Harvard University in the US where it was good for networking, but moved to Sydney where it wasn’t. He also did a PhD on an obscure corner of Australian literature. He has worked as a book editor and magazine editor and has published articles in magazines and newspapers in the US, the UK and Australia. Currently he is the editor of BioEdge, a newsletter about bioethics, and MercatorNet. He also writes a bioethics column for Australasian Science and contributes occasional op-ed pieces to newspapers and websites in the US, UK and Australia.

Even more weirdness
20 Mar 2012 | FEATURES |  
tags: bioethics, utilitarianism
All all bioethicists crazy? Or only the utilitarians?

A killing spree in Kandahar
13 Mar 2012 | FEATURES |  
tags: Afghanistan, just war, war crimes
Have we forgotten that war really is hell and not a video game?

Official FAQ on Dutch euthanasia
8 Mar 2012 | CAREFUL! |  
tags: Netherlands
In 2010 the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs published an FAQ about Dutch euthanasia. This is a very useful document as it provides an authoritative reference for defining exactly what happens there. It covers such issues as euthanasia of demented patients (not in principle, but there are exceptions), of chronic psychiatric patients (not prohibited in all cases), of minors (between 12 to 15, parental permission required), and of infants (never, except of newborn infants suffering extreme pain and discomfort).

Briefing paper says same-sex marriage will harm future generations
8 Mar 2012 | CONJUGALITY |  
tags: intergenerational equity, reports, UK
Seven out of 10 British people believe that marriage should continue to be defined as a lifelong union of a man and a woman, and more than eight out of ten believe that children have the best chance in life if raised by their biological parents. The results, revealed by a ComRes online poll of more than 2,000 people, come on the eve of the Government consulting on opening marriage to same-sex couples. The consultation is due to be published on Thursday next week.

Artificial nutrition and hydration should normally be withdrawn, says doctor
4 Mar 2012 | CAREFUL! |  
tags: artificial nutrition and hydration
An American doctor argues in the latest issue of the leading journal Bioethics that artificial nutrition and hydration should be withdrawn from all patients in a permanent vegetative state – unless there is clear evidence that they want to be kept alive.

Questions asked about euthanasia for brain-damaged Dutch prince
3 Mar 2012 | CAREFUL! |  
tags: brain-damage, euthanasia, Netherlands
Dutch Prince Johan Friso, brain-damaged after being buried by an avalanche in Austria last month, has been transferred to Wellington Hospital, in London. Doctors believe that the 43-year-old is unlikely to recover consciousness, although will be weeks before they have a clear idea of his prospects.

Santorum sparks controversy over Dutch euthanasia
2 Mar 2012 | CAREFUL! |  
tags: euthanasia, Netherlands
So when US presidential hopeful Rick Santorum described the state of euthanasia in the Netherlands on February 3 in a forum in Missouri, he failed to kick a goal. In fact, the Washington Post fact checker, who is the son of Dutch migrants and whose uncle was euthanased, disparaged his “bogus statistics” and awarded him four Pinicchios. He was ridiculed in the New York Times and on Radio Netherlands.

A morality pill a day keeps the police at bay
2 Mar 2012 | FEATURES |  
tags: bioethics, medicine, morality
Would a morality pill with a morning orange juice really turn everyone into Mother Teresa?

Have we reached a tipping point on abortion?
28 Feb 2012 | FEATURES |  
tags: abortion, after-birth abortion, Communism
Two events last week suggest that its ideological appeal is tottering and about to fall.

New Jersey governor vetoes gay marriage
27 Feb 2012 | CONJUGALITY |  
tags: New Jersey, referendum
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie killed same-sex marriage in New Jersey with his conditional veto last week. It is an interesting reminder of the fact that while same-sex marriage may be popular among judges and in some legislatures, it has never passed in a referendum.

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