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.

Dignitas: not a holiday get-away
24 Jun 2011 | CAREFUL! |  
tags: assisted suicide, Dignitas
About 160 Britons have died at Dignitas, about one in six of the clients of the Swiss suicide clinic in Zurich. What is it like? London’s Daily Mail – whose specialty is first person narratives, rather than detached commentary – interviewed the daughter of a 74-year-old woman who died there in 2009.

More than their fair share
24 Jun 2011 | FEATURES |  
tags: immigration, refugees
Most refugees flee to neighbouring countries to escape wars at home. It is the developing world which shoulders most of the burden of caring for them.

Advice from Vermont
22 Jun 2011 | CAREFUL! |  
tags: Vermont
True Dignity Vermont represents citizens opposed to the legalization of assisted suicide in their state. For a small site it packs a lot of punch, with well-reasoned posts. Check it out! Here TDV lists six reasons why assisted suicide should not be supported:

Russian Orthodox church speaks out on euthanasia
20 Jun 2011 | CAREFUL! |  
tags: Russia
Euthanasia does not appear to be a very lively issue in Russia, although it has appeared in the media from time to time. Recently Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, a spokesman for the Moscow Patriarchate gave the position of the Russian Orthodox Church:

Catholic bishops in Australia and US slate assisted suicide
19 Jun 2011 | CAREFUL! |  
tags: assisted suicide, Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, one of the most consistent opponents of assisted suicide and euthanasia, has fired two broadsides in Australia and the US. In Sydney Cardinal George Pell, an Oxford PhD with a high profile, issued a letter denouncing euthanasia, as it is on the agenda in several Australian parliaments. He warned of a slippery slope:

Belgian surgeons welcome euthanasia organs
17 Jun 2011 | FEATURES |  
tags: Belgium, euthanasia, organ transplants
For some patients, donating vital organs is said to make their lives meaningful.

Belgian doctors are using organs from euthanased patients
13 Jun 2011 | CAREFUL! |  
tags: Belgium, organ donation
Using organs from euthanased patients seem to have become a well established procedure in Belgium, only nine years after it was legalized. A press release from a team at a hospital in Leuven announced last week that it had successfully transplanted lungs from four euthanased patients between 2007 and 2009.

When animals count more than people
11 Jun 2011 | FEATURES |  
tags: animal rights, Australia, human dignity
Treat animals with kindness, by all means. But don't forget about people.

Millions lack access to palliative care, says Human Rights Watch
10 Jun 2011 | CAREFUL! |  
tags: human rights, palliative care
Tens of millions of people worldwide are denied access to inexpensive medications for severe pain, Human Rights Watch said in a report released earlier this month. The 128-page report, "Global State of Pain Treatment: Access to Palliative Care as a Human Right," details the failure of many governments to take even basic steps to ensure that people with severe pain due to cancer, HIV, and other serious illnesses have access to palliative care. As a result, millions of patients live and die in great agony that could easily be prevented, Human Rights Watch said.

Suicide hero Kevorkian dies at 83
6 Jun 2011 | CAREFUL! |  
At the age of 83, after helping at least 130 people to commit suicide, medical pathologist Jack Kevorkian, has passed away in a hospital bed in Michigan. He died without "assistance".

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