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.

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".

Causes? What causes?
20 May 2011 | FEATURES |  
tags: Catholic Church, homosexuality, sex abuse crisis
A US$1.8 million report on child sex abuse in the Catholic Church was five years in the making but offers few insights.

What we all need is a user-friendly euthanasia clinic, says Nitschke
19 May 2011 | CAREFUL! |  
tags: Philip Nitschke
Euthanasia activist Philip Nitschke has reiterated his determination to set up “Exit clinics” where people can organise their deaths – as soon as legislation is passed in Tasmania or South Australia. Writing this week in Online Opinion, an Australian web magazine, Dr Nitschke says:

Rollercoaster to death
18 May 2011 | CAREFUL! |  
“And now for something completely different” is a Monty Python catch phrase which seems both true and inadequate for the brainchild of a Lithuanian inventor at Imperial College London. Julijonas Urbonas has designed a euthanasia roller coaster.

With so much shopping to do, who has time for kids?
13 May 2011 | FEATURES |  
tags: demography, fertility
Some countries may be caught in a low-fertility trap which dooms them to declining populations.

Proud to be a wimp
10 May 2011 | FEATURES |  
tags: Osama bin Laden, terrorism
Asking hard questions about the morality of killing Osama bin Laden is not being effete and cowardly.

It feels kinda weird
3 May 2011 | FEATURES |  
tags: Osama bin Laden, war on terror
Take 2: Human dignity was not served by images of jubilant crowds cheering at the news of the death of Osama bin Laden.

From a doctor who changed her mind
9 Apr 2011 | CAREFUL! |  
tags: palliative care
Dr Diane E. Meier is one of America’s leading palliative care physicians. She is Director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and is the recipient of numerous awards. She was once an advocate of assisted suicide, but has changed her mind. Here are some remarks she made last month at a community seminar in Vermont.

Nurses union boss endorses euthanasia
7 Apr 2011 | CAREFUL! |  
tags: Australian Nursing Federation
Nurses are the front line of health care so their views on euthanasia matter a lot. That’s why it was so surprising to read an editorial in the Australian Nursing Journal by the president of the Australian Nursing Federation, Coral Levett, which endorses it wholeheartedly. It is a personal endorsement, but since her union has 200,000 members, her personal views are likely to influence policy-making within the Australian Labor Party, and even in the Gillard government.

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