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Intelligence Squared Debate: Euthanasia Should be Legalised

Listen to Intelligence Squared Debate: Euthanasia Should be Legalised

Death is the most personal of matters, but it’s also a political hot potato.

Most of us don’t choose (or even expect) the way in which we die, but for the terminally ill, death is a looming certainty to be dealt with. And as humans live longer – largely thanks to the interventions of modern medicine – we’re more likely to die of serious illness, and to have our deaths medically postponed.

There has long been a call for governments to grant us the right to choose our own death, by legalising euthanasia. But what are the circumstances in which this right should be granted? Who gets to decide – and when? And then there’s the sobering knowledge that this is one life decision that can’t be reversed.

From medicos to philosophers, politicians to law enforcers, the terminally ill to their loved ones, this one issue we all have an opinion on – and a possible stake in.

Speakers for the motion include Beth Wilson, the outgoing Victorian Health Services Commissioner, Professor Loane Skene, an ethicist at the University of Melbourne, and Dr Philip Nitschke, the founding director of pro-euthanasia group Exit International.

Speakers against the motion include Dr Shakira Hussein, from the Asia Institute at University of Melbourne, Scott Stephens, religion and ethics editor for ABC Online, and Associate Professor Bill Silvester, Director Respecting Patient Choices Program at the Austin Hospital, and Intensive Care Specialist.

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