Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Debunking the Myths of a Good Death

Date: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: New York University
Kimmel Center, Room 914
60 Washington Square South, New York

A discussion about euthanasia and the value of suffering toward the end of life

with Dr. Margaret SOMERVILLE, Founding Director, Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law at McGill University, Montreal, and Daniel P. SULMASY, MD, PhD, Kilbride-Clinton Professor of Medicine and Ethics, Department of Medicine and Divinity School; Associate Director, MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, Chicago

Presented by Crossroads Cultural Center

This event is dedicated to the ongoing debate about the possible legalization of assisted suicide or, in some cases, even euthanasia.

 End-of-life issues are not easy to discuss because they involve very fundamental questions, such as the meaning and scope of individual freedom, the very value of human life and the nature of the medical profession. For this event, we have asked our speakers to help us understand better two very basic questions.

The first question is: what motivates the current push towards assisted suicide? What cultural forces are at work and how should we respond to them? Contemporary culture places a disproportionate emphasis on individual autonomy, but is that the only criterion? Is our death really just our own? Or does the idea of legal euthanasia ignore that fact that how we live and die has profound consequences on the lives of people around us?

This last question leads us to second theme that we would like to discuss tonight, namely the apparent inability of our culture to attribute any value to the unavoidable suffering that is associated with dying. Nothing makes suffering more unbearable than the perception that it is utterly meaningless. But is it really so? Is it possible to discover a possibility of good even in suffering?

The event is open to the public and free of charge.

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