Jeffrey Greenman: Dying With Dignity – Negotiating the Moral Debate on Assisted Suicide

Date(s) - February 5, 2014
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

Woodward (IRC) Building

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A recent video by Dr. Donald Low, a Canadian physician who became famous during the 2003 SARS outbreak in Toronto, has sparked fresh moral and political debate about assisted suicide. In the video, which was made just eight days before he died of brain cancer, Low expressed his worries about how he would die. He asked for support for “dying with dignity” through assisted suicide, but because such measures are illegal in Canada, he was unable to die as he had wished. Addressing those who oppose assisted suicide, Low said, “I wish they could live in my body for 24 hours… Why make people suffer for no reason, when there is an alternative?” In this lecture, Dr. Greenman will explore the most important reasons given for and against assisted suicide, looking at the current debates from the standpoint of historic Christian convictions about suffering, death, and human dignity.  Greenman will offer a multi-faceted rationale for upholding the longstanding Christian opposition to assisted suicide, and provide reasons why Canadian public policy should resist calls for change on this issue.


Jeffrey P. Greenman (Ph.D. in religious ethics, University of Virginia) is Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics at Regent College. He is the author of two books including Understanding Jacques Ellul, editor of seven volumes, and has written dozens of articles and book chapters on theology, ethics, education, and leadership.

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