The Oregon Faith Report - Faith News from Oregon

Euthanasia: A good death? OSU to debate

November 10, 2009

The OSU Socratic Club will sponsor a debate on the topic, “Euthanasia:  A Good Death?” on Monday, November 16, at 7 p.m. in Gilfillan Auditorium on the OSU campus.  The speakers are Jerome Wernow and Lani Roberts.

Euthanasia poses a moral dilemma that stands at the forefront of contemporary discussion over physician-assisted suicide.  The subject raises questions that often produce lively and provocative debate.  What are the moral implications of euthanasia? Do we have a right to die?  Is euthanasia a personal decision based on one’s autonomy and right to happiness?  Or is life inherently sacred and does it belong to God alone?  How should social and religious factors influence our views?

The speakers will offer widely differing points of view.  Dr. Wernow will present a Christian narrative approach and Dr. Roberts a philosophical perspective.

Jerome Wernow, Ph.D., R.Ph., is director of the Northwest Center for Bioethics in Portland, where he has served for the last 12 years addressing issues such as euthanasia, assisted suicide, advanced directives, and conscientious objection.  In 2008-2009 he was an Erasmus Mundus Scholar in Bioethics at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, as part of an international team that studied the place of conscientious objection to euthanasia among healthcare professionals.  Dr. Wernow is a licensed pharmacist in Oregon as well as lead pastor of GracePoint Fellowship in Camas, Washington.

Lani Roberts is a member of the Department of Philosophy at OSU, where she has taught ethical theory, the ethics of diversity, and feminist philosophy since 1989.  She holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Oregon.  She has won several University awards including the Meehan Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Dar Reese Excellence in Advising Award.  She has twice been named a Mortar Board Top Prof.  As a social philosopher she studies the human propensity to harm one another individually and in social groups.

The Socratic Club is in its eighth year as a student organization at OSU. The Club is modelled on the original Socratic Club, which was founded at Oxford University in 1941, with C. S. Lewis serving as President. At OSU it offers a forum for opposing points of view on subjects of contemporary debate at the intersection of Christian belief and contemporary culture. Each speaker is given 20 minutes to present one side of an issue, after which the two query each other regarding their differences before the floor is opened to questions from members of the audience. Two events are planned for each quarter. For more information visit the OSU Socratic Club online at http://oregonstate.edu/groups/socratic/

  
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