sábado, 20 de mayo de 2017

BioEdge: Should a depraved killer be allowed to commit suicide? | BioEdge | Saturday, May 20, 2017 |

BioEdge: Should a depraved killer be allowed to commit suicide?

| BioEdge | Saturday, May 20, 2017 |

Should a depraved killer be allowed to commit suicide?
The late Ian Brady is so unpopular in his native Glasgow that the city council has refused to allow his ashes to be scattered there. Brady was the notorious Moors murderer, who killed and sexually tortured five young people aged between 10 and 17, in the 1960s, together with his lover, Myra Hindley. He never showed remorse for his crimes. The trial judge described the couple as "two sadistic killers of the utmost depravity".

Brady spent the rest of his life behind bars, where he was at the centre of some bioethical issues.

He spent the first 19 years of his life sentence in solitary confinement in a prison. On one occasion, he offered to lead police to the grave of one of the victims if he were provided with the means to kill himself. This was refused. Prisoners do not have the right to commit suicide.

In 1985 he was diagnosed as a psychopath and transferred to a maximum security hospital.

In 2000, he went on a hunger strike. Under British law, the authorities are not permitted to intervene in the decisions of competent persons. (Ten IRA hunger strikers died in 1981 in the Maze Prison.) However, in Brady’s case, a judge ruled that he was incompetent and that force-feeding was part of the treatment for his mental disorder.

As late as 2012, he tried to get himself transferred out of the hospital and back into prison where he would not be force-fed. He argued that he suffered from a mere personality disorder rather than paranoid schizophrenia, as hospital psychiatrists maintained. This, too, was refused.

He died on May 15, of natural causes, at the age of 79.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Economist is the world’s best news magazine. Its stylish, intelligent and well-informed coverage has made it the Bible of the global elite. “I used to think. Now I just read The Economist,” the former CEO of Oracle, Larry Ellison, once said.
Part of its appeal is its ideological consistency. Ever since 1843 The Economist has argued that aim of public policy should be to promote the market economy as the best way of achieving prosperity and democracy. A light touch of government regulation is needed only to ensure fairness and legal certainty. Thus it embodies the “classical 19th-century Liberal ideas” which made Britain, and later the United States, a bulwark of capitalism.
Whatever the merits of this ideology in framing public policy for economics and finance, it is ill-suited to questions of personal behaviour.
In principle The Economist supports all autonomous action which is either harmless (in its view) or profitable. Hence, in recent years it has thrown its considerable prestige behind campaigns for the legalisation and regulation of drugs, pornography, prostitution, euthanasia, and same-sex marriage.
And this month it has taken up cudgels in favour of an international market in surrogate mothers and babies. “Carrying a child for someone else should be celebrated—and paid”, is the defiant headline of its editorial. Given the magazine’s influence, this is a significant development. What do you think of it? 

Michael Cook


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Ian Brady, the Moors murderer, died a natural death this week

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A Belgian bioethicist says No

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"We will never go back to those shameful times"
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