OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Debate on euthanasia to be held Nov. 16

11/09/2009

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Socratic Club at Oregon State University will sponsor a debate on the topic, “Euthanasia:  A Good Death?” on Monday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m. in Gilfillan Auditorium. 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? How should social and religious factors influence our views?

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

Wernow 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. He spent 2008-09 at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, as part of an international team that studied conscientious objection to euthanasia among healthcare professionals. Wernow, a licensed pharmacist in Oregon, is lead pastor of GracePoint Fellowship in Camas, Wash.

Roberts is associate professor in the Department of Philosophy at OSU, where she has taught ethical theory, the ethics of diversity, and feminist philosophy since 1989. She has won several university awards including the Meehan Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Dar Reese Excellence in Advising Award.

The Socratic Club is in its eighth year as a student organization at OSU. The club is modeled 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. For more information visit the OSU Socratic Club online at http://oregonstate.edu/groups/socratic