Bioedge
Friday, October 24, 2014

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FROM THE EDITOR

Hi there, 

A big thank you to all who took the time to respond to our recent readers’ survey. We have received more than 700 responses – a record! Here are some of the more significant findings we’d like to share with you.

1. We have a highly educated readership, with more than 30% having a degree or a diploma and almost 60% having a masters or a doctorate. More than 75% work as doctors, nurses, university lecturers, ethicists, schoolteachers or scientific researchers.

2. There is scope to tap your interest to be part of our mission in a more tangible way. More than 40% are prepared to pay a subscription fee or make a donation, but close to 80% have never donated.

3. Most of you say that BioEdge is informative, has interesting angles they can't find elsewhere and is objective in its news coverage. More than 90% like the high quality or timeliness and relevance of our articles. More than 60% like our website design and functionality. More than 30% often share BioEdge with colleagues and friends. 

4. The top subject areas of interest are euthanasia, abortion, genetic engineering, reproductive technology, bioethics theory, stem cell research and conscientious objection.

5. Here are some of your suggestions for improvement:

  • There are some topics where discussions at greater depth, or referral to a more detailed source would be helpful.
  • Anytime you have short, compelling audio sound bites, make them available.
  • Articles could be more in depth, longer and with more technically demanding content.

6. Finally, here are some of your heart-warming testimonials:

  • As I am not able to keep even moderately in touch with the world of medical technology, I appreciate having my attention drawn to recent developments and some expression of opinion on these which enable me to make up my own mind. Jean Cartmell, Wellington, New Zealand.
  • BioEdge is great for applying ethical issues that we discuss as students involved in the health field, and applying these to current world events. Corinne, Hobart, Australia.
  • For me BioEdge is the leading edge. It is often where I begin to begin an inquiry and take it deeper or expand it. I strongly recommend it to my students and colleagues. Jack Furlong, Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky, USA
  • BioEdge is very useful for students of bioethics ,it highlights the current bioethical dilemmas generated by advances in science and technology. Students appreciate the diversity of the issues that are exposed and the controversies arising from them as well as the laws promulgated by various countries. Adnan Mroueh, MD, Beirut, Lebanon.
  • BioEdge is the kind of publication a freedom-loving thinking person is delighted to read. Not because it is a comforting cheerful collage of news, but because it is a stark and alarming messenger about things hidden from most people by a complicit media while politicians and non-elected social tinkerers go about the business of perfecting society according to their own self-image. BioEdge is a wake-up call. Teague Cuddeback, Houston TX, USA
  • BioEdge is well informed, incisive, and admirably counter-cultural when necessary. A good antidote to the consequentialism of much contemporary bioethics. Robert Flynn, Gatineau, Québec, Canada
  • In the age of banal sensations and superficial approaches, BioEdge offers a regular, well-selected, informative, and objective overview of bioethical hot topics – a precious source for those involved in teaching. Amir Muzur, Rijeka, Croatia
  • BioEdge keeps me aware of bio-ethics issues which my local news media does not even care to mention or report. Without BioEdge's regular newsletter I would be in the dark on so many important issues. Sarjeet Singh Sidhu, Ipoh, Malaysia

Thanks to all who participated in the survey. The results were very heartening and we hope to improve our service in the year ahead. Cheers!

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Michael Cook
Editor
BioEdge
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2014-10-21 12:47 AM
Assisted suicide debate intensifies in Scotland
by Xavier Symons | Oct 24, 2014 |
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tags: assisted suicide, Scotland

British Anti-euthanasia group Care Not Killing (CNK) has launched a major online campaign intended to derail a new assisted-suicide (AS) bill being debated in the Scottish parliament.

The proposed legislation, due to be discussed by the parliamentary justice committee next Tuesday, would make assisted suicide legal for people as young as 16 who suffering from “a terminal or life shortening illness”. 

The bill was originally moved by Margo MacDonald, an MSP who died in April following a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. 

CNK’s online petition labels the proposed changes “unnecessary, unethical and uncontrollable”. Extant penalties, the petition states, “act as a strong deterrent to exploitation and abuse whilst giving prosecutorial discretion in hard cases.”

CNK spokesperson Dr Gordon MacDonald said that a change to the law would “place pressure on vulnerable people to end their lives for fear of being a financial, emotional or care burden upon others.”

Earlier in the year influential Scottish journalist Kevin McKenna wrote a scathing critique of the bill, criticising the “twisted morality” and “bizarre…deathly obsession” that underpinned it.  

Patrick Harvie MSP, and ardent supporter of the bill, accused CNK of providing a distorted picture of proposed changes:  “I hope that MSPs will judge this bill on its own merits before reaching their decision.” 

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Editor
Michael Cook
Office address: 75 Archer Street | Chatswood NSW 2067 | Australia
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Email: michael@bioedge.org