Fighting Words

    
Publication YearIssue Date 
  Fighting Words
November 26, 2009
  Somerville's wrong about us animalsPDF files may take a moment to load

Those who saw Margaret Somerville discuss her anti-euthanasia position last Friday might have felt, as I did, that her case was left wanting. The founding director of the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law gave the lecture on the University of Calgary campus as the national debate on euthanasia grows in response to Bill C-384, which, if passed unchanged, would make Canada's euthanasia stance more progressive than even the Netherlands and Oregon.

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November 12, 2009
  Online Exclusive: Euthanasia bill has my votePDF files may take a moment to load

A proposed euthanasia bill is going through its second reading in Parliament. If passed, the bill would make euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide legal, so long as the patient is terminally ill and is in severe pain. The Canadian public is once again in a fierce debate: a recent poll shows 61 per cent of the population approves of legalizing euthanasia, in Quebec the number is near 75 per cent. But a large number in favour are also worried about the harms of enacting such a bill.

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November 12, 2009
  The monarchy has to goPDF files may take a moment to load

If you ask Canadians who Canada's head of state is three out of four people will get it wrong. According to a poll taken last year, 50 per cent thought it was Steven Harper and one-third thought it was Michaëlle Jean, the governor general. Neither are correct, of course -- Canada's head of state is Queen Elizabeth II.

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October 22, 2009
  On the abolition of state-endorsed marriagePDF files may take a moment to load

There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation." Pierre Trudeau first spoke those words as minister of justice, in defense of his Omnibus bill that decriminalized homosexual acts and legalized abortion and contraception. It was 1967 and while his measures instituted in that bill have progressed further -- you no longer need three doctors to consent for an abortion, for instance -- it was important progress nonetheless.

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October 08, 2009
  Polanski, priests and child pornographyPDF files may take a moment to load

If you're going to get a lifetime achievement award, make sure the country hosting the ceremony doesn't have a warrant for your arrest. To be more precise, make sure the United States hasn't arranged with Swiss authorities to have you arrested. I confess this isn't very valuable advice: for most this isn't a problem, and if you happen to be film director Roman Polanski, the advice is too late anyway.

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September 24, 2009
  Whoa, Dalai! Problems with the LamaPDF files may take a moment to load

There are certain things that, regardless of their results in practice, should be condemned in theory. A discussion of the Dalai Lama should treat both the theory and the practice, as it is a combination of what he stands for in principle, as well as the specifics of his leadership that together deserve criticism. That criticism should be sufficient to give pause to the West's veneration of the Dalai Lama.

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September 17, 2009
  The ethical dilemma of buying localPDF files may take a moment to load

The last few years have seen a dramatic rise in attempts to act ethically when traveling around town, shopping and eating out. Along with this increase, a growing number of people are choosing to "buy local," with numerous websites offering reasons to adopt this lifestyle. But no matter what the product is, the pros of buying them locally don't add up.

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September 10, 2009
  Human rights legislation in legal limboPDF files may take a moment to load

The recent ruling by the chairman for the Canadian Human Rights Commission has set a new precedent in human rights arbitration in Canada. The case was raised against Marc Lemire, a known white supremacist and the webmaster of a website that posted the text of a speech given by Kevin Strom, another well-known white supremacist.

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September 03, 2009
  This little piggy caused a pandemicPDF files may take a moment to load

Since the World Health Organization declared a worldwide pandemic in early June for the first time in 41 years, news about swine flu has slowly lost momentum. Now, with students going back to school in the northern hemisphere, and with fall on the way, experts are preparing for the worst as scientists try to predict exactly how bad it will be.

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