MEDICAL ETHICS: Controversial Professor Speaks at CSUB
Ethicist Peter Singer outlined some of his controversial views during a lecture at California State University-Bakersfield Wednesday, which "challenge the traditional ethics of life and death," the Bakersfield Californian reports. Invited to give the university's annual Charles W. Kegley Memorial Lecture, Singer spoke before a large audience, including some protestors. Singer began his lecture arguing that medical professionals "haven't gone far enough" in their definition of death. The professor at Princeton University's Center for Human Values asserted that the medical community "could have [instead] addressed the quality of the patient's life." He said that when a person "will have no quality of life ... there is no point in keeping that person alive." He also related his ideas to assisted suicide, asking, "What possible interest does the state or the public have to force [a] person to live?" He said, "Society would be best served by openly looking at and discussing sanctity of life issues." But Natalia Ventura, a social worker for the Kern County Department of Human Services, disagreed with Singer, saying, "When you start devaluing some people's lives, then you may start devaluing other people's lives" (Cavanaugh, 5/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.