Bioethics and Academic Freedom
Bioethics. 1990 Jan; 4(1): 33-44.
The author describes the events surrounding his attempts to lecture on the subject of euthanasia in West Germany in June 1989. Singer, who defends the view that active euthanasia for some newborns with handicaps may be ethically permissible, had been invited to speak to professional and academic groups. Strong public protests against Singer and his topic led to the cancellation of some of his engagements, disruptions during others, and harrassment of the German academics who had invited him to speak. These incidents and the subject of euthanasia became matters of intense national debate in West Germany, but there was little public or academic support for Singer's right to be heard. Singer argues that bioethics and bioethicists must have the freedom to challenge conventional moral beliefs, and that the events in West Germany illustrate the grave danger to that freedom from religious and political intolerance. (KIE abstract)
Active Euthanasia; Allowing to Die; Bioethics; Coercion; Congenital Disorders; Decision Making; Dissent; Ethicists; Euthanasia; Freedom; Historical Aspects; Infanticide; Life; Mass Media; Morality; Newborns; Parents; Physicians; Political Activity; Quality of Life; Religion; Social Control; Socialism; Suffering; Universities; Value of Life;
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