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Saturday, March 20, 2010

A.C. Grayling on Diane Pretty's right to die

Well known for his impressive mane, Professor A.C. (Anthony Clifford) Grayling is a prominent English philosopher, Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London, and a Supernumerary Fellow of St. Anne's College, Oxford. He is a prolific author, publishing, last year alone, three or four books, amongst them the encyclopaedic book, Ideas that Matter: A Personal Guide to the 21st Century, which gives succinct, elegant, and thoughtful essays on many things of contemporary interest and concern, including assistance in dying (see under 'euthanasia'). He was closely involved with the legal team for Diane Pretty, a woman suffering from ALS (which is called motor neurone disease in the UK), who brought her case before the High Court in London, and also before the European Court of Human Rights in The Hague, arguing for her right to assistance in dying. While she lost her case, and the appeal to the ECHR, Diane Pretty, who sadly died as she feared that she would die, was, like Sue Rodriguez, a brave advocate for the right to die with dignity, and paved the way for many of the changes that are now taking place in England and Wales. Professor Grayling wrote a paper supporting Diane Pretty's right to assistance in dying, entitled "Diane Pretty - the case for her right to choose", and you can read it here, on Professor Grayling's web site.

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