Matters of Life and Death

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Assisted dying: The Meacher Bill, radicals in the Lords, Canada's slippery slope and fragile conscience protections

This week we’re digging into assisted dying. A bill to legalise it in England has been introduced to parliament – what does it propose and how likely is it to actually become law? And zooming out a little, what are the social factors behind this renewed push to introduce a form of euthanasia to Britain, and in particular via the House of Lords of all places? Finally, we discuss what we could learn from Canada – which has brought in its own form of assisted suicide, with some alarming consequences, since we in the UK last debated it six years ago. 


You can find more information on Canada's Medical Assistance in Dying programme here: https://www.betterwaycampaign.co.uk/canada

John's article unpacking the Meacher Bill is here: https://johnwyatt.com/2021/07/08/whats-wrong-with-the-assisted-dying-bill

You can also find lots more material and resources on the topic on this page on his website: https://johnwyatt.com/medical-ethics/euthanasia-and-palliative-care

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5/26/2021

Coronavirus: Miscounting deaths, the Sun's front page, key workers with long covid and vaccine generosity

In today’s episode we’re returning to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s been almost six months since we last dedicated an episode to covid, and since then a lot has happened. Hundreds of millions of vaccine doses have been delivered around the world, but are they going to the right people at the right time? We now know the vaccines increase by a tiny amount the risk you might experience a dangerous blood clot in the brain – how have we done at understanding that risk and putting it in its proper context? We’re also sadly much more familiar with long covid– what’s going on there and how should we as a society look after those suffering these symptoms? And finally, does the way we count – or rather, significantly undercount – deaths caused by coronavirus really matter?Please take our three-minute listener survey to help us improve the podcast - https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdJjFoI3G6a-5lJ07S7vBm_yxOkDVoDQXQfI6RnrZSJNI2zuw/viewformThe ONS report on how many people in the UK have long covid - https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/prevalenceofongoingsymptomsfollowingcoronaviruscovid19infectionintheuk/1april2021 The BBC Radio 4 programme on long covid - https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000w4t4The Sun's front page on the blood clot risk - https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/14589798/brilliant-front-page-oxford-astrazeneca-vaccine/The government's information page on the blood clot risk with the covid vaccines - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-and-blood-clotting/covid-19-vaccination-and-blood-clotting