Udo Schüklenk is a Professor of Philsophy at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. His specialty is bioethics.
Udo gave a presentation at Eschaton 2012 on Myths About Atheist Values. He covered three topics …
1. Are atheists moral? Yes
2. Does life have meaning or purpose? No, not the same kind of meaning and purpose that theists imagine.
3. Do atheists value human life? Yes.
Udo has a blog and one of the services he provides on his blog is to teach us about bioethics. Part of this service is to expose quacks masquerading as bioethicists. It's a thankless job but someone has to do it.
Fortunately, Udo concentrates on Canadian quacks so you won't be overwhelmed. There are only a few hundred, mostly doctors.
Perhaps Canada's most famous quack bioethicist is Margaret Somerville, a Professor of Law at McGill University, (Montreal, Quebec, Canada). She's best known for her opposition to same-sex marriage and she's been advertised on television and in newspapers as a bioethicist who has rational views on the dangers of legalizing same-sex marriage. (She wasn't very persuasive since same-sex marriage is legal in Canada.}1
Udo Schüklenk chaired an experts panel on end-of-life decisions for the Royal Society of Canada [End-of-Life Decision-Making in Canada: The Report by the Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel on End-of-Life Decision-Making].
Margaret Sommerville didn't like their recommendations. She claims that further legalization of euthanasia will lead to people being killed against their will.
Here's how Udo deals with that issue …
Evidence has never been Ms. Somerville's strongest point. So, without any evidence to back up her claims she declares on the Catholic website, “One of the things that's wrong with respect to Justice (Lynn) Smith's judgment (in Carter v. Attorney General of B.C.) is that she purports to review the use of euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide in the jurisdictions that have legalized it. She said there is no problem, there is no slippery slope. Well, that's simply not right factually.” It turns out, in our Report on end of life decision-making in Canada we reviewed the empirical evidence on the slippery slope matter and concluded that there is no evidence that assisted dying leads us down slippery slopes to unwanted killings. Of course, we reviewed evidence, Ms Somerville is in full preaching mode.
I like this guy! He thinks that real, scientific, “evidence” is an important part of any debate.
1. We're anxiously waiting to see if her predictions about kids of gay parents being traumatized will come true.