N – Natural World
The Biorights Movement. Assisted Dying. Whose Life is it Anyway?
In terms of their bodies and their lives, people are exercising their ownership rights.
Patients are demanding cash for, and control over, their DNA; refusing to provide specimens unless they are compensated.
Human DNA is a valuable commodity in medical research and is in high demand by drug companies, the government and academic centres.
On his 85th birthday, Desmond Tutu wrote that he wanted to end his life though assisted dying and that terminally ill people should have the right to choose a dignified death. However, the Supreme Court of Appeals recently overturned a ruling by South Africa’s High Court, which granted Robin Stransham-Ford the right to die in 2015. The Netherlands, Belgium, Colombia, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Germany, Japan and Canada all allow some form of legal doctor-assisted suicide, so globally, the trend is growing.
By: Dion Chang and Raleen Bagg
Image credit: Public Domain Pictures