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The History and Ethics of Suicide


Questions surrounding suicide have been with us for at least as long as we’ve had written record, and the answers are as varied as the times and places where they were discussed. Friday, Doug sits down with philosophy scholar Margaret Battin. She’s spent her career collecting the works of religious and secular thinkers regarding suicide. It has been considered noble, immoral, heroic and cowardly, and we’ll talk about what all of those views teach us about end-of-life issues today. [Rebroadcast]

Margaret Battin is a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and an Adjunct Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Utah. Her books include Ending Life: Ethics and the Way We Die [Indiebound|Amazon] and The Ethics of Suicide: Historical Sources [Indiebound|Amazon]

On Tuesday, June 14, Utah's League of Women Voters and Compassion & Choices are sponsoring a conversation with Daniel Diaz, husband of Brittany Maynard. The couple made headlines when they moved to Oregon to facilitate Brittany's end of life choice. The event begins at 6:00 p.m., and will be held at the Eccles Health Sciences Education Building at the University of Utah. [More Information]

Oxford University Press and the University of Utah have partnered to create The Ethics of Suicide Digital Archives, which houses historical sources.

  • American Foundation for Prevention of Suicide, www.afsp.org
  • National crisis hotline, 800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Utah Suicide Hotline
    Valley Mental Health
    Crisis Line, 24 hours / 7 days
    (801) 261-1442
Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
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