Bodily autonomy: My body, my choice?

Polls indicate that the British public is broadly as supportive of the right to die as it is of the right to abortion. How similar are the two issues? Should a position on one of these issues determine that on the other? Most of those in favour of legalising assisted suicide claim they do so for the same reasons they support abortion rights – freedom of choice and an end to ‘backstreet’ abortions or suicides. Is there room for a third position – that abortion is morally permissible and should be legal but that assisted suicide and euthanasia are not and should not? Is individual autonomy the main issue, or are wider considerations about the morality of both abortion and assisted dying key?

The speakers include: Dr Piers Benn, philosopher, author, Commitment and Ethics, visiting lecturer in ethics, Heythrop College, London and Fordham University, New York; Ann Furedi, chief executive, British Pregnancy Advisory Service, author, The Moral Case for Abortion; Peter D Williams, executive officer, Right To Life; Dr Kevin Yuill, senior lecturer, history, University of Sunderland, author, Assisted Suicide: the liberal, humanist case against legalization. The chair is Dr Tiffany Jenkins, writer and broadcaster, author, Keeping Their Marbles.