A Culture of Death

Diane Martindale in Scientific American:

In the underworld of assisted suicide and euthanasia, Russel Ogden examines the means and methods–even as he is shunned by academia and chased by the law:

0009b98148c51289837d83414b7ffe9f_1In 1990 David Lewis, a Vancouver man living with HIV, went to a local newspaper and announced that he had assisted eight friends, all suffering from AIDS, in committing suicide–an act of murder in the eyes of Canadian law. For many people, the news simply affirmed what they had long suspected was happening in the AIDS community. But to Russel Ogden, a criminology graduate student at Simon Fraser University looking for a research project, it was an opportunity to go where no scientist had ventured before.

“I had a population in my backyard that had been living with euthanasia issues for some time,” recalls Ogden, who is believed by many to be the first researcher in North America to have formally studied the practices of underground assisted suicide and euthanasia.

More here.