More Than Just Bread

Pope denounces euthanasia as ‘sin against God and creation’

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VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has denounced the right to die movement, saying it’s a “false sense of compassion” to consider euthanasia as an act of dignity when it’s a sin against God and creation. Pope Francis made the comments to the Association of Italian Catholic Doctors on Saturday. Earlier this month, the Vatican’s top bioethics official condemned as “reprehensible” ... Read More »

Medicine, morality and magnanimity in death

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In May this year, in these pages, Peter Short wrote a forthright opinion piece declaring he was dying of oesophageal cancer, had a supply of Nembutal and would end his own life at a time of his choosing. In January this year, his doctors gave him six months to live. He is still very much alive and is campaigning vigorously ... Read More »

Right to die: Choosing an end to life

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The desperation of the dying is something Melbourne woman Catherine Ringwood knows intimately. Much of her adult life has been spent in its company, first as a nurse then later as a counsellor for the pro-euthanasia organisation, Exit International. It became personal 15 years ago when she was diagnosed at just 49 with leukaemia. Since then, Ringwood has fought hard for ... Read More »

Julian Burnside: fighting from the bar

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Julian Burnside, QC, a wealthy and successful barrister and powerful and respected human-rights advocate, this week won the Sydney Peace Prize, largely for his pro bono work with asylum seekers. “I’d love to think it would help the cause of refugees,” says Burnside, “but I doubt that it will.” Burnside is savagely candid. “I’m more honoured to receive the Sydney ... Read More »

Was van Gogh Killed? New Research Says He Was Shot

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The troubled life and demise of Vincent van Gogh follows a well-known trajectory: the precocious genius, the art world’s indifference, the onset of angst and madness, and then, tragically, his suicide at age 37. Or so we thought. But according to the groundbreaking research of Pulitzer Prize-winning biographers Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, the painter didn’t shoot himself: he was ... Read More »

Pussy Riot On Art, Activism, and Their Name’s Hilarious Russian Translation

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On November 2nd, Pussy Riot members Masha Alekhina, Nadya Tolokonnikova, and Petya Verzilov joined Klaus Biesenbach for a discussion at MoMA PS1, in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibition, “Zero Tolerance“, which features the group’s work. After making an unsurprisingly badass entrance in colored sunglasses (sans facemasks) and a pause to take an Instagram photo from the stage, the trio dropped some ... Read More »

Dr George Vaillant on the formula for a long and happy life

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Why do some people flourish in later life, finding happiness and contentment while others become grumpy old men and women full of woe? If there’s a formula for a good life one man, Dr George Vaillant, knows it better than many. He was in charge of the world’s most famous, long-running study on human development. And he’s coming to Melbourne ... Read More »

Should a Child Offender Be Treated as an Adult?

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The government may recommend he still sit in the back seat of a car, but a 10-year-old boy can be charged as an adult for the homicide of a 90-year-old woman and potentially spend the rest of his life in prison. Along with Somalia, the United States is one of two countries in the world that have not ratified a United Nations ... Read More »

Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems

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In June 2011, Julian Assange received an unusual visitor: the chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, arrived from America at Ellingham Hall, the country house in Norfolk, England where Assange was living under house arrest. For several hours the besieged leader of the world’s most famous insurgent publishing organization and the billionaire head of the world’s largest information empire locked horns. ... Read More »