Professor wants to observe illegal assisted suicides
Academic seeks understanding of the right-to-die movement
Douglas Todd, Vancouver Sun
Published: Thursday, July 03, 2008
Canada’s university professors are preparing to defend the right of a Metro Vancouver researcher to witness illegal assisted suicides in the name of increasing understanding of the right-to-die movement.
The Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) has formed a high-level committee to investigate claims that Kwantlen Polytechnic University sociologist Russel Ogden was unjustly denied the chance to research new techniques for assisted suicide.
is currently evolving into this:
Kwantlen shuts down controversial research
By Carson Jerema | July 7th, 2008 | 3:01 pm
School remains quiet after CAUT steps in on professors’ behalf
Violations of academic freedom have become something of a cliché. Everything that comes out of the mouth (or pen) of an academic, no matter what the venue, is presumed by some to be protected. Indeed, the concept might appear to a casual observer to be a meaningless convention designed to entrench the scholar as political activist. But, this is not so. Academic freedom provides a very narrow, yet useful function.
The only relevant factor when evaluating scholarly research is whether it contributes to a field in some way, whether it has scientific worth. Academic freedom is simply protection for scholars to do their jobs. It protects the advancement of academic and scientific knowledge, and not the expression of political ideas. The right to political expression is something all in a free society enjoy, and there is nothing special about the professoriate in this matter. Some may disagree, but that is a topic for another day.
Last week, the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) announced that it would be investigating allegations that Kwantlen Polytechnic University violated academic freedom of the kind I am referring to. The charge seems justified, as Kwantlen’s behaviour is rather peculiar….