• Day 28: Full Transcript of House of Lords Debate on Assisted Dying

    Assisted Dying Bill: 2nd Reading on July 18, 2014 United Kingdom House of Lords Hansard (Published July 21, 2014) The UK’s House of Lords has…

  • Day 24: How Praying Really Hard and Grave Sucking Might Help Raise the Dead

    Directed by Johnny Clark (October 04, 2013)


    Evangelical Christians want access to more corpses … to hone their ‘raising the dead’ skills

    Barry Duke, The Freethinker (March 10, 2014)


    The people who believe in medical miracles
    BBC News Magazine (March 10, 2014)


    What is Grave Sucking?
    Michael Boehm, Youth Apologetics Training (February 12, 2014)
    Helping teens understand and defend Christianity. Helping parents train up their young in the faith.

    Last February and March I started collecting information on Evangelical Christian groups that believe in the power of prayer to resurrect the dead. It’s not an entirely new idea for Christianity (e.g. Jesus) but its supporters have ebbed and flowed over the centuries.

    One of the new groups that’s involved is called the Dead Raising Team.

    Filmmaker Johnny Clark made a documentary about the Dead Raising Team and you can watch the doc’s trailer at the top of the page.

    Slightly before I came across the Dead Raising Team, I encountered a somewhat connected but different practice called Grave Sucking. Michael Boehm, writing for the pro-Christian Youth Apologetics blog, explains that:

    Grave sucking or mantle grabbing is the belief and practice of pulling the supposed Holy Spirit powers from the dead bones of a previously empowered believer.

    Not much else to say, really.

    It’s worth noting, I think, that Boehm doesn’t support Grave Sucking and thinks that it’s, um, impractical.

    Then again, ‘miracles’ do happen. Just last February a man was declared dead in Mississippi only to wake up inside a body bag. This could also be a case of a less-than-rigorous end of life medical exam.

    Deadraiser Directed by Johnny Clark (October 04, 2013)   Evangelical Christians want access to more corpses … to hone their ‘raising the dead’ skills Barry…

  • Day 18: The House of Lords Approves Assisted Dying Bill for Committee Review

    Assisted Dying Bill [HL] 2014-15 Private Members’ Bill (Starting in the House of Lords) Sponsor: Lord Falconer of Thoroton (July 18, 2014) It’s an over…

  • Day 17: Moral Maze Radio Programme on Assisted Dying

    Moral Maze: Assisted Dying BBC Radio 4 (July 16, 2014) The Moral Maze programme on BBC radio is a long-running show dedicated to debating and…

  • Day 16: UK Prime Minister David Cameron Answers Assisted Dying Question

    David Cameron ‘not convinced’ over assisted dying bill
    PM speaks of worry about legalising euthanasia, but says he would be very happy for Commons to debate issue
    Rowena Mason and Agencies, The Guardian (July 16, 2014)

    Today saw another interesting development in the lead up to Friday’s debate on assisted dying in the UK’s House of Lords.

    Prime Minister David Cameron was asked about the upcoming debate during the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs). The Prime Minister is asked everything and anything by members of parliament during the PMQs and, in theory, has to quickly formulate some kind of response.

    His answer to the assisted dying question was intriguing. He made it clear that he thought the debate should move forward but that he personally didn’t support a change to the law.

    He used the word ‘euthanasia’ in his response, which is a key word choice. The House of Lords is debating an assisted dying law, not a euthanasia law. Assisted dying laws usually mean a person is given a lethal dose of a drug and then that person has to physically administer and ingest the drug in order to die. Euthanasia occurs when one person puts another person to death, i.e., person A injects person B with a drug so that person B will die.

    The words make a significant legal difference for any kind of death with dignity law.

    You can watch video of the entire (relatively short) exchange starting at 28:20.

    I also suggest watching the faces and reactions of the other MPs. It seems that right now many MPs would rather debate anything other than a law on assisted dying. This could change after Friday.

    David Cameron ‘not convinced’ over assisted dying bill PM speaks of worry about legalising euthanasia, but says he would be very happy for Commons to…

  • Day 15: New Developments in the UK Assisted Dying Debate

    Assisted dying: leading doctors call on Lords to back legalisation Twenty-seven leading figures write to every peer urging them to back Lord Falconer’s private members…

  • Day 14: Important Week for Assisted Dying in England and Wales

    Religious activists have too much say over our right to die The question of assisted dying needs to be discussed rationally and not held to…

  • Radically Extending Life and Choosing to Die

    Living to 120 and Beyond: Americans’ Views on Aging, Medical Advances and Radical Life Extension Pew Research Center (August 2013) If new medical treatments could…

  • The War On Death

    Death and Budgets David Brooks, New York Times (July 15, 2011) Much of the budget mess may stem from a deep cultural antipathy toward recognizing…

  • Terry Pratchett and Assisted Dying in England

    Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die BBC iPlayer (only available until 9:59PM Monday, June 20, 2011)   Terry Pratchett’s BBC Documentary Reopens Debate on Assisted Dying…

  • On the Death of Osama Bin Laden

    Watery Grave, Murky Law Leor Halevi, New York Times (May 08, 2011) Osama bin Laden’s burial at sea and the history of Shariah.   Bin…

  • Westboro Baptist Church Wins Funeral Protest Case

    Supreme Court Rules First Amendment Protects Westboro Church’s Right to Picket Funerals Robert Barnes, The Washington Post (March 02, 2011) A nearly unanimous Supreme Court…