Our daughter in secondary school must choose which university subject to apply. In UK, Suicide Act 1961 outlaws any physician-assisted suicide. We've had four members of our extended family who had to fly overseas to die with dignity. One was in early stage of neurodegeneration, one became disabled and found life too hard, and two feared old age. Not only did they have to pay a lot, our family had to soft-pedal our actions to comply the law.
As her life calling, she is passioned to normalize and fight for voluntary physician-assisted suicide FOR CONSENTING RATIONAL ADULTS. Obviously she wants full-time job that pays more than minimum wage. She's thinking professor.
But what subject is best? Philosophy? Law? Medicine?
Is being professor the best job for advocating physician-assisted suicide?
She ruled out
lawyer. See Reddit thread.
KingCreole8. 2 points 2 months ago
Wanting to advocate for a single issue is not really a good reason to go to law school. If you look at the academic papers cited by the Supreme Court over the last 20 years in contentious social/legal policy matters, they’re actually more likely to be authored by political scientists with no law degree than legal academics. (Even in “legal” areas like constitutional law, authors like Emmett MacFarlane who write about law but have no legal training tend to get cited more frequently than you’d expect.) You mention a Canadian lawyer with McCarthys who earned a medical degree four decades ago; that’s probably been useful for client development (McCarthys is the main firm engaged by the CMPA, the powerhouse that aggressively defends medical malpractice claims in Canada), but I doubt that background has given her any greater voice than the average health law practitioner in contentious policy areas.
Like /u/icebiker, in 2019, if you’re in a position where you could go to either medical school or law school, most practicing lawyers would advise you in private to take the medical school route. It’s a better career, and you can pursue political advocacy for medical issues on the side.
Alt_Boogeyman. 2 points 2 months ago
I don't think going to law school just to advocate on one narrow issue is a particularly good idea. It seems to me that physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia only goes to the SCC about once a decade or so.
That said, I agree with the others who suggest becoming a MD, advocating and/or publishing on the topic. You could end up being an expert in the field and eventually testify in legal cases.
Bren95. 1 point 2 months ago
Given your focus on this issue, your better route might be to become a palliative care physician. Doctors have the opportunity to do a fair bit of advocacy and lobbying at both the provincial and federal levels. That route would give you the financial means, expertise, and venues to make that push.
By contrast, it is difficult for practicing lawyers to focus on one issue, especially with a policy agenda. It could be a side project or niche, but it would be difficult to devote yourself to it. You could become a law professor focusing on health law, and perhaps add an element of advocacy to your career. But I suspect you would make a bigger difference, and sooner, by being a physician and lobbying from that angle.
politicians who must deal many other issues, not just physician-assisted suicide. Li Shengwu (Singapore's PM's nephew, Harvard Assistant Professor of Economics) quipped “As a politician, you will inevitably have to lie, I am not willing to lie about my beliefs, I am not up to it.”
She picked pallative care physician for now.