The right to assisted dying

Ten years ago, my late wife Anne Holliday was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. She made preparations to be able to take her own life at the end, if she needed to do so to avoid unnecessary suffering.

Like most people who make such plans, Anne died naturally at the end. But the peace of mind she got from that decision boosted her quality of life during the year and a half before she died.

Since then, I have campaigned for the right to assisted dying. Here is a talk that I gave in Paris two years ago on the issue. You can watch it above, and read it below.

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Silver medal for Game Changers movie

Photo: Anti-poacher Damien Mander

I have mixed feelings about James Cameron’s powerful movie the Game Changers, which I watched yesterday. It makes a convincing case for athletes to switch to a plant-based diet, to benefit their sporting results, general health, and even sexual performance.

It follows James Wilks, a US military instructor and former UFC fighter, as he recovers from a serious injury that left him unable to train for six months. He finds a recent study that concludes that, contrary to accepted wisdom, Roman gladiators ate little to no meat.

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Gareth Thomas is yet again a hero

It is great to see the positive public reaction to Gareth Thomas, former captain of the Welsh rugby team, announcing that he is living with HIV. While celebrities are of course ordinary people, their announcements can have a big impact on public perceptions of HIV and funding for HIV research.

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The world’s happiest countries

Photo: with Sanal Edamaraku in Helsinki

Monty Python once recorded a song about the joys of visiting Finland. It has the underwhelming chorus of “Finland, Finland, Finland, The country where I quite want to be…”

But Michael Palin’s lyrics have proven to be prophetic, as Finland is the happiest country in the world, according to the 2019 World Happiness Report.

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