Last updated on: 8/14/2014 | Author: ProCon.org

Michael Irwin, MPH, MD Biography

Title:
Former Medical Director at the United Nations and current Coordinator of My Death, My Decision (formerly SOARS)
Position:
Pro to the question "Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?"
Reasoning:

“The right to die should be a matter of personal choice.

We are able to choose all kinds of things in life from who we marry to what kind of work we do and I think when one comes to the end of one’s life, whether you have a terminal illness or whether you’re elderly, you should have a choice about what happens to you…

I’m pro life – I want to live as long as I possibly can, but l also believe the law should be changed to let anyone with some severe medical condition which is causing unbearable symptoms to have an assisted suicide. I wouldn’t want to be unnecessarily kept alive against my own will.”

Michael Irwin, “Euthanasia: The Right to Die Should Be a Matter of Personal Choice,” Mirror, Aug. 19, 2013

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
    Experts
Individuals with MDs, JDs, PhDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to end-of-life issues. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to end-of-life.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Founder and Coordinator, My Death, My Decision (formerly SOARS), 2009-present
  • Director, Right-to-Die Europe, 2011-2013
  • Coordinator, Secular Medical Forum, 2006-2008
  • Former Chair, Voluntary Euthanasia Society (now Dignity in Dying)
  • Treasurer, World Federation of Right-to-Die Societies, 2008-2012
  • Recipient, Secularist of the Year Award, 2005
  • President, World Federation of Right-to-Die Societies, 2002-2004
  • Chairman, Voluntary Euthanasia Society, 2002-2004
  • Vice Chairman, Voluntary Euthanasia Society, 2002-2004
  • Vice President, World Federation of Right-to-Die Societies, 2000-2002
  • Party Candidate, Kensington and Chelsea (Living Will Campaign), 1999
  • Director, Doctors for Assisted Dying, 1998-2001
  • Chairman, Voluntary Euthanasia Society, 1996-2000
  • Chairman, UN Association, 1996-1998
  • Vice Chairman, UN Association, 1995
Education:
  • MD, Unknown school
  • MPH, Columbia University, 1960
  • MB BS, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College, 1955
Other:
  • Health Consultant, Westside Action, 1993-1995
  • Director, Westside Action, 1991-1993
  • Advisor, ActionAid, 1990-1991
  • Consultant, American Association of Blood Banks, 1984-1990
  • Director, Health Services Department, World Bank, 1989-1990
  • Medical Director, United Nations, UNICEF, and UNDP, 1982-1989
  • Senior Advisor, UNICEF, 1980-1982
  • UNICEF Representative, Bangladesh, 1977-1980
  • Director of Personnel, United Nations Development Programme, 1973-1976
  • Medical Director, United Nations, 1969-1973
  • Medical Officer, United Nations, 1957-1969
  • Doctor, Prince of Wales Hospital, 1955-1956
  • Born June 5, 1961
  • Struck off the medical register following a 2005 arrest for confessing to attempting to assist the suicide of a terminally ill friend in 2003.
Quoted in:
  1. Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?