July 22, 2009

Pt 1: The Kimberly Process - It's one of the hardest minerals found on the planet, and throughout the 1990s it caused some of the most brutal civil wars across Africa. Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone: each of these countries produced what became known as blood diamonds, or conflict diamonds. Colourless, priceless gemstones stained by violence, they find their way into jewelry store cases all over the world.

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Pt 2: Legalizing Euthanasia - Dying with dignity. The right to die. Assisted suicide. Call it what you will, Canadian law makers are gearing up for a debate on the issue of euthanasia.

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It's Wednesday, July 22nd.

China's City Management Agency has produced a handbook for police on how to beat up suspects without leaving marks.

Currently, it's a great leap forward from their last handbook on how to beat up suspects without leaving witnesses.

This is the Current.


The Kimberly Process

Critic

It's one of the hardest minerals found on the planet, and throughout the 1990s it caused some of the most brutal civil wars across Africa. Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Sierra Leone: each of these countries produced what became known as blood diamonds, or conflict diamonds. Colourless, priceless gemstones stained by violence, they find their way into jewelry store cases all over the world.

Civilians were dragged into the fight, often forced to work as poorly paid diamond diggers. Refusing could cost you a limb. It could cost you your life.

By 2003, outcry over the issue had governments, industry and activists come together to form The Kimberley Process. It's a certification scheme created to stop the flow - and therefore the strife - of trade in blood diamonds.

Last month, one of the founders of the Kimberley Process resigned, because he believes the process is failing. Ian Smillie was in Ottawa.

Defence

Not everyone involved in the Kimberley Process has lost faith. Eli Izhakoff is the Chair of the New York-based World Diamond Council. He was in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Legalizing Euthanasia

Dying with dignity. The right to die. Assisted suicide. Call it what you will, Canadian law makers are gearing up for a debate on the issue of euthanasia.

Last week, the ethics committee of the Quebec College of Physicians announced it was preparing a statement calling for drug-induced euthanasia to be permitted under the Criminal Code in certain circumstances.

And this Fall, Parliament will debate a right-to-die private member's bill in the House of Commons. The bill has already passed first reading.
But opposition to the idea is still very much alive.

Doctor Balfour Mount built a career around offering humane alternatives to euthanasia. He's considered the father of palliative care in Canada, and, in fact, coined the phrase "palliative care" more than 30 years ago. He's the founding director of the Royal Victoria Hospital Palliative Care Service in Montreal. He's an Officer of the Order of Canada. And he's not only a doctor, but he's also a patient. Dr. Mount has cancer of the esophagus. And he was in Montreal for the show.

Follow-up

Tomorrow on The Current (July 23, 2009) , we'll hear from Dr. Robert Buckman, a medical oncologist at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. He'll make the case in favour of physician-assisted euthanasia under certain circumstances.

Audience Feedback

We'd also like to hear what you have to say about this debate. Share your thoughts through email click on the "Contact Us" link. Or call us at 1-877-287-7366.

Music

Artist: Ray Montford
CD: A Fragile Balance
Cut: "Remember"
Label: Softail Records

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