When we discuss health care in Canada, we typically focus on nuts and bolts issues tied to funding and provision of services. That’s certainly relevant to what Margaret Somerville (pictured), the founding director of the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics & the Law, will be discussing tonight, but her talk falls into more of a philosophical area.

Taking and Making Human Life: Has Healthcare Replaced Religion? is the title. Here’s a brief synopsis from the University of Regina website:

Humans used to form shared values largely through a shared religion. No longer possible in secular and multicultural Western democracies, healthcare has become a major values formation forum, as our dominant concerns shift from the health and longevity of our souls to the health and longevity of our bodies. We now seek ‘medical miracles’ and ‘immortality’, or at least greatly extended life spans, and we seek control, through the use of new technoscience, over the two great events in human life: birth and death. Through an examination of the legal and ethical implications of assisted human reproductive technologies (birth) and euthanasia (death), Somerville will explore the conflict between what individuals want and society requires.

The Woodrow Lloyd Lecture goes tonight at RIC 119 (the Lab Building Addition) at 7:30 p.m. For more info call 585-4226.