(Posted March 11, 2002)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- A legal expert and controversial activist against assisted suicide and euthanasia, Wesley Smith, will lecture on "Bioethics: Creating a Caste of Disposable People" at Juniata College at 7:30 p.m. March 18 in Alumni Hall in the Brumbaugh Science Center on the Juniata campus.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Smith describes himself as "a committed defender of the equality and sanctity of human life." He is an attorney and consultant for the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide. He has filed amicus briefs in state and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court, opposing the legalization of assisted suicide.

He has written extensively on medical ethics and the ethical issues surrounding euthanasia, including the books "Forced Exit: The Slippery Slope from Assisted Suicide to Legalized Murder" and his most recent book "The Culture of Death; The Assault on Medical Ethics in America." "Culture of Death" was named Best Health Book, 2001 by the Independent Publisher Book Awards.

Smith, a native of Los Angeles, Calif., began his career as a practicing attorney at his own law firm from 1976 to 1985. He left his law career in 1985 to pursue writing and public advocacy.

He has written a variety of consumer advocacy books including his first, "The Lawyer Book: A Nuts and Bolts Guide to Client Survival." He also wrote "The Doctor Book: A Nuts and Bolts Guide to Patient Power" and "The Senior Citizens Handbook: A Nuts and Bolts Guide to More Comfortable Living." He also co-authored four books with consumer advocate and 2000 presidential candidate Ralph Nader: "Winning the Insurance Game," "The Frugal Shopper," "Collision Course: The Truth About Airline Safety" and "No Contest: Corporate Lawyers and the Perversion of Justice in America."

Smith is a frequent television guest and commentator on such programs as "Larry King Live," "Booknotes" on C-SPAN, "Crossfire" on CNN and ABC's "Nightline." He also has written articles for the New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today and The Weekly Standard.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.