Wesley J. Smith

Attorney and award winning author Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. He is also a consultant to the Patients Rights Council, and a special consultant for the Center for Bioethics and Culture. In May 2004, because of his work in bioethics, he was named by the National Journal as one of the nation’s top expert thinkers in bioengineering. In 2008, the Human Life Foundation named him a Great Defender of Life for his work against assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Smith left the full-time practice of law in 1985 to pursue a career in writing and public advocacy. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books. 

His book A Rat is a Pig is a Dog is a Boy: The Human Cost of the Animal Rights Movement is a searing critique of the ideology and tactics of the animal-liberation movement and a rousing defense of the unique importance of human exceptionalism.

Smith’s book Forced Exit: Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide and the New Duty to Die (Times Books, 1997), a broad-based criticism of the assisted-suicide/euthanasia movement, has become a classic in anti-euthanasia advocacy and is now in its third edition (Encounter Books, 2006). Smith’s Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America, a warning about the dangers of the modern bioethics movement, was named one of the Ten Outstanding Books of the Year and Best Health Book of the Year for 2001 (Independent Publisher Book Awards). Smith also wrote Consumer’s Guide to a Brave New World, in which he explored the morality, science, and business aspects of human cloning, stem-cell research, and genetic engineering. 

He has collaborated with Ralph Nader, co-authoring four books with the consumer advocate. In addition, he co-authored (with Eric M. Chevlen, M.D.), Power Over Pain: How to Get the Pain Control You Need.

Smith has published hundreds of articles and opinion columns on issues such as the importance of being human (human exceptionalism), assisted suicide, bioethics, the morality of human cloning, the dangers of animal rights/liberation, the anti-human elements in the radical environmental movement, legal ethics, and public affairs. His writing has appeared nationally and internationally in Newsweek, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes, the Weekly Standard, National Review, The Age (Australia), The Telegraph (United Kingdom), Western Journal of Medicine, and The American Journal of Bioethics. He has been published in regional publications throughout the United States and internationally in newspapers in the U.K., Italy, Australia, and Canada. 

Throughout his career in public advocacy, Smith has appeared on thousands of television and radio talk shows, including such national programs as Nightline, Good Morning America, Larry King Live, CNN’s Crossfire, World Report, and Talk Back Live, the CBS Evening News, and Coast to Coast. He has appeared on the radio shows of Dennis Prager, Mike Gallagher, and Dennis Miller, and has also appeared on CSPAN’s Book TV and the Fox News Channel. Internationally, he has appeared on Voice of America, CNN International, and programs originating in Great Britain (BBC), Australia (ABC), Canada (CBC), Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Germany, China, and Mexico.

Smith is often called upon by members of the legislative and executive branches of government to offer advice on issues within his fields of expertise. He has testified as an expert witness in front of federal and state legislative committees, and has counseled government leaders internationally about matters of mutual concern. 

Smith is an international lecturer and public speaker, appearing frequently at political, university, medical, legal, disability-rights, bioethics, religious, and community gatherings across the United States, Europe, Mexico, Canada, South Africa, and Australia.

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