OPIS advocates at UN Human Rights Council for access to morphine
Millions of children and adults in low- and middle- income countries, inflicted with terminal or life-threatening illnesses and suffering from severe physical pain, are unable to access morphine, an effective treatment that is easy and inexpensive to produce. As a call to action to address this devastating but solvable situation, on 14 March 2018 OPIS and International Doctors for Healthier Drug Policies (IDHDP) held an official side event with expert panellists during the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, titled “Ending the Agony: Access to Morphine as an Ethical and Human Rights Imperative”. More info here.
Human and non-human animals
Does the suffering of non-human animals matter as much as human suffering, or are "some animals more equal than others”? OPIS takes the rational ethical stance that suffering matters for its own sake, regardless of who experiences it, and that equal degrees of suffering matter equally. Although we naturally have the strongest feelings for those closest to us and value their lives most, as an organisation OPIS cares as much about any sentient being, human or non-human, that is suffering intensely. The sheer number of animals suffering on this planet, including the huge numbers kept in horrific conditions on factory farms or otherwise treated with cruelty, means that animal suffering is the area with by far the greatest potential for harm reduction, and it is also the area where the most impact can be achieved for a given amount of resources. But OPIS is not only an animal rights organisation. We think that a holistic approach to preventing suffering on our planet requires that we also aim to relieve our own suffering. We believe that this approach provides a strong basis for new frameworks for society. By drawing a parallel between human and non-human suffering without ignoring the former, we hope to build greater awareness of the latter as well.
Lucius is a co-founder and current advisor to the Effective Altruism Foundation. He studied psychology at the Universities of Basel and Oxford and is carrying out research in cognitive and moral psychology at the Department for Experimental Psychology and at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford. He previously worked as an IT entrepreneur. @LuciusCaviola
Jamie is a creative catalyst – a musician, filmmaker, author and coach who also runs workshops on personal development. Jamie was a founding member of the British supergroup Faithless and one half of the film-and-music project One Giant Leap. Jamie has become a strong opponent of factory farming and the suffering it causes to animals, viewing it as one of the greatest moral issues of our time, and actively supports creative projects to help end it. @JamieCatto
Joe is a complexity researcher and a leader in the field of culture design, dedicated to helping humanity make the transition to sustainability. Much of his work has focused on values, identity and modes of thought that shape cultural understandings of political and social issues. He is co-founder and editor of Evonomics magazine, served as research director for TheRules.org, and is coordinator for the newly forming Cultural Evolution Society. @cognitivepolicy
Samah is a humanist, career diplomat and political advisor dedicated to building a more peaceful civil society. She held key diplomatic positions representing Palestine at the UN in Geneva and at the EU in Brussels. She has worked as a lobbyist to European Union institutions and as a political advisor to the President of the UN General Assembly, and served with the UN in Libya to work with the General National Congress President on institutional building. Samah has also founded two key social projects in the West Bank, Project Hope and Zajel, and is a partner at a private investment boutique in Geneva. She strongly believes that change towards a more peaceful world is possible through grassroots work and diplomacy.
Are you interested in helping to reduce suffering in the world? Although OPIS is not currently hiring staff, we are looking for enthusiastic and creative people willing to contribute some of their time and expertise to projects and campaigns. Specific expertise that would be useful:
- Teaching and education
- Graphic design
- Video, film and animation
- PR and marketing
- Advocacy and activism
Even if you do not have any of these specific skills or experience, you can collaborate, share your own expertise and help us organise events and campaigns. You can contact us here - please let us know about your background and interests. We look forward to hearing from you!
We are also looking for financial supporters and philanthropists interested in supporting creative new projects and promoting the prevention of intense suffering as our highest global priority. You can donate directly here.
We welcome donations of any size that will help support our organisation, covering our costs and allowing us to run new projects. The Donate button below allows you make a donation via your PayPal account or credit card. We are a Swiss non-profit association, and although we are not yet tax-exempt, we expect to be granted this status in the near future. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.