Wesley J. Smith
is a lawyer and an award winning author, a senior fellow in bioethics at the Discovery Institute
, an attorney for the International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
, and a special consultant for the Center for Bioethics and Culture
. In 2004 he was named by the National Journal
as one of the nation’s top expert thinkers in bioengineering.
Smith has authored or co-authored eleven books. He formerly collaborated with consumer advocate Ralph Nader, and has been published in regional and national outlets such as the New York Times, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, the New York Post, and many others.
Smith practiced law in the San Fernando Valley from 1976-1985, at which time he left lawyering to pursue other interests, particularly as a public policy advocate. His first book in 1987 was The Lawyer Book: A Nuts and Bolts Guide to Client Survival
, which was introduced by consumer advocate Ralph Nader beginning a collaboration between the two men. Smith is a prolific author, and frequent contributor to National Review
and The Weekly Standard
. He closely followed the case of Terri Schiavo
in 2005, and wrote frequently
on the topic. He opposes assisted suicide and euthanasia. He is also a noted critic of mainstream views in bioethics, human cloning research, and of what he calls the radical animal liberation movement His book Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America
was named Best Health Book of the Year at the 2001 Independent Publishers Book Awards..
Smith is a frequent guest on radio and television talk shows, having appeared on national programs such as Good Morning America and Nightline, as well as internationally on BBC 4. He has testified as an expert witness in front of federal and state legislative committees, and is an international public speaker. His blog Secondhand Smoke discusses the issues about which he advocates, as well as promoting the importance of human exceptionalism. He also contributes a biweekly podcast called Brave New Bioethics, which is produced by the Discovery Institute. His work as a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute is with the Project on Human Rights and Bioethics, which seeks to promote universal human rights by opposing eugenics ideas in the fields of bioengineering and medical policies such as medical futility and health care rationing, discrimination in health care, slavery and human trafficking, and granting "rights" to non humans.
Smith is married to the syndicated newspaper columnist, Debra J. Saunders.
- The Lawyer Book: A Nuts and Bolts Guide to Client SurvivalPrice Stern Sloan Publishers, 1987, ISBN 0-8431-1569-6
- The Doctor Book: A Nuts and Bolts Guide to Patient Power Price Stern Sloan Publishers, 1988, ISBN 0-89586-747-8
- The Senior Citizen's Handbook: A Nuts and Bolts Guide to More Comfortable Living Price Stern Sloan Publishers, 1989, ISBN 0-89586-795-8
- Winning the Insurance Game (1990) by Wesley J. Smith and Ralph Nader, ISBN 1-877961-17-5
- The Frugal Shopper (1991) Wesley J. Smith and Ralph Nader, ISBN 0-936758-30-9
- Collision Course: The Truth About Airline Safety (1993) Wesley J. Smith and Ralph Nader, ISBN 0-8306-4271-4
- No Contest: Corporate Lawyers and the Perversion of Justice in America (1996) Wesley J. Smith and Ralph Nader, ISBN 0-679-42972-7
- Forced Exit: The Slippery Slope from Assisted Suicide to Legalized Murder (1997), ISBN-8129-2790-7
- Forced Exit: Euthanasia, Assisted Suicide, and the New Duty to Die (2006) Encounter Books, ISBN 1-59403-119-3
- Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America (2001), ISBN 1-893554-06-6
- Power Over Pain, co-authored with Eric M. Chevlen, MD, 2002, ISBN 0-9710946-0-8
- Consumer’s Guide to a Brave New World (2005), ISBN 1-893554-99-6