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Killing isn’t caring

by William Toffler, Citizen, December 2015 Dr Toffler has practised medicine in Oregon for the last 36 years. Since assisted suicide was legalised in the state 20 years ago he has seen “a profound shift in the public’s attitude toward medical care”. His opposition to assisted suicide is personal as well as professional: last year… Read more »

Tips for managing grief during the holiday season

Palliative Care Australia has published seven tips for managing grief during the holiday season. Grief can be triggered by any number of things, a scent, a song, a picture. For many Australians the festive season, when we traditionally come together with family and loved ones, emphasises the people missing as much as those who are… Read more »

Clive James on his illness

Clive James – the great Australian critic, poet, writer and performer – was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2010. He has continued to read and write, voraciously, while he receives treatment at Cambridge’s Addenbrooke hospital. Nurses are on my mind of late. At Addenbrooke’s I see them all the time, and I expect the day will… Read more »

FBI reports hate crimes against disabled persons in 2014

The FBI collects crime statistics from 15,494 American law enforcement agencies. Its latest report  identifies that in 2014 there were 84 offences against 96 people because of their mental or physical disabilities. Note: these were only the reported cases. Click here to read the tables. Earlier this year, The Guardian reported on disability hate crimes in… Read more »

Canadian euthanasia committee says 12-year olds should be eligible

by Sharon Kirkey, National Post, 14 December 2015 The nine-member “expert panel” advising Canadian provinces on the implementation of Carter v Canada argues there should be no “arbitrary age limits” for assisted death, and that eligibility should be based on maturity and mental competence, not age. “A five-year-old? A seven-year-old? They would never be seen as… Read more »

First glimmers of second thoughts in Belgium

by Andy Furniere, Flanders Today, 9 December 2015 Belgium has the world’s broadest euthanasia law. Some people are now having second thoughts: 65 psychiatrists, psychologists and professors have published an Open Letter saying that euthanasia should not be available for psychological suffering alone. On average, 2,000 people a year in Belgium choose to end their lives… Read more »

Group encouraging doctors to sign letter against assisted suicide

by John Weekes, New Zealand Herald, 9 December 2015 New Zealand doctors are signing up to an online Open Letter at doctorssayno.nz to support the NZMA’s position statement that euthanasia and assisted suicide are unethical, even if they were made legal. Care Alliance secretary Matthew Jansen said opposition to assisted suicide was growing around the world. “Just… Read more »

Pride and Prejudice: Part Two of Why I Oppose Assisted Suicide Legislation

by Ingrid Tischler, Tales From The Crip, 5 December 2015 Ms Tischler is a wickedly funny satirist living in California and writing about seriously un-funny things. Her re-writing of a key scene from Pride and Prejudice is sub-titled ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that a woman in possession of a neurodegenerative disease must be in… Read more »

Dying with dignity: let’s focus more on the latter

by Stella Young, The Drum, 14 November 2014 Stella Young, an Australian comedian, died suddenly a year ago. The previous month she had written an opinion piece for the ABC. About five years ago I found myself in the small holding bay of a hospital operating theatre. Swimming in my enormous white gown and little… Read more »

How Does Legalization of Physician-Assisted Suicide Affect Rates of Suicide?

by David Albert Jones and David Paton, Medscape Jones and Paton analysed data in the United States to understand the impact of assisted-suicide laws on the overall suicide rate. The news is not good. Conclusions: Legalizing PAS has been associated with an increased rate of total suicides relative to other states and no decrease in nonassisted suicides. This… Read more »