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Euthanasia: Doctors’ licence to kill limits aged-care options

by Angela Shanahan, The Australian, 21 October 2017

For all the talk of autonomy, euthanasia is giving doctors a ­licence to kill. Of course, we must ask ourselves how institutionalising this practice will affect the care of the disabled and particularly the frail aged. How far will it lead to a ­euthanasia mentality? ­Already doctors have expressed concern that more resources will go towards people who want ­assisted suicide than those who want palliative care.

The head of palliative care at St Vincent’s in Melbourne has pointed out the illogicality of the Victorian legislation, which will, if a terminally ill person wants euthanasia, allow for multiple medical and psychiatric assessments — but the same resources will not be available for a person who wants palliative care. In effect, we will prioritise suicide over palliative care. There is something gravely wrong in that logic.

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