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The Contagion of Euthanasia and the Corruption of Compassion

by Arthur Goldberg and Shimon Cowen, The Public Discourse, 11 September 2017

Mr Goldberg is Co-Director of the American-based Jewish Institute for Global Awareness. Mr Cowen is Director of the Institute for Judaism and Civilization in Melbourne, Australia.

Humans do not live in isolation. The more our culture sends messages that some lives are less valuable than others, the more some people will internalize messages to end their lives. A psychological contagion of suicide is unleashed by euthanasia and assisted suicide laws. Condoning suicide in one circumstance implicitly condones it across the board. The wrong of suicide is no longer absolute: death is made a reasonable—even the expected—response to pain, misfortune, and sadness.

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Narelle Henson: Complex matters of life and death

by Narelle Henson, Waikato Times, 15 September 2017

In fact, ACT’s David Seymour dismissed O’Connor’s claim using the example of suicidal young people, a group we are rightly fighting desperately to save in New Zealand. But in Belgium where euthanasia is legal, a suicidal young woman won the right to euthanasia. Why? Because the courts agree that death is a reasonable and good response to suffering – physical or mental.

When compassion means allowing some to choose death to relieve suffering, how can it also mean convincing others to live through it?

If we cannot answer these questions, then surely, we have to face the fact that what we are fighting with one hand, we are feeding with the other.

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Words Matter

A blog post from HOPE: Preventing Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, 4 September 2017

HOPE is a coalition of groups and individuals who oppose the legalisation of euthanasia and assisted suicide and support measures that will make euthanasia and assisted suicide unthinkable. 

Unmistakeably, [sic] in acts of euthanasia, the subject person’s life is ended by the direct and deliberate action of a doctor who, by his or her actions, kills the person. Unmistakably also, a doctor who provides assistance (usually in the form of a prescribed lethal dose) so as to enable a person to take their own life using that substance, assists in their suicide.

Yet repeatedly over recent years we have seen the adoption of euphemisms that attempt to disguise these realities. Bill titles worldwide such as, ‘Death with Dignity’, ‘Dying with Dignity’, ‘End of Life Options’ and, my personal favourite, ‘Patient Choice at the End of Life’ have obfuscated the truth.

The intention is clear: words like ‘euthanasia’ and even ‘suicide’ in this context have a clear ‘yuk factor’. That may be so. But surely the public have a right to the truth and the political classes, an obligation to legislate factually. Options? Choices? Dignity? Really?

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Assisted Suicide – What’s The Big Song and Dance?

by Mik Scarlet, HuffPost UK, 21 August 2017

Mr Scarlet is a broadcaster, journalist, and musician.

However much many would like to think that our community has gained increasing equality and rights, disabled people are still not seen as truly equal. With the Paralympics fast approaching and Channel 4 rolling out it’s Superhumans publicity campaign it becomes obvious that disabled people doing usual things like singing, playing music and/or playing world class sport is still seen as special – mostly as disability is still understood as being the loss of ability, the loss of being normal.

This loss is feared by most of the non-disabled world, and means that for most people who become disabled, the stereotypes of disability leave them heartbroken at what the new future might hold. Is a society, which understands disability as something to fear, as a tragic loss of independence, autonomy and freedom really ready to allow assisted suicide?

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Euthanasia & Assisted Suicide: The 2017 General Election

David Seymour’s End of Life Choice Bill – which seeks to legalise euthanasia and assisted suicide – still awaits debate in Parliament, which will take place sometime after our general election on 23 September 2017.

Ultimately, the outcome of Seymour’s Bill will be determined by the 121 Members of Parliament (MPs) that will be elected or re-elected to Parliament after the election. The political candidates and parties you vote for and where they stand on this issue will influence how many votes are for or against Seymour’s Bill.

With the election less than two weeks away, the Care Alliance invites you to consider euthanasia and assisted suicide as an election issue to take into account when you are deciding who to vote for.

See where the Party Leaders stand.

(Image Source: Value Your Vote 2017: Euthanasia/Assisted Suicide, Family First NZ.)

 

What can you do?

  • Write to or email your local candidates to ask them where they stand on this issue.
  • Drop by your local MPs office and say that this is an important issue for you.
  • Encourage friends and family members who can also vote in this election to consider this issue when they vote.

 

For more information on the issue, check out:

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Dutch right-to-die group confirms elder abuse risk – but doesn’t seem to care

by Paul Russell, MercatorNet, 5 September 2017

Paul Russell is director of HOPE: preventing euthanasia & assisted suicide, which is based in Australia.

In recent years the discussion about ‘life ending actions’ has turned to assisted suicide for ‘completed life’; where a person over a certain age may declare that they wish to end their lives even though they may have no serious medical issues.

The Co-operative Last Will organisation is frank about the possible collateral damage: “The Cooperative Last Will and its members (3,500 people) point out the existence and functioning of the new drug. The club realizes that it involves the risks. An extreme consequence could be that children give the means to their old and wealthy parents because they want to claim their inheritance.”

Robbing oneself of life is suicide – elder abuse to death is murder. But who would ever know.

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Top New York court rules against physician-assisted suicide

by Alex Schadenberg, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, 7 September 2017

The New York court upheld the clear and fundamental distinction between killing and letting die. The withdrawal of treatment does not cause death, but rather it does not delay natural death from occurring whereas assisted suicide directly and intentionally causes death.

The court then stated that there is no right to assisted suicide and they recognized that the State has a legitimate interest in prohibiting assisted suicide.

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You can find the full court decision here.

 

 

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Simon O’Connor: Why we didn’t back euthanasia bill

by Simon O’Connor, The New Zealand Herald, 10 August 2017

Simon O’Connor is National MP for Tamaki and chaired Parliament’s Health Select Committee, which has recommended no action be taken on the petition of Maryan Street and 8,974 others to allow medically-assisted dying in the event of terminal illness or unbearable suffering.

I recognise that some people believe assisted suicide and euthanasia are a right, that it is a matter of self-determination and personal autonomy. However, New Zealand is not four million people living isolated from one another, but a broad inclusive society. The actions taken by each member of society affect the lives of others around them.

What started with good intentions and the pursuit of autonomy will have widespread ramifications and some of the most vulnerable people in our society already struggle to be heard.

Whatever your view on assisted suicide and euthanasia, I would like to encourage everyone to read the report of the health committee. This topic is very complicated and deserves more than a quick headline.

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