Homepage, News

Legalise euthanasia, and compassionate society dies too

by Paul Kelly, The Australian, 1 October 2016

The justification for euthanasia lies in human rights, individual autonomy and relieving pain — all worthy ideas, and that may prompt the question: why then is euthanasia still opposed by most nations, most medical professional bodies around the world and the Australian Medical Association?

The reason is not hard to find. It is because crossing the threshold to euthanasia is the ultimate step in medical, moral and social terms. A polity is never the same afterwards and a society is never the same. It changes forever the doctor-patient bond. It is because, in brutal but honest terms, more people will be put at risk by the legislation than will be granted relief as beneficiaries.

Click here to read the full article.

Homepage, News

Doctors appeal to Vic MPs to vote down assisted dying bill

by Jane Lee, PM (ABC Radio), 16 October 2017

A number of doctors with patients nearing the end of their lives insist that an assisted dying scheme is dangerous and unnecessary, a day before the Victorian Parliament is set to debate a bill that could make it legal.

The geriatric medicine and palliative care specialists say they are concerned that the safeguards in the bill are not enough to prevent “wrongful” deaths, or to protect patients from being coerced into applying for lethal medication.

Homepage, News

Marine Corps veteran: I’m thankful I wasn’t offered assisted suicide when I was told I was dying three years ago

by J.J. Hanson, Fox News, 30 September 2017

J.J. Hanson is a terminal brain cancer patient, U.S. Marine Corps veteran of Iraq and president of Patients Rights Action Fund.

Assisted suicide laws require a prognosis of six months or less to live, but how can we let our life-and-death decisions rest on these prognoses, when even the most experienced doctors are often wrong? My own experience reveals how tragic that could turn out to be.

We also know from the 2016 Oregon Health Report that in Oregon, which 20 years ago became the first state to make assisted suicide legal, only 4 percent of patients considering ending their lives were referred for psychological evaluation.

Yet a 2008 study, published in the peer-reviewed medical journal The BMJ, revealed that 25 percent of patients requesting assisted suicide suffered from major depressive disorder. These numbers suggest that people with mental illness could well be prescribed a death-too-soon, instead of the treatment they deserve.

Click here to read the full article.

Homepage, News

How ‘safeguards’ aimed at limiting assisted suicide are collapsing

by Dr Angelo Bottone, Iona Institute, 26 September 2017

In Belgium euthanasia was legalised in 2002 and in 2014 it was extended to children!

The rate of euthanasia increased significantly between 2007 and 2013, from 1.9 to 4.6% of overall deaths, and it is now significantly higher than the Netherlands where it represents 4.1% of deaths. Both the number and the proportion of the requests granted has increased.

The problem with euthanasia is that once we accept the idea that we have a right to die, which in fact means a right to be killed, it becomes difficult to limit this right.  Moreover, what is the point of campaigning against suicide, in school for instance, if the state offers it as an opportunity?

Click here to read the full article.

Homepage, News

Euthanasia a choice for people with disability? It’s a threat to our lives

by Craig Wallace, The Guardian, 27 September 2017

As I write this I can easily picture the comments underneath – “it’s a choice” and “if you don’t want it, don’t ask for it”. They’re understandable, but they gloss over justified and reasonably held concerns.

The reality is that people like me don’t get choices in too many areas of our lives. That includes a preventative and tertiary health system that is staggeringly unfriendly to us, even if people with disability and/or chronic conditions should be their best customers.

Click here to read the full article.

Homepage, News

All About Relieving Suffering? Think Again

A blog post from HOPE: Preventing Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, 23 September 2017

It is surely irresponsible not to actually refer a person, who under the Bill’s requirements is supposedly experiencing suffering “that cannot be relieved”, to a palliative care specialist for a full and thorough palliative care assessment.

The Bill simply adopts a checklist, tick a box approach. Somehow the Minister is imagining that merely requiring assessing doctors to mention palliative care is sufficient to ensure that people “will never turn to” assisted suicide or euthanasia because they have not been provided with palliative care.

Click here to read the full article.

Homepage, News

Deputy Premier slams Labor’s voluntary euthanasia laws in sensational split

by Matt Johnston, James Dowling and Alex White, Herald Sun, 25 July 2017

DEPUTY Premier James Merlino has sensationally split from Premier Daniel Andrews, slamming Labor’s voluntary euthanasia laws as endorsing suicide and putting the vulnerable at risk.

“I have deep concerns that these laws put at risk some of our most vulnerable Victorians, who could be subjected to coercion,” he said.

State MPs will be given a conscience vote on the Bill, and Mr Merlino’s passionate rejection of the law sets the scene for an emotion-charged parliamentary debate later this year.

Position of Victoria State MPs on Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill (Australia).

Click here to read the full article.

Homepage, News

Legalising assisted dying would be a failure of collective human memory and imagination

by Margaret Somerville, The Guardian, 20 September

Margaret Somerville is professor of bioethics in the school of medicine at the University of Notre Dame Australia.

If euthanasia were a stone thrown into a pond, pro-euthanasia advocates see only the stone and the immediate splash, not the stone’s antecedents or the widespread ripples it sets off. These blind spots constitute, respectively, a failure of human memory and of human imagination.

Dying and death have been depersonalised, dehumanised, medicalised, technologised, professionalised, institutionalised and certainly de-spiritualised. For the dying person this can result in what psychoanalyst and Yale law professor the late Dr Jay Katz called “intense pre-mortem loneliness” to which asking for euthanasia can be a response.

Click here to read the full article.

Homepage, News

Māori Party: Do not vote for Labour over euthanasia 20/09/2017

by Newshub, 20 September 2017

In a statement released by the party, Tuilagi Saipele Esera, Māori Party Candidate for Manukau East, said Labour’s intention to legalise euthanasia and assisted suicide was against Christian and Pacific cultural values. 

“Euthanasia and assisted suicide is a rejection of the importance and value of human life. Do not vote Labour.”

Click here to read the full article.