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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?

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.”

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Why Are Assisted Suicide Bills Continuously Failing In The US?

A blog post in HOPE: Preventing Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide, 6 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. 

23 consecutive failures at legislating in 2017 with no bill anywhere being successful. 

We are led to believe that change is not only inevitable but that it is essentially benign. Not so on either count. If it were so, then why, in the many bills presented in Australian Parliaments over the last few decades (I recently counted 44), have none succeeded?

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Assisted dying laws pose a grave risk to the vulnerable

by Joel Hodge, The Age, 7 September 2017

Joel Hodge is a senior lecturer in the School of Theology at Australian Catholic University.

In a study of states with euthanasia law, published in Current Oncology, Dr J. Pereira writes that “laws and safeguards are regularly ignored and transgressed in all the jurisdictions and that transgressions are not prosecuted. For example, about 900 people annually are administered lethal substances without having given explicit consent, and in one jurisdiction, almost 50 per cent of cases of euthanasia are not reported.”

It is easy to underestimate the vulnerability of the elderly and dying, and the delicate human dynamics involved in caring for them. Whenever we are seriously ill, we are placed in a precarious position, heavily dependent on others and confronting all manner of fears.

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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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