Common sense prevails in South Australia

  Last evening (24th November) the South Australian Parliament's upper house debated the latest euthanasia bill from Greens MLC, Mark Parnell.At the State Election in March of this year changes in personnel in the upper house appeared to have turned that chamber decidedly pro-euthanasia.  However, last night common sense prevailed yet again as the bill was defeated at the second reading 'on the voices'. Continue reading

There is no way to safely kill people

  Clearly favouring a different model that would provide an exception under the Criminal code to protect doctors from prosecution for an act of euthanasia, Minister Hill nevertheless, has expressed significant reservations about the Parnell/Key model.The Parnell Bill is due for debate on the 24th of November.  Parnell's earlier bill that was rejected last year was also exposed for its errors during the debate last year.  For instance, that bill would have allowed dentists to kill people! Continue reading

A clear strong voice on disability and euthanasia

Erik Leipoldt, Adjunct Lecturer from the Centre for Research into Disability and Society at WA's Curtin University has provided what I would call, "expert testimony" on the relationship between euthanasia and disability. Described by MercatorNet as, "One of the most eloquent voices on euthanasia in Australia". Dr Leipoldt is also a quadriplegic. His paper Euthanasia in Australia: Raising a disability voice is a 'must read' for all politicians as well as those involved in public policy.The Australian euthanasia debate is inviting us to conclude that lives lived with disability are often not worth living, while actual disability experience points to a contrary reality.  Disability voices and perspective are seldom heard but are essential ingredients of a fully informed debate.  Their experience shows that there is a social context within which requests for euthanasia arise, which calls for the best possible care and support.  Set in that context, it is not possible to build any effective safeguards against euthanasia. Continue reading

Lessons for South Australia from Scotland

  This follows upon a series of other blows to the pro-euthanasia movement internationally and here at home.  Successive defeats in Canada, Tasmania and Western Australia send a clear message that western societies, in the main, understand the problems associated with the practice of euthanasia and assisted suicide and are prepared to act for the protection of every citizen even in the face of polling to the contrary.The Scottish Parliamentary committee looking into the euthanasia bill proposed by Scottish Independent MP, Margo MacDonald, has ruled 'no case made for law change' on euthanasia and assisted suicide, yesterday (18th November 2010). Continue reading

Marking the territories - why it IS about euthanasia

  It interests me to note that some Senators are clearly focusing on the 'Restoring Territory Rights' part and less on 'voluntary euthanasia' as though what was being debated was the correction of some egregious wrong visited upon the territories that, incidentally, just happened to be about euthanasia.A number of Senators have now spoken to Bob Brown's  Continue reading

Mixed results for US elections

  As we have seen in Australia in recent times, Death with Dignity uses polling figures as their strongest marketting tool.  There they claim 82% support and a sizeable bloc of legislators in support.We do not know the poll question used; but if it's anything like that used here in Australia all it really tells us is that a large percentage of those polled agree with the question â�� it tells us little or nothing about their attitudes to euthanasia as practiced and nothing about how they feel about an particular type of legislation. Continue reading

Reporting of euthanasia in medical practice in Flanders, Belgium: cross sectional analysis of reported and unreported cases

British Medical Journal Oct 5, 2010 Comment: Determines that 47.2% of all euthanasia deaths were not reported.  Link to study at external source Continue reading

Physician-assisted deaths under the euthanasia law in Belgium: a population-based survey

Canadian Medical Association Journal May 17, 2010 Comment: The results are determined by reports from physicians responding to a questionnaire concerning specific deaths. 32% of euthanasia deaths were done without explicit request or consent.  Link to article at the CMAJ  Continue reading

Killing us softly: the dangers of legalizing assisted suicide (articles)

Disability and Health Journal Jan, 2010 Comment: DHJ devoted an entire journal to disability issues  Link to the journal Continue reading

Physician-Assisted Suicide in Oregon: A Medical Perspective (article)

Michigan Law Review Nov, 2008 Comment: Looks at Oregon's assisted suicide laws and questions the efficacy of safeguards.Link to article at external site Continue reading