Hill's Kill Bill - Open season on patients

Readers may recall the eleventh hour intervention by the South Australian Health Minister, John Hill the day before the euthanasia debate that raised serious doubts about the Parnell Bill.  How this affected the outcome of the debate the next day is anybody's guess â�� but it was certainly a welcome statement that supported our observations.  That same day, however, Mr Hill circulated a draft bill which, we understand, may be tabled in the parliament in the New Year. Mr Hill's alternative is very different in approach to the legislative frameworks adopted by pro-euthanasia MPs over recent years.  We've had bills designed to create stand alone acts and bills that amend existing acts of the SA Parliament but, to my knowledge we have never seen a euthanasia and assisted suicide bill that restricts itself entirely to amending the SA Criminal Code (the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935, to be precise).The Hill 'Kill Bill' creates a legal defence against an act of euthanasia or assisting in a suicide for a medical practitioner or for another person who aids a medical practitioner in an act of euthanasia or assisted suicide within Division 1 (homicide) Subsection 13 (manslaughter) of the Act. Continue reading

More from Scotland - this time on Adult Abuse

At the same time as the Scottish Parliament was about to throw Margo MacDonald's euthanasia bill out into the cold, a disturbing report from Aberdeenshire Council suggests that there are up to 100 reports each month of vulnerable adults being abused. This abuse mostly affects those with a disability, mental or other illness.It is simply not true to assume that the disadvantaged and vulnerable have the same protection of the law and knowledge of and ability to claim their rights as others in the community.  Consequently, it can never be claimed that access to euthanasia and assisted suicide by the disabled is about a level playing field. Continue reading

Territory 'Rights' again - Marshall Perron enters the fray

  This flies in the face of claims that Bob Brown's bill in the Senate is solely about restoring the Territory's rights.  Clearly, should Brown's bill be successful, there will be an immediate push for a new euthanasia bill in the NT's single-cameral parliament.In an attempt to defray such criticisms, the  Continue reading

Scottish Parliament rejects latest death bill

  The bill, which bore some striking similarities to the South Australian model of MPs Parnell and Key, was the subject of an organised and intense lobbying campaign which included postcard drops to letter boxes across Scotland.MacDonald criticized the content of this literature claiming it 'caused alarm among frail, elderly and disabled people' and referring to it as a 'catalogue of linguistic contortions'.  If recent experiences in Australia are anything to go by, I'd be fairly confident that MacDonald's opponents might make the same observations. Continue reading

A little on the lighter side…

  Both the more serious smear attempt and this one prove to me the effectiveness of the HOPE network.My reply to the editor was not published. Shared here for your enjoyment: Continue reading

Parnell Bill Defeated

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'.Mr. Parnell did not call for a recording of the votes.  However, from the speeches given, it was clear that the chamber was split 12 to 9 against the bill or possibly 13 to 8 at best. Continue reading

South Australian Health Minister calls Parnell/Key model 'flawed'.

Twists and turns: At the eleventh hour in the SA euthanasia debates the Health Minister the Hon John Hill MP has entered the fray today claiming that the Parnell/Key model of legislation is "flawed", "clunky", "bureaucratic" and difficult to implement. 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

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