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

Prevalence of depression and anxiety in patients requesting physicians' aid in dying: cross sectional survey

British Medical Journal Aug, 2008 Comment: Concerns the link between depression and request for assisted suicide in Oregon. 26% of participants in the study were considered to be depressed or experiencing feelings of hopelessness; yet none were sent for an assessment (which is considered a 'safeguard' in Oregon's DWDA law.).   Link to study at BMJ website Continue reading

Deliberate termination of life of newborns with spina bifida, a critical reappraisal

Childs Nervous System. Jan, 2008 Comment: Questions the whole thrust of the Groningen protocol.  Link to article at external website Continue reading