A Voice for the Voiceless?

This post is cross-posted from 'Seeds of Hope' â�� the blog of Disability commentator and activist, Daniel Pask Few crimes are more wicked than those committed against people with disabilities.  We are less likely than others to report being abused or mistreated, for fear of abandonment by people who care for us.  Crimes against us wound our sense of trust particularly deeply, especially if perpetrators are people on whom we have relied not just for help, but survival.  It takes a tremendous effort and genuine courage for a person whose disability affects their communication skills to speak out about what has been done to them.It is, sadly, not surprising in the least to hear allegations that a large number of rape and sexual assault crimes against people with disability have not been investigated in the State of South Australia.  In a recent trial in that State, some charges had to be dropped because the alleged victims were unable to give evidence.  Fresh charges of sexual crimes against other victims have since been laid. Continue reading

The Senate and Euthanasia

  On the 18th of August the Senate debated and passed Senator Brown's .  Originally titled the  Continue reading

The Tail 'still wagging the Dog

Labor caucus backs Brown's Territories Rights Bill Bob Brown seems once again to have proven who wears the pants in the Greens on-again-off-again love match with Julia Gillard and Federal Labor.Readers may recall that in early March of this year the Federal Labor caucus backed Brown's Territories Rights Bill only later to have that support overturned when concerned Labor MPs pointed out that the bill would facilitate both same-sex marriage and euthanasia laws in the Northern and Capital Territories.  Following on from that, the Prime Minister publicly declared that she did not support either issue; comments that had some, including this writer, believing that a conscience vote would be allowed which would give us a fighting chance of seeing the bill defeated. Continue reading

The unreasonable Key euthanasia bill

It has been interesting, and more than a little frustrating to read the comments by some South Australian MPs to the effect that the bill put forward by backbencher, Steph Key isn't about euthanasia but, rather, about giving added protection under the law for doctors going about their normal business (or words to that effect). It might seem obvious, but it needs to be stated that all legislation is about what the bill says and what the bill does; not what anyone tells us it will do.  A cynical retort to that point might be to say, "Well, in that case, why should we listen to what you say it's about?"  Fair point, but judge for yourselves from what follows.But before we look at the legislation itself, just think for a minute: if the bill isn't about euthanasia, why is Phillip Nitschke in Adelaide so often?  Why is he saying that  Continue reading

The Nitschke Travelling Road Show

  WHEN the headline act in the Nitschke travelling road show's visit to Bendigo is titled, Voluntary euthanasia: Making choices in the context of Alzheimer's and dementia, we need to ask some serious questions about what the real agenda might be and who gets hurt.The following article was written in response to Nitschke's latest round of public meetings.  It appeared in the  Continue reading

South Australia URGENT UPDATE - Key euthanasia bill passed second reading stage in lower house

In a surprise move, the euthanasia bill proposed by backbencher, Steph Key MP passed through the SA lower house 'on the voices' today.  We need to act quickly and decisively to put a stop to this latest threat. CLICK HERE for everything you need to get involved and to get things moving in your local church and community.July 2011: New Green Senators change the game Continue reading

EUTHANASIA: Accurate terminology a matter of life and death

  This article appears in the upcoming edition of , August 6, 2011. Continue reading

Death in Prime Time

While the management of risk is something that most of us deal with every day in some fashion, when that risk comes in the form of the loss of a life, it is simply not a risk society can afford to take. Award winning British author, Terry Pratchett's macabre fascination with death will soon bring the assisted suicide of hotelier, Peter Smedley in the Swiss Dignitas facility into living rooms across the UK on BBC 2.Pratchett, who was diagnosed in 2007 with early onset Alzheimer's disease, responded to that news by donating a million dollars US to Alzheimer research, pressing the British government to fund more research into dementia and attempting to develop a machine to assist Alzheimer's sufferers in daily life.  A noble and fitting response.  The recipient of an OBE and a Knighthood for services to literature, Pratchett is more likely to be remembered, however, for his own desire to die by assisted suicide and for documenting the suicide death of others for public consumption on the small screen.  In this last and most bizarre endeavour he has found a willing accomplice in the form of the British Broadcast Corporation, the BBC. Continue reading

The Third International Symposium on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide - a tremendous success

The   in Vancouver (June 3 - 4) was a tremendous success.  The goals that were set-out before the Symposium were surpassed.  The DVD's of the Symposium will be available in early July for $50 for the complete set.  The Third International Symposium was organized by the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition (EPC).I had promised to write up the symposium for our readers, but Alex beat me to itâ�¦ Continue reading

Q&A style debate with Dr. Nitschke

On the 17th of May I was invited by the Sydney University Union to speak at a 'Q & A style' debate on the issue of euthanasia & assisted suicide. With me on the 'no' side was Dr. Andrew Pesce, President of the  who spoke exceptionally well about why the AMA does not support euthanasia & assisted suicide. Continue reading