Third International Symposium on Euthanasia & Assisted Suicide

Vancouver Canada on the 3rd to the 5th of June brought together leaders in the movements against euthanasia & assisted suicide from around the globe.  A great success, the symposium was also the platform for the creation of an International Board to assist in the co-ordination of efforts around the world. READ ALEX SCHADENBERG'S REPORT Continue reading

Palliative Care And Euthanasia Don't Go Together

  Two bills before the South Australian Parliament at the moment attempt precisely that by amending the longstanding Palliative Care Act to include acts of euthanasia and assisted suicide.  The argument they are making is essentially that euthanizing a patient is simply one option in the suite of palliative care options available to medical professionals.  That's rather like suggesting that dentists could do brain surgery rather than fix your root canal!Palliative care is a holistic approach to terminal illness and the dying process.  It seeks to address the whole spectrum of issues that confront a person with a terminal diagnosis through information, high quality care and pain relief, dealing with the emotions, dispelling fear, offering spiritual support if required and including the family in every aspect of the patient's care. Continue reading

It's All About 'Choice' - or is it?

    Even in our modern world, there are still many, many areas of our existence where we rightly and for good reason, do  have a right to choose. Continue reading

Key's euthanasia bill exposed

 In South Australia, where euthanasia bills grow like weeds (or so it seems) the latest of four attempts to legalise the practice in this parliament alone, was dealt a critical blow this week. In a joint letter, the SA branch of the Australian Medical Association and the SA Society condemned the bill in what could only be said to be an unusual, but exceedingly welcome, move.To anyone who has not followed the debate, this might not seem to be news at all.  No-one expects the AMA to think otherwise and it is always possible that senior lawyers might see errors in the drafting or effect of a bill where others might not. Continue reading

AMA and Law Society publish statement condemning euthanasia bill in SA

In a very welcome move, the SA AMA issued a joint statement with the Law Society of SA making their opposition to the Key euthanasia bill crystal clear and on logically sound grounds.  See the letter: AMA & Law Society letter Sept 12 2011 Continue reading

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