Blogs for November 2015

Posted on Wednesday 25th November 2015 at 8:00pm

The Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne appeared before the Victorian Parliamentary inquiry into end-of-life decision making last week. A key 'fact' they told the Committee was absolutely false.

On Wednesday 19th November 2015, the Catholic Church appeared before the Victorian Parliament's Legal and Social Issues Committee. Monsignor Anthony Ireland, the Episcopal Vicar for Health, Aged and Disability Care, and Father Anthony Kerin, Episcopal Vicar for Life, Marriage and Family gave evidence about end-of-life decision making. They made a factually wrong allegation about Oregon during their testimony.

Anthony Ireland spoke first, making it clear that they were appearing before the Committee with delegated authority from the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne (Denis Hart) and with the endorsement of the Victorian Catholic Bishops. He emphasised that "the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne does not come to this Committee with fanciful or frivolous arguments."

Keywords: Fiction | Physician-assisted dying (PAD) | Australia | Victoria | Oregon | Catholic Church | Catholic | Rhetoric: Slippery slope | Rhetoric: Suicide 'contagion'

 

Read more...

Posted on Sunday 22nd November 2015 at 5:05am

The Victorian Parliament's inquiry into end-of-life decision making has fired up the Victorian community, receiving a record number of submissions.

The standing Legal and Social Issues Comittee of the Parliament of Victoria, Australia, is currently conducting an inquiry into end-of-life decision making, to inform any legislative changes required in order to reflect contemprary views and best practice.

The inquiry has certainly engaged the community: it has received a record number of submissions. The Legal and Social Issues Committee typically receives a couple of dozen submissions to any of its inquiries, occasionally even sixty or eighty. In contrast, the inquiry on end-of-life decision making has received more than one thousand (1,017) submissions.

Keywords: Physician-assisted dying (PAD) | Voluntary euthanasia (VE) | Assisted dying (AD) | Legislative reform

 

Read more...

Posted on Sunday 15th November 2015 at 2:38am

Catholic scholar Bernadette Tobin rails against assisted dying arguments advanced in the ABC's Q&A program this week. I explain why her arguments fail.

In a recent opinion piece in the ABC’s Religion and Ethics section, Bernadette Tobin1 rails against assisted dying, commencing with the criticism that the ABC’s Q&A discussion on the subject this week “lacked precision.” But Tobin’s opinion piece itself commits exactly this offence, as I explain.

For the sake of brevity I’ll only quickly mention that Tobin’s piece also fails on the score of accuracy. For example, she wrongly asserts that “euthanasia” means a doctor administering lethal medication to a patient. It doesn’t. “Euthanasia” simply means “good death”: nothing more and nothing less, regardless of how it occurs. Tobin also asserts that voluntary euthanasia in lawful jurisdictions has caused non-voluntary euthanasia to develop.

Keywords: Physician-assisted dying (PAD) | Voluntary euthanasia (VE) | Australia | Bernadette Tobin | Catholic | Analysis | Lobbying: Opponents | Rhetoric: Killing | Rhetoric: Slippery slope

 

Read more...

Posted on Thursday 12th November 2015 at 5:35am

It's so easy to get assisted dying data, and therefore the interpretation of practice, wrong. Even the usually rigorous Guardian newspaper made a significant 'bludner'.

I was browsing the internet the other day checking out commentary on assisted dying in Oregon and Washington state in the USA, and came across an argument in The Guardian—complete with a chart of 'evidence'—that unlike in Oregon, almost all folks who receive a prescription under Washington's Death With Dignity Act (DWDA) die from taking it. 'Eh!?' I thought to myself. I've read all the Washington annual DWDA reports and analysed the data in my own spreadsheets. What The Guardian says is simply not true. How so?

In an editorial on July 18, 2014, The Guardian attempted to estimate the number of people who might use an assisted dying law if it were legalised in the UK. They noted that around a third of Oregonians receiving a prescription under the DWDA died not having taken it. But, they said, "the figures in Washington look quite different.

Keywords: Physician-assisted dying (PAD) | Oregon | Washington (state)

 

Read more...

Latest news

19th June 2016 09:03pm 0

Canadian Parliament passes assisted dying law

The Canadian Parliament has passed a law that allows the terminally ill to choose assisted dying in restricted circumstances.