Blogs

Posted on Wednesday 19th April 2017 at 1:39am

Xavier Symons defends fellow Catholic, Margaret Somerville, against a 'bullshit' call on national TV, and spreads a bit of his own in the process.

Last week, Mr Xavier Symons published a defence of Professor Margaret Somerville, whose arguments against assisted dying were called ‘bullshit’ by Patricia Flowers on the ABC’s Q&A program. Symons and Somerville are colleagues at the Institute for Ethics and Society at the Catholic Notre Dame University of Australia.

Mr Symons made an important point: that a law about restricted self-choice for assisted dying is in no way comparable to the Nazi Germany euthanasia (or more correctly, eugenics) programme. While Prof. Somerville agrees that such comparisons are invalid, she nevertheless often mentions Nazi Germany as a ‘question’ when debating assisted dying. That’s a bit of a fudge.

Keywords: Fudge | Fiction | Australia | Margaret Somerville | Catholic | Claim response | Rhetoric: Slippery slope

 

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Posted on Sunday 19th March 2017 at 11:37pm

A recently published scientific study shows that the USA states of Oregon and Washington, which legalised assisted dying in 1997 and 2008 respectively, have leading indicators for end of life choices, including home hospice care.

A scientific study just published in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals that residents of both Oregon and Washington states, which legalised assisted dying in 1997 and 2008 respectively—as well as establishing formal advance directive programs—are far more likely to experience the kind of death they prefer, and with better access to palliative care, than is the average USA resident.1

It's well-established that most westerners would prefer to die peacefully at home rather than in a medicalised or other institutional setting. Yet it is recognised by doctors and families alike that there is a kind of medical ‘conveyer belt’ to acute care at the end of life that tends to shunt the dying individual through to ICU—a place where more and more burdensome medical interventions are administered with less and less likelihood that they’ll actually provide any benefit.

Keywords: USA | Oregon | Washington (state) | Analysis | Article review

 

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Posted on Sunday 5th March 2017 at 10:24pm

Catholic Canadian anti-euthanasia blogger Alex Schadenberg is at it again, this time spreading shrill misinformation about a potential Oregon law change.

Catholic Canadian anti-assisted-dying blogger Alex Schadenberg is at it again. This time he’s parading his ignorance and spreading bull about a potential change in Oregon’s assisted dying legislation.

The Bill


Mr Schadenberg correctly reproduced Section 3 of Oregon Senate Bill 893, which states:


Keywords: Fearmonger | Fudge | Fiction | USA | Oregon | Paul Russell | Alex Schadenberg | Catholic | Legislative reform | Rhetoric: Slippery slope | Rhetoric: The 'vulnerable'

 

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Posted on Saturday 11th February 2017 at 1:02am

More clear proof of the religious foundations of opposition to assisted dying could not have been made but by the international body for palliative care in response to my previous post.

In response to my previous post about the religious basis of organised opposition to assisted dying, Dr Katherine Pettus, Advocacy and Human Rights Officer at the International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care (IAHPC), tweeted:

Twitter “#Catholic church @Pontifex believes all life is sacred&supports #PalliativeCare and use of strong #pain medicines” — Dr Katherine Pettus


Keywords: Faith | Assisted dying (AD) | Physician-assisted dying (PAD) | Australia | USA | EAPC | IAHPC | Catholic | Lobbying: Opponents | Rhetoric: Palliative care can always help

 

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Posted on Thursday 9th February 2017 at 9:53pm

There’s overwhelming evidence that it’s religious conservatives who oppose your right to choose an assisted death, despite their protestations that their opposition is nothing to do with religion.

antiassisteddyingadtheageheraldsun14jun08.gif


You only have to look to understand who is campaigning against your right to choose an assisted death in the face of intolerable and unrelievable suffering.

A case in point is a massive advertisement published in both of Melbourne’s daily newspapers: News Corp’s The Herald Sun (right-wing) and Fairfax Media’s The Age (left-wing). The ad was published in 2008 when Victorian MLC Colleen Hartland introduced the Medical Treatment (Physician Assisted Dying) Bill into the State legislature.


Keywords: Faith | Physician-assisted dying (PAD) | Voluntary euthanasia (VE) | Australia | Victoria | Religion | Jewish | Christian | Anglican/Church of England/Episcopal | Catholic | Legislative reform | Lobbying: Opponents | Rhetoric: The 'vulnerable'

 

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Posted on Friday 2nd December 2016 at 5:34pm

The AMA executive has just concluded an ‘update’ of its policy on assisted dying, confirming its dinosaur status: Its stance against assisted dying hasn’t changed and it utterly fails to represent the diversity of views amongst Australian doctors.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) executive (policy group) recently concluded a major review of its official policy on assisted dying. The last major review was in 2007. Through a deeply flawed process the AMA executive continues to expressly disrespect the diversity of views amongst Australian doctors — a diversity confirmed by its own review — and hasn’t altered its opposition to assisted dying in any meaningful way.

Unrepresentative of Australian doctors


Keywords: Australia | Australian Medical Association (AMA) | Rhetoric: Hippocratic oath | Rhetoric: Slippery slope | Rhetoric: The 'vulnerable'

 

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Posted on Thursday 3rd November 2016 at 10:05pm

Recently, Professor Margaret Somerville published two opinion pieces in the ABC’s conservative Religion & Ethics blog, railing against marriage equality law reform. I contend that her arguments demonstrate inadequate academic and professional rigour.

In two opinion pieces recently published in the ABC’s conservative Religion & Ethics blog,1,2 Margaret Somerville, Professor of Bioethics at Notre Dame University, railed against marriage equality law reform using reasoning that I contend fails not only appropriate standards of ethics argument but indeed her own stated standards. Here’s why.

Railing against careful and reasoned language

In two ABC opinion pieces, Margo (as she refers to herself) railed extensively against the term ‘marriage equality,’ arguing that it ought to be referred to instead as ‘same-sex marriage.’ She volunteers that the real motive for her preferred term is that in her opinion fewer people will support ‘same-sex’ marriage than will support ‘equality’ of marriage.

Keywords: Fearmonger | Fudge | Faith | Terminology | Australia | Canada | Margaret Somerville | Catholic

 

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Posted on Wednesday 19th October 2016 at 1:12am

News Ltd columnist Jamie Walker recently reported a confected new crisis between assisted dying law reform and the Australian life insurance industry. I expose the sham case for what it is.

News Ltd columnist Jamie Walker recently reported a confected new crisis between assisted dying law reform and the Australian life insurance industry. It's a triple-sham argument as I reveal.

Last Friday, The Australian columnist Jamie Walker delivered a shrill pitch against assisted dying titled “insurers baulk at ‘suicide cover’ as SA debates euthanasia.” In it he reported that legalisation of assisted dying would “force a showdown with the $28 billion life insurance industry” and would be “disast

Keywords: Fearmonger | Filibuster | Fudge | Australia

 

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Posted on Sunday 16th October 2016 at 12:03am

Prolific USA commentator Wesley Smith pens another lie about assisted dying, this time about the Dutch Groningen Protocol, and LifeNews continues to publish them.

The Discovery Institute's Wesley Smith is at it again. In his latest anti-assisted-dying tirade published by LifeNews.com, he promote lies about the Dutch Groningen Protocol, despite my published detailed analysis — of how that regulation actually works in practice — providing ample evidence to disprove Mr Smith's polemic theories.

Creationism…with lipstick

Wesley Smith is a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute (DI). That's the organisation that promotes ‘human exceptionalism’ (the concept that humans are theologically pre-eminent in the universe), opposes the foundations of evolution, and controversially attempted to have ‘intelligent design’ taught as science in Pennsylvania public schools. The Pennsylvania District Court tossed out DI's ‘intelligent-design-as-science’ argument on the basis that:

Keywords: Fearmonger | Fiction | Wesley Smith | Catholic | Rhetoric: Killing

 

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Posted on Saturday 24th September 2016 at 11:31pm

Father John George amply demonstrates that Catholic hubris is alive and well in the modern world, using selective and canonical arguments and resorting to the ad hominem attack.

Against current moves to legalise assisted dying, Australian Catholic Father John George invokes Nazi Germany, resorts to ad hominem attacks to dismiss those who disagree with him, and demands that the Pope’s edicts are binding on everyone regardless of their own faith or world view.

On 24th September 2016, Journalists Greg Brown and Rick Morton published an article in The Australian, Victorian coroner credited with turning tide on euthanasia, summarising recent Australian moves to legalise assisted dyi

Keywords: Fearmonger | Fiction | Faith | Physician-assisted dying (PAD) | Australia | Victoria | Oregon | Catholic Church | Religion | Hindu | Jewish | Muslim/Islam | Atheist | Agnostic | Christian | Catholic | Buddhist | Rhetoric: Nazi regime | Rhetoric: Palliative care can always help | Rhetoric: Slippery slope | Rhetoric: The 'vulnerable'

 

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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.