Blogs

Posted on Thursday 12th May 2016 at 4:30pm

Wesley Smith has missed his true vocation as a comedian. He lets rip a number of gags in his latest musings.

The more anti-euthanasia campaigner Mr Wesley Smith publishes, the more I think he’s missed his true vocation as a comedian. His latest comical gig against assisted dying is a gem.

Mr Smith starts with the case of two Californian doctors found guilty of Medicare fraud: billing fake hospice care for patients who weren't terminally ill. He artfully turns the story into a series of anti-assisted-dying gags.

Keywords: Flapdoodle | Flip-flop | Fudge | Physician-assisted dying (PAD) | USA | Oregon | Wesley Smith

 

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Posted on Sunday 8th May 2016 at 9:48pm

Conservative religious blog LifeSiteNews didn't take long to publish outright lies about Dutch euthanasia after the official 2015 report was released.

Well it didn't take long. Recently I posted a fact-based report card on Dutch euthanasia practice, based on the actual data from the 2015 annual report (and all the earlier reports) of the Dutch Euthanasia Commission. Now, just a few days later, conservative religious opponents have begun publishing completely untrue statements about Dutch euthanasia practice.

Catholic blog LifeSiteNews' 'Paris correspondent' Jeanne Smits has bolted out of the misinformation blocks, assertively and categorically stating in respect of the small increase in number of euthanasia cases from 2014 to 2015, that:

Keywords: Fearmonger | Fiction | Euthanasia | Netherlands | Catholic | Rhetoric: Killing | Rhetoric: Slippery slope | Rhetoric: The 'vulnerable'

 

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Posted on Wednesday 27th April 2016 at 11:36pm

Wesley Smith is consistsent if nothing else. He's opined about assisted dying once again, this time that the USA's national suicide rate is a consequence of assisted suicide law in those few USA jurisdictions that permit it.

Wesley Smith never seems to tire of spreading opinion. In another piece of published nonsense, he's proposed that USA's rise in national suicide rate is in significant part a consequence of assisted dying law in those few states that permit it (up until the most recent general suicide data that's Oregon, Washington state, Vermont and Montana). His claim flies in the face of actual evidence.

Wesley Smith is a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute. Remember that? It's the organisation that a USA Federal court ruled pursues "demonstrably religious, cultural, and legal missions," and which comprehensively lost a test case in which it tried to have 'intelligent design' (that's creationism with lipstick) taught as a 'scientific' alternative to evolution.


Keywords: Fearmonger | Flapdoodle | USA | Wesley Smith | Rhetoric: Slippery slope | Rhetoric: Suicide 'contagion'

 

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Posted on Sunday 24th April 2016 at 8:02am

Legal academic Dr Andrew McGee advances arguments against assisted dying legalisation that fail to pass coherence basics

Dr Andrew McGee, Senior Lecturer in law at Queensland University of Technology, published an opinion piece, "Why Bob Hawke is wrong about euthanasia," opposing assisted dying law reform in the Sydney Morning Herald on the 19th April. He invokes straw-man arguments and conflates different issues. 

His ‘they might choose to die too early’ argument overlooks both the current tragedy of the terminally ill suiciding by violent means, as well as that in currently lawful jurisdictions like Oregon and Washington, a third of people who qualify for their medication never take it: it provides strong psychological relief that there is another option available whether they take it or not.

Keywords: Flapdoodle | Euthanasia | Australia | Legislative reform

 

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Posted on Tuesday 19th April 2016 at 2:00am

Lyle Shelton tweets misinformation on ABC Q&A. Is this an omen for his upcoming appearance on the program next week?

The Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby, Mr Lyle Shelton, is at it again.

Yesterday, he tweeted ABC's Q&A program as thousands of people do while it is on air. His tweet was broadcast live to air as shown above. What did he say as panelists were discussing assisted dying law reform?

"Sadly voluntary euthanasia quickly became involuntary euthanasia in Holland. #qanda" LyleShelton

Mr Shelton's claim is bunkum.

Keywords: Fearmonger | Fiction | Faith | Assisted dying (AD) | Involuntary euthanasia (IVE) | Non-voluntary euthanasia (NVE) | Voluntary euthanasia (VE) | Australia | Netherlands | Religion | Christian | Lobbying: Opponents | Rhetoric: Killing | Rhetoric: Slippery slope

 

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Posted on Tuesday 8th March 2016 at 7:53pm

Australia's Medical Registration Board has told Dr Rodney Syme he is a serious danger to patients.

Australia's Medical Registration Board (AHPRA) has told Dr Rodney Syme that he is a serious danger to patients.

Dr Rodney Syme, who occasionally provides advice and medication for dying patients to give them control over their dying process, has been reprimanded by Australia's Medical Registration Board (AHPRA) for posing a 'serious danger' to such patients. The story has been reported widely in the media.

Keywords: Assisted dying (AD) | Physician-assisted dying (PAD) | Australia | AHPRA

 

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Posted on Saturday 2nd January 2016 at 12:35am

The Journal of Assisted Dying is launched today, commencing with a fully researched article on how several Oregonian doctors use mistaken information to paint a bleak and incorrect picture of Oregon's Death With Dignity Act.

A new scholarly journal focused on end-of-life ethics, decision-making and practice has just been launched: the Journal of Assisted Dying. In the first article, claims by Oregon lobby group Physicians for Compassionate Care (PCC), including Doctors Bill (William) Toffler and Ken Stevens (and others) are assessed against empirical evidence and found to be completely wrong, or highly misleading as a result of selective use of data.

The new scholarly journal, the Journal of Assisted Dying, is dedicated to careful and holistic analysis of evidence in regard to the various forms of assisted dying that are lawful in a number of jurisdictions around the world... and to practices in jurisdictions where assisted dying remains illegal.

Keywords: Fearmonger | Filibuster | Fudge | Fiction | Physician-assisted dying (PAD) | Assisted dying (AD) | Oregon | Ken Stevens | William (Bill) Sylvester | Rhetoric: Slippery slope | Rhetoric: Suicide 'contagion'

 

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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'

 

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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

 

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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

 

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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.