Blogs with keyword: Australia

Posted on Saturday 13th March 2021 at 11:57pm

Anti-VAD campaigners have caused themselves further major embarrassment by repeatedly cherry-picking statistics to try and establish a case that the full data conflicts with.

Here we go again. Branka van der Linden of Catholic anti-VAD website “HOPE”, and the Australian Care Alliance — endorsed by a number of well-known, committed Catholic doctors — have just published more egregious misinformation against VAD. This time they've collectively piled it on Victoria's general suicide statistics, recently updated by the Victorian Coroner. So what did they say, and how did it misrepresent the actual situation? Let's take a look.

The reason the statistics are being discussed is because in 2017, Victoria's parliament legalised voluntary assisted dying (VAD) for the terminally ill. The law came into effect halfway through 2019, and 2020 was the first full year of its operation.

Australian Care Alliance gets the basics wrong

Here's the Australian Care Alliance's (ACA) splashy page trumpeting that Victoria's suicide rate has jumped 21.2% from 694 in 2017 to 842 in 2020.

Keywords: Bull | Fudge | Fiction | Faith | Assisted dying (AD) | Australia | Victoria | Branka van der Linden | Religion | Catholic | Statistics | Rhetoric | Rhetoric: Suicide

 

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Posted on Sunday 11th October 2020 at 11:19pm

The latest media release from the Australian Christian Lobby against voluntary assisted dying (VAD) law reform exposes the soft underbelly of their desperation -- headlining their argument with a bullshit anecdote.

"Bullshit!"

That was the reaction of Dutch Senator Erik Jurgens when I asked him about a Dutch euthanasia anecdote spread by Mr Paul Russell, then head of the Australian anti-VAD Catholic front organisation "HOPE". In 2011, Mr Russell had been spreading the story:

"I often use the story of the death of a 26 year old ballerina in Holland [sic]. She had contracted a form of arthritis at this young age and her dancing career and dreams were dashed. An American oncologist who spoke later to the killing doctor reported the Dutch medico as saying something like 'One doesn't like doing it, but it was her choice.'" — Paul Russell, "HOPE" [my emphasis]

Keywords: Fearmonger | Fudge | Fiction | Faith | Australia | Netherlands | Paul Russell | Religion

 

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Posted on Sunday 4th October 2020 at 4:13am

Swiss law allows assisted suicide with only one condition: assistance may be rendered for non-selfish motives. So has a significant increase in assisted deaths lead to so-called "suicide contagion"? I spill the beans.

Supposed Dutch suicide contagion from assisted dying

Recently, Dr Theo Boer, an Assistant Professor at a "black-stocking" (strongly conservative Protestant) theological college in the Netherlands, was at it again — criticising the Dutch euthanasia law to anyone who would listen: "don't follow the Dutch euthanasia law path because it leads to 'suicide contagion'".

I've exposed Prof. Boer's cherry-picked nonsense before. Astonishingly, he even ignores data from the Dutch Euthanasia Commission, despite the fact he used to serve on one of its five Regional Review Committees.

Keywords: Fearmonger | Fudge | Fiction | Faith | Assisted dying (AD) | Australia | Victoria | Belgium | Netherlands | Switzerland | Theo Boer | Margaret Somerville

 

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Posted on Friday 18th September 2020 at 4:47am

A recently-published account of a grandmother's death paints a scathing picture of Victoria's voluntary assisted dying law. So what's its provenance? I expose a trail of vested-interest backing, leading to a particular source. Hold on to your hats…

A friend pointed out to me an opinion piece published this week in MercatorNet that slams Victoria's voluntary assisted dying (VAD) law. Written about an elderly woman with cancer who used the law to die peacefully, it's an angry diatribe written by the woman’s granddaughter-in-law: one Mrs Madeleine Dugdale.

Update 21-Sep-2020

Mrs Madeleine Dugdale's article has been withdrawn from MercatorNet without explanation. Here's a screenshot of the original.

dugdalegranscreenshot620.jpg

And this is Mrs Dougdale's "about" page after the article was withdrawn.

Keywords: Fearmonger | Filibuster | Fudge | Fiction | Faith | Australia | Religion | Catholic | Claim response | Legislation | Rhetoric | Rhetoric: Suicide | Rhetoric: The 'vulnerable'

 

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Posted on Tuesday 15th September 2020 at 12:42am

If you're wondering how religious the organised opposition to voluntary assisted dying (VAD) law reform is, current ructions in Tasmania provide a marvellous petri dish of evidence.

If you're wondering how religious the organised opposition to voluntary assisted dying (VAD) law reform is, current ructions in Tasmania provide a marvellous petri dish of evidence.

Catholic church call to arms

Back in 2011, the now Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, wrote a lengthy, deliberative editorial against VAD, calling on the church to enlist people with no obvious religious connections to help the church fight VAD law reform. He wrote:

“The man or woman in the street … may well be open to persuasion that permissive laws and practices cannot be effectively narrowed to such circumstances”; and

Keywords: Fearmonger | Flapdoodle | Filibuster | Flip-flop | Fudge | Fiction | Faith | Assisted dying (AD) | Australia

 

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Posted on Sunday 30th August 2020 at 9:13pm

Hobart Catholic Archbishop Julian Porteous makes a number of incorrect representations about voluntary assisted dying (VAD) in his recent Talking Points article (Hobart Mercury 23rd Aug). And, most of his own flock disagree with his opposed stance.

Hobart Catholic Archbishop Julian Porteous makes a number of incorrect representations about voluntary assisted dying (VAD) in his recent Talking Points article (Hobart Mercury 23rd Aug). And, most of his own flock disagree with his opposed stance.

Let's take a look at the facts, and the Archbishop's 'alternatives'.

NOTE: While The Hobart Mercury published Archbishop Porteous' arguments, they declined to publish this rebuttal.

Key points

  1. Archbishop Porteous wrongly equates VAD with general suicide and insinuates they are lonely deaths when they aren't.
  2. He claims that palliative care can always help, when palliative care peak bodies clearly state that it can't.
  3. He insensitively co-opts Covid-19 victims and their families into his arguments, despite them having nothing to do with VAD.

Keywords: Fearmonger | Fudge | Fiction | Faith | Australia | Tasmania | ANZSPM | Palliative Care Australia (PCA) | Religion | Catholic | Rhetoric: Palliative care can always help | Rhetoric: Suicide | Rhetoric: The 'vulnerable'

 

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Posted on Saturday 8th August 2020 at 8:39am

Support for voluntary assisted dying (VAD) in Australia continues to strengthen, including amongst religious Australians.

A recent article in The Guardian reports that most Queensland churchgoers support voluntary assisted dying (VAD), citing a recent YouGov poll commissioned by the Clem Jones Trust.

In fact, attitudes in support of VAD have been strengthening across Australia for many years, and the last few are no exception. In this analysis I explain, using impeccable Australian Election Study (AES) data gathered by a specialist team at Australian National University.

Each federal election, the AES gathers extensive demographic and attitudinal data from a substantial sample of Australians. That means we have comparable snapshots from each election in recent times, including 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010 and 2007 (though attitudes toward VAD have been asked only since 2016).

Keywords: Assisted dying (AD) | Australia | Religion | Non-religious | Christian | Anglican/Church of England/Episcopal | Catholic | Analysis | Legislative reform | Poll / survey | Statistics

 

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Posted on Friday 21st June 2019 at 10:00pm

The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney has released a grotesque and appalling video that blatantly misrepresents Belgium's non-voluntary euthanasia practices as being 'caused' by their voluntary assisted dying law. They're not.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney has released a video which blatantly misrepresents scholarly research about non-voluntary euthanasia practices in Belgium. The lead author of the peer-reviewed research has slammed the video as "cherry-picked", "scaremongering" and "appalling". His full statement about the video appears below.

 

Watch the 1 minute video here.

 

Keywords: Fearmonger | Fudge | Faith | Assisted dying (AD) | Non-voluntary euthanasia (NVE) | Australia | Belgium | Catholic | Claim response | Rhetoric: Slippery slope

 

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Posted on Tuesday 18th June 2019 at 7:00pm

Victoria's Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 has now come into effect, giving dying Victorians another choice at end of life.

Victoria's Voluntary Assisted Dying Act (2017) has now come into effect. Including 68 safeguards, the Act gives Victorians with a terminal illness another option to consider at end of life, if it is of interest to them. As overseas evidence shows, the possible choice of voluntary assisted dying provides comfort and relief for the terminally ill and their loved ones. It demonstrates that the State respects the wider range of alternatives that dying patients may choose to pursue when faced with intolerable and unrelievable suffering.

The Act contains what is arguably the world's most detailed and carefully laid out safeguards.

Key aspects of the provisions are:

Keywords: Assisted dying (AD) | Australia | Victoria | Legislative reform

 

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Posted on Thursday 23rd May 2019 at 2:39am

Plenty of Catholic propaganda is evident in Cabrini Health Palliative Care Director's "Palliative Care Week" editorial, opposing VAD for incoherent reasons.

Director of Palliative Care at Cabrini Health, Associate Professor Natasha Michael, yesterday published an opinion piece in The Age newspaper. In it, she rails against Victoria’s voluntary assisted dying (VAD) Act which comes into effect on 19th June. Instead she articulates an arrogant and prescriptive view of what Australians should and shouldn’t be allowed, consistent with Catholic dogma, as I uncover.


Michael, along with fellow devout Catholic Dr Stephen Parnis, ‘tirelessly’ opposed the introduction of Victoria’s VAD law. They continue to actively oppose it, and her opinion piece reveals her spurious ‘reasoning’.

The Catholic Healthcare brick wall


More than half of all palliative care services in Australia are delivered through Catholic institutions, of which Cabrini Health is one arm. These institutions have determined that VAD will not be available in any of their facilities or via any of their services, even if the individual patient and doctor are supportive.


This arbitrarily limits access to lawful choice by citizens.

Keywords: Fearmonger | Fudge | Assisted dying (AD) | Australia | Victoria | Catholic Church | Legislative reform | Lobbying: Opponents | Rhetoric: Killing | Rhetoric: Suicide

 

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Posted on Wednesday 10th April 2019 at 8:39pm

HOPE’s Director, Branka van der Linden, is at it again, foisting more misleading information on unwilling members of Parliament. I expose the rot and provide some background on Mrs van der Linden.

HOPE’s Director, Branka van der Linden, is at it again, foisting more misleading information about voluntary assisted dying (VAD) on unwilling members of Parliament. I expose the rot and provide some background on Mrs van der Linden.

Van der Linden’s latest email to all WA MPs states:

Subject: WA Report relies on troubling Belgian study

 
[MP Salutation] --

Did you know that a study showing that one person in Belgium is euthanised every three days without their explicit consent also found that:

Keywords: Fearmonger | Flapdoodle | Faith | Australia | Anthony Fisher | Paul Kelly | Paul Russell | Alex Schadenberg | Margaret Somerville | Branka van der Linden | Religion | Catholic | Claim response | Legislative reform | Lobbying: Opponents | Statistics | Rhetoric: The 'vulnerable'

 

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Posted on Friday 4th January 2019 at 11:43pm

Marshall Perron reports how VAD influenced the Victorian 2018 election, and it wasn't pretty for opponents.

Many news outlets are reporting that Victoria's voluntary assisted dying (VAD) Act comes into effect mid-year, and how other Parliaments around the country are likely to implement similar reforms. Moves are afoot in Western Australia, Queensland, NSW and Tasmania, with other jurisdictions to follow. Marshall Perron, former Chief Minister of the Northern Territory and architect of the first VAD law in Australia, has penned a media release to highlight how VAD influenced the Victorian election. The result wasn't pretty for opponents of VAD law reform.

Media release - Marshall Perron

Parliamentarians traditionally shy away from supporting voluntary assisted dying (VAD), believing it is politically toxic to do so. Victoria, under the Andrews government, has changed all that by showing the opposite to be true.

After legislating VAD – Victoria is the first Australian state to do so – Andrews won a thumping victory at the 2018 Victoria State election.

Keywords: Assisted dying (AD) | Physician-assisted dying (PAD) | Australia | Victoria | Legislation | Legislative reform

 

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Posted on Saturday 11th August 2018 at 11:33pm

In this week's Senate debate, misinformation about indigenous Territorians' attitudes toward lawful assisted dying will abound. Senators should reject such rubbish.

In 1996 the Northern Territory Rights of the Terminally Ill Act (ROTI) came into effect. Just four people had used the Act when seven months later an Act of the Federal Parliament extinguished the NT law, by cancelling the Territories’ authority to enact it.


This week, the Senate [federal parliament] debates the Restoring Territory Rights (Assisted Suicide Legislation) Bill, sponsored by libertarian Senator David Leyonhjelm. If the Bill passes both houses, the Territories will again have the authority to legislate the matter of assisted dying.


Opponents of lawful assisted dying have been sharpening their knives to ensure that Senator Leyonhjelm’s Bill fails and that Territorians remain second-class citizens. In this post I expose one of the desperate and disgraceful pieces of misinformation opponents use to try and curry fear about law reform.

Opponent signals


There are signals from many quarters that assisted dying opponents are dragging out the tired old argument that indigenous Australians are too fearful of assisted dying to allow reinstatement of the Territories’ legislative authority.


The signals are clear, though so far mostly behind the scenes. Nevertheless, they predict a full onslaught of invalid “fear” claims in the parliamentary debate this week.

Keywords: Fearmonger | Filibuster | Fudge | Fiction | Faith | Australia | Australian Capital Territory | Northern Territory | Religion | Catholic | Legislative reform | Lobbying: Opponents | Statistics | Rhetoric

 

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Posted on Thursday 17th May 2018 at 1:27am

Two new DyingForChoice reports outline the substantial evidence that it's not VAD doctors who 'play God' with their patients. Find out who is.

In two supplementary submissions to the Parliament of Western Australia, I report empirical evidence about the standards of end-of-life medical decision making in jurisdictions with and without voluntary assisted dying (VAD) laws. The evidence clearly contradicts the assumption of assisted dying opponents that legalised VAD will lead to worse end-of-life decision making by physicians. In fact, the evidence clearly shows which physicians are 'playing God' with their patients, and it's not the Dutch.

When I appeared as an expert witness before the Parliament of Western Australia's Joint Select Committee on end of life choices, the Hon. Nick Goiran, a staunch Christian opponent of VAD, asked me for evidence of bringing end of life decision making out of the 'dark shadows' and into the light in jurisdictions in which VAD is lawful.

Keywords: Assisted dying (AD) | Australia | Western Australia | Catholic | Legislation | Legislative reform

 

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Posted on Tuesday 13th February 2018 at 9:37pm

A DyingForChoice.com article in LivingNow explains why assisted dying law reform has taken so long, and why it will accelerate from here.

A DyingForChoice.com editorial in the Jan/Feb 2018 issue of lifestyle magazine, LivingNow, explains why assisted dying law reform in Australia has taken so long, and why it will accelerate from here.

Download the editorial (PDF 3.5Mb)


Visit LivingNow

Keywords: Physician-assisted dying (PAD) | Voluntary euthanasia (VE) | Australia | Religion | Legislative reform | Rhetoric

 

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Posted on Monday 12th February 2018 at 1:35am

A submission to Philip Ruddock's "Religious Freedom" inquiry cautions the Panel to act ethically and to balance rights and freedoms on principle, not merely on axiomatic or normative claims about religion.

In the context of religious institutions seeking to ban doctors and patients from engaging in the lawful conduct of assisted dying, and in regard to similar discrimination regarding marriage equality, I've made a submission to Philip Ruddock's "Relgious Freedom" inquiry, in which I call on the Panel to attend properly to robust ethical process, through ten specific recommendations.

Download the submission PDF.

Keywords: Australia | Religion

 

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Posted on Monday 30th October 2017 at 11:20pm

Across the country, most Coalition MPs (with notable exceptions) demonstrate themselves to be ‘unrepresentative swill’ when it comes to honouring the electorate’s wish for assisted dying law reform.

It was with tongue in cheek that I recently quoted former Prime Minister Paul Keating to wonder if politicians voting on assisted dying Bills were ‘unrepresentative swill.’ The now-obvious answer to this question has become more than just humorous, with the publication yesterday of the Hansard record of Victoria’s Legislative Assembly vote on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017.

How ironic it was that the very day after I quoted Keating’s slight against his then-hostile Senate, Keating himself, a conservative Catholic, would come out against voluntary assisted dying (VAD) reform.


Hansard record makes compelling reading


But, more importantly, the Hansard record of votes on the Victorian Bill in the lower house make for compelling reading.


Keywords: Assisted dying (AD) | Australia | Victoria | Analysis | Legislative reform | Poll / survey | Statistics

 

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Posted on Wednesday 18th October 2017 at 9:41pm

As the Victorian Parliament debates its Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill, shenaningans are afoot in the corridors of power.

Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating once famously branded the Senate “unrepresentative swill” for obstructing his legislative agenda. Today, the question of how representative our political masters are remains moot.

Major community support for VAD

Take voluntary assisted dying (VAD) for example. Poll after poll demonstrates that the overwhelming majority of Australians want this additional choice for people in extremis at the end of life. The impeccable Australian Election Survey (AES) conducted by Australian National University scholars last year confirmed that 77% of Australians want VAD reform, with 13% undecided and just 10% opposed.

Keywords: Filibuster | Fudge | Assisted dying (AD) | Australia | Victoria | Analysis | Legislative reform | Statistics

 

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Posted on Friday 13th October 2017 at 10:11am

Anglican and Catholic bishops seem to be going out of their way to alienate their constituencies over social policy law reforms.

Anglican and Catholic bishops seem to be going out of their way to alienate their constituencies, including in respect of voluntary assisted dying and marriage equality law reform. As a result, the writing on the wall is writ large for the continued decline of religion in Australia.

Many Australian clerics are trying their hardest to foil Parliamentary attempts to drag Australia into the 21st century on social policy. They seem to care little for the ongoing demise of their own constituencies.


Religion declining since the 1960s


Keywords: Fearmonger | Faith | Assisted dying (AD) | Australia | New South Wales | Victoria | Catholic Church | Religion | Christian | Anglican/Church of England/Episcopal

 

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Posted on Thursday 12th October 2017 at 1:50am

I challenge the latest religious right commentators opposing Victoria’s Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill to skip the flip-flopping and engage constructively.

I challenge the latest religious right commentators opposing Victoria’s Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill to skip the flip-flopping and engage constructively.

They’re at it again. This time it’s the religious right’s latest ‘think tank’ front group, the impressively-named Institute for Civil Society. Sounds grand, doesn’t it?


But if you look into their lot in life, it’s to protect ‘religious freedoms.’ By that, they mean the right to lawfully discriminate against others of whom they disapprove, while at the same time arguing that they not be discriminated against.


Keywords: Fearmonger | Flapdoodle | Filibuster | Flip-flop | Fudge | Faith | Physician-assisted dying (PAD) | Australia | Victoria | Religion | Rhetoric: Killing | Rhetoric: The 'vulnerable'

 

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