Blogs with keyword:

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. Branca 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 Wednesday 3rd March 2021 at 9:32pm

Belgium and Oregon have just released their 2020 reports cards covering voluntary assisted dying practice.

Belgium and the USA state of Oregon both released their annual voluntary assisted dying (VAD) reports this week. I report on the numbers.

While the Netherlands and Washington state haven't released their 2020 annual VAD report cards yet, Belgium and Oregon have.

Keywords: Assisted dying (AD) | Belgium | Netherlands | Oregon

 

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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 Tuesday 2nd April 2019 at 7:23pm

Anti-assisted-dying ginger group 'HOPE' continues to pedal egregious misinformation to politicians considering law reform: this time to Western Australian MPs.

The Catholic-backed anti-assisted-dying ginger group, HOPE, was represented for years by Paul Russell. He's retired and Branka van der Linden is now at the helm. But its penchant for pedaling egregious misinformation hasn't changed. Van der Linden recently sent an email to all WA members of parliament, containing three points.

Van der Linden's email reads:

 

Dear [MP salutation],

Did you know that the WA majority report that recommended assisted suicide for WA either dismissed or failed to report on the following statistics?

Keywords: Fearmonger | Flapdoodle | Fudge | Fiction | Faith | Belgium | Netherlands | Oregon | Branka van der Linden | Claim response | Legislative reform | Statistics | Rhetoric: Slippery slope | Rhetoric: The 'vulnerable'

 

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Posted on Monday 1st April 2019 at 9:59pm

Revealed – how Dutch ethicist Theo Boer uses smoke and mirrors to suggest assisted dying is out of control in the Netherlands, and a possible explanation why.

In my most recent article in the Journal of Assisted Dying, I forensically analyse Dutch ethicist Professor Theo Boer’s 2017 paper purporting to find suicide contagion from assisted dying in the Netherlands. It doesn’t go well for Professor Boer, to put it mildly. You can find the full article here.


I also find an astonishing coincidence that occurred in 2014, the year Boer went feral against the Dutch euthanasia law.

Multiple fatal flaws


Keywords: Bull | Fearmonger | Flapdoodle | Flip-flop | Fudge | Fiction | Faith | Assisted dying (AD) | Euthanasia | Belgium | Netherlands | Article review | Claim response | Lobbying: Opponents | Statistics | Rhetoric: Suicide 'contagion'

 

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Posted on Thursday 28th February 2019 at 6:12pm

The Belgian authorities have released a summary report of euthanasia cases for 2018, showing a tiny 1.8% increase in the number of cases from the previous year.

Belgium's Federal Commission for Control and Evaluation of Euthanasia has released a summary report of cases for the 2018 calendar year. Numbers have stabilised, with a tiny 1.8% increase on the figures for the previous year. All cases were found to have met the essential conditions of the Euthanasia Act. Below is an English translation of the report.

Belgium Euthanasia - Figures for the year 2018


By Jan Eyckmans

Posted on 28/02/2019


These figures relate to the registration documents for euthanasia carried out between 1 January 2018 and 31 December 2018 examined by the Commission. A more detailed analysis of euthanasia reported in 2018 will be made in the next biennial report of the Commission (gathering data for 2018 and 2019).

Keywords: Assisted dying (AD) | Belgium | Regulation | Statistics

 

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Posted on Friday 1st February 2019 at 8:55pm

Colorado's second year of assisted dying statistics show very low usage of the End Of Life Options Act.

The USA state of Colorado legalised assisted dying via its End Of Life Options [#145] Act in 2016. Its Department of Public Health & Environment has just published its second annual report of statistics of medications dispensed and deaths.

Unfortunately, the Colorado statistics report only all deaths of those prescribed life-ending medications, not those who died using the medication.

In 2017, 70 people who had been prescribed life-ending medication died, representing 0.19% of all deaths.* With Oregon and Washington states clearly showing around 30% of people prescribed lethal medication die without using it, that represents 49 people and 0.13% of all deaths.

Keywords: Physician-assisted dying (PAD) | USA | Statistics

 

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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 Sunday 25th November 2018 at 9:03pm

The Canadian Medical Association has quit the World Medical Association over assisted dying and plagiarism.

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) has quit the World Medical Association (WMA) over assisted dying and plagiarism.

The WMA has long held that assisted dying is unethical and must be condemned by the medical profession, despite a significant proportion of contemporary doctors believing it to be a valid and ethical option in restricted circumstances.

Assisted dying is lawful in Canada, where it is called Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD).

Keywords: Fearmonger | Faith | Assisted dying (AD) | Canada | Catholic | Rhetoric

 

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Posted on Sunday 12th August 2018 at 7:40am

In today’s Sydney Morning Herald, Margaret Somerville plugs her latest co-authored paper appearing in a medical journal. Trouble is, the article’s appalling rubbish containing egregious misinformation. The authors deserve ridicule and censure for it.

If there’s one thing you have to admire about Margo Somerville, Catholic Professor of Bioethics at the University of Notre Dame Australia, it’s her persistence in the face of being called out for misrepresenting facts about assisted dying. She’s at it again.

Today in the Sydney Morning Herald, Somerville was quoted spruiking her credentials via a recent publication in the peer-reviewed Journal of Palliative Care.1 Since I study the professional literature, I’m aware of said article, which was published several weeks ago. It's a shocker.

Keywords: Fudge | Fiction | Non-voluntary euthanasia (NVE) | Voluntary euthanasia (VE) | Belgium | Netherlands | Margaret Somerville | Analysis | Rhetoric

 

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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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