Blogs

Posted on Tuesday 19th September 2017 at 10:30pm

Three AMA-Victoria past Presidents fronted the Victorian Parliament and spread misinformation about assisted dying law reform.

As reported in The Age, on Tuesday this week three AMA doctors fronted the Victorian Parliament to spread the word about their perceived horrors of an assisted dying law. Their arguments don’t hold water and politicians should see them for what they are: utter nonsense.

Doctors Stephen Parnis, Mukesh Haikerwal and Mark Yates say they will continue to lobby politicians.

With what?

Here is the ‘substance’ of their arguments — a sticky blomonge of the same old confected and discredited claims.

The vulnerable will be at risk

Dr Parnis said that such a law “puts the most frail and vulnerable in our community — the dying — at profound risk,” pointing to coercion, and patients not getting the medical care they need.

Keywords: Fearmonger | Flapdoodle | Flip-flop | Fudge | Fiction | Assisted dying (AD) | Australia | Victoria | Australian Medical Association (AMA) | Rhetoric: Slippery slope | Rhetoric: The 'vulnerable'

 

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Posted on Thursday 14th September 2017 at 10:20pm

I expose the misinformation and incoherent arguments of the Catholic church recently published in Fairfax media.

It’s very disappointing that Catholic theologian Dr Joel Hodge’s recent editorial in Fairfax media about assisted dying law reform contained misinformation: the same old tired and discredited story trotted out as though it's true. Dr Hodge also repeated an old and curiously one-sided (Catholic) examination of the hypothetical slippery slope.

Unhappily, the kind of misinformation that Dr Hodge advances muddies the waters and cruelly stands in the way of legislative action, which most Australians want.


Keywords: Fearmonger | Fudge | Fiction | Faith | Assisted dying (AD) | Australia | New South Wales | Victoria | Catholic | Legislative reform | Lobbying: Opponents | Rhetoric: Slippery slope | Rhetoric: The 'vulnerable'

 

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Posted on Wednesday 23rd August 2017 at 7:35pm

The Western Australia Parliament has established an inquiry - like Victoria's in 2015/6 - into end-of-life choices

After months of public remarks about end-of-life choices by the WA Premier Mark McGowan, the WA Parliament has just passed a resolution to establish a Joint Select Committee to investigate end-of-life choices for Western Australians.

Similar to the Victorian Parliamentary inquiry in 2015/16, the move is a strong step forward in assessing current practice and recommending improvements to both legislative and regulatory oversight of end-of-life for Australians in the west.

Keywords: Western Australia | Legislative reform

 

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Posted on Sunday 6th August 2017 at 3:36am

Victorian MP Mr Daniel Mulino's "carefully researched" minority report against assisted dying contains multiple serious errors and misinformation. He must withdraw it.

Last year, the Victorian Parliament's Legal and Social Issues Committee concluded an extensive investigation into end of life choices, publishing a report of over 400 pages recommending improvements to palliative care and for assisted dying. Catholic-backed Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees' Association (‘shoppies’ union) Labor member of the Victorian Parliament Mr Daniel Mulino furnished his own minority report, opposing the majority recommendation for assisted dying law reform. That’s entirely his right. However, his report contains multiple, serious cases of misinformation. He must withdraw his report.

Daniel Mulino, Labor parliamentary member for the Victorian Region of Eastern Victoria,1 and a member of the Catholic-backed ‘shoppies’ union,2 was a member of the Legal and Social Issues Committee that thoroughly investigated end of life decision making and produced a 400+ page report in 2016 making recommendations for law reform and regulation.

Keywords: Flapdoodle | Fudge | Fiction | Faith | Australia | Victoria | Paul Russell | Alex Schadenberg | Margaret Somerville | Religion | Catholic

 

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Posted on Sunday 6th August 2017 at 2:31am

Religious leaders have the right to argue for their faith. But they deserve scrutiny when they put forward misleading arguments.

In Monday’s Herald Sun, Victorian Archbishops Philip Freier and Denis Hart, and Bishops Ezekiel, Suriel, Lester Briebbenow, Bosco Puthur and Peter Stasiuk published a half-page advertisement admonishing the Victorian government for its initiative to legalise assisted dying for the terminally ill, an ad similar to the one published by religious figures in 2008.

I have no quarrel with individuals of faith regarding their own private beliefs. However, the bishops’ attempt at public “leadership” through the advertisement is deserving of redress for its multiple fallacies.

Keywords: Fearmonger | Fudge | Faith | Assisted dying (AD) | Australia | Victoria | Religion | Catholic | Legislative reform | Lobbying: Opponents | Rhetoric: Palliative care can always help | Rhetoric: Slippery slope | Rhetoric: Suicide | Rhetoric: The 'vulnerable'

 

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Posted on Thursday 27th July 2017 at 11:52pm

Paul Russell must publish the entire ‘research’ methodology of his recent ‘poll’ or withdraw the purported ‘results.’

In his latest blog, titled “Who are you going to trust?”, anti-assisted dying lobbyist Mr Paul Russell says:

“Polling noted today in the Australian shows a significant level of distrust in our political classes to get the issue of euthanasia and assisted dying right.”

He then goes on to quote some select statistics from said poll. In his blog, he mentions nothing about the sponsorship or conduct of the poll. After some searching, I found no other reference to said poll on his ‘HOPE’ website.

This is rather curious, because The Australian article he quotes, points out that the ‘poll’ was commissioned by him (his website is called ‘HOPE’).

Keywords: Fudge | Assisted dying (AD) | Australia | Victoria | Paul Russell | Margaret Somerville | Statistics | Rhetoric

 

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Posted on Friday 21st July 2017 at 1:53am

The Victorian Ministerial Advisory Panel on voluntary assisted dying today handed down its final report to the Government.

The Ministerial Advisory Panel on voluntary assisted dying today handed down its final report to the Government.

The Panel was comprised of seven subject experts, with Professor Brian Owler as Chair and Professor Margaret O'Connor as Deputy Chair.

It consulted extensively across Victoria, taking hundreds of submissions and appearances from relevant stakeholders, and reviewing legislation from other jurisdictions in which one form or other of assisted dying is permitted.

Today, it formally handed its report, comprising over 250 pages, to the Government.

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

 

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Posted on Thursday 22nd June 2017 at 1:05am

The Catholic Church fundamentally flip-flops on its position between assisted dying and refusing life-saving medical treatment, regarding theoretical risks for ‘the vulnerable.’

The Catholic Church in Australia is reeling from revelations at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, of a shocking number of cases that have occurred under its ‘pastoral umbrella.’ Yet it presumes to tell the rest of us about the hypothetical moral dangers of assisted dying laws for ‘the vulnerable.’

To add insult to injury, it flip-flops on its stance.

Never mind that the argument is contradicted by evidence

The Church’s favourite argument — already contradicted by scholarly analysis that curiously seems to be of no interest to the Church — is this: if people are given the choice of assisted dying, they will feel compelled to choose it, coerced by doctors, greedy relatives or others; subtly or otherwise.

Keywords: Fearmonger | Flip-flop | Faith | Australia | USA | Catholic Church | Paul Russell | Religion | Rhetoric: The 'vulnerable'

 

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Posted on Wednesday 21st June 2017 at 3:14am

More empirical evidence from the Netherlands contradicts Professor Margaret Somerville’s ‘suicide contagion from assisted dying’ theory.

I’ve previously published an extensive analysis of how Professor Margaret Somerville, of the Catholic Notre Dame University of Australia, cherry-picked her way through select data that seemed to be (but wasn’t) consistent with her ‘contagion’ theory from assisted dying to the general suicide rate. I provided ample evidence from lawful jurisdictions that comprehensively contradicts her claim. I also published the summary in ABC Religion & Ethics.

Yet Somerville still says despite extensive real-world experience to the contrary, that “I believe that my [suicide contagion] statement will prove to be correct.”

Keywords: Fearmonger | Fudge | Faith | Assisted dying (AD) | Netherlands | Margaret Somerville | Catholic | Rhetoric: Slippery slope | Rhetoric: Suicide

 

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Posted on Tuesday 20th June 2017 at 9:23pm

New university research from Germany continues to evidentially clobber Margaret Somerville’s claim about fearful Dutch elderly going to Germany for aged and health care.

I’ve criticised Catholic ethicist Professor Margaret Somerville in the past for promoting misinformation about assisted dying. One of her favourite stories is about supposed non-voluntary euthanasia (NVE) ‘contagion’ from voluntary euthanasia laws.

NVE is where a doctor deliberately hastens the death of a patient without a current explicit request from the patient.

Somerville claims that elderly Dutch citizens fear NVE — a slippery slope claim previously promoted by the Vatican. She stated that:

Keywords: Fiction | Assisted dying (AD) | Germany | Margaret Somerville | Catholic | Rhetoric: Slippery slope | Rhetoric: The 'vulnerable'

 

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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.