Blogs with keyword:

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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Posted on Sunday 22nd July 2018 at 12:14am

The Belgium Federal Commission of Control and Evaluation of Euthanasia has released its 2016-2017 biennial report

Belgium's Federal Commission of Control and Evaluation of Euthanasia this week published its full 2016–2017 biennial report. The report is published only in French and Dutch, which places English-speaking jurisdictions at something of a disadvantage.

DyingForChoice has translated the entire report, as well as a copy of the Belgian Euthanasia Act (2002) as it currently stands with amenedments, so that English-speaking audiences can read and understand it.

A summary of key points, the full report in English, and a full copy of the Euthanasia Act, can be found in this Fact File.

Keywords: Euthanasia | Belgium | Analysis | Regulation | Statistics

 

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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 13th November 2017 at 6:28pm

A new report to be published this week slams Jones & Paton’s 2015 “suicide contagion” study, and Kheriaty’s editorial of it, as unscientific and containing multiple substantial instances of bias.

In the ongoing political campaign against assisted dying law reform, opponents have spread one piece of egregious misinformation after another. One of the most common is supposed “suicide contagion” from assisted dying laws to general suicide, a theory popularised by Catholic Prof. Margaret Somerville. Despite the nonsense of her claim being comprehensively exposed, she still believes that her opinion “will prove to be correct.” Two journal papers published in 2015 purported to, but didn't, establish suicide contagion in Oregon and Washington states.

Note: the report is now published here.


Keywords: Fearmonger | Fudge | Fiction | Assisted dying (AD) | USA | Oregon | Catholic Church | Margaret Somerville | Analysis | Article review | Statistics | Rhetoric | Rhetoric: Suicide 'contagion'

 

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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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Posted on Tuesday 10th October 2017 at 7:58am

Catholic anti-assisted dying lobbyist Mr Paul Russell bombards Victorian politicians with selective misinformation.

As the Parliament of Victoria prepares to debate an assisted dying Bill, South Australian Catholic anti-assisted-dying lobbyist Mr Paul Russell is at it again. This time he's sent a missive to Victorian politicians shouting about, amongst other things, a crisis of assisted dying numbers in Washington state. He’s conveniently cherry-picked his arguments again.

Mr Russell wrote that in Washington state:


“deaths from lethal drugs prescribed under the Act have nearly quadrupled (376%) from 51 in 2010 to 192 in 2016.”


Keywords: Fearmonger | Filibuster | Fudge | Assisted dying (AD) | Australia | Victoria | Paul Russell | Catholic | Legislative reform | Lobbying: Opponents | Statistics

 

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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.


The ‘abandonment’ fallacy


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 Victorian Government has introduced its assisted dying Bill into the Victorian Parliament. It's based on extensive consultation with a wide range of stakeholders, and over 1,000 submissions. You can read all about it here.

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.


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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