Devarim 30: 19

Paul Keating has an important op-ed in the Fairfax press:

The justifications offered by the bill’s advocates – that the legal conditions are stringent or that the regime being authorised will be conservative – miss the point entirely. What matters is the core intention of the law. What matters is the ethical threshold being crossed. What matters is that under Victorian law there will be people whose lives we honour and those we believe are better off dead.

In both practical and moral terms, it is misleading to think allowing people to terminate their life is without consequence for the entire society. Too much of the Victorian debate has been about the details and conditions under which people can be terminated and too little about the golden principles that would be abandoned by our legislature.

An alarming aspect of the debate is the claim that safeguards can be provided at every step to protect the vulnerable. This claim exposes the bald utopianism of the project – the advocates support a bill to authorise termination of life in the name of compassion, while at the same time claiming they can guarantee protection of the vulnerable, the depressed and the poor.

No law and no process can achieve that objective. This is the point. If there are doctors prepared to bend the rules now, there will be doctors prepared to bend the rules under the new system. Beyond that, once termination of life is authorised the threshold is crossed. From that point it is much easier to liberalise the conditions governing the law. And liberalised they will be. Few people familiar with our politics would doubt that pressure would mount for further liberalisation based on the demand that people are being discriminated against if denied. The experience of overseas jurisdictions suggests the pressures for further liberalisation are irresistible.

Now Paul Keating is using a slippery slope argument here and I well realise that it could just as easily be applied to other social policies that are currently being debated. It seems to me, however, that there is far more mischief that can result from killing the old, the weak, the unwanted, the frail but with plenty of assets, the too-expensive for the socialised health care system, and ultimately the annoying and inconvenient than there could be from any other social policy change. If you examine my list – I’m sure it is incomplete – a state sanctioned euthanasia law creates incentives for relatives to murder each other and it ultimately creates incentives for the state to murder too.

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46 Responses to Devarim 30: 19

  1. Tintarella di Luna

    If you examine my list – I’m sure it is incomplete – a state sanctioned euthanasia law creates incentives for relatives to murder each other and it ultimately creates incentives for the state to murder too.

    In Belgium they are now killing children and the push is on in the Netherlands too. How very brave and enlightened.

  2. Infidel Tiger

    Damn straight.

    Shows how much Labor has changed in the last two decades.

  3. My brother died from cancer on 3rd Feb 2015, he had great palliative care toward the end.

    I would give an arm or a leg to have been able to get back to Oz and tell him i loved him one last time.

  4. H B Bear

    Damn straight.
    Shows how much Labor has changed in the last two decades.

    Exactly. The cultural neo-Marxists are running the show now. CFMEU just propping the show up to ensure their lucrative skimming operation isn’t affected.

  5. cui bono

    PK reverts to the maiden speech PK. Good to get out of Canberra PK.

  6. Bruce

    Next up: Retrospective Abortion.

  7. Tel

    Next up: Retrospective Abortion.

    Better late than never!

  8. H B Bear

    Next up: Retrospective Abortion.

    I have a few suggestions.

  9. Bruce of Newcastle

    It’s always interesting that the Left have long opposed the death penalty for criminals.
    Yet the same people want abortion of unborn children and euthanasia of old people.

    As for euthanasia I think we should require certified experts to carry it out. And how could you trust that someone is an expert unless they’ve tried it out on themselves first?

  10. John Constantine

    We are gone a trillion and hellbent on deindustrialising as fast as we can dynamite the coal stations.

    Australia will do euthanasia as an economic necessity.

  11. Boambee John

    BoN at 1858

    As for euthanasia I think we should require certified experts to carry it out. A

    I believe that the title that you are groping for is “State Executioner”?

  12. Senile Old Guy

    The safe guards will never be adequate. And the boundaries will be widened.

  13. A Lurker

    It is good to see that Sinc. is thinking and reasoning like a Conservative.

    When it comes to new policy and legislation the overriding rationale should be:
    First do no harm.
    Then:
    Don’t attempt to fix what isn’t broken.

  14. Atoms for Peace

    But slippery slopes don’t exist..

  15. Whalehunt Fun

    Oh when oh when oh when will the slippery slope bring mandatory euthanasia for the criminally stupid. What a celebration will be had that day. A law that criminalises the failure to euthanise socialists is just what we want and need and need soon.

  16. Whalehunt Fun

    the title that you are groping for is “State Executioner”?

    No, socialist executioner. And you can charge by the quarter hour for the right to perform the task. The qu e se will be huge. The farbjous joy uncontained. Why is the line moving so slowly they will shout.
    This will be the only time sane people demand “quick bring more socialists”.

  17. Bruce of Newcastle

    I believe that the title that you are groping for is “State Executioner”?

    Only if he or she successfully pass the final exam by demonstrating their competence on themselves.
    No one has yet graduated.

    I thought of another final exam, which is to put a big bucket of that green stuff vets use in a room along with a lot of hypodermics. Then let in the training group with the instruction that the sole survivor will be the successful graduate. But that might depress recruitment.

  18. Procrustes

    I support voluntary euthanasia but it seems that we have to first abolish the state

  19. rickw

    PK is spot on.

    Government involvement in anything equates to inherent fuck ups.

    A fuck in this case being state sanctioned murder of an elderly or infirm person.

  20. pbw

    It’s all a bit late, isn’t it? Where was Paul Keating abotion on demand became a reality, de facto if not de jure. Abortion is a fine example of the willingness of doctors to bend the rules. Maybe that’s one of the examples PK had in mind. Once you declare, in tones of high moral superiority, that some human lives may be ended at the whim of an other or others, you have crossed the Rubicon. Euthanasia is just a tributary, and your fording techniques are all in place.

    It’s a small step from Schrödinger’s Baby to Schrödinger’s Aged Parent.

  21. Roger

    It seems to me, however, that there is far more mischief that can result from killing the old, the weak, the unwanted, the frail but with plenty of assets, the too-expensive for the socialised health care system, and ultimately the annoying and inconvenient than there could be from any other social policy change.

    It seems to you…?

    For heaven’s sake, man, there is no “seems” about it!

  22. a reader

    Ever noticed how the same people who will spend hours on a beach to stop a whale killing itself are the same ones who endorse death for people?

  23. jonesy

    …get your soylent green…Thursday is Soylent Green day!

  24. Leon Leoshkevitch

    I don’t think PK is using the slippery slope argument.
    “What matters is the ethical threshold being crossed.”
    Completely agree with this. The bar is so low now that anything goes.
    Civilised society needs these ethical pillars.

  25. Gavin R Putland

    [T]here is far more mischief that can result from killing the old, the weak, the unwanted, the frail but with plenty of assets, the too-expensive for the socialised health care system…

    Why only the socialised health care system?

  26. Rabz

    I’ve posted before about the dangers of allowing the state to “decide” if people should be murdered.

    Because, make no mistake, that is what it is.

    State Sanctioned Murder.

    This is beyond disgusting and will definitely be abused and extended.

    That monstrous grotesque deformed dunderhead is quite possibly the most despicable creature to have blighted public life in this country in my time on this planet.

    Anyone who voted for the deadshit should hang their empty heads in shame.

    Absolutely bloody inexcusable.

  27. jonesy

    I am not a dog…and I dont want to be put down like one! It is the human condition how I face my death.

  28. sabena

    Graham Richardson has an opinion piece in the Australian today advocating euthanasia and referring to his personal circumstances:
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/graham-richardson/euthanasia-give-terminal-patients-the-right-to-choose/news-story/b2e3543512a41c404c927c0ca48a628a
    Those circumstances are obviously very trying for him.But the fact is those circumstances are not troubling enough for him to end his life-or presumably he would have done so.But he is obviously so dependent that there may be a time when those caring for him want to cease to do so and put pressure on him to end his life-in other words preferring their circumstances to his.

  29. stackja

    Carpe Jugulum
    #2527702, posted on October 19, 2017 at 6:37 pm
    My brother died from cancer on 3rd Feb 2015, he had great palliative care toward the end.

    I would give an arm or a leg to have been able to get back to Oz and tell him i loved him one last time.

    I personally know your hurt.

  30. stackja

    Victorian minister’s expletive SMS blunder
    AN ACCIDENTAL text message sent to the Deputy Premier of Victoria has exposed the bitter tensions at the heart of the state’s government.

  31. stackja

    Text message to wrong person reveals Euthanasia law tensions
    Matt Johnston and Genevieve Alison, Herald Sun
    an hour ago
    Subscriber only

    Health Minister Jill Hennessy inadvertently sent a message to Deputy Premier James Merlino on Tuesday

  32. Euthanasia deaths have tripled in the Netherlands in the last ten years. Self administered deaths have stayed much the same, but physician assisted has soared.
    There is now much “quiet” talk that relatives are offing their elders much too soon. Go figure.

  33. stackja

    2GB reports Vic Lower House passes kill bill.

  34. stackja

    Voluntary euthanasia laws pass lower house in marathon session
    Matt Johnston and Genevieve Alison, Herald Sun
    3 minutes ago
    Subscriber only
    VICTORIA’S first voluntary euthanasia laws have passed the Legislative Assembly after a marathon 25 hour parliamentary session.

    The fate of the bill, which would allow for terminally ill patients to apply for access to lethal medication, will now be decided by 40 upper house MPs next month.

    State MPs who voted for the laws in clapped and cheered after the final vote was read out shortly after 11.20 on Friday morning.

    Emotional MPs hugged and wiped away tears as they left the chamber.

    The final count was 47 votes in favour of the legislation proceeding to the upper house and 37 against.

  35. Viva

    The damage left wing atheists do each time they are elected to government is increasing exponentially – spiritually as well as economically:

    IMO a society is healthy and prospers insofar it’s precepts reflect a higher law than any promulgated by the state government of Victoria.

    “As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…”

    Hermes Trismegistus

  36. Diogenes

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4166098/Female-Dutch-doctor-drugged-patient-s-coffee.html

    A Dutch woman doctor who drugged an elderly woman and then asked her family to hold her down as she fought desperately not to be killed did not break the law, according to medical experts citing the country’s euthanasia legislation.
    ….
    Yet while injecting the woman she woke up, and fought the doctor. The paperwork showed that the only way the doctor could complete the injection was by getting family members to help restrain her.
    It also revealed that the patient said several times ‘I don’t want to die’ in the days before she was put to death, and that the doctor had not spoken to her about what was planned because she did not want to cause unnecessary extra distress. She also did not tell her about what was in her coffee as it was also likely to cause further disruptions to the planned euthanasia process.

    Noooo, there is no slippery slope.

  37. Tintarella di Luna

    Rabz
    #2528156, posted on October 20, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Very well said Rabz.

  38. P

    For over three years I was there every step of the way for my husband during his fight with cancer.
    He died aged 69. I nursed him at home during those last months until the last few half days of his life.
    I am still so grateful for the exemplary care he received at The San during those last days.

    I am brought to tears by the events of the Victorian Parliament today. It is wrong. Just wrong.

    Paul Keating has an important op-ed in the Fairfax press:

    Update 1:56pm SMH

    “Former Labor prime minister Paul Keating has reacted angrily to the passage of Victoria’s Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill through the state’s lower house, branding it ‘deeply regressive’ and an abrogation of ‘the core instinct to survive’.
    Mr Keating, who weighed in to the contentious debate at the last minute on Thursday to warn MPs against the change, has issued a terse statement on the legislation. 

    ‘The passage of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill through the Victorian lower house is truly a sad moment for the whole country,’ Mr Keating said.
    ‘What is means is that the civic guidance provided by the state, in our second largest state, is voided when it comes to the protection of our most valuable asset; the essential human rights of the citizenry, especially and particularly those in either a fragile state or state of mind or fragile period.”

  39. Malcolm Thomas

    Ho hum, more ‘life is sacred’ nonsense when we show through our actions every day that it isn’t.
    Yes, boundaries will (hopefully) widen and so-called safeguards may be weakened, as people start taking a more realistic view of the pros and cons of terminating one’s life – particularly in an age when modern medicine has transmogrified from health care to death prolongation.
    Peter Singer set out the human case for rethinking life and death a couple of decades ago. We are kinder to our pets than to our parents. Unfortunately, religious dogma has prevailed. How much needless pain and suffering has that caused?
    It is a good thing that religion now has all the moral standing of a used teabag, so that it can no longer kybosh welfare-enhancing policies such as the legalisation of euthanasia.

  40. DM of WA

    Bring on the death panels!

  41. JohnA

    Atoms for Peace #2527749, posted on October 19, 2017, at 7:14 pm

    But slippery slopes don’t exist..

    I hope you were being sarcastic because the entire “march through the institutions” Gramsci approach of the Frankfurt school is the slippery slope writ large across society.

    It is entirely the strategy of the critical theorists and cultural marxists – which is why they decry its exposure by “our side”.

  42. Malcolm Thomas

    Here are a couple of responses to the anti-euthanasia toss in the comments above.

    BAA HUMBUG said that euthanasia deaths thave tripled in Holland over the last ten years. So? The question is whether that is welfare-enhancing or welfare-detracting. It is entirely possible that people now, with societal experience of legal euthanasia, are more able to properly balance the props and cons of choosing to ending one’s life – with previous religious dogma-based biases against euthanasia falling way. If so, those numbers can be seen as good new.

    A LURKER says first do no harm, and don’t try to fix what is not broken. Well, what we have at present is already doing harm, to the many people whose welfare would be enhanced through euthanasia as well as those who support them. Anti-euthanasia laws are a state-imposed prohibition on choice. They did less harm when people really did topple over quickly at three score yeasts and ten. But with the death prolonging medical interventions now widespread, denying this choice imposes substantial costs. Its time to fix this broken system.

  43. Malcolm Thomas

    One more…

    RABZ says ‘make no mistake’ this is ‘State sanctioned murder’. Yet as the dictionary tells us that a condition for murder is that it be unlawful, it is clear that Rabz did make a mistake.

  44. md

    It seems to me, however, that there is far more mischief that can result from killing the old, the weak, the unwanted, the frail but with plenty of assets, the too-expensive for the socialised health care system, and ultimately the annoying and inconvenient than there could be from any other social policy change.

    Better to let everyone suffer just for the sake of a few miscreants, isn’t it? Let’s stop everyone from driving cars, because a handful drive while drunk. Let’s tax sugar and punish everyone for the excesses of a few. It astounds me that people who call themselves Libertarians, people who supposedly believe that everyone owns their own life, would oppose voluntary euthanasia. What astounds me even more is that such people would allow their superstitions to trump their ideology – in the 21st century yet.

    In a free society I should not be prevented from creating a living will in which I have stated that when I am unable to perform a specified set of physical actions and can no longer solve a specified set of mental problems, I want to be put down. I don’t want to lie around and gasp for breath for days as my lungs slowly fill with fluids, and eventually drown in the middle of the night as I can no longer fight for breath. No-one ‘dies peacefully in their sleep’. That’s just the drivel they feed to relatives to put them at ease.

    I don’t believe in your boogie man, so keep your faith out of my face.

    PS I am not a Libertarian. I was many years ago, but I’ve reformed after seeing what’s out there.

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