Stephen Clively: It’s time to allow the Australian Capital Territory legislate for assisted suicide

Respected Academic David Goodall has decided to travel to Switzerland this week to end his life.  The ABC reports that he resents the fact that he has been left with no other choice.

The ACT Liberal Democrats believe that adults like Dr Goodall should have the right to end their lives painlessly, at a time of their choosing, and to be legally able to obtain information and assistance to do so with dignity.

However, in the ACT, this right is hampered by federal law prohibiting the ACT from legislating to allow adults to make such choices.  Moreover, when the Victorian legislation on assisted dying is implemented it would only allow residents of that state to participate in what appears to be a cumbersome and bureaucratic scheme.

The ACT Liberal Democrats have called for all Federal politicians to support Senator David Leyonhjelm’s private Member’s bill “Restoring Territory Rights (Assisted Suicide Legislation)” which is targeted at repealing the Euthanasia Laws Act 1997.

Access to voluntary assisted dying should not be hampered by compromises and bureaucracy as is inherent in the recent Victorian legislation.  It must also adequately safeguard express intention and consent.

The risks of not introducing voluntary assisted dying far outweigh the possible risks of its introduction.  Many people are in unnecessary pain and suffering right now.

Under current law in Australia (including the Victorian model when it comes into operation) limited options force many people in pain and suffering to take matters into their own hands – often ending their lives prematurely and in distressing ways while they can still exercise control over their own fate.  In other cases, people are forced to rely on doctors or their family to either act unlawfully or in an uncertain legal environment.

Claims that allowing assisted dying is a slippery slope that will harm the vulnerable are unwarranted.  Overseas models for assisted dying have not been abused – research shows that assisted dying in Switzerland, the Netherlands and Oregon has not increased risks among vulnerable groups such as older people, the uninsured, the poor, the physically disabled or chronically ill, and people with psychiatric illnesses.  Other research indicates that the legal criteria that apply to an individual’s request for assisted dying are well respected, that requests for assistance are valid; and third parties who assist individuals to die do not act unlawfully.

The model used in Switzerland provides the benchmark for any voluntary assisted dying scheme as it is a patient-centred approach based on self-determination.  Its system of reporting and investigation of all suicides limits the scope for abuse and enables strong enforcement if necessary.

Provided that the person assisting another to die is not motivated by selfish motives an offence has not been committed under the Swiss model.  This means that assistance can be provided by friends and relatives.  With no requirement that doctors be involved, the vast majority of assisted suicides are not directly supervised by doctors and assistance is often provided by voluntary organisations such as Exit.

In contrast, the Victorian scheme has many deficiencies that undermine its main purpose of meeting the needs of those making free end of life choices.  In addition to the unnecessary residency requirement, its scope is too narrow by not covering the range of immense suffering possible across the human experience.  And by vesting power in the State to determine what must be endured and what it is possible to endure, it is unnecessarily paternalistic and bureaucratic.

Most alarming though is that its cumbersome timeframes may prolong suffering against the patient’s wishes.  It thereby runs the risk that many people will die from their medical condition before they can do so under Victoria’s process.

It is time to allow the ACT to legislate for assisted dying.

Read the ACT LDP Submission here.

Stephen Clively provided policy advice to the ACT branch of the Liberal Democratic Party’s submission on End of Life Choices.

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130 Responses to Stephen Clively: It’s time to allow the Australian Capital Territory legislate for assisted suicide

  1. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    we must cull white males by any and every means!

  2. Bela Bartok

    Excellent! This forum is now The Monthly!
    I can’t wait for David Marr’s column…
    Get rid of this Marxist trash – or are we surrendering to the filth?

  3. rickw

    I am happy to assist any LDP members.

    I’m sure your rates are very competitive!

  4. Tel

    Since murder, rape, and similar laws are legislated at the state level, so too euthanasia should also be legislated at the state level and the ACT should be able to make their own decision in this regard. That’s not to say I’m enthusiastic about euthanasia, but I do support local self determination.

    It occurs to me this might be a case for one of those floating libertarian ship/city/states that can make their own rules out in international waters. The cruise of a lifetime he told me!

  5. None

    Why the hell shpuld anyone assist anyone to top themselves and thereby turn themselves into a murderer? Attention seekers like Goodall can f****** world top himselfsand leave everybody else out of it
    What sort of useless academic was he that it couldn’t even do 5 seconds of research and go and swallow a bottle of detergent. Why the f*** should we have an anti bureaucracy just sit there and monitor all these f****** idiot who can’t be bothered typing themselves but need somebody else to do it for them? And what utter hubris is this:

    Provided that the person assisting another to die is not motivated by selfish motives an offence has not been committed under the Swiss model. 

    the liberal Democrats love to tell us that we need to have government stay away from our business and yet here they are thinking that public Servants can be thought police and monitor people’s motives. This not only shows yet again the utter stupidity and idiocy of the Liberal Democrats it also shows just how f****** evil euthanasia is. It’s just a licence for government sponsored taxoayer funded murder. You want to kill yourself, kill yourself. Go walk off a cliff and leave everybody else out of it utter frauds.

  6. herodotus

    The ABC reports that he resents the fact that he has been left with no other choice.

    There are various ways to end it all. Lots of choice.

  7. None

    Claims that allowing assisted dying is a slippery slope that will harm the vulnerable are unwarranted.

      yeah this is why Irelatives hell down a lady who struggled against being euthanized until the doctor could get the poison into her veins. No no there was no problem there. This is why somebody else’s mother got euthanized without them even being told or given an opportunity to see her no no no there’s no problem there. This is why about half the deaths in the Netherlands have not been voluntary suicide but of course when these people are alone and they have no family who’s going to stand up for them. This is because despite both the Netherlands and Belgium having instances of involuntary euthanasia no f****** government has had the guts to prosecute those responsible so let’s just pretend there’s no problem there no no . This article is a pack of lies and it just shows once again the moral depravity of the Liberal Democrats.

  8. None

    The Liberal Democrats are incoherent fuckwits
    I mean what is the sole motivation for demanding euthanasia apart from utter selfishness in perverting the healing arts and turning doctors into murderers? The only rationale they can give is oh my god I don’t want to die in pain. How fucking stupid is that? You don’t fucken well care about your life and you want the rest of us to care about your f****** pain? Well fucking well who cares about your pain, you’re not going to remember the pain when you’re dead anyway so just go f****** well top yourself and leave everybody else out of it.

  9. struth

    Government can NOT BE ALLOWED to assist in anyone’s suicide.
    If somebody wants to top themselves, so be it, but government MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO HELP AT ALL.

    Bloody David, and the LDP.
    Ex lefty hippies who found a book to read, and took it verbatim .
    Dangerous, insulated arseholes.
    Devoid of being able to see the world for what it really is, and like lefties, try for a theorist’s utopia that can never exist.

    The risks of not introducing voluntary assisted dying far outweigh the possible risks of its introduction. Many people are in unnecessary pain and suffering right now.

    Said as if they can’t top themselves without government help.
    Here’s a hint for you, you dumb bastard, people that are about to top themselves aren’t usually concerned about an on the spot fine they may get for doing it.

    And many more will die unnecessarily if you give the government one bit of power in this, you fool of a man.
    David, you’re not getting any younger.
    Watch what you wish for.
    You just might get it.

  10. squawkbox

    Yup, when you allow any government any role in deciding who is better off dead you are on not so much a slippery slope as a precipice.

  11. None

    The ABC reports that he resents the fact that he has been left with no other choice.

    The ACT is the suicide capital of Australia. Even stupod public ervants can work out how to suicide and this idiot who claims to be an academic can’t. Oh my god. He’s just another self centred attention seeking moron. Cancel his passport when he leaves.

  12. Roger.

    Libertarians agitating for greater state power over our lives again, proving what a bankrupt philosophy it is.

  13. Infidel Tiger

    What a confused and unsound piece.

    Just awful thinking.

  14. None

    Many people are in unnecessary pain and suffering right now.

    Who fucking cares? There is no right to a pain free or suffering free existence. These people don’t care about their lives they want to die and yet they want us to care about their pain? Fuck off. You’re not going to remember your pain when you’re dead anyway so either live with it or fuck off and keep everyone else out of it.

  15. TLD

    Once I was so naive I thought the liberal Democrats were for less government control of our lives.

  16. struth

    None, we may start to believe you may be too close to this.
    If you were a cop, (although I agree with you) and this was your case, I’d suspect you knew the victim.

    David and the LDP are losers who are nearly done………
    Don’t be too concerned.
    He happened to mutter the right stuff for a while to get elected, and then showed his true colours.

  17. RobK

    The ABC reports that he resents the fact that he has been left with no other choice.
    I dont think this is a sound basis for changing the law.
    Suicide isn’t illegal as far as I’m aware,(too bad if it is).
    Of course many people wishing to be euthanized are physically unable to do so but that didn’t appear to be the case for Mr Goodall. I think this is an intractable argument best left alone. It certainly risks bobbing up time and again like SSM.

  18. struth

    Bloody academics.
    They want the government to do everything for them.

  19. None

    Struth – euthanasia got legalised in Victoria. I never thought I’d live to see the day that Australia of all countries which fought so hard against the f****** Nazi e il would now legislate the very evil that Nazis promoted. I know these LDP and other assorted lefty fuckwits are just trying for the domino effect. There is no way that I will ever ever lay down and accept euthanasia or stop calling out the Nazis. But I think we agree on everything else especially David. Another aging anarchist in a suit.

  20. pbw

    The risks of not introducing voluntary assisted dying far outweigh the possible risks of its introduction.

    Breath-taking, isn’t it? This will become a “fact.”

    In case anyone hadn’t realised it, this stuff is of a piece with SSM. It is driven by same mob, but whereas SSM was a danse macabre on the grave of marriage and its former sanctity, this time the death’s heads are out to bury life itself, and its former sanctity. Not content to top themselves – because, Heaven forbid, they might get something wrong and actually suffer – they insist on having someone else murder them. But wait!

    Aren’t they already suffering unbearably? Is their life not worth living because of that suffering? Is there not one of the uncountable number of ways of killing oneself, the potential suffering from which is little enough that they will embrace it to end their unbearable suffering? Apparently not.

    No, for then where would be the unspeakable frisson of expressing one’s own dread of life by involving an other, or others, in one’s murder? Whence the satisfaction of casting the web of one’s own moral degradation as widely as possible? Of taking others down for company?

    It might perhaps count in your favour if, when you meet your master, the actual Doom Lord, you can plead for a brief reprieve, at least to wait until the others you have purchased for him soon enough arrive.

    I would not be so all alone…

  21. Buccaneer

    What rubbish, the act of the state creating a legislation that identifies who can determine when and how people can top themselves in combination with a largely state run and funded healthcare system essentially means the state will control who lives and dies in a post euthanasia society. Worse still it gives people who previously would have been murderers a gateway to the same ends legally by coercing people they know into electing for their own death. What possible guarantee can you create that would ensure a relative would not make someone’s life such a misery that they would not want to take their own life? Any pain the Goodalls of the world may have to endure is little compared to the potential for wrongdoing here.

  22. Rae

    An excellent and well written post. Dying with dignity by voluntary euthanasia, with properly legislated safeguards, should be available to every Australian. I have no difficulty whatsoever with David Goodall’s intention to do so in Switzerland. He, and his employers, and presumably also his doctors, have emphasized his diminished quality of life at the age of 104. It is entirely up to him to decide on this course and it is no-one else’s business.

  23. Dr Fred Lenin

    They are not going to make it compulsory are they? Snuffing retiring public servants and politicians ? I know it would save lots in payouts and pensions , . but surely there is a more humane way of cutting spending still you never know with the national gangrene Lieberal gang .

  24. RobK

    It is entirely up to him to decide on this course and it is no-one else’s business.
    I agree. Shame the ABC and the death industry are making a big deal of it. They could have celebrated his option quietly.

  25. struth

    Dying with dignity

    It isn’t dignified to ask others to murder you.

    At 104 David Goodall could just hold his breath and that would do it.
    You’re a fuckwit and extremely, extremely naïve if you trust government like that.
    So again, fuck off, the adults are talking.

  26. Chris

    Has anyone noticed if the Turnbull government is in unbearable suffering yet?

  27. None

    I mean just how absolutely f****** stupid is David Goodall and his family? They crowdfunded so he could fly business class – he’s selfish pricked family there were plenty of them at the airport couldn’t even be asked to pay his airfare apparently but they all support him I’m killing himself full stop f****** frauds. There’s the ABC with pictures of his family chortlinv away at the airport thanking God that they didn’t have to look after him. God what selfish pricks. I hope the Australian government cancelled his passport the minute he bought at that plane.

  28. None

    Haha voice recognition can’t cope with the contempt in my voice.

  29. RobK

    He, and his employers, and presumably also his doctors, have emphasized his diminished quality of life at the age of 104.
    It is entirely up to him to decide on this course and it is no-one else’s business.
    There is a worrying inconsistency in these two statements.

  30. Infidel Tiger

    Flying business class and stopping off to visit friends and family before going off to a death camp.

    What a world.

  31. None

    That’s because Rae is a troll robK. His lost read like a slightly demented primary school teacher or public servant writing a quarterly assessment. As vacuous as it was inconsistent.

  32. Helen

    Pain and suffering. I hadn’t heard that old guy was suffering such deep pain he wanted to end it all. He is fit enough to catch a plane overseas and go visiting mates before he gets someone to help him kill himself. You would think an academic could research any number of ways to top himself here, with out a bucket list trip overseas.

    No he is just old. So is being old then also a reason as well as pain and suffering to have someone help kill you? If old is a good enough reason then what next?

    He is not a very good expample to make show there is no risk of slippery slope.

  33. stackja

    ACT planning on committing political suicide? Their decision, then close down all Parliaments. No Canberra, a bonus.

  34. Bertie_Wooster

    Are there any actual libertarians on this website?

  35. None

    David Goodall is a member of Exit International has been for 20 or so years. It’s just another political stunt. He got pissed off when the university tried to take his office away when he was q02 even though they reversed that decusion and then after an unfortunate fall his mobility was impaired. Well so what -plenty of people have had to deal with all sorts of setbacks far worse than him at the age of 104. This is really just a political stunt for a selfish grumpy old man. Cancel his passport.

  36. herodotus

    ACT government has been a very long suicide note.

  37. How can anyone reference Netherlands or Belgium and deny the absence of any ‘slippery slope’? The Netherlands engages in involuntary euthanasia of children and Belgium allows voluntary euthanasia for children.

    Note also, references to self-determination are a smoke screen, the only thing that does any heavy lifting for proponents of euthanasia is the claim of diminished ‘quality of life’.

  38. Tel

    These people don’t care about their lives they want to die and yet they want us to care about their pain? Fuck off.

    The presumption is that if you are dead, then you cannot feel pain.

    I admit that I can neither prove nor disprove this.

  39. Struth, again. With feeling:

    Winston Smith
    #2686158, posted on April 13, 2018 at 8:46 pm
    Libertarians are lonely sub 40yo’s who came to the conclusion that the only way they were ever going to get a root was to pretend being a Socialist, but were a bit more cunning and decided to be Libertarians.
    No one has a clue what a Libertarian stands for, but if you can bullshit the knickers off a starry eyed chickybabe, who cares?
    What Libertarians don’t realise is the movement was infiltrated at birth, and after the Revolution, they’ll all get jobs digging holes for enemies of the state, then filling them up with their own bodies.

    So there.

  40. None

    the only thing that does any heavy lifting for proponents of euthanasia is the claim of diminished ‘quality of life’.

    not even that, Dover. Who cares if you’re in pain or have diminish quality of life if you’re not going to remember the pain after you’re dead? Euthanasia is just evil that’s all.

  41. None

    I admit that I can neither prove nor disprove this.

    you better get a move on and stop all those cremations then, Tel.

  42. Helen

    In the doco Terry Pratchett did on dying in the Netherlands – plane trip or train trip and some pouison at then ned of it, so revolting your body tries to rid itself of it, becasue your body doesnt want to die, there was another couple who went looking. A young man in such severe mpain he had to sometimes roll to get to the kitchen. Severly compromised by his condition. And his mum.

    And he decided that after all, what life he had was worth living. And he went home.

    This old bloke has nothing like that, he is a selfish old git who just doesnt lkike being old and fading to the background.

  43. None

    Haha Winston. Libertarians as such losers you really wonder how stupid any woman must be too let one of them get in her pants.

  44. Struth:

    At 104 David Goodall could just hold his breath and that would do it.
    You’re a fuckwit and extremely, extremely naïve if you trust government like that.
    So again, fuck off, the adults are talking.

    …0r he could take five viagra and go to a lapdancing bar.

  45. Roger.

    …the only thing that does any heavy lifting for proponents of euthanasia is the claim of diminished ‘quality of life’.

    No, once you start measuring life by its “quality” you’re on the slippery slope.

  46. J.H.

    The guy can end his life anytime he wants. He just wants someone else to do it for him. If someone wants to commit suicide, then they should do it themselves… not pass the responsibility on to doctors or the state..

    The State must not have the power to Euthanize. They cannot even be trusted to run an electricity grid, why the hell would you want to give the permanent bureaucracy the power of life and death. ffs.

  47. None, Most Libertarians only want a woman to get her frilly knickers off so they can try them on for size.

  48. None

    You got that right, Winston!

  49. Rae

    Pain and suffering. I hadn’t heard that old guy was suffering such deep pain he wanted to end it all.

    Helen. Once again you dip your toe in over your head. I didn’t say anything about “pain and suffering”, nor, as far as I am aware did anyone else. Goodall referred to his diminished quality of life, and so did his employers at the University who thought it sufficient to relieve him of the need to travel to work. He certainly looked and sounded frail in recent videos. At 104 years old, if he has decided his quality of life has diminished to the extent that he wishes it not to continue, then so be it.

  50. Darko

    Just struck me how an inspired, compassion-driven idea like voluntary euthanasia is like others, like socialism. What could possibly go wrong? (unless there are such things human nature and game theory to contend with). In practice it is pure evil, and anyone promoting it either imbecilic or a ghoul.

    It is humorous to see the AMA morally dumbfounded on this issue: after promoting SSM on the grounds that it is “an idea whose time has come”, “popular with young doctors”, “all about human rights”, “necessary to prevent suffering” and that slippery slope arguments are ridiculous. But now, in the case of “Assisted Dying”, well…

  51. yarpos

    Do your own research and take control of the situation yourelf. None of this is difficult and a painless departure is easily achievable with readily available items. The circus that goes on around this is a nonsense.

  52. egg_

    Most Libertarians only want a woman to get her frilly knickers off so they can try them on for size.

    LMFAO!

  53. Chris M

    Sure, the ACT can go top itself.

  54. Harold Shipman
    The doctor who himself voluntarily euthanised hundreds of involuntary patients, chose to hang himself in prison.

    The problem with old people is that they mostly dislike communism.

  55. Entropy

    I find it difficult to understand so called libertarians constantly calling for a role for the state in marriage, and now in death?
    What a clown show.
    Look, grow some balls and cap yourself. Don’t be such yellow bellied cowards you entrust and empower the government to do you. Because giving government that sort of power will go wrong.

  56. Entropy

    Another thought. I wonder if the ACT branch of the LDP is this incoherent chap and his laptop? Perhaps only having yourself to argue with could result in this sort of ill thought through policy.

    I recall a friend who thought it as a good idea to join the ACT young liberals. He didn’t have a political bone in his body, he just thought it would be useful to meet the right people for career purposes. He ditched his wife eventually for similar reasons. But I digress.

    He used to crow about how easy it was to get the ACT young libs to adopt a policy. You would just write it. No one cared about what the issue was, or said. It just had to get tabled at the next meeting. It would be quickly passed so they could get on with socialising.

  57. Boris

    Comments on this thread show how far this blog got from the its libertarian origins.

  58. DD

    To David Goodall,

    you ask the question “do i have the right to kill myself” the answer is YES.

    you ask the question “do i have the right to demand you kill me” the answer is NO.

    That is libertarian.

    if it is all too hard at 104 turn your face to the wall and refuse food and water, don’t ask others to do what you are too morally weak to do to yourself.

    you are 104 ffs, you have done many things more difficult than dying.

    get a life. lol.

  59. BorisG

    I agree David Goodall is a bad case for euthanasia. Assisted suicide may make sense for people who have no capacity to do it themselves like those whose hands are paralysed. or completely blind.

  60. None

    I agree David Goodall is a bad case for euthanasia. Assisted suicide may make sense for people who have no capacity to do it themselves like those whose hands are paralysed. or completely blind

    They can go hurl themselves off a cliff. Next.

  61. BorisG

    None, your position is clear. move on.

  62. BorisG

    actually David Goodall appears to be full of life.

  63. BorisG

    Hope he will change his mind.

  64. None

    None, your position is clear. move on.

    That’s very unlibertarian of you.

  65. Tom

    Hey, so let’s legalise murder!

  66. Marcus Classis

    I am incredulous at this.
    So Canberra (Greens-ALP coalition supporting) bureaucrats should have life or death authority?
    You DO understand that they want to bring in ‘the government can kill you, instead’ powers to save money as compared to expanding the palliative care system at Clare Holland House, don’t you?

    Lefty bureaucrats want the authority to kill people as an easier (for them) and cheaper solution to a bureaucratic problem THEY created thru years of dithering and incompetence, and the LDP supports this?

    Ever heard of the slippery slope? In Europe now a they have ‘involuntary euthanasia’ – a bureaucrat decides to kill your mum – without reference to you or her.

    This is the rebirth of Aktion T4. We executed the evil swine behind that in 1945.

    You want this here why?

  67. A Lurker

    Libertarians agitating for greater state power over our lives again, proving what a bankrupt philosophy it is.

    Which proves that they are not and never will be Libertarians.
    They’re just another form of Socialist.
    Socialists never build or create, all they do is kill and destroy.

    Primum non nocere

  68. None

    Hear, hear Marcus.

    And more sicko: the luvvies are in hysterics over bullying and teen suicide and want to lock up anyone who so much as says boo on Facebook and yet here we have a 204 yo man crowdfunding to commit suicide and he raised 20k in almost minutes. How sick do you have to be to actually pay for someone to kill themselves. Who set up that page for him given he himself is just about blind? Was it those weirdos that Exit international? Is it that weird woman who’s travelling with him? What sort of grooming did Exit international do? I mean they have been caught out in the past basically talking a perfectly healthy young man into killing himself.

    This is actually worse than Aktion T4 as if that were possible.

  69. Marcus Classis

    This is actually worse than Aktion T4 as if that were possible.

    Yes.

    And ‘Libertarians’ are supporting the extension of state power to permit this purest of all evils?

    I am back in uniform and am on a different continent this past while, but I keep the odd eye here. I’ve lived in Canberra and watched old friends die with dignity and no pain under palliative care at the excellent hospice there. (Clare Holland House IIRC).

    The Canberra bureaucrats hate the place (except when it’s THEIR mum) as palliative care’s expensive and makes them feel icky.

    THeir preferred option is to kill you instead. Hey, it’s easier and cheaper and if they make a mistake, you can’t complain about it, being dead.

    State-sponsored killing. AKA bloody murder. And it has led to that in Belgium, Holland and such, the slippery slope is real.

    Why would anyone with a moral compass (or even a soul), let alone libertarians, support state-sponsored killing?

  70. Percy Porcelain

    a 204 yo man

    Now that’s what I call longevity.

  71. Gab

    Barbara Wagner had recurrent lung cancer and Randy Stroup had prostate cancer. Both were on Medicaid, the state’s health insurance plan for the poor that, like some NHS services, is rationed.

    The state denied both treatment, but told them it would pay for their assisted suicide.

    “It dropped my chin to the floor,” Stroup told the media. “[How could they] not pay for medication that would help my life, and yet offer to pay to end my life?” (Wagner eventually received free medication from the drug manufacturer. She has since died. The denial of chemotherapy to Stroup was reversed on appeal after his story hit the media.)

    […] As palliative care physician Dr Kathleen Foley and psychiatrist Herbert Hendin, an expert on suicide prevention, wrote in a scathing exposé of Oregon assisted suicide, physicians are able to “assist in suicide without inquiring into the source of the medical, psychological, social and existential concerns that usually underlie requests … even though this type of inquiring produces the kind of discussion that often leads to relief for patients and makes assisted suicide seem unnecessary.”

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/4736927/Right-to-die-can-become-a-duty-to-die.html

    Wherever euthanasia has been introduced, it has always, always, proceeded to go from ‘right to die’ to being forced to die. Plenty of such incidences occur, just google. Such is the nature of humans.

    Palliative care will become a thing of the past and no need for medical research when the “problem” can just be dealt with … both are deemed too expensive in comparison to a quick injection.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Child euthanasia is a controversial form of non-voluntary euthanasia that is applied to children who are gravely ill or suffer from significant birth defects. In this regard, neonates and infants are euthanized by either active or passive means. Because children at these early stages of mental development are incapable of providing explicit consent to these terminal procedures, it has become a hot-button issue for ethical debates. Furthermore, child euthanasia recently broadening its scope to incorporate voluntary euthanasia for minors has generated both great applause and heavy criticism. Today, Belgium is the only country with legalized euthanasia without any age limit, while the Netherlands has decriminalized infant euthanasia falling within strict guidelines.

    The next propaganda campaign:”euthanasia will be safe, legal and rare”. Heh.

    Switzerland, where assisted suicide is legal, first released assisted suicide statistics in 2009, laying bare a 700% rise in cases (from 43 to 297) from 1998 to 2009. Amongst those travelling from abroad to end their lives at the notorious Dignitas facility have been many people who could not by any stretch be described as terminally ill – and included cases of people who could have lived for decades ending their lives – with arthritis, blindness, spinal injury, diabetes, mental illness – or people who were essentially well but could not bear to live without their spouses.

    Between 1939 and 1941, using the gassing method in many cases, the Nazis proceeded with the clandestine elimination of about 100,000 men, women and children who were physically or mentally handicapped. The aim was to improve what they called the Aryan race by eradicating those who doctors decided had congenital defects.

    And history will repeat under the guise of “compassion”.

  72. Gab

    If there is anyone who could be called a patron saint of Dutch euthanasia, it is the psychiatrist Boudewijn Chabot. In 1991 he gave one of his patients, Mrs B, a lethal dose of medication. After accompanying her until she died he reported himself to the police and was subsequently tried. In 1993, the Supreme Court declare that he was guilty of assisting a suicide, but did not punish him and allowed him to keep practicing medicine.

    Physically, there was nothing wrong with Mrs B. Nor did she have depression. But her personal life was tragic and Dr Chabot felt that she in a state of existential distress that she should be allowed to die. It was a landmark case in the steady advance towards legalisation in 2002.

    That was 25 years ago. Now Dr Chabot looks back and is horrified. Writing in one of the leading Dutch newspapers, NRC Handelsblad, he says that legal safeguards for euthanasia are slowly eroding away and that the law no longer protects people with psychiatric condition and dementia.

    https://www.mercatornet.com/careful/view/a-dutch-euthanasia-pioneer-surveys-the-wreckage-and-despairs/19992

  73. PB

    None
    #2703230, posted on May 5, 2018 at 5:18 pm and various other times

    *&$#%^&&**fuc*&****!

    So, that’s a “no” then?

  74. Helen

    I was thinking about Stephen Hawking this morning and how he clung to life, even though he could only communicate one letter at a time when his mind was racing a thousand miles per hour.

    He would gladly have lived to 104 – or more.

    Yet anyone looking at him might say oh dear, look at his suffering – surely he should be put down. Surely he is too uncomfortable in his life to be allowed to live.

    And, if he had a rellie or two who agreed with this, in the Netherlands he would have been slipped a sedative in his food or drink and injected with the green death, like that poor old Aunt on whom the sedative did not work and her rellies held her down, terrified, while the Doctor (? of death) did the deed.

  75. Iampeter

    There’s no aspect of our lives that conservatives don’t want regulated like a buncha leftists.

    But don’t call them leftists!

  76. Iampeter

    I was thinking about Stephen Hawking this morning and how he clung to life, even though he could only communicate one letter at a time when his mind was racing a thousand miles per hour.

    He would gladly have lived to 104 – or more.

    Would you force someone to do so at gunpoint though?

  77. Dr Fred Lenin

    Seems to me the ACT is an ideal place to commit suicide terrible weather ,full of depressing poliemuppets and government employees . If you wa t to avoid the urge to top yourself, move to Queanbeyan !

  78. Dr Fred Lenin

    The left allow child euthanasia now,they call it family planning ,we call it abortion . With present day birth control available why is abortion needed?

  79. Gab

    The ACT Liberal Democrats believe that adults like Dr Goodall should have the right to end their lives painlessly, at a time of their choosing,

    There is no law against suicide. People can top themselves off whenever they want. But the likes of Stephen Clively aren’t satisfied with that. No they want people to give over their decision to die to someone else – that someone being the state. “I want to do but I don’t want to do it myself, so I’ll give away my choice to the state”.

    Yeah, what could possibly go wrong?

  80. Malcolm Thomas

    Supporting access to euthanasia should be a straight forward proposition for libertarians.
    The bilious and illogical remarks from commentator ‘None’ and others on this thread show how corrupted Catallaxy has become.

  81. Gab

    Supporting access to euthanasia should be a straight forward proposition for libertarians.

    And no other opinion will be entertained by Libertarians!!

    Gosh, they sound like socialists.

  82. None

    The bilious and illogical remarks from commentator ‘None’ and others on this thread show how corrupted Catallaxy has become.

    I’ve been here since Jason Soon days- I’ve just changed monikers a couple of times that’s all. There are no true libertarians here because libertarianism was primarily and only about property rights. Everything else hete is people’s opinion. You’re entitled to your own opinions you’re not entitled to your own facts. Your opinion is that legally sanctioned murder should be allowed. And you’ve not provided once skerrick of reasoning for it. Your opinion has been noted. Thanks for playing.

  83. Iampeter

    And no other opinion will be entertained by Libertarians!!

    I think he means on what is meant to be Australia’s leading “libertarian and centre-right blog” there would be more actual right wing commentary, but the dominant position in the comments is big government, rights violating and leftist.

    What’s more, the level of confusion about political fundamentals here is so total that those advocating for rights violating government actually think they are fighting against government expansion.

    “Corrupted” is a pretty apt term to describe the almost parody-level politically illiteracy routinely on display from actual adults in a Cat comment thread.

  84. Gab

    parody-level politically illiteracy r

    Aww, forgive me. I don’t believe euthanasia is a matter of politics at the core of the matter.

  85. C.L.

    Respected Academic David Goodall has decided to travel to Switzerland this week to end his life. The ABC reports that he resents the fact that he has been left with no other choice.

    Couldn’t a mate roll him off a cliff or something?
    If not, why not?

  86. Helen

    I am told pure heroin is a pretty good outcome. Dreaming sleep to nothing. No blood on the walls or mangled body at a cliff bottom.

    Surely an intelligent academic could catch a taxi to the Cross and score a happy ending with out all the fuss and fanfare?

  87. Iampeter

    Surely an intelligent academic could catch a taxi to the Cross and score a happy ending with out all the fuss and fanfare?

    Funny you bring that up Helen, since the same people now opposing euthenasia have always opposed safe injecting rooms and legalized drugs too.

    I can’t wait for the next issue of individual rights which today’s opponents of euthenasia will also oppose and then proceed to recommend euthenasia as an alternative solution with a straight face.

  88. No, once you start measuring life by its “quality” you’re on the slippery slope.

    To clarify, I’m not saying ‘quality of life’ is decisive, what I said is that in their argument, it is the only thing do any work.

  89. but the dominant position in the comments is big government, rights violating and leftist.

    There are fewer greater impediments to freedom than being killed. Libertarianism has become the never-ended concession to the desire of the moment. Even the person who joins a commune and renounces the right to property in general can change their mind and enjoy that right again.

  90. By the bye, the idea that a state that disapproves of suicide, medicalized suicide, and euthanasia is ‘big government’ or ‘rights-violating’ or ‘Leftist’ is too stupid for words.

  91. RobK

    Peter,
     same people now opposing euthenasia have always opposed safe injecting rooms and legalized drugs too.
    That’s hardly relevant to Helen’s point. If you’re going to do a job on yourself in kingscross, clean needles are hardly a first order concern.

  92. Lady Nilk, Iron Bogan

    If David Goodall was in the Netherlands he wouldn’t need to advertise. The doctors would make the decision for him and there would be no fuss. Too bad if any of his loved ones wanted to look after him.

  93. Gab

    The doctors would make the decision for him and there would be no fuss

    From that clip: her GP said she didn’t want to leave her own home to go into a nursing home, so they euthanised her without her consent.

    What happens when you give government the authority to determine when you will die. And Libertarians think this is just dandy.

    I say it again, there is no law to prevent anyone from committing suicide, so there’s no need to enact a state-sanctioned euthanasia bill.

  94. None

    Wherever euthanasia has been introduced, it has always, always, proceeded to go from ‘right to die’ to being forced to die. Plenty of such incidences occur, just google. Such is the nature of humans.

    correct and it is no accident that in countries like Netherlands and Belgium which allow euthanasia thereare palliative care facilities and no incentive to provide/ improve palliative care much less any incentive for medical research into debilitating or lethal conditions. The Victoria euthanasia bill is pernicious and evil and will have the same effect and must be absolutely must be overturned not to mention the fact that the first and foremost duty and any government is to protect it’s citizens not to sanction their killing.

    Note again the idiotic euthanasia advocates reasonings. They want to die even though all of us will die but they want to die painlessly -even though no human can guarantee they will not die painlessly (never mind pain it is part of the human condition) and even though no one’s going to remember any pain after they’re dead- and they want somebody else to do the deed for them. One cannot argue that a person is in full command of their mental faculties with such f***** up reasoning.

  95. None

    Correct and it is no accident that in countries like Netherlands and Belgium which allow euthanasia there are * NO palliative care facilities …

  96. None

    Just reading between the lines goodalls daughter did not seem comfortable with what her father was doing and I suspect that she was browbeaten into accepting it. The thing that concerned me most that there were three strapping young men – his grandsons – who basically encouraged their grandfather to go top himself. What a fuckedupfamily. Will the other son in Bordeaux also be so accommodating and gutless? And there was that smiling woman the companion who will accompany him to his death. Once again who is she what is her role and what his her status with exit International?
    I ask again too how on earth is it legal to raise money for someone to go kill themselves?

  97. None

    Palliative care does exist in the Netherlands and it has been growing. More than three in every four hospitals have palliative care teams. It sounds like it could do better but to say that facilities are not there is just not correct.

    Palliative Care teams are mandatory for all Belgian Hospitals. There are also hospices providing palliative care.

    While my normal policy is not to respond to comments that are heavily larded with abuse, I will address one further assertion of yours. For the record, the ACT has the lowest suicide rate in Australia (ABS, Standardised Death Rate from intentional self-harm, 2012-2016: ACT 8.9, Australia 11.8).

    I have also been reading and commenting at Catallaxy Files since the Jason Soon days. Perhaps you are patient zero for both the rightward shift and the abusive tone of the comments section. Not something I would be proud of.

  98. Many of the comments here that oppose the ACT LDP position relate to the risks raised by Government involvement.

    That is a legitimate concern.

    It is why – and I am speaking personally here – I favour a model closest to that used in Switzerland.

    It is also one of the reasons why the ACT LDP submission suggests that any scheme in Australia should use the Swiss model as a benchmark. This model has the least Government involvement. Essentially it limits the circumstances where people assisting suicide can be accused of committing a crime. Reporting and investigation come after the event. Under this system, involvement is at the individual family/friends level and is assisted by non-Government organisations such as EXIT.

    This model has been operating for many years with no hard evidence that it is being abused. (See for example Lewis and Black, 2013 “Adherence to the request criterion in jurisdictions where assisted dying is lawful? A review of the criteria and evidence in the Netherlands, Belgium, Oregon, and Switzerland.” J Law Med Ethics. 2013 Winter;41(4):885-98, doi: 10.1111/jlme.12098 http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jlme.12098)

    In a perfect libertarian world there would be less government involvement in such matters. But that is not where we are at right now. Leaving the legal situation where it stands means that people aren’t able to carry out their wishes because the information, support systems and means to carry out their wishes are not available.

    The government is already involved – by limiting access to the means (for example the necessary drugs) of ending your own life with dignity.

    The current situation is very detrimental to families, friends and the rest of the community.

    And perhaps worst of all, the current situation means that many medical practitioners are acting unlawfully – and in a high number not acting under the wishes of the individual at all.

    Australian law has not prevented doctors from practising euthanasia or making medical end-of-life decisions explicitly intended to hasten the patient’s death without the patient’s request.

    One study found that more than a third of Australian surgeons surveyed in 1999 reported giving drugs with an intention to hasten death, often in the absence of an explicit request. This study found that more than about one in five had given pain relieving drugs in doses greater than required to relieve symptoms, with the intention of hastening death and without receiving an unambiguous request for a lethal dose of medication.

    Further details are in the ACT LDP Submission here:

  99. Gab

    Thanks for your response – you have attempted to bring some facts to the table so that is appreciated. I will follow up on the links you provided. However, I believe that we remain at odds on the issue.

    There are legitimate concerns about slippery slopes – but as I say good research indicates they are overstated – I refer you to two papers here and here.

    Some of the points you raise about the callousness of the NHS arise from the rationing in such a socialized medicine model. The health care models in Switzerland, the Netherlands and Australia all include greater patient contributions, choice or private insurance that they cannot be compared with the UK’s NHS.

    As noted elsewhere, the ACT LDP submission states that the Swiss model should be used as the benchmark for Australia. Under this system involvement is at the individual family/friends level and is assisted by non-Government organisations such as EXIT.

  100. None

    Stephen
    I don’t have time for a detailed rebuttal now but let me pointt out that palliative care in the Netherlands is not a specialisation as it is elsewhere and palliative care teams have only recently been introduced there as a cost saving measure. You will have to look at the medical journal literature for that. The idea that relatives should have a role in assisting suicide (dear God) or that a death cult like exit international should administer euthanasia when they have no medical or other qualification, are unaccountable and have also been known to counsel perfectly healthy human beings into suicide is frightening to say the least. The fact that you think that there is any rational argument whatsoever to go and top yourself is in itself frightening and the fact that you and other suggest that one can only be libertarian if you support the notion of legally sanctioned murder is demented and as has been noted time and time again, demonstrates the moral bankruptcy of libertarianism. As a final point the first and foremost duty of any government of whatever persuasion is to protect its citizens – that being protecting them from enemies without but also protecting citizens from other citizen. Authorising citizens’ murder is not protecting citizens and if you or anyone else cannot accept the basic role of government I suggest you emigrate elsewhere and take your evil with you.
    I also find it highly amusing that someone who addvocate for citizens to kill other citizens or to assist others citizens to top themselves – both barbaric uncivilised irrational and evil actions – is going to moan because someone said some harsh words. You’re advocating for murder, and you’re advocating that murder be placed in the heart of our nation’s institutions and you expect people to be nice to you?

    This blog by the way advertises itself as libertarian and centre right. Get over it.

  101. None

    One can only ask what is Stephen’s relationship to Exit international? Is he a member? Has he been lobbied by them?

  102. For those who have inquired about the legal status of suicide, it is legal in all states and territories of Australia. However, the current limited options for end of life choices often forces people in pain and suffering to either take matters into their own hands or to rely on doctors/ family who either act unlawfully or in an uncertain legal environment.

    Too often, prohibition of assisted dying results in people ending their lives prematurely and in distressing ways.

    For those commenting here that it is easy to make the decision to take ones own life without support, I refer you to real life cases described in pages 3-5 of the transcript of the Coroners Court of Victoria evidence to the Victorian Standing Committee on Legal and Social Issues, Inquiry into end-of-life choices.

    Many of these cases would not have been eligible for palliative care.

    There is more general information on this evidence at the ACT Liberal Democrats submission to the ACT committee.

  103. None

    Too often, prohibition of assisted dying results in people ending their lives prematurely and in distressing ways.

    Who cares? They don’t value their life but want to end it so there is no premature end.. and who cares if it’s distressing? Distressing for whom? Isn’t the point of them wanting to end their life because they’re distressed already? They’re not going to remember anything when they’re dead any way.
    All you had is emotive claptrap to justify evil. We saw that with the Nazis Aktion T4 euthanasia program and the propaganda around promoting it. You are just spouting the same old in emotive lies that they did.

  104. None

    I ask again what is Clively’s relationship to and contact with Exit International? Did Clively contribute to the fund to enable Goodall to kill himself?

  105. None

    Note again the slippery slope: using Victoria’s arguments to get it up in the ACT and then slowly push for the other domino’s to fall. Goebbels wpuld have been so proud.

  106. None

    Note again the slippery slope: using Victoria’s arguments to get it up in the ACT and then slowly push for the other domino’s to fall. A certain propaganda minister would have been so proud.

  107. None

    Clively’s s own link proves my point te no palliative care facilities in the Netherlands:

    Seventy-seven percent of all participating hospitals had a palliative care team. Other services, such as outpatient clinics (22 %), palliative care inpatient units (7 %), and palliative day care facilities (4 %) were relatively scarce. 

    Ask yourself thy the Dutch royal family sends its seriously ill or dying members to other countries for care.

  108. stackja

    Old and infirmed, disabled taking up valuable resources. Assist them out of system. Save money for more worthy?

  109. None

    EUTHANASIA AND PALLIATIVE CARE IN BELGIUM: THE ATTITUDES OF FLEMISH PALLIATIVE CARE NURSES AND PHYSICIANS TOWARD EUTHANASIA

    By Bert Broeckaert, Joris Gielen, Trudie van Iersel & Stef Van den Branden

    Little research has been carried out to determine the attitudes of palliative care professionals to euthanasia. This research aimed to find out how Flemish palliative care nurses and physicians think about euthanasia. An anonymous questionnaire was sent to all physicians (147) and nurses (589) employed in palliative care teams and institutions in Flanders (Belgium). The questionnaire contained a demographic part, and an attitudinal part, consisting of a long series of ethical statements using a 5-point Likert-scale. Four hundred fifteen nurses (response rate 70.5%) and 99 physicians (67.3%) responded. A cluster analysis of the euthanasia questions resulted in three clusters: (moderate) opponents of euthanasia (n =105, 23%), moderate advocates of euthanasia (n = 161, 35.2%), and staunch advocates of euthanasia (n = 191, 41.8%). A majority in all clusters believe that as soon as a patient experiences the benefits of good palliative care, most requests for euthanasia disappear and that all palliative care alternatives must be tried before a euthanasia request can be considered. Being a member of the cluster of the (moderate) opponents of euthanasia is associated with being male (p = .01), being older (p = .05), increasing years of experience in palliative care (p = .02), and being a physician (p = .02). Since most Flemish palliative care nurses and physicians are not absolutely against voluntary euthanasia, their attitudes seem to differ from the attitudes of their palliative care colleagues elsewhere. However, the attitudes of the Flemish palliative care nurses and physicians are largely contextual. For a very large majority, euthanasia is an option of last resort only.

    No person should ever trust doctors and nurses given there are so many euthanasia happy doctors and nurses in our hospital systems these days. But even this lot had to agree that where you have good palliative care the demand for euthanasia disappears. However where you have euthanasia the incentive to provide palliative care or to continue to develop better palliative care medication and more facilities all but disappears.

  110. None

    And we shall return tomorrow to see if
    Clively wants to fess up about his connections with Exit International.

  111. None

    So it’s the discredited and deregistered Philip Nitschke of ex international who set up the go fund me page for Goodall to kill himself. How is this ethical? It is not. It’s akin to bullying someone into killing themselves. And Clively wants this lot to kill people. I Sk again what is Clive Lee’s relationship to exit international and does he approve of exit International raising funds for people to kill themselves at their facilities? https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.businessinsider.com.au/104-dr-david-goodall-euthanasia-swtizerland-is-raising-money-to-go-2018-5/amp

  112. Tom

    As I said yesterday morning, this is really about legalising murder. Sure enough, as this comment thread shows, the only people defending it are lunatic leftists. Whether it’s babies in the womb or geriatrics who are sick of their lives, being able to legally kill people is foremost among leftist fantasies.

    Leftism is a mental illness, but it is also a death cult.

  113. A Lurker

    Well said Tom, it is indeed a death cult. Almost 130 million dead bodies, and that is not inclusive of aborted babies or those ‘legally’ murdered via euthanasia. Imagine the death toll if you included those as well…

    Ghengis Khan and Tamerlane would both be mightily impressed by those millions of skulls.

  114. Well at least the lethally stupid deep “finkers” behind the A.L.P./Brown Movement are consistent.

    They’ve given us abortion for convenience and private profit, to take care of the young.

    They are proposing widespread euthanasia (sometimes called “Soylent Greening”) to take care of the elderly.

    For all those in between, there are their terrorist Musbyterian imports; Apex gangs; nightly home invasions; car-jackings; mass-murders in Bourke Street, Mogadishu-by-the-Yarra; mass-murders in Flinders Street, Mogadishu-by-the-Yarra; A.L.P.-approved legalised crack houses, A.L.P. Meth-Labs, A.L.P. heroin hand-outs, A.L.P. pseudo-ephedrine pill-presses, A.L.P. wacky tabaccy and shooting galleries for all A.L.P.-voting druggies; coppers prohibited from chasing any lethally speeding crims lest they actually catch one; revolving-door Court sentences; lenient A.L.P.-appointed Judges, Magistrates, D.P.P.’s solicitors, Adrian Bayley Recreational Facilitators and A.A.T. Tribunal Members looking after terrorists, murderers, druggies, illegal Immigrants, hand-picked over-fed blind, deaf and catatonic A.L.P. Police Farce Chiefs to see no evil, hear no evil and gillard the crime statistics etc; to take care of all the rest of us.

    That’s what you call “cradle-to-grave” welfare – and the closer the A.L.P. can move the one to the other, the more cash they have for personal self-enrichment.

  115. Clint

    NO. Instead it’s time to get rid of the ACT altogether. Make it an elaborate of NSW

  116. Buccaneer

    Find me a Doctor who can predict time of death with 100% certainty and I’ll show you and advocate for Euthanasia.

  117. None

    I ask again what is Clively’s relationship to Exit international and does he approve of Exit International – no needed discredited and deregistered Philip Nitschke raising funds for people to kill themselves at their facilities? Did lively donate to kill Goodall too?

  118. None

    I said yesterday that I generally do not respond to people who lace their comments with abuse.

    But since you ask, I have no connection to EXIT or any similar organization, have never received funding from EXIT or or any similar organization.

    I ask that you acknowledge this statement of mine.

    I am now returning to my policy of engaging in dialog with people who can keep a civil tongue in their head.

  119. entropy

    However, the current limited options for end of life choices

    Limited in what sense? Humans are incredibly inventive beasts. It comes from humans’ ability to think outside the circle.

    Sometimes, however, this can lead a person badly astray, for example believing that the creation and imposition of additional regulation granting additional powers to government is somehow a libertarian position, and won’t be laden with unintended consequences as government inevitably extends its reach.

    Because that’s what governments do.

  120. Fisky

    Provided that the person assisting another to die is not motivated by selfish motives an offence has not been committed under the Swiss model. This means that assistance can be provided by friends and relatives. With no requirement that doctors be involved, the vast majority of assisted suicides are not directly supervised by doctors and assistance is often provided by voluntary organisations such as Exit.

    Nothing could possibly go wrong with this idea. There will be no unforeseen consequences at all!

  121. Indeed, Fisky. Further, I note also that the author remains quiet about the extension of assisted suicide to children, to the mentally ill, to those not suffering any terminal illness, and so on, in Belgium and the Netherlands.

  122. There is also this recent NIH study that indicates

    the Dutch regional euthanasia review committees do not focus on whether patients should have received (euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide )EAS, but instead primarily gauge whether doctors conducted EAS in a thorough, professional manner.

  123. None

    Thank you Stephen for responding to my question. Would you like to also tell me whether you think it is ethical the Exit international (founded by the discredited and deregistered Philip Nitschke) should be fundraising for a guy to go and suicide at their facilities?

    By the way your excuse for avoiding questions because I don’t have a so-called civil tongue is just that, a pathetic avoidance technique. The way I choose to express myself does not automatically mean that my questions or my arguments are invalid. If they are you have failed to show that. Moreover anyone who is advocating for legally sanctioned murder is a barbarian and does not does not earn any right to respect or civility in my view. Finally, your illustrious leader David Leyonjhelm has got a mouth like a sewer and once bragged how he used his politically incorrect crudity as a means for selecting candidates for his office positions. So please go clean your room before you dare preach to others.

  124. None

    Philip Nitschke, EXIT and David Leyonjhelm are all responsible for their own actions. I am not required to either have or to express any opinion of them.

    When you agree to act like an adult I would be happy to discuss assisted dying with you.

  125. A number of comments here ask how options for assisted dying are limited. I already addressed much of this yesterday. But let me try one more time.

    This is one area where Governments are already heavily involved – through banning most of the means for carrying out one’s wishes – or being assisted to do so by a loving family – in as painless as way as possible. Providing assistance to commit suicide still remains a serious crime in all states and territories of Australia, with Victoria’s system being highly restrictive. Three states have life imprisonment as the maximum penalty, while in others the maximum penalty varies from 10 to 25 years.

    A number of comments also consider that the options are easy. This is clearly not the case as is demonstrated by the Victorian Coroners Court testimony to the Victorian inquiry. This account presents a litany of cases where elderly people had to resort to whatever was available. This meant using methods like using a nail gun to the head, or firing a shotgun with their foot, or stabbing themselves with scissors and serrated edged knives.

    The link I provided yesterday appears to have gone bad, so here it is again.

    These people who committed suicide had loving families. Doctors were available who could have assisted them in their last days. Many had longstanding conditions that would not have made them eligible for palliative care. Instead they felt forced to take their own lives in tragic circumstances.

    Dover beach – it is not a matter of me remaining quiet. I am simply not at your beck and call and my day is not organized around your agenda.

    The Liberal Democrats’ policy is that adults have a right to end their own lives, with or without assistance, and to have access to information to help them do it. They also believe in the inalienable right of individuals to end their lives painlessly, at a time of their choosing, and to be legally able to obtain information and assistance to do so with dignity. It is therefore difficult to see that the cases covered by the study you referred would apply.

    Under the benchmark suggested by the ACT Liberal Democrats – Switzerland – any informed adult would be able to make the decision and be assisted to do so. The model does not permit assisted dying for children.

  126. The Liberal Democrats’ policy is that adults have a right to end their own lives, with or without assistance, and to have access to information to help them do it.

    People do not have a right to assistance with their own destruction. No one is obliged to assist them; in fact, any reasonable and morally serious person would counsel them against it. It’s not even clear that people have right to end their own lives; the arguments put forward are rather weak.

    They also believe in the inalienable right of individuals to end their lives painlessly, at a time of their choosing, and to be legally able to obtain information and assistance to do so with dignity.

    No, no, you can’t make use of terms like ‘inalienable’ when you’re asserting that the right to life is alienable. We, therefore, have this absurd situation where libertarians claim that rights are unalienable, that is, unable to be transferred or denied by the possessor, while at the same time saying that human beings enjoy the right to give away their life and that this rightfully imposes an obligation on others to accede to their request as well. But not only this, they must have the means made available to them so that they may kill themselves, or be killed by another, painlessly and with dignity, no less. The defense you’ve put forward is utterly confused.

    It is therefore difficult to see that the cases covered by the study you referred would apply.

    According to the study, we wouldn’t even know, that was their point.

  127. Dover. Thanks for the comment.

    However, I don’t read the policy in the same way as you. No one is being forced to assist anyone to commit suicide.

    The point relates to whether someone wants to be assisted and such assistance is willingly given. That is what is essentially denied to them now (even under Victoria’s compromised scheme).

    We will have to disagree on whether or not it is moral to counsel someone against suicide where that person is informed and competent. You appear to want to make that an obligation. I do not, so we see things differently.

    Re the cases you cited, let me make my point more clearly. If Switzerland is used as a benchmark then any adult can be assisted to die. The legal question then arises as to whether the persons providing assistance did so in violation of the exemptions under the Swiss criminal code. All suicides are reported and investigated. The exemptions do not apply to children.

  128. No one is being forced to assist anyone to commit suicide.

    Then you should not use words like ‘right’ which imply this or that obligation, like the provision of information,or services to give effect to such a request. Moreover, the problem, to my mind, with your proposal, is that it argues that people who express a wish to kill themselves should be able to do so, as well as being allowed to request assistance from anyone willing todo so. So long as they are informed and competent, whatever that may mean exactly, if a 23 year old expressed a wish to kill themselves, and attended a branch of Exit International in Melbourne, for instance, you appear to have no problem with them being administered a lethal injection, including for a fee, even if they were perfectly healthy.

    That is just madness.

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