David Leyonhjelm guest post on the right to die

In my previous life as a veterinarian I lost count of the number of domestic animals I euthanised. I had no qualms about this; in each case the decision to take life was made to end unacceptable suffering.

The animals, of course, had no say in it. That is why I decline to use the term euthanasia when it comes to humans. No one has the right to decide for another whether they should live or die.

Yet that is what is happening right now. People are being killed because of the absence of assisted suicide legislation.

When treating the terminally ill, doctors routinely ramp up the morphine beyond what is necessary in the knowledge that this will likely kill the patient. In many of these cases, it is done despite being well aware that the patient has never given consent to such action.

If assisted suicide legislation was in place, patients would have the legal means to make it clear to doctors how they wished to be treated in the final stage of their life. A doctor who chose to ignore the wishes of a patient who had clearly made it plain that they want to live despite any pain and suffering would do so at their own peril.

The point is that the choice should be available.

Twenty years ago the right to choose was removed from the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory and Norfolk Island. The Commonwealth’s Euthanasia Laws Act 1997, pushed through by Liberal backbencher and conservative Christian Kevin Andrews, not only stripped the rights of residents in these territories to decide for themselves on the issue of assisted dying; it also overturned the NT’s existing Rights of the Terminally Ill Act 1995, under which three people had already opted to make use of physician assisted suicide.

Last year the Victorian Government legalised assisted dying for the terminally ill, with MPs voting to give patients the right to request a lethal drug to end their lives from mid-2019.

Victoria’s Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 is a step in the right direction, but it does not cater for those who are experiencing intolerable suffering yet are not terminally ill.

Few Australians would have been unmoved by the story of 104 year-old scientist David Goodall, who travelled to Switzerland earlier this year to end his life. Professor Goodall was not ill. At 104 you could argue he was certainly dying, yet the human condition dictates that from the moment we are born, we all begin to die.

For this centenarian, it was simply about quality of life. He had lived a full and productive existence; but with his physical independence gone, life had simply become “unsatisfactory”.

No one could argue he had anything but full mental capacity. Just hours before his death he made a point of correcting the Swiss clinic’s paperwork that erroneously stated he wished to end his life due to illness.

It was an important point to make. Even when Victoria’s legislation comes into force next year, Professor Goodall would not have qualified for voluntary assisted dying in that state.

The Andrews Bill has been law for more than two decades with no attempts made to repeal it, even when we had an atheist Labor Prime Minister and the Greens had the balance of power in the Senate.

My Assisted Suicide Bill, which seeks to overturn the Andrews Bill, has been on the Notice Paper since 2015.

Close to two years ago Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull guaranteed my private bill a full debate and vote in both houses. It took some negotiation to get this deal, and further cajoling and threats to get it delivered. Some parties talk about what they hope to achieve, but don’t do what is necessary to make it happen. The Liberal Democrats are willing to use what little power we have for good.

According to 2016 Census data, almost one third of Australians now classify themselves as having no religion. If your religious convictions tell you the idea of taking your own life is inconceivable, then the obvious response is to not avail yourself of this choice. But you should not make decisions for others who harbour no such convictions and believe they should not be forced to endure insufferable pain to protect your religious beliefs.

I look forward to the Andrews bill being repealed soon. Its time is up. It should not have been allowed to sit on the statute book, and to cause unnecessary suffering for Australians, for this long.

David Leyonhjelm is a senator for the Liberal Democrats

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138 Responses to David Leyonhjelm guest post on the right to die

  1. AH

    Starting a piece about assisted suicide by saying it works well for animals is not a greatest idea DL ever had.

  2. stackja

    The confused face death.

  3. classical_hero

    Human life is vastly more important than animal life.

  4. The argument is reasonable.
    In this upside down world so full of nonsense, the rule of law is not always for the common good.
    Once the rule of law states that it is permissible to take a human life, the day is not very far off in which the same law can be applied to rid society of ‘useless eaters’ and ‘consumers of oxygen’.
    Given the proclivity of the Left to obfuscate, distort, and outright lie, the likelihood that such law will be used for that purpose is in my opini0on inevitable.
    That is my concern.

  5. .

    When treating the terminally ill, doctors routinely ramp up the morphine beyond what is necessary in the knowledge that this will likely kill the patient. In many of these cases, it is done despite being well aware that the patient has never given consent to such action.

    That is a good point. Something I’ve never considered.

    Maybe they shouldn’t be able to make that decision so flippantly?

  6. Roger

    When treating the terminally ill, doctors routinely ramp up the morphine beyond what is necessary in the knowledge that this will likely kill the patient. In many of these cases, it is done despite being well aware that the patient has never given consent to such action.

    Er…no, that would be murder. In palliative care morphine or other opiates are administered to address the terminally ill patient’s pain and/or assist them with the shortness of breath that often accompanies dying. The patient – or their next of kin if they are unconscious – has consented to this treatment. The notion that in these instances morphine, rather than disease, is the cause of death is refuted by palliative care specialists.

  7. Barry Bones

    Might be time to rid this nut job from your platform.

    Just says nutty things to get attention.

    Reality is that there is no safe thing as euthanasia. Time and time again, healthy old people feeling like they’re a burden on society get depressed and want to top themselves without a terminal illness.

    It’s just not safe.

  8. .

    Shut up Barry.

    This is a libertarian platform.

  9. John Constantine

    You do have to die of something.

    Currently at end of life the choice is often between death by starvation, death by thirst, or slipping away as Lady Morpheus caresses your breath away.

    If you have strong beliefs, then communicate them in a living will, and strongly impress your beliefs upon the persons that you have granted medical power of attorney to.

    If you don’t have a living will and a medical power of attorney, then get off the blog for a bit and organise them.

  10. Bruce of Newcastle

    Maybe they should have straps to restrain the victims oops clients.

    Panel clears Dutch doctor who asked family to hold patient down as she carried out euthanasia procedure (28 Jan)

    A Dutch woman doctor who asked an elderly patient’s family to hold her down while she administered a fatal drug dose has been cleared under Holland’s euthanasia laws.

    Mailonline reported that the patient fought desperately in an attempt not to be killed.

    All those juicy inheritances out there just waiting for a guy with a big syringe of green goop.

  11. tgs

    There is no more important, or even ultimate, freedom than the ability to decide what to do with your own life/body.

    If others can dictate what you can or cannot do with that, regardless of how well intentioned they may or may not be, then I’m not sure how they can actually be committed to individual freedom?

  12. Tel

    Might be time to rid this nut job from your platform.

    Just says nutty things to get attention.

    Barry you can leave any time you like, no need to ask for someone to throw you out.

  13. Tezza

    I respect Lyonhjelm and often agree with him. On this topic, he makes some reasonable points about easy cases. But as previously, he avoids the hard cases that will inevitably arise as a significant proportion of overall killings. How will government lawmakers of the abysmal calibre we are reduced to in Australia legislate for the frequent cases of conflicts of interests with descendants wanting prompt access to grandma’s bequest, and who have reduced her to depression and the feeling she is a burden on them?
    Too many conflicts of interest for my taste.
    I’m happy to take my own life if the time comes, but don’t want others cheering me on and/or doing it for me.

  14. Roger

    The notion that in these instances morphine, rather than disease, is the cause of death is refuted by palliative care specialists.

    On the basis of empirical studies of the physiological effects of opiates on the dying and post-mortem examinations, I should have added.

  15. Candy

    Some good points. Maybe a little naive but. The 104 old chap probably felt unwanted. If you love your family member you don’t stick them on a plane to go die alone near a death machine. You want them alive and to care for them. big risk here is relatives pushing their relative to pull the plug to speed up the distribution of the monies from the estate.

  16. Malcolm Thomas

    Sorry Karabar, but the law already says it ispermissable to take a human life in certain circumstances, as in military action. And as DL points out, common medical practices near the end of life also indicate the permissability of taking human lives, even if some for their own moral comfort some choose not to join those dots. The genie as you have specified it is therefore already out of the bottle.

  17. stackja

    JC have arranged for end. Just let me go. No fuss.

  18. Malcolm Thomas

    If you love your family member…

    So, what about people who aren’t loved by their family members, Candy? Why should they not be able to address that reality through euthanasia?

  19. rickw

    The point is that the choice should be available.

    The slippery slope with soylent green at the bottom of it.

  20. A Lurker

    Er…no, that would be murder. In palliative care morphine or other opiates are administered to address the terminally ill patient’s pain and/or assist them with the shortness of breath that often accompanies dying. The patient – or their next of kin if they are unconscious – has consented to this treatment. The notion that in these instances morphine, rather than disease, is the cause of death is refuted by palliative care specialists.

    If the good Senator knows of actual patients being murdered in hospital by doctors then he needs to reveal that information in Parliament, or better still, to the local constabulary. In the meantime, I will not support assisted suicide because down the track it will surely become assisted murder.
    After that, it’s Carousel time.

  21. Rob MW

    When treating the terminally ill, doctors routinely ramp up the morphine beyond what is necessary in the knowledge that this will likely kill the patient. In many of these cases, it is done despite being well aware that the patient has never given consent to such action.

    I’ve been in that in that situation when my wife’s body shut down at the end of a short fight with Melanoma, passing on the 10th of may 1996 at 39 yrs leaving two littlies (then 6 & 12). That is exactly the reason why the fucking politicians don’t need to get involved with legislation, just fuck off on this issue. The unwritten works just fine.

  22. Infidel Tiger

    My god man. Equating humanity with the animal kingdom is all kinds of sickness.

    Shameful and reprehensible column.

  23. There is no more important, or even ultimate, freedom than the ability to decide what to do with your own life/body.

    Libertarians are tying themselves in intellectual knots. There is no good to be had from deliberately killing oneself. It is as daft as arguing that there is no more important freedom, apart from suicide, purportedly, than the ability to sell oneself into slavery. If this is the conclusion of your argument than you need to check your premises.

  24. .

    There is no good to be had from deliberately killing oneself.

    Well, we can’t interview the ones who have gone all the way through. We might have an extreme case of selection bias.

  25. None

    The usual fuckwittery from David starting off by comparing animals with humans but then this load of evil bulshit

     A doctor who chose to ignore the wishes of a patient who had clearly made it plain that they want to live despite any pain and suffering would do so at their own peril.

    your worry about the doctors perel when you know that a no doctor has ever been prosecuted in places like the Netherlands for going against a patients wishes and too bad about the patient, as they get to be dead. Where’s the justice for them? Go back and look at Hitler’s action T4 program his euthanasia program that was the precursor to the gas Chambers. The same arguments, the same schmaltz, the same evil intentions, and outcomes. My forefathers did not fight that evil only to have fuckwits like David implement it again.

  26. Gerry

    It’s an interesting concept …that of owning the life you are experiencing …..not sure it’s ever been bought ..and if it’s a gift who/what gives it …..or is it a loan – because we have to relinquish it at some time …….

    Still, we keep on thinking that it’s “our life”

  27. .

    None

    I think you want to blame abortion on demand for what you are describing.

    I agree this is not David’s best article.

  28. cohenite

    Apart from the infirmity and therefore assistance required aspect how is euthanasia different from suicide?

  29. DrBeauGan

    When you are paralysed and in agony and face months or years of it, if you wouldn’t let a dog live on like that but would kill it out of kindness, and if no medic who would send you to pain free peace can be found because everyone was against DLs bill, why, I hope you take consolation from your religion, or the knowledge that you are contributing to an absence of slippery slope, or your being so much superior to dogs.

    But I don’t see why I should have to put up with the consequences of your sloppy thinking, busybody instincts and moral cowardice. So I hope it’s you and not me condemned to life.

  30. Malcolm Thomas

    Yes Gerry, my life is my life.
    Not yours; not the church’s; not the government’s.
    So please rack off and take you’re euthanasia ban with you.

  31. None

    You can come and talk to the members of my family who are bed bound and utterly dependent and they will tell you to f*** off you coward Dr Beaugan. If you despise your life so much why hang around and expect others to do the dirty work for you you gutless wonder. You want to corrupt others and endanger other peoples’ lives because you’re too fucken cowardly and totally ungrateful. You’re the moron claiming there is no God and you’re scared of a little bit of pain? Can’t cope with your sad materialist world? Oh you precious bastard, you’re not going to remember it when you’re dead. Why not die like the dog that you claim that you are? The fact that you claim that no one should suffer is making a moral argument and demanding a world that doesn’t exist. You bigots carry on about others and their religion but you cling to the most delusional religion of all – your Ego. You can’t even live up to your own pretentious theistic twaddle. I can’t help it if you’re a f****** barbarian Dr Beaugan, the rest of us will live our lives and care for our sick with gratitude and humility like civilised human beings.

  32. None

    The fuckwittery and evil of David Leyonhjelm: he claims that all our doctors are murderers now but none of them are called to account and somehow by some magic when they’re giving permission to kill those who kill the weong person will be called to account. And remember he and our other government I’m trying to push this evil on us in exchange for a vote to stop corruption in the construction sector. This is pure evil.

  33. None

    Lleyonjhelm claims doctors are murderers now
    so if they are murderers where is his evidence? If there is evidence why hasn’t he reported them to the police and what makes him think that murderers are ever going to be reported with assholes like him condoning the killing of innocents now?
    Lleyonjhelm is either libellous, a liar or an accomplice to murder. He certainly has no morals and is a purveyor of evil.

  34. None

    Rob MW – I am sorry for your loss .
    Just because you condone doctors killing your wife, 20 years ago, doesn’t mean everybody else does. Every single one of us have got family members or loved ones who have died in sometimes atrocious pain but all of us are grateful that medicine has advanced so much that palliative care today is not palliative care of 20 years ago, and it will be even better still 20 years hence. And the reason why it is so much better now is because of that drive to find cures and to alleviate suffering and to work so that no one else has to suffer the way your wife did, and much of that drive comes from the judeo-christian ethic. If you’re a materialist you have no cause for complaint you have no incentive to change things- in fact you should be accepting of the fact that it’s a dog eat dog world out there, lions eat wildebeest and sharks eat seals and people get eaten up by cancer and all sorts of horrible diseases. It is no accident that there are no palliative care facilities of note in countries like Netherlands and the Belgium which kill us citizens by euthanasia even against their will. Hitler really did win that war.

  35. yarpos

    In reality the law is pretty meaningless. In the age of the Internet people can inform themselves pretty easily. If you want to take this course it is a fairly simple and painless thing to do, regardless of what doctors, lawyers, policticians and assorted do gooders think.

    For the percentage of people who need help I guess it will be useful. Otherwise you will see an increasing number of no suspicious circumstances events on the news as we boomers age off the plant.

  36. He certainly has no morals and is a purveyor of evil.

    Certainly a vote loser.

  37. Iampeter

    David, you see authoritarians want the opposite of whatever individuals want.
    If they want to live, then authoritarians will make it as hard as possible for them to do so.
    If they want to die, then authoritarians will also make it as hard as possible for them to do so.

    It’s all about ensuring that what you want is what you can’t be allowed to do, by force if necessary.

  38. John Bayley

    ‘None’ seems to be a good example of a practising god-botherer. His posts are just full of love and understanding for others’ opinions.
    As Iampeter has often said on this forum, ‘conservatives’ are just another form of collectivists, supposedly ‘anti-government’ yet quite OK to have it push their own agenda.
    Having just experienced my father in law passing away from cancer, I can say with some authority that yes, his doctor assisted, in accordance with the patient’s wishes, by not feeding him through a tube, not giving him antibiotics or chemotherapy and by, toward the end, increasing his morphine dose to a level where he was able to slip away in his sleep, with no pain.
    The alternative would have been to suffer for a few more weeks or a month, with the same ultimate result.
    That the doctor, for this show of his basic compassion and humanity, has to face the possible allegations of murder, is a disgrace.
    If that is not enough, a friend who suffered from chronic, severe depression, resistant to any treatment the doctors could come up with., finally chose to take his own life last year, by obtaining the required barbiturate drugs (illegal here, of course) on the dark web. In other words, he had to become a criminal to do so.
    For those of you who think ongoing suffering till ‘god’ (yeah, he surely loves us all!) decides he’s had enough entertainment for the day and finally calls it quits is somehow the better way, please keep your Bible to yourselves and stop telling other people how to live and die.

  39. .

    Just because you condone doctors killing your wife, 20 years ago

    His opinion is the one that matters. What was the alternative? Lower the dose so she was in pain and lived?

    Lleyonjhelm claims doctors are murderers now so if they are murderers where is his evidence?

    I thought you made that admission.

    That is exactly the reason why the fucking politicians don’t need to get involved with legislation, just fuck off on this issue. The unwritten works just fine.

    Which is what a lot of people think.

  40. Tel

    A Dutch woman doctor who asked an elderly patient’s family to hold her down while she administered a fatal drug dose has been cleared under Holland’s euthanasia laws.

    Mailonline reported that the patient fought desperately in an attempt not to be killed.

    Yeah, that’s the part that bothers me as well. I’m not into the religious argument, and I’m happy with the concept of individual choice, I simply don’t trust the present day medical industry to safeguard the vulnerable. Keep the rules simple and there’s a chance people might follow them.

    We are moving into a century where people can’t even figure out what type of apparatus is dangling between their legs, so you can understand that issues of life and death are way too confusing.

  41. None

    John Bayley is the typical bigot: firstly he assumes that I am a male; secondly he assumes I’m a God botherer and thirdly by using that term he shows his bigotry and is totally oblivious to his own hypocrisy. When somebody is advocating to kill innocent people – and even worse campaigning for our government to sanction the killing of innocent people – I don’t play nice, John, I call it for what it is: pure f****** evil. I have family members still alive today who grew up under Nazi occupation. They remember the insidious action T4 program and all the propaganda and lies about compassion . And then there’s the typical I’ve had experience with my father, my wife, my son whatever. What makes you think that makes you so special ? So has everybody else. It also doesn’t make you a moral arbiter of the truth or a peon of compassion. Advocating to kill the sick just makes you a weak human being who has yet to accept the reality of suffering and who has yet to learn how to work to alleviate suffering or how to walk with people in their suffering I’m not going to advocate for evil, give licence to people to kill, risk innocent lives including the lives of my own family, because you have yet to grow up and face the world as it is. Grow up.

  42. None

    Keep the rules simple and there’s a chance people might follow them.

    a chance is not good enough when people not following so-called rules mean innocence died. The evil of euthanasia a side there is no protection strong enough. Hitler’s Aktion T4 led to the gas chambers for the J*ws. Belgium’s euthanasia law lwd to parents killing children – because euthanasia advocates were upset that not enough people were being killed so let’s just open it to children. The Netherlands has got relatives holding people down while they struggle against a doctor’s lethal needle. Victoria’s euthanasia Bill has not been enacted yet and here we have fuckwhit David already advocating to chande it to kill more. And here we have pan sweaters like John Bayley crying because I’m being mean to people who want to kill innocents.

  43. .

    No, you grow up, you are totally lacking self-awareness.

  44. Tel

    … chance is not good enough when people not following so-called rules mean innocence died.

    You get what you get, so other than bitch about it, what’s your plan to do better?

  45. .

    Exactly Tel. What None is arguing against goes beyond euthanasia and into dictating how palliative care should be done.

    Like I said,

    What is the alternative? Lower the dose so they are in pain and live? Like one of the pro-life arguments against abortion, it goes against the Hippocratic oath.

    How exactly do you “walk someone through their pain” without being a god-botherer?

    Even the rightly religious belief in stopping suffering. You medicate to alleviate pain and if that kills them, they were at their end.

    You do not withdraw care and make them suffer so a “murder” is not “committed”.

  46. None

    Tel my plan is continued ethical research to find treatments, cures and better palliative care. And maintaining an attitude of humility and gratitude that in this country we can both afford good care and have access to it and should also work to make it available elsewhere.

  47. John Bayley

    @None:
    Mate, I don’t give a rat’s whether your a bloke, a sheila or a xe.
    And your abuse of DrBeauGan’s entirely well-reasoned position, with the “You’re the moron claiming there is no God and you’re scared of a little bit of pain? Can’t cope with your sad materialist world?” makes it clear to me that you obviously *do* believe in god.
    I used the term ‘god botherer’ because ‘faith’ is not compatible with reason or logic. If it makes you feel better, I include the green supporters in the same category.
    That said, by dragging Hitler into this topic, a classic case of Godwin’s law, you show yourself as being somewhat unhinged.
    Fair enough; the internet is full of unhinged people.
    The bottom line is, you are pushing your viewpoint onto others, by appealing to the force of government, even though many of those others have shown plenty of reasons why your position is not anywhere near as rock solid as you may think.

  48. Roger

    Just because you condone doctors killing your wife, 20 years ago

    The administration of opiates in palliative care does not “kill” people.

    It alleviates pain.

    Disease kills people.

  49. A Lurker

    It boggles my mind how so-called Libertarians are so comfortable allowing the State to grow and intrude into every aspect of their life (and death).

    First for the big green needle will be the terminally ill, depressed and/or in pain.
    But why stop there?
    Then it will be granny who is taking up a bed that the hospital needs, or owns a big house that the Government thinks should be better utilised by a foreign family with 8+ children.
    Perhaps grandpa has a nice fat bank account and other assets that the Government is covetously eyeing off after a Greens/Labor Government brought in an Inheritance Tax in 2020.
    Then it will be otherwise healthy citizens identified through their MyHealth records as being a future drain on health services due to their alcohol intake, or smoking habits, or BMI, or genetic risk for cancer or heart disease.
    Then it will be the inconvenient citizens to next get the green needle – the trouble-makers, the ones who hold unacceptable opinions.

    These aren’t flights of fantasy.
    History has shown that if you give Governments an inch, they will take a mile.

  50. .

    The administration of opiates in palliative care does not “kill” people.

    Do you honestly believe that opiates do not have a lethal dosage?

  51. John Bayley

    And one more thing:
    In both cases I described above, the person concerned was lucid and able to communicate his wishes. So there could be absolutely no allegation of ‘killing the innocent’.
    Yet under the present system the humane position, which is to assist with ending their suffering, is taken out of the hands of both the doctor, the family and the patient him/herself.
    You can stick your ‘better palliative care’, because it would still be the immoral course of action resulting in absolutely no gain in quality of – what’s left of – life for the concerned.

  52. .

    It boggles my mind how so-called Libertarians are so comfortable allowing the State to grow and intrude into every aspect of their life (and death).

    Except we don’t, and please stop the purity test schtick. You’re not more libertarian than us, nor are conservatives “the true” libertarians. Stop it. It’s nonsense unless we’re talking about US conservatives who regard themselves as constitutionalists.

    Most posts on this thread explicitly have a reservation regarding exactly what you have identified. You’d be less boggled if you bothered to read them.

  53. .

    better palliative care

    That is always the best option (to me) but we have roger, referring more or less to ONE infamous study published in 1997*, and ignoring how pharmacology actually works; to wit, opiates have no lethal dose relevant to palliative care.

  54. candy

    You medicate to alleviate pain and if that kills them, they were at their end.

    I tend to agree with what dot says there, but you can just see that physician assisted suicide will lead to less research into the best palliative care and the terminally ill will be looked upon as a nuisance taking up space and money when a needle can get rid of the problem. In time that will surely happen.

    Also the life force is strong. I don’t think every terminally person is busting to be assisted to die. And I don’t think every family member is busting to see their relative be assisted to die. In fact, they may desperately want to spend as much time together before the final parting, so excellent palliative care enables that. Is that wrong?

  55. .

    It would be amazing if so-called conservatives whine about “the scourge of heroin overdoses” but then deny that opiates can actually kill (or be causal to the death thereof) a terminally ill patient.

    Just mind-boggling.

  56. John Bayley

    Lurker, I think you actually have it exactly back to front.
    It is the government that takes the wish of the terminally ill out of their hands, by threatening to charge the doctors with murder.
    The Libertarian position is the only compassionate one. It will never be perfect, because people are not perfect, but these decisions should be made locally by the people concerned, not by the politicians.
    This is yet another topic like the ‘war on drugs’. Even though the prohibition we’ve had in place for decades has cost billions and has failed comprehensively, conservatives will continue to push the view that making them all legal and treating addiction as an illness rather than a criminal act would lead to everyone suddenly turning into a junkie.

  57. Roger

    It would be amazing if so-called conservatives whine about “the scourge of heroin overdoses” but then deny that opiates can actually kill (or be causal to the death thereof) a terminally ill patient.

    The regime of dosing opiates applied in palliative care does not hasten death but keeps the patient pain free as death approaches.

    There is simply no comparison to be made with the abuse of opiates by addicts, which often results in accidental overdoses.

  58. A Lurker

    Most posts on this thread explicitly have a reservation regarding exactly what you have identified. You’d be less boggled if you bothered to read them.

    So dot, how will you prevent the slippery slope from happening?
    Once legislation is in, it’s in and future Governments will no doubt find lots of excuses to expand it to all kinds of nasty outcomes.

    You know dot, I think I made a similar argument about ssm when the LibDems were gung-ho to bring it in. SSM is in, and along with it has come all kinds of nasty additional extras like strengthening and expanding (un)Safe Schools and Marxist gender theory rubbish that is currently percolating through Government, business, the armed forces, the education sector and every other aspect of our society – not to mention the ongoing attacks on our freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of expression et al.

    It’s like Libertarians never learn that there are actual consequences to actions.

    By all means ignore the warnings.
    I’m sure it will all turn out okay in the end.
    So move along, nothing to see here…

    (p.s. Was the anti-freedom of speech legislation that was hurried in late last year by the current Government to chill debate on ssm ever revoked? Or are those laws still quietly operating in the background?)

  59. .

    The regime of dosing opiates applied in palliative care does not hasten death but keeps the patient pain free as death approaches.

    There is simply no comparison to be made with the abuse of opiates by addicts, which often results in accidental overdoses.

    This is anti-scientific nonsense you’ve based off one decades-old research paper.

    Opioids cause sedation and respiratory depression.

  60. stackja

    Roger
    #2780534, posted on August 4, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Palliative care supposedly costs too much? Cheaper to just kill quickly?

  61. .

    It’s like Libertarians never learn that there are actual consequences to actions.

    It would be nice if a conservative government would not fund Safe Schools and would repeal the Sex Discrimination Act that has always allowed nuisance lawsuits over free speech and association, regardless of ANY marriage laws, but you’re having an episode here and an inability to focus on the issues.

    So dot, how will you prevent the slippery slope from happening?
    Once legislation is in, it’s in and future Governments will no doubt find lots of excuses to expand it to all kinds of nasty outcomes.

    Wow. You were polite and not a complete arsewipe for about three seconds.

    To be blunt, I don’t know. The prosecutory zeal in cases should perhaps be toned down. Perhaps religious conservatives can stop spouting nonsense about opioids not having well known pharmacological effects.

    That last point is why in fact euthanasia to me, on a personal level, is redundant. Now roger is arguing that we are better to have people suffer and that it is encouraged by the medical standards of this country?

    He’s arguing against euthanasia by denying the basis that I err towards palliative care on.

  62. Roger

    This is anti-scientific nonsense you’ve based off one decades-old research paper.

    No, there are any number of research papers available that show this and they are backed up by the experiences of palliative care physicians.

    Opioids cause sedation and respiratory depression.

    Respiratory depression in the palliative care setting is actually quite rare and treatable.

  63. youngster

    “The Liberal Democrats are willing to use what little power we have for good.”

    Making is easy, accepted, and normal to end one’s life when it is “unsatisfactory” (DL’s word, not mine) is not using your power for good.

    Either every human life has value, or it doesn’t.

  64. None

    it would still be the immoral course of action resulting in absolutely no gain in quality of – what’s left of – life for the concerned.

    Rhe old evil lie about quality of life. By John’s standards we should just kill all of Africa and half of South East Asia and South America because they have no quality of life compared to us. Who the f*** are you to determine what is quality of life? Who the f*** are you to say that an entirely subjective notion of quality of life is the only determinant of what is right and wrong? Anytime you make subjective notions an arbiter, the outcome is inevitable : he who has the most power wins. Like the relatives holding down that woman so a doctor could end her life.

    I say it again. You’re all f****** cowards. All of you who claim that you are non-religious, materialist, rational higher beings are f****** cowards and liars because you can’t accept the reality of the world you live in much less the consequences of your worldview. You don’t live what you claim to believe because you’re too f****** gutless.

  65. .

    By John’s standards we should just kill all of Africa and half of South East Asia and South America because they have no quality of life compared to us.

    No, you’re making this up.

    I say it again. You’re all f****** cowards.

    Sometimes awards for bravery are given to very stupid people.

  66. A Lurker

    It would be nice if a conservative government would not fund Safe Schools and would repeal the Sex Discrimination Act that has always allowed nuisance lawsuits over free speech and association, regardless of ANY marriage laws, but you’re having an episode here and an inability to focus on the issues.

    Well the fact that Australia hasn’t had an actual Conservative Government in the last fifty years – only various flavours of big-interfering Socialist/Corporatist Government, which might explain why Safe Schools has remained funded, why S18C hasn’t been rescinded, and why the Sex Discrimination act hasn’t been repealed.

    Your argument will only possess merit when and if Australia elects a Conservative Government, so until then quit bellyaching at Conservatives who are just pointing out the perils of the path that the LibDems are heedlessly skipping along.

    To be blunt, I don’t know.

    Then until the LibDems do know, my advice is to primum non nocere.

  67. .

    Do you know when it is right for yourself to make decisions for others too?

    I suggest you do the same.

  68. .

    Well the fact that Australia hasn’t had an actual Conservative Government in the last fifty years

    Great to see that Australian conservatives are waking up.

  69. Mitch M.

    Opioids cause sedation and respiratory depression.

    Which is why opioids are used to kill. In the USA opioid overdoses are killing thousands so let’s not pretend opioids don’t kill. It is unfortunate that despite decades of palliative care we still rely on opioids for pain management but that highlights how extremely difficult it is to manage pain. The truth is we haven’t made much progress in pain management which in part explains the investigations into cannabidiol but it has limited applicability. We don’t understand pain and even if palliative care didn’t exist we will still be researching pain management because it is an issue through all of life not just end of life.

    DL is wrong that doctors “routinely … “. They are not that casual about the issue. It vexes doctors to be in that position. It does happen, we don’t know the true figures so let’s not pretend we do.

  70. Iampeter

    It boggles my mind how so-called Libertarians are so comfortable allowing the State to grow and intrude into every aspect of their life (and death).

    Except that’s the exact opposite of what is being advocated. This is just projection on your part. I think you know this.

    Well the fact that Australia hasn’t had an actual Conservative Government in the last fifty years – only various flavours of big-interfering Socialist/Corporatist Government,

    That IS conservative governments.
    When will conservatives learn that their political illiteracy and lack of any actual alternative ideas to leftists cannot be constantly waved away with the no true Scotsman fallacy?

  71. Roger

    Which is why opioids are used to kill. In the USA opioid overdoses are killing thousands so let’s not pretend opioids don’t kill.

    Nobody is pretending opiods can’t kill. The question at issue is whether they are used to kill in palliative care, as DL claimed. They aren’t, they are used to relieve pain.

  72. .

    What about DMT – given it is produced in the body anyway (endogenously), like endocannabinoids?

  73. John Bayley

    “None”, if, as your post clearly suggests, you are unable to accept that even *lucid* people in possession of their faculties should have the final say in whether they wish to die now or continue to suffer, then you clearly are unhinged.
    As your name calling and the Africa straw man amply demonstrates.

  74. John Bayley

    @bemused:
    ‘Slippery slope’… that does sound familiar!
    I know – every person who tries marijuana is bound to become a heroid addict.
    Of course, alcohol being legal, cannot be a ‘gateway drug’.
    Why do you ‘conservatives’ so often think that adults should not be allowed to make their own decisions?

  75. Mitch M.

    What about DMT – given it is produced in the body anyway (endogenously), like endocannabinoids?

    Don’t know. My view is that at end of life people should be entitled to try any drug or treatment they like so psychedelics are worth considering but I’m doubtful they will help because they can enhance sensory inputs. Cannabinoids can be useful but I don’t think they are strong enough for the more severe forms of pain. IIRC cannabinoids don’t stop peripheral pain transmission but work centrally, in the CNS, by reducing our awareness of pain. Botox might be an interesting option. That’s a stab in the dark but I just checked a database – botox pain – 1006 articles so it is being explored. The larger point is that if at this point in time we are still using opioids for pain management then obviously we are far from resolving the problem.

  76. Dr Fred Lenin

    Legalising euthanasia is a dangerous move ,the relief of pain argument is facile,people have been dying in pain since forever, it is part of life like inevitable death . Legalising assisted death is precedent in legal terms and makes the next move, to involuntary euthanasia easier.
    We are all aware some of the assholes in modern politics would find revising the law most expedient ,I can name a few offhand who would relish this power,many of the demented socialists come to mind just look at the so called “elites “ in the USA and their demented anti Trump bullshit and dont worry, you wouldn’t have to look far to find them here ,the pro poofter “marriage” slags for a start.
    No leave things as nature intended modern drugs can control pain till the end ,as I well know,having lost my wife and two of my best mates to cancer ,watching them till the end an experience that broadens the mind .

    Elites

  77. .

    the relief of pain argument is facile,people have been dying in pain since forever, it is part of life like inevitable death

    You may as well ask murder and torture to be banned as well.

    No *leave things as nature intended* [WHAT THE HELL – DO YOU APPLY THIS CONSISTENTLY OR NOT? WOULD YOU LET A 5 YEAR OLD DIE OF A SINUS INFECTION OR NOT?] modern drugs can control pain till the en (NO, THEY CANNOT) ,as I well know,having lost my wife and two of my best mates to cancer ,watching them till the end an experience that broadens the mind {I feel sorry for you, that must have been bloody horrific}.

    This is demented. “Broadens the mind” is the worst euphemism for watching a loved one die I think I’ve ever read.

  78. .

    You may as well ask murder and torture to be banned as well.

    to no longer be banned.

    FFS.

  79. Combine Dave

    Question.

    Why wouldn’t true libertarians simply refuse medical assistance or commit suicide rather than force the state to step in and allow the euthanasia of otherwise healthy individuals?

    If this ever gets passed all those rich grannies out there better be careful!

  80. .

    I’d want to myself and my medical professionals to be able to use whatever drugs I/we like to alleviate my pain without insufferable, useless fuckwits like the FDA, TGA, AFP, NSW Pol, Ray Hadley and the AMA telling me to NOT be treated for my own good.

    simply refuse medical assistance

    Jesus christ man. You fail at trolling.

  81. Combine Dave

    If you’re unwilling to do it yourself why expect a doctor to do it for you?

    And why use the power of the state to mandate they must?

    Why run the risks of inviting involuntary euthanasia into our already shit stained society?

  82. Iampeter

    Why wouldn’t true libertarians simply refuse medical assistance or commit suicide rather than force the state to step in and allow the euthanasia of otherwise healthy individuals?

    Yea libertarians. Why don’t you give up your rights voluntarily rather than force the state to step in and take them from you?
    Why are you such statists?

    The sheer mental gymnastics of conservatives who both want the gov to regulate every aspect of peoples lives AND at the same time pretend they are fighting gov regulations are Olympic athlete quality.

  83. Iampeter

    And why use the power of the state to mandate they must?

    No one wants the state to mandate anything in this issue.

  84. tgs

    If anyone wants to tell me what I can or cannot do with my own body/life they can FOAD.

    Love the concern trolls on catallaxy. Pretty hilarious.

  85. tgs

    Hey Iampeter pretty sure we’re agreeing for once, how good.

  86. .

    Combine Dave
    #2780695, posted on August 4, 2018 at 3:39 pm
    If you’re unwilling to do it yourself why expect a doctor to do it for you?

    And why use the power of the state to mandate they must?

    Why run the risks of inviting involuntary euthanasia into our already shit stained society?

    My plea is for removing narcotics laws that prevent effective pain management, your response is “go kill yourself”.

    You care enough about banning euthanasia to tell someone that wants improved palliative care to go and kill themselves.

    This at the same time as you feigning concern about increased government intervention, that no one has actually put their support behind.

    That’s pretty fucked in the head, but it probably makes sense to you.

    You’ll probably convince yourself that it makes you a “better” libertarian than the “fake” “libertarians”.

    Utterly cowardly, stupid and disgraceful.

  87. Combine Dave

    Iampeter
    #2780698, posted on August 4, 2018 at 3:42 pm
    And why use the power of the state to mandate they must?

    No one wants the state to mandate anything in this issue.

    tgs
    #2780707, posted on August 4, 2018 at 3:49 pm
    If anyone wants to tell me what I can or cannot do with my own body/life they can FOAD.

    If either of you feels the pain is too much and that you need to overdose on a prescription of pain killers then don’t let me stop you.

    I just don’t see that your quest for the restful peace of death entitles you to force the state to open the door to involuntary euthanasia.

  88. tgs

    Thanks Combine Dave I appreciate your appreciation of my right to do what I want with my own body. Love it.

    I will afford you the same right one day when you need it.

    How good is a civilised society where people respect individual liberty! Fuck yeah!

  89. Combine Dave

    Thank you.

    It’s worth noting that suicide has been decriminalized in all Australian jurisdictions

  90. tgs

    And what a step forward that is. Imagine the State criminalising that. What an absurdity, am I right?

  91. Combine Dave

    My plea is for removing narcotics laws that prevent effective pain management, your response is “go kill yourself”.

    No, I agree that these restrictions should be loosened for medical (if not recreational) reasons.

    This at the same time as you feigning concern about increased government intervention, that no one has actually put their support behind.

    Almost every euthanasia advocate spruiks a scenario where the intended beneficiary of the said euthanasia is incapacitated by pain, mentally unwell/of unfit mind to make decisions/keep living and grieving relatives and well meaning doctors need to step in and access those juicy retirement assets end the suffering on the poor patients behalf. To think that euthanasia legislation won’t inevitably lead to this is incredibly naive.

    Just like the gay marriage debate, and the unintended consequences (jailing of Christian bigots) keep the state out of it, nothing good can come of it.

  92. Combine Dave

    #2780741, posted on August 4, 2018 at 4:28 pm
    And what a step forward that is. Imagine the State criminalising that. What an absurdity, am I right?

    Post humorous jailings and ex communications ?

  93. None

    “None”, if, as your post clearly suggests, you are unable to accept that even *lucid* people in possession of their faculties should have the final say in whether they wish to die now or continue to suffer, then you clearly are unhinged.
    As your name calling and the Africa straw man amply demonstrates.

    we all get to die John and we all get to suffer because that is just the human condition. It is you who cannot accept the human condition but want some sort of Lala land where you know you could float off into oblivion at your beck and call. Well float off to Oblivion now then and keep your grubby evil hands off everybody else. Just because you are corrupted of mind and heart does not mean I will give you a licence to corrupt the minds and hearts of others much less in their life and then sanction it. There is no moral justification for killing the innocent, none whatsoever.

  94. Iampeter

    I just don’t see that your quest for the restful peace of death entitles you to force the state to open the door to involuntary euthanasia.

    No one’s advocating this. Just like capitalists aren’t advocating forcing the state to come in and protect our property rights, or some other inversion of reality required for your straw man as a consequence of having no political theory.

    You’re basically making the same arguments as leftists always do without even realizing you’re doing it.
    Can’t have free enterprise because businesses will just rip off their customers.
    Can’t not have a minimum wage because businesses will just have slave labor.
    Can’t have euthanasia because everyone will be murdering everyone.
    etc.

    It’s like alternative politics to that of leftism isn’t even comprehensible on a theoretical level to conservatives.

  95. Iampeter

    Hey Iampeter pretty sure we’re agreeing for once, how good.

    I think we tend to agree on a lot of fundamentals even if we disagree on this or that particular technicality or policy.

  96. tgs

    Post humorous jailings and ex communications ?

    The fact that this is where your logical conclusion ended is illuminating and also still hilarious.

    I think we tend to agree on a lot of fundamentals even if we disagree on this or that particular technicality or policy.

    Yeah, tbh I think we more or less agree on the fundamentals even when we don’t agree on the “practicals” and I don’t mean that in a derogatory way.

  97. tgs

    Borders is prob the one thing. Respect your opinion but agree to disagree.

  98. candy

    Of course rich ill bedridden grannies and brain damaged babies will be bumped off. There is a spark of badness/greed in human nature, that political legislation cannot protect the most vulnerable from.

  99. tgs

    candy if that is the issue surely the conversation is not about the concept but about the implementation. Get that this is the threshold issue for many.

  100. Helen

    There is enough evidence from overseas, particularly Holland, where people are involuntarily euthanased. it began as a hmane option and is ending in a most inhumane, greedy convenient way, where people fight to live but are killed nonetheless.

    I dont want the slippery slope. I reject euthanasia.

  101. Combine Dave

    Helen
    #2780781, posted on August 4, 2018 at 5:06 pm
    There is enough evidence from overseas, particularly Holland, where people are involuntarily euthanased. it began as a hmane option and is ending in a most inhumane, greedy convenient way, where people fight to live but are killed nonetheless.

    I dont want the slippery slope. I reject euthanasia.

    Exactly.

    On the other hand we shouldn’t stand in the way of those who wish to commit suicide, but killing someone should always be off the table.

    Otherwise why not bring back capital punishment?

  102. tgs

    Combine Dave
    #2780785, posted on August 4, 2018 at 5:10 pm
    Helen
    #2780781, posted on August 4, 2018 at 5:06 pm
    There is enough evidence from overseas, particularly Holland, where people are involuntarily euthanased. it began as a hmane option and is ending in a most inhumane, greedy convenient way, where people fight to live but are killed nonetheless.

    I dont want the slippery slope. I reject euthanasia.

    Exactly.

    On the other hand we shouldn’t stand in the way of those who wish to commit suicide, but killing someone should always be off the table.

    Otherwise why not bring back capital punishment?

    Love that you still agree those who wish to end their own life should be able to.

    You’re a great advocate of freedom, Combine Dave! Honorary libertarian!

  103. candy

    Get that this is the threshold issue for many.

    True, tgs, it is an implementation issue.
    But I can foresee brain damaged babies being euthanased because they will be considered to have no brain function and will die anyway. The law will eventually bend to that.
    People are moving away from religion so I think assisted death legislation will prevail Senator L. says, but it is a little scary for the vulnerable whose continued living is a burden to others.

  104. Helen

    On the other hand we shouldn’t stand in the way of those who wish to commit suicide, but killing someone should always be off the table.

    If it was someone I knew, I would try to save them from suicide. Or even a stanger, if I came across it. I have been to the edge of that abyss myself, and live to be thankful I did not take that final step, even though I planned it, and yearned for it.

    Sometimes I think the mind plays tricks on us, insidious tricks – how easy it would be – no more anxiety, anger, black dull brain, overwhelming sadness and consuming, cringing self pity, how easy it would be to take that step and have peace.

    Love turns to hate for the people around you, there is no happiness, just dull greyness, everything parched, drought stricken. He is still there, that black dog, caged in his kennel, but I have learned to recognise when he would break free – in ome respects it is easier to handle him, knowing he is there, watching, waiting.

    And for all my whinging, I am glad, so glad, so thankful I never let go of my grip on the edge.

    Dont make it easier for people to take that step.

  105. tgs

    candy
    #2780802, posted on August 4, 2018 at 5:25 pm
    Get that this is the threshold issue for many.

    True, tgs, it is an implementation issue.
    But I can foresee brain damaged babies being euthanased because they will be considered to have no brain function and will die anyway. The law will eventually bend to that.
    People are moving away from religion so I think assisted death legislation will prevail Senator L. says, but it is a little scary for the vulnerable whose continued living is a burden to others.

    Well I think we can logically separate abortion from euthanasia.

    No?

  106. tgs

    Helen
    #2780805, posted on August 4, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    Couldn’t agree more. As someone who has had people extremely close to me commit suicide it’s just life shatteringly awful. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Nothing to do or say can make it ok.

    But does that mean the State should legislate or even use force to prevent it? Where does that end?

    That’s where you lose me. Appreciate differing opinions, but that’s where I am.

  107. tgs

    If people are consciously, intelligently and, knowingly wishing to end their own life who are you to say no?

    I get the argument is in the definition of the three adverbs that qualified that statement.

    I enjoy the debate on the cat, don’t always agree but it keeps me sharp. Thanks.

  108. Combine Dave

    If people are consciously, intelligently and, knowingly wishing to end their own life who are you to say no?

    I wouldn’t.

    And if someone wanted to sell that person pain killers that they then use to end their life with I would have no problems with that.

    A bit different if your spouse or favoured child grinds eat poison into your corn flakes at a time when people know you to be feeling down… but otherwise well.

  109. tgs

    So you want to dictate what other people can or cannot do with their life.

    That’s fine man, I don’t agree but I see why you want to do so. All good, agree to disagree.

  110. Helen

    I just dont think it should be so easy as to go on line with a script from a chemist assistant and order up the opiates to overdose with. (Who is to say that is not where this ends up?)

    If it was I wouldn’t be typing this, now. It was the how that was the wall. I hate blowflies you see, and I couldnt leave a mess in the house and I hate the kitchen, so the oven was out of the question. So it was probably going to be a gun in the garden, with a sheet over my head to stop the maggots. I picked the spot, where there wasnt too much sun, I knew what happens to a corpse in the sun. I’ve seen so many animals blow up with intestinal gasses. I couldnt do anything about the ants, though.

    I went on line to Beyond Blue to seek help and just found ways to top myself. (The oven) When I did manage to get help, my psychologist was a 1300 km round trip away. There was no-one closer.

    I think we need to have more and better counselling services. Years ago when my SiL was ill, there was something like 1 counsellor to 300 clients – how is that going to achieve anything? I almost laughed out loud when I heard them talking about indigenous meantal health the other day and the need for services. We all know about it, and the remote whites, too, but nothing is done, just another talk fest I thought. How do you handle kids frying themselves on the electric power lines as a dare? They put possum guards on the power poles, so they couldnt climb them any more.

    But without those mental health services, it is just going to be too easy to not choose to save yourself. That is what suicide is, choosing not to save yourself. Then if you make it easier in the mix, with a depression score card for a script, well you could lose so many gifted people. I speak not of myself here, but Churchill, ( “I don’t like standing near the edge of a platform when an express train is passing through,” he told his doctor. “I like to stand right back and if possible get a pillar between me and the train. I don’t like to stand by the side of a ship and look down into the water. A second’s action would end everything. A few drops of desperation.”) Abe Linclon, any number of creative geniuses – who is to say these people of the future, our future, might find it easeier to take the step?

    Is it fair to say No – you must create? Or only the potentially gifted should be saved? Propbably not, but we should be able to say, look here is all this help you can have that those who have gone before did not have. Stay a while longer and maybe you can stay for a lot longer. Your life is precious, you beat so many odds to make it here dont give up on yourself.

    I was conscious, knowing, intelligent and depressed, and wanting to end my life. And looking back I know I was damned ill. But I did not know that then. No, no, a thousand times no.

  111. tgs

    Helen, sounds like you have the same issue as candy above, i.e. not with the concept but with the implementation or have I misunderstood?

  112. Barry Bones

    Me thinks “.” has had one two many of those opiates himself.

    He and David Lewen-freak should have a good get together !!

  113. .

    Mmmyes Barry. Wanting better pain treatment for people dying of cancer means I’m a smack addict.

  114. Mater

    Look I’m not going to get dragged into a long, drawn out debate on this issue. It’s very personal. That said, I always imagine myself trapped in a position like Jon Blake (the actor). I could think of no greater torture, especially if my mind was still active. 25 years trapped, potentially a lot longer. I’m not asking for the state to be overly involved, I just don’t want my wife jailed for helping me, in accordance with my stipulated, prearranged desires.
    Honestly, what ever your take on this issue, think about being trapped in that predicament. Don’t worry about pain, that is the very definition of torture.
    Happy to do it myself if I see the need and have the capability. Courage is not the issue.

  115. Iampeter

    A bit different if your spouse or favoured child grinds eat poison into your corn flakes at a time when people know you to be feeling down… but otherwise well.

    Great. No one is arguing anything like this.

    The arguments against voluntary euthanasia amount to either total straw men like the above or something like, “we need to regulate peoples lives because freedom is a slippery slope”.

  116. Tel

    Iampeter #2780971,

    You are ignoring the case of Holland where the “slippery slope” already happened, and it did not lead to more choice for the patient. What happened is once doctors knew they could get away with it, they just went nuts.

    http://www.patientsrightscouncil.org/site/holland-background/

    The Remmelink Report— On September 10, 1991, the results of the first, official government study of the practice of Dutch euthanasia were released. The two volume report –popularly referred to as the Remmelink Report (after Professor J. Remmelink, M.J., attorney general of the High Council of the Netherlands, who headed the study committee)–documents the prevalence of involuntary euthanasia in Holland, as well as the fact that, to a large degree, doctors have taken over end-of-life decision making regarding euthanasia. The data indicate that, despite long-standing, court-approved euthanasia guidelines developed to protect patients, abuse has become an accepted norm. According to the Remmelink Report, in 1990:

    * 2,300 people died as the result of doctors killing them upon request (active, voluntary euthanasia).

    * 400 people died as a result of doctors providing them with the means to kill themselves (physician-assisted suicide).

    * 1,040 people (an average of 3 per day) died from involuntary euthanasia, meaning that doctors actively killed these patients without the patients’ knowledge or consent.

    — 14% of these patients were fully competent.
    — 72% had never given any indication that they would want their lives terminated.
    — In 8% of the cases, doctors performed involuntary euthanasia despite the fact that they believed alternative options were still possible.

    * In addition, 8,100 patients died as a result of doctors deliberately giving them overdoses of pain medication, not for the primary purpose of controlling pain, but to hasten the patient’s death. In 61% of these cases (4,941 patients), the intentional overdose was given without the patient’s consent.

    * According to the Remmelink Report, Dutch physicians deliberately and intentionally ended the lives of 11,840 people by lethal overdoses or injections–a figure which accounts for 9.1% of the annual overall death rate of 130,000 per year. The majority of all euthanasia deaths in Holland are involuntary deaths.
    . . .

    There’s a bunch more if you follow the link, but yeah it happens. What these laws mostly do is give more power to doctors (typically that’s government employees in Australia, UK, etc) over their patients.

  117. Helen

    Misunderstood, tgs, I think life is too prescious to waste by choosing not to save yourself.

    For every example there is a counter example, Mater’s Blake against the brilliant intellect of Hawkins, who until the end was thinking, wondering, theorising. Letter by letter, with infinate patience, spelling our his great thesis.

    If he had the choice of ending it or more years, he would have chosen more years, painful as it was for us to look at him. His brain was working in a fever, choked by the slowness of his expression, right to the end.

    And what if, in the not too distant future, we have a better way for expression by those who are choked by their disability? What would the universe offer then, for people like Hawkins?

    A little over 100 years ago, the great minds of the world worried about how they would handle all the horse shit in the cities, as the motor car had not been invented then. Where will we be in 100 years? We cannot even conceive it.

    But I would not like our future peope to look back in shame on this possible period as we do now at those in the past who advocated or practised eugenics and some who would again.

    I know assisted suicide in the kindest and best of minds is not eugenics, but we are alreday there with our abortion of down syndrome babies. What is to stop us kiling them after birth as Peter Singer has suggested? It would just be a bit of an add on to the legislation, and all legit. As has happened elsewhere in the world already. I dont trust us not to go there.

  118. Helen

    I wonder how much impact our current fetish of blaming all on white guys will have on suicides? Didnt one guy top hmslef the other day becasue of #metoo? Fucking sad.

  119. Helen

    Anyway, having fought the demons of the kitchen into submuission, I am off to bed. Stay safe and fight hard.

  120. None

    I am so thankful and glad that you fought hard Helen. Major respect.

  121. Gab

    The government legislating euthanasia, what could possibly go wrong?

    There’s an upside though, there’ll be no need for medical research, for provision of palliative care, suicide hotlines/counselling (wha would be the point?) and someday, in this utopia, a pure race will emerge that is untainted by nasty illnesses, suffering or depressive people.

    We put animals out of their misery and people are animals too. We can treat them like dogs, why not?

    No, there’ll be no slippery slope either because humans are righteous and honest and never ever have evil motives to “euthanize” an inconvenient old relative or a child “suffering” from the wrong gender or conditions such as down syndrome. No, there will never ever be a government leader in the future who will one day decide – under future expanded laws of euthanasia because they will expand e.g. look at Belgium – certain classes of people, or a certain race, is obviously “suffering” and must be put out of its misery for the good of society. Nope, will never ever happen because the future is a libertarian utopia.

  122. None

    Over 90% of children with Down Syndrome are now aborted. Bear in mind that the test is not 100% full proof either not that it makes that evil justifiable. You can bet that those who get to be born or probably get euthanized. Hitler’s Aktion T4 euthanasia program actually targeted the mentally and physically disabled. Pope Benedicts teenage cousin was killed as part of that program.

  123. BorisG

    Both sides have some good arguments but I agree with those who say that this isn’t David’s best effort. Starting with animals is a non-starter. The story about doctors killing patients with morphine is without evidence. And even if this is true, and goes under the radar, why would it ever stop with assisted suicide in place?

    The example of 104 yo is also inappropriate. If I ever support assisted suicide, it will be for people who are physically unable to kill themselves by themselves due to immobility etc. (but with clear mind to make and communicate their choice). The former does not apply to the 104 yo.

    I agree with those who have concerns about the risks. This has nothing to do with religion (another weak argument by DL).

  124. BorisG

    None, you make a mockery of arguments against assisted suicide. Euthanasia by Hitler was involuntary. The assisted suicide proposed by its supporters is voluntary.

  125. Mark A

    BorisG
    #2781114, posted on August 5, 2018 at 1:31 am

    None, you make a mockery of arguments against assisted suicide. Euthanasia by Hitler was involuntary. The assisted suicide proposed by its supporters is voluntary.

    To begin with.

    Tell that to the lady who was mentioned as an example, and the few others. Early days historically and already many examples, proven BTW.

  126. Mark A

    ps,
    Boris, I’m more or less ambivalent about about it personally, but I see daily the side affects, and unintended consequences of legislations enacted. So far not deadly as far as I’m aware, but can be, if people are driven over the edge.

  127. Iampeter

    You are ignoring the case of Holland where the “slippery slope” already happened, and it did not lead to more choice for the patient.

    I’m not missing anything. If someone commits a crime they should be prosecuted for it. This doesn’t mean that everything should be regulating because someone might commit a crime. This is the same game leftists always play to justify regulation every aspect of our lives.

    It’s also hard when you have no political ideology or theory of government to determine what constitutes “crime” and what the government should or should not be doing.

  128. Again, it’s breathtaking that libertarians are promoting suicide as the ultimate ‘freedom’. But setting that aside, what DL is proposing is the right of persons to contract doctors to kill them. Doctors as professionals are entitled to to deny such a request as a matter of practice, and society is entitled to deny doctors any such power as well.

  129. If people are consciously, intelligently and, knowingly wishing to end their own life who are you to say no?

    The three adverbs can be effectively collapsed into two because ‘consciously’ and ‘knowingly’ cover the same ground. So it all depends upon how substantively we understand ‘intelligently’. Does it simply mean that their reasons are comprehensible, or understandable, or rational or some combination of these or their cognates? Whatever it is to be, whether someone is ‘intelligently’ choosing death given their circumstances is a matter for judgment beyond the person proposing to kill themselves with the assistance of a doctor, and therefore, clearly within the domain of others to decide its justifiability.

  130. LBLoveday

    ” I lost count of the number of domestic animals I euthanised. I had no qualms about this; in each case the decision to take life was made to end unacceptable suffering”.
    I have no qualms about euthanising domestic animals, or non-domestic ones, but do not believe this claim – does anyone?
    He never killed a healthy dog or cat because the owner could not, or no longer wanted to, care for it? Pull the other leg Senator. Nothing wrong, imo, in that, but it is wrong to make false claims.

  131. Procrustes

    I’ve joined this debate a bit late in the piece, so I have only read a chunk of the comments at the start. There is one very important point there – doctors are currently performing assisted death by over-dosing (“double effect”) and if some surveys are to be believed they have been doing this under current law without clear consent of the patient. As a commenter said here, there is another name for that.

    So what is so wrong with allowing people to be able to make their views about what they choose to do with their live? And this includes their end of life decisions, with some assistance if needed andwithout doctors intervening when they disagree with the patient’s reasons (either to live or to die).

    One other thing that I just don’t get are descriptions of people wishing to take up assisted suicide as selfish or of putting pressure on doctors. I can think of no jurisdiction that would compel doctors to participate in voluntary assisted death. As strawmen go, that is one of the strawiest.

  132. tgs

    Helen
    #2781042, posted on August 4, 2018 at 9:17 pm
    Misunderstood, tgs, I think life is too prescious to waste by choosing not to save yourself

    So if life is is so precious that you can’t be trusted with your own, who can be?

  133. tgs

    That road goes down authoritarianism in my view.

  134. .

    Again, it’s breathtaking that libertarians are promoting suicide as the ultimate ‘freedom’.

    That is not is what is happening, you’re better than this dude.

  135. There is one very important point there – doctors are currently performing assisted death by over-dosing (“double effect”)

    Not at all. Being given drugs whose intent is pain relief but that may foreseeably hasten death over time is not the same as being given a drug whose immediate and intended effect is death.

  136. Pingback: Reply to Leyonhjelm on the right to physician-assisted suicide – The Ordeal of Consciousness

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