Territory Rights Euthanasia Bill defeated

It is not often that I completely disagree with my good friend David Leyonhjelm on important matters. But I’m not convinced that adequate safeguards can ever be written into voluntary euthanasia legislation to prevent murder.  I am especially unconvinced that the Northern Territory could achieve such a thing – just look at how well they manage things such as Aboriginal welfare and their prison system. Not that other states or territories do a particularly good job.

Now another good friend Helen Dale makes the argument that juries seldom, if ever, convict in assisted euthanasia cases. I’m happy to accept that argument as being true. But it tells me that someone having euthanised a loved one has been able to convince a jury of their peers that under the law of the land a murder has not taken place.  I’m happy with that status quo.

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43 Responses to Territory Rights Euthanasia Bill defeated

  1. flyingduk

    That’s a rather un-libertarian stance, Sinclair, saying you don’t think the individual should have sovereignity over their most intimate possession, their life, and when to end it, because you are unconvinced the state can guarantee their safe exercise of that right?

  2. pbw

    I’m not convinced that adequate safeguards can ever be written into voluntary euthanasia legislation to prevent murder.

    …juries seldom, if ever, convict in assisted euthanasia cases…someone having euthanised a loved one has been able to convince a jury of their peers that under the law of the land a murder has not taken place.

    I’m looking for the irony here, but I am unable to find it. All I see is a contradiction.

    I’m happy with that status quo.

    Bully for you, Sinc.
    Aside from the murders which will, of course, take place under any legal regime, although apparently not under the current circumstances, there is the little matter of the brutalisation of the medical profession, and the inevitability that its members will be obliged in many circumstances to participate in judicial killings.

  3. Snoopy

    That’s a rather un-libertarian stance, Sinclair, saying you don’t think the individual should have sovereignity over their most intimate possession, their life,

    That’s what suicide is for.

  4. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    The uni-party says: I’ll be back!

  5. Sinclair Davidson

    That’s a rather un-libertarian stance, Sinclair

    So I’m told. Usually by anarchists.

  6. Gab

    I’m almost in agreement with you, Sinclair. About 86%. Thank you for being authentic. It’s a rare gift these days.

  7. Yohan

    People own themselves and should have the right to kill themselves subject to making sensible preparation (i.e not jumping off a building).

    But, as has been pointed out here many times, what is to stop any person from taking their own life right now? You don’t need a law. Its obvious that those who wail the most about wanting euthanasia to be legal so they can end their life don’t actually want to, they just want attention.

  8. pbw

    obliged in many circumstances to participate in judicial killings.

    Make that legalised killings.

  9. None

    Sensible, Sinclair. In fact every government’s track record on anything should be a wild disincentive to think they can protect anyone.

    I can only be relieved Georgiou changed his mind. Still there is something inherently perverse about a man tweeting about his name day with a photo of Pauline Hanson giving him a cake (for a Greek, your name day is the day on the Orthodox ecclesiastical calendar on which the saint after which you are named is commemorated, a day on which you get presents and throw a party)
    – a man tweeting about his name day, on the Feast of the Dormition (one of the biggest feast days on the Orthodox church calendar which commemorates the falling asleep (death) of Mary, the mother of Jesus)
    – a man tweeting about his name day, on the Feast of the Dormition, while suggesting that he was ready to vote yes to a law to legalize killing until some doctors convinced him otherwise.

    Especially perverse as one of the most common epithets used by the Orthodox to refer to Mary is Panagia (the all holy woman) from which are derived names Panagiota (female) and Panagiotis (male) – the latter it seems being Georgiou’s first name which is commonly anglicised as Peter (see I learnt something from the Greek kids at school).

    And so Peter Georgiou was named in honour of Mary the mother of Jesus, whom we would have been happy to see euthanized.

    Thank God for small mercies.

  10. iggie

    Some random thoughts.
    Two Belgian children, one nine and the other eleven, were euthanised recently. Doctors needed both the children’s and parent’s permission. Make of that what you will.
    Let’s take flyingduk’s stance a bit further and legislate the practice so that anyone who wants to be euthanised for whatever reason can do so (since it’s their own life to end whenever they wish). True sovereignty, eh?
    No need for any restriction or the threat of legal action against those who are complicit.
    But then again, how dare you ask for someone to set up the mechanism for you to kill yourself. What a terrible thing to ask someone to do. As someone pointed out above, suicide is the answer.
    And to those who claim euthanasia allows the end of suffering – what about those who are judged incapable of making a decision or are physically disabled and can’t initiate the euthanasia.
    Let them suffer or have three doctors make the decision for them as they do in Holland (no wonder the aged where unwilling to go to hospital).

  11. John Bayley

    Apparently one of the Belgian children mentioned above by iggie had terminal brain cancer, while the other had cystic fibrosis.
    Both of them could ‘look forward’ to suffering and death; in the case of the former, over a few months, while the latter would become progressively more debilitated over 10-15 years at best.
    For euthanasia to proceed in Belgium, doctors – typically 3 specialists – must first verify that a child is ‘in a hopeless medical situation of constant and unbearable suffering that cannot be eased and which will cause death in the short term.’
    There is little I generally admire about Belgium, which in many ways is at the centre of the Western descent into socialism, but their people’s and authorities’ assent to allow lucid, yet terminally ill people to elect to exit with dignity and at the time of their choosing, is definitely at the top of that list.
    In the UK, assisted dying is illegal – yet according to some polls three out of four Brits would support a law change to allow it.
    I have little doubt that it would be much different here, if a proper debate were allowed.

  12. John Bayley

    And to those who claim euthanasia allows the end of suffering – what about those who are judged incapable of making a decision or are physically disabled and can’t initiate the euthanasia.

    Those are complex questions with no simple answers.
    I would note here that despite some controversy related to the euthanasia of people with severe psychiatric disorders (i.e. depression or schizophrenia) and the likes of advanced dementia, the policy of assisted suicide continues to be overwhelmingly supported by the public in the Netherlands and Belgium, where it has been legal since 2002.
    Does this mean that the people of these countries are sadists who can’t wait to kill granny to get the inheritance? — Of course not.
    Here is a case I’ve recently come across:
    A 91-year old lady, bed-ridden and with advanced dementia, who some years ago, while still in possession of her faculties, instructed her children in the presence of her solicitor not to revive her in case of a serious accident and not to keep her on life support should she come down with terminal cancer or become catatonic.
    She has left an advance health directive (this is in QLD) to the same effect.
    Does her present condition qualify her for euthanasia, should it be allowed? Why would an AHD be OK, but euthanasia, a natural extension of that, continues to be a criminal act?
    Is it compassionate to keep her in her condition for a few more months, or perhaps a year or so?
    Who benefits from such an action?
    Black/white responses will not do. ‘God’s will’ is not an answer.

  13. JohnA

    Yohan #2790048, posted on August 15, 2018, at 9:12 pm

    People own themselves and should have the right to kill themselves

    Bulldust!

  14. .

    Pretty silly to legalise euthanasia and insist we need public spending convincing people not to jump with multi-million dollar hotlines and prevention programmes.

    Maybe it is my unconscious anti-bureaucratic bias showing again.

  15. Colin Clarke

    Both the ACT and the NT have populations that have half the Gold Coast which is a local government entity. Both of them should cease playing around with any legislation of this type as they are not representative of the Australian people.

  16. .

    People own themselves and should have the right to kill themselves

    Bulldust!

    I can’t see how you can argue against the proposition save for on religious grounds, otherwise, you’re saying the statement makes a categorical error. Which is true out of context.

  17. Driftforge

    People own themselves

    This is the bit that is incorrect.

  18. Angus Black

    It is beyond me how we have arrived at a societal consensus (of which I am in no respect a part – let me nail my colour to the mast, here) that:
    1) It is unacceptable to allow adults the right to determine that it is time to end their own lives as painlessly and easily as possible (and where necessary to hire willing assistance in that matter)
    2) it is not just permissible bu actually laudable to kill, in utero, a viable human being (for the sake of this argument, let’s say an embryo with a heartbeat) without his/her permission…indeed without any consideration for its humanity.

    Let me say, I’m not entirely anti-abortion, though I do think that abortion should be performed prior to the embryo’s independent existence (heartbeat test works for me). The issue I’m trying to raise, though, is what I see as a moral contradiction.

    In a similar vein, I wonder how many vegans – who believe it is morally wrong to eat a chicken egg (so far as I’m aware, irrespective of whether that egg is fertilised and, thus, potentially viable life in any respect) – are pro-abortion. My unscientific straw poll (and my guess) suggests the answer is almost none.

    Another moral contradiction? Or is it simply that vegans don’t consider human beings as worthy of life? Perhaps like the Hreens, the motto is: in case of doubt, put people’s (or should I have said persons’) interests last

  19. Angus Black

    Oops, in the second last para, that should be anti-abortion. That’ll teach me to proof read.

  20. Ellen of Tasmania

    I can’t see how you can argue against the proposition save for on religious grounds

    The idea that ‘people own themselves’ is also a religious/worldview proposition.

    It’s unavoidable. Worldviews are inescapable. Not ‘if’ but ‘which’ is at question.

  21. .

    I’m interested to know why Ent. thinks we don’t have self-ownership; other than we live under an illiberal regime.

    So why not a belief in self-ownership.

  22. Diogenes

    The law was liberal, in old sense of the meaning.

    It did not legislate FOR euthenasia, voluntary or otherwise, but for citizens in two territories to have their wishes implemented in law, just like people in all states can.

    I am not sure that Sect 99 would not apply to the legislation DL was trying to overturn.

  23. Ellen of Tasmania

    So why not a belief in self-ownership.

    Well – you didn’t ‘make’ yourself. You didn’t choose to be born. You have only a small say in how you turn out as an adult. You didn’t choose your ethnicity, your intelligence, your good (or otherwise) looks, your height etc.

    You were dependent on others for many years for your life. You may well – due to illness or accident – find yourself dependent on others in your adulthood. You are probably not ‘an island’. Life is a precious thing – you don’t get to change your mind about it once you’re dead. And you truly do not know what happens beyond the grave and what pain you leave for others after you go.

    Why not believe in ‘self-ownership’ isn’t an invalid question, but it’s equally valid to ask why to believe in self-ownership.

    It’s your worldview, yes, and worldviews shape laws. And what we value or don’t value, what we call good and evil, shapes our culture and the kind of people we are.

    How a community cares for the young, the old, the weak and infirm, tells us a lot about that community. A society that knocks off all the ‘inconvenient’ or dependent people – or makes them feel that they should finish their own lives, is not the sort of society I want. At the very least – we should be discussing the presuppositions behind the various views and what the consequences may be if or when we change them.

  24. RomeoWhiskey

    I cant stand the status quo, as you put it…. It’s either legal or its not.

    I hate the fact that there is a wink wink nudge nudge for doctors to end someone’s life (when they are plenty justified in doing so) or as the example you give – people being exonerated for killing a loved one in a mercy killing.

    Every one of those people should be in jail… not because I agree with it, but its the law (or should be interpreted that way)

    I do also agree also that it is a very very slippery slope… so there needs to be extremely strong safeguards.

  25. .

    Ellen you seem to have trailed off there. I don’t know what you’re talking about anymore.

  26. Senile Old Guy

    I’m not convinced that adequate safeguards can ever be written into voluntary euthanasia legislation to prevent murder.

    I agree, going by experience in other countries.

  27. Ellen of Tasmania

    Fair enough, Dot.

    I was only trying to point out (obviously badly) that there are reasonable arguments against the idea of ‘owning yourself’ so when you ask ‘why not’, I was trying to give you some ‘why nots’.

  28. testpattern

    Another quollity suggestion. Just think of all the old and sick Firsts on dialysis Libertarians can bump off to save the taxpayer money.

  29. .

    I’m not having a go at you, the arguments are not strong. The argument against self-ownership is rather weak.

    The only real bases to argue against this are:

    1. Doctors may not want the work or risk.
    2. Moral hazard and lack of legal safeguards.
    3. The theological arguments about being a child of god etc. People may disregard this on a personal level given a certain level of suffering.

  30. .

    Test Patton suffering from selective conservatism; a cheap disingenuous shot by a low scoundrel as to defend the honour of socialism.

  31. The argument against self-ownership is rather weak.

    Not at all. The reverse in fact. Further, it’s not even clear how ‘self-ownership’ implies a right to one’s own destruction.

  32. Iggie

    Yes, you’re right, John, about the two children. My point was that originally you had to be over 18 to be euthanised – now it has changed. A woman was also given the go ahead to be euthanised on the basis of socio-economic reasons. She declined at the last minute. I hate the term ‘slippery slope’ but that is what is happening.
    You cannot legislate for euthanasia – there should be no discrimination.
    As to those who are unable to consent – maybe everyone can decide before then – like organ donors.

  33. None

    The intentional killing of innocents is always and everywhere wrong. That includes killing by euthanasia. And by abortion.

  34. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    To own yourself means you decide what happens to you. Why should that not include the option of suicide? Killing other people is wrong, but letting them kill themselves would be right. Though I wouldn’t stay around and watch.

  35. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    And shouldn’t we say ‘The Bill was put to sleep.”?

  36. To own yourself means you decide what happens to you.

    But the ambit of what you may decide to do with yourself is not unqualified.

    Why should that not include the option of suicide?

    Because it runs counter to the goods (i.e. knowledge, health, shelter) that ground all the other rights (i.e. speech, association, property).

  37. candy

    The Beligan case probably frightened off support for the NT bill.

    How creepy it is to think of killing sick children when new medication can be just around the corner, as I believe it is for cystic fibrosis (very expensive of course but there has to be a start).

  38. Can we have the link to the ABC online poll? It’s very hard to find.

  39. testpattern

    ‘a cheap..shot’

    Libertarians die @Aldi. Cheap shots. BYO gurney.

  40. .

    Test Patton go find another yellow journalism article justifying your ongoing parasitism of Australia’s poorest citizens.

  41. testpattern

    #Little_Cheap_Shots

    Shane Jacobson – A big hand for young David he’s come all the way from quollity farm to perform for us tonight! I believe you do political confidence tricks is that right David? What are you going to do us for tonight?

    David – Well Shane I’m going to try and get elected again by pretending I care for terminally ill indigenous territorians more than I care for white supremacist Boers!

    Shane – And what does your mum think of that? Is that her over there in the audience wearing the Laura Southern t-shirt?

    David – No Shane. That’s Laura Southern.

    Shane – Ok David take it away, con us!

  42. .

    Conflating euthanasia policy in Australia and race-based land grabbing in another country is fairly unhinged; but it certainly is not a personal best for you, test patton.

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