Amid the debate in the ACT on the ethics and morality of euthanasia there has been little input from the medical profession. The community needs to understand the consequences for their health providers, and hence for them, prior to any consideration of safeguards around euthanasia legislation.
For 2000 years physicians have rejected killing their patient as a means of relieving suffering and mental stress.
The most common reasons for people seeking euthanasia are loss of autonomy, loss of dignity and diminished quality of life, not unrelieved pain.
To be clear, consensual voluntary withdrawal of treatment is not euthanasia. Specialist palliative care, at home or in a hospice, provides staff experienced in pain relief and mental health care.
The long-term effects on the maintenance of caring, professional patient relationships of passing this legislation may include:
The World Medical Association, comprising 114 countries, has reiterated its strong commitment to the principles of medical ethics, and that utmost respect has to be maintained for human life. Therefore the WMA is firmly opposed to euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide.
The AMA's position is largely in line with that of the WMA. I urge the Legislative Assembly to reject any such legislation.
At a recent consultation, my GP told me that when she was young the average life expectancy was only 72.
I appreciate that she was reminding me to be grateful for the life I am still able to live at the grand old age of 80. I am indeed grateful.
However, I also want to remind those who deny our territory governments the right to legislate to make euthanasia available (as it now is in most states) that the disproportionate health expenditure on our last years of life will continue unabated without it.
If we are required to be grateful, perhaps we should also be left with some control over the conduct and ending of our lives.
There's something rotten in our culture. We've lost the grammar of forgiveness and redemption.
When a bloke's down and out, and confronting a mob which is throwing stones, that's the time to stand alongside him, for goodness sake.
Sure, let's set the ethics bar really high, because people are worth it. But, when they fall short, let's encourage and teach them to jump higher, rather than just casting them adrift.- Fr Peter Day, Queanbeyan, NSW
Alas, the current iteration of the Australian Cricket Board has decided that if it was in charge when Mr Paine stuffed up, it would have done things differently, ensuring a better, more socially acceptable, and morally superior outcome.
That rings not only of chronological snobbery, but moral cowardice as well.
And what of the stone throwers who leaked the exchange, and decided to publish it? Not their finest hour either.
Sure, let's set the ethics bar really high, because people are worth it.
But, when they fall short, let's encourage and teach them to jump higher, rather than justt casting them adrift.
The current push by federal fringe-dwellers to overturn state regulations relating to vaccinations promises to give us some interesting cases for the High Court.
The Australian constitution gives the Commonwealth no head of power over health matters except for quarantine, and the present government cannot be said to have covered itself with glory in that department. So any federal legislation aiming to override any state laws relating to health measures, pandemic or not, will be sure to end up before the court.
Given its recent decisions on border closures, it seems unlikely that the court would look favourably on this brazen attempt to expand federal powers apart from the constitution.
One would have hoped that federal parliamentarians had a better idea of the constitutional limits they are supposed to respect.
Re: "Rock ratbag was an angel at heart" (Panorama, November 6, p12).
I was horrified to read your description of one of Australia's most famous and loved Aussie rock legends, as "rock ratbag".
I was a personal friend of Doc Neeson and I take offence at your calling him a "ratbag", as I am certain many of his thousands of fans would also do.
The Doc Neeson that I knew was a man of high intelligence, charm, charisma, humour, generosity and raw talent in many of the different creative arts. I was honoured to have known him. He was a cut above the average rock-and-roll star of Aussie pub rock.
I believe that your use of the word "ratbag" is derogatory. It implies that Doc was an unpleasant or disliked person. This is so far from the truth. He was loved by countless thousands and his memory will live on for ever in our lifetime.
Please, show some respect.
Peter Hughes (Letters, November 24) enjoys black smoke from his 2.2. bi-turbo diesel truck, especially when it envelops other people, but presumably excluding the younger members of his own family.
What better example of the careless attitude some of us in the rich world, who contribute to climate change the most, have towards those who have contributed little and will suffer the most.
John McEwen (Letters, November 23) asked "how can this [the poor condition of roads in the inner south] be given four of the five Kurrajong elected members holding ministerial positions".
I suggest the key reason is that the inner south has a minority of voters in Kurrajong which has become a very safe seat for the Labor/Green coalition. Hence, I don't find it surprising that, at least to some extent, spending will reflect who supports the current government.
Furthermore, voters should not be surprised when ministers stick to "the party line" and continue to refuse to engage publicly on major issues - for example, concerns about the low, or even negative, return on further "investment" in light rail.
There is an alternative to a major-party-dominated Assembly; namely one containing sensible independents. If we had that, the major parties would have to listen to the community rather than rule by fiat and pander to their respective power bases.
However, that option was not taken up by the ACT voters as recently as October 2020.
I write in reference to your editorial "Federal ICAC must be an election issue" (canberratimes.com.au, November 23).
This mob were keen to attack our war-weary SAS soldiers (and other targets) without any substance or judicial process.
Yet they are not willing to acknowledge their unethical and unlawful behaviour since being elected. What gross hypocrisy.
Perhaps it is high time all electorates voted for people other than the candidates from the three major parties.
That would send a clear message that we have had enough of their free-wheeling ways.
During question time on Monday I heard the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, tell the Australian Parliament that in December 2019 he advised the Leader of the Opposition, in a text message, he was "on leave". He did not state his destination was Hawaii.
"On leave" is not a destination.
"Hawaii" is a destination.
Scott Morrison skipped off on a holiday while Australia was on fire.
Sorting through a drawer the other day and coming across a tangle of P95 masks, I started shaking at the memory of those months - not hours, not days, not weeks, but months - of bushfire smoke and fear.
When Mario Stivala (Letters, November 21) says "Dan Andrews brought it all upon himself with his dictatorial attitude", he's disgracefully going even further than the PM did in excusing the violent behaviour of the Melbourne mob.
It's no different from justifying any kind of domestic violence by suggesting the victim provoked the attacker.
Shame on you, Mario.
Do we fill in forms or do we fill out forms? No wonder some refugees have difficulty.
I agree with Penleigh Boyd's cautions (Letters, November 22) regarding the NCA's limited role in assessing the ACT Labor/Greens Woden tram proposal. However, support for raising London Circuit to the level of Commonwealth Avenue will be a fait accompli for the extension, and should be opposed.
It seems the PM believes that because he told Anthony Albanese he was going on leave during the bushfires, any confusion over his absence was somehow Anthony's fault. Sorry Scott, Anthony is not your mum. Telling him is irrelevant. Your responsibility was to the Australian people, and as usual you went missing.
Thank you, Jacqui Lambie, for so eloquently calling out the selfishness of Hanson's vaccine discrimination bill. Your speech is the best I have heard in Parliament for quite some time. Your honesty is refreshing.
Defence Minister Dutton accused Labor of "crab-walking away from the American alliance". I suspect that we the people would have been better off if we had crab-walked away from Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. At best they resulted in a loss or a draw, and we did not advance to the final round.
In light of current events, I propose we replace the emu with the lyrebird as Australia's national bird.
Defence Minister Dutton threatens to defend Taiwan against China. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Payne recognises Taiwan as part of China (under our One-China policy). Or am I missing something?
Dutton's demonising of China and the Chinese is in line with long-established Australian tradition.
My new favourite instance of Sinophobia, heard about only recently from the author of Girt, is a NSW government royal commission during the 1880s into accusations Chinese market gardeners were using fruit and vegetables to infect white women with syphilis.
It is hardly surprising that Scott Morrison would expect voters to be dishonest.
The dual accountability of ministers and ministerial staff (Letters, November 24) was, in the past, summed up succinctly by the phrase: "If the minister's staff knows, the minister knows."
Now, all we get is a Manuel-like protestation of innocence: "I know nothing."
Fawlty Towers, like today's Parliament, may have been a farce, but at least it was clever and funny.
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