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The Forum > Article Comments > Euthanasia: the clergy and religious politicians are wrong > Comments

Euthanasia: the clergy and religious politicians are wrong : Comments

By David Swanton, published 17/2/2011

If liberty is being threatened, by organised religion through religious politicians, then all free-thinking people should rally against the threat.

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It's always easy to detect religiously-motivated objections to medical or political policies: they're the ones whose reasons don't make any sense. It's no longer acceptable to object in public merely because some Sky Daddy told you to, so religious people feel they have to emulate the rest of us and try to provide real logical reasons. But they haven't had much practice, the poor dears, so they're not terribly good at it.
Posted by Jon J, Thursday, 17 February 2011 6:16:10 AM
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<Unfortunately governments must make decisions about allocating finite resources; thatís the nature of a modern economy.>

"If you really want to unleash economic rationalism on the frail aged, give them (government) that option."
Tony Abbott in a debate on euthanasia in 2007, asking whether a future government might choose not to spend tens of thousands of dollars on palliative care for a patient if that patient had the option of a dignified end (euthanasia).

It is concerning that euthanasia is being pushed so urgently in a country like Australia which does not have a tradition of valuing the old and respecting them. It is even more concerning that such priority is being given to euthanasia - which is now openly suggested as a way of reducing budget outlays for the aged - when successive governments have shied away from fixing the broken aged care system and mental health becomes a priority only at election time.

"People only opt for death when they are desperate, lonely, depressed and in pain. As a society we should be addressing those problems. Killing doesn't cure pain ó but killing the sufferer is certainly cheaper."
http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinion/life-will-get-a-dollar-value/2007/01/29/1169919271436.html
Posted by Cornflower, Thursday, 17 February 2011 8:26:46 AM
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The word euthanasia is not ideal. It's the right to end your own life and to receive assistance if you can't do it by yourself.

We call it assisted suicide in the Liberal Democratic Party (www.ldp.org.au) and we dispute the left's claim on it. It's simply a question of liberty.
Posted by DavidL, Thursday, 17 February 2011 8:31:42 AM
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DavidL,

There seems to be some confusion between:

* suicide - the right of a person to take their own life, with nobody else being involved;

* assisted suicide - where the involvement of someone else in bringing about a person's death, with the assent of that person, is to be decriminalised;

* [as I understand the term] euthanasia - the right of someone else to kill a person, you or me, without your or my full and conscious consent.

If this break-down is not satisfactory, can we at least be clear about what we mean by the term 'euthanasia' ?

And before anybody throws God at me, I must declare that I have always been an atheist and a socialist, and that I expect to remain one until I go. Hopefully, with no-one else involved.

We're not all puppets out here, in the real world :)

Joe
Posted by Loudmouth, Thursday, 17 February 2011 8:47:53 AM
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As I hear it Loudmouth, "euthanasia" is nothing but assisted suicide at request of the patient (either direct communication or by written will made beforehand)- using specialized, efficient killing drugs.
And I would be quite certain, regardless of what Abbot woofs out (I doubt he ever knows what he even says)- that any euthanasia system would follow those principles.

That being the case, it should be allowed.
Simply make it that a patient MUST request to be euthanised, and ONLY when that happens- a practitioner will show up, quickly set up the euthanasia-administering device, and either hand the patient the switch- or if the patient is incapable, ask the patient if they still want to go ahead, and if they say yes, the doctor will do the act themselves.
That way, it is certain to be committed at absolutely nobody else's discretion- definitely not a politicians- but the patient him/herself.

Bottom line is, pallative care should be made effective enough so that people don't want to kill themselves out of pain alone- but the ultimate say should still fall to the patient.
Posted by King Hazza, Thursday, 17 February 2011 9:40:46 AM
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As someone who has brushed with death from cancer twice, I do not wish to be kept alive, no matter how wonderful the palliative care may be, when I have no quality of life, can't think, can't talk, can't listen, can't connect with my loved ones, can't meditate, can't take care of my bodily functions, and am in a constant and sickened stupor from drugs that are supposedly alleviating my pain.

It isn't only pain that makes someone decide they've had enough. It's lack of quality of life. And it's feeling too tired. And it's gently and peacefully accepting that things aren't going to improve, and you are very happy to let go and move into the next phase, whatever that might be.

I'm not afraid of dying. I am afraid of not being allowed to die when I know it's my time and I want to go.
Posted by briar rose, Thursday, 17 February 2011 9:50:48 AM
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