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The Forum > Article Comments > Voluntary Assisted Suicide legislation in NSW: politics vs human rights > Comments

Voluntary Assisted Suicide legislation in NSW: politics vs human rights : Comments

By Geoff Wall, published 10/9/2012

When medicine has nothing more to offer patients, the issue becomes more ethical than medical, and the AMA should not condemn patientsí choices.

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The problems for VAS is the number of elderly depressed patients it could conceivably terminate; or, given a less caring I'm al right jack population, morph into a management model for aged care?
Recent advances seem to confirm that most if not all cancers have their origin in this or that virus, none of which seem tolerate oxygen well?
In fact, some countries prefer oxygen to chlorine, to more thoroughly disinfect water?
A recent well published case saw an elderly widow acquire VAS, given she was convinced her cancer had returned?
The subsequent post mortem showed that her pain was the relatively easily remediated consequence of internal adhesions. Her premature and completely unnecessary assisted suicide, is just the sort of evidence, we need to examine and take into very serious consideration, before we refuse to endorse this waste human disposal scheme!
Riding in the back of an ambulance, with both lungs impacted by multiple P/E's, one of which would have been enough to kill me; and, the most common cause of sudden death!
I was in unbelievable pain: and, had VAS been available, I would have grabbed at it there and then.
I mean my chances of survival were virtually negligible and my pain levels measured between one and ten, were somewhere north of twenty, albeit, eventually moderated with morphine!
Even though entirely unexpected, I somehow survived and am now on a medicated recovery program.
Even though other communities have trialled VAS. The statistical evidence is at best, I believe, skewed by reports by adamant activists and at worst, completely unreliable?
I believe we ought to be fully embracing preventative, medicine; [routine chelation therapy, hyperbaric assisted oxygen therapy, meditation, hydro therapy, affordable nutrition, far less greed or govt imposed financial stress, etc/etc/etc?]
Rather than mopping up the consequences of unaffordable accommodation, unaffordable energy, second class/third world rural/regional health care; and or, inadequate home care and nutrition!
Much of which could be addressed, with guest worker migration/participation?
Rhrosty.
Posted by Rhrosty, Monday, 10 September 2012 12:23:45 PM
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*I was in unbelievable pain: and, had VAS been available, I would have grabbed at it there and then.*

Well there is the rub, Rhrosty, under VAS laws, you would not have
been given that choice there and then. In other words, no rush
decisions.The case that you refer to would not have occured either,
as the patient would have been under proper medical supervision.

That does not change the fact that some people are trapped in their
bodies, as was Mr Rossiter of Perth and recently a case in Britain.
The only choice given them was death by starvation, hardly humane.

Some people with terminal illnesses, late stages of cancer etc, simply
have had enough. If medicine has nothing further to offer them,
other than watching them die slowly,there is no good reason why
they should not be given a choice.

As we seein more enlightened societies like Switzerland, the system can
work very well, with correct regulation.

Here in Australia, the politicians are too scared of losing a few
odd religious votes, as they would rather have every vote, to get
over the line. So these old, tormented, suffering people and their
wishes are ignored for the sake of realpolitik.

Fact is that most Australians agree with VAS and the best thing would
be if it were a referendum question at the next federal election,
that would let the people have their say on this one.
Posted by Yabby, Monday, 10 September 2012 2:12:35 PM
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"any politician who condones VAS risks ostracising the 8% of society who attend church regularly and heed church policy"

Definition for ostracise:
Web definitions:
banish: expel from a community or group.
wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

Nobody is 'ostracising' anybody, or even running the risk of doing so. You possibly mean that the politicians will 'offend' them: but since most of these people live and breathe and have their being solely for the sake of being offended, and would feel left out -- indeed, 'ostracised' -- if they weren't given their daily opportunity to fulminate against something, we really don't have to give that outcome any serious consideration at all.
Posted by Jon J, Monday, 10 September 2012 4:24:49 PM
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*we really don't have to give that outcome any serious consideration at all.*

Well yes you do, Jon J. The thing is, people vote one way or
another for all sorts of reasons. The religious lobby feel strongly
enough about this, to make it an election issue. If a few % change
their vote due to religous lobbying, it could cost a politician
their seat. So they commonly avoid the topic. A referendum
question would solve all that. The people would actually have their
say.
Posted by Yabby, Monday, 10 September 2012 4:37:09 PM
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The problem for the medical profession is they don't want to be seen as doctors prescribing death. It should not be up to them to decide if a patient is allowed to die, it should be up to the patient alone to make that decision. By all means call in a person qualified to confirm sanity, [without other family members present to prove there'e no coercion] and a doctor to confirm prognosis. No one, other than the patient alone, can give 'permission'. Whose body is it? The state's? The churches? Terminally ill people in pain should be permitted to self-prescribe Nembutal, or something similar, so they can suicide legally. Demanding that third parties must give permission is an insult to the individual.
Posted by ybgirp, Wednesday, 12 September 2012 9:30:30 AM
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