Euthanasia lives again

Dr Megan Best“On Thursday 2nd May 2013, the NSW Greens MLC, Cate Faehrmann, introduced to the NSW Parliament’s upper house a bill to make assisted suicide legal in this State, under certain conditions. It is a private members’ bill, which she has given a speech to commend. MLCs will likely debate it again next Thursday 9th May.

The Bill will make it lawful for persons with a terminal illness who are resident in NSW to receive assistance in certain circumstances if they wish to end their life. That is, it will legalise a form of euthanasia in NSW. …”

– Andrew Cameron from the Social Issues Executive of the Diocese of Sydney draws attention to what’s happening in NSW State Parliament (PDF file).

On the same PDF file, there’s also an excellent resource – Notes on the Rights of the Terminally Ill Bill 2013 – from Dr. Megan Best (pictured).

See further material relating to Euthanasia, on the SIE website – and we have links to more here.

Opposing Euthanasia

Culture of death“Euthanasia is being pushed again in NSW. There’s a lot more that could be said, but here’s what I’m sending to my local MPs…”

–Sandy Grant writes at The Briefing.

This is after news that the Rights of the Terminally Ill Bill 2013 may be introduced into the Legislative Council of the NSW Parliament as a private members bill tomorrow – Thursday, 2 May 2013 – by the NSW Greens MLC, Cate Faehrmann.

(Image: Feggy Art on Flickr.)

Depression and Euthanasia

“I am deeply troubled by the availability of euthanasia to people suffering from depression and mental illness. Recent research from Oregon, USA, where euthanasia is available has not stilled my troubled soul. …”

– from Bishop of Tasmania John Harrower.

Tasmanian Synod ‘No’ to Euthanasia

The Synod of the Diocese of Tasmania  –

* affirms that all human life is made in the image of God and precious in his sight

* affirms that a just society will seek to protect the weak and vulnerable.

* affirms its opposition to voluntary euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide

* calls on the Premier and Prime Minister to oppose any initiative to legislate for voluntary euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide

* calls on State and Federal Governments to provide adequate funding for palliative care services across Tasmania

* calls on all Tasmanian Anglicans to raise these issues with their local members of Parliament

* requests the Bishop to make the substance of this resolution known to the relevant parties.

– from Bishop John Harrower. The Synod met in Launceston on 4 June 2011.

Euthanasia: The Patient and the right of ‘Advance Directives’

“Dr Megan Best suggests that while Christians believe that we are not free to take the life of another person, this does not mean that we must prolong life at all costs. Nor does it mean that the patient has no rights to cease treatment or give directions about their last days of life…”

– Dr Trevor Cairney at the Centre for Apologetic Scholarship and Education has some very helpful resources from palliative care doctor Megan Best at the Just in CASE blog.

Dr Megan Best’s Synod speech on the Euthanasia motion

In the ongoing debate on Euthanasia, Dr Megan Best’s speech at Sydney Synod last month is well worth reading and circulating.

“I speak as a palliative care doctor. Palliative care is specialty care for terminally ill patients.

Our state and federal parliaments have been asked to consider changing the law to allow euthanasia. We are told that 85% of Australians support such a change. I believe that what this shows us may not be so much how many people support euthanasia, so much as the fact that many people don’t actually know what it is.

Having discussed euthanasia on talkback radio many times over the years, I have come to realise that misconceptions are rife amongst the general public. Confusion abounds regarding what the legalisation of euthanasia means. But first we need to know what euthanasia is not…”

Read Dr Best’s full speech here (PDF file).

The text of the motion to which she was speaking can be seen on pages 1 and 2 of the Business paper for October 19 2010 (PDF).

Euthanasia question needs wider discussion

“Australians are overwhelmingly in favour of euthanasia. Who can resist the will of the people? So goes the pro-death argument for this sweeping social change. A much quoted 2009 survey, commissioned by the pro-euthanasia group Dying with Dignity, reports 85 per cent support for the practice. As is always the case, support is more muted among the over-65s: the prospect of death, it turns out, does concentrate the mind…”

Andrew Cameron writes this opinion-piece in today’s Sydney Morning Herald.

Anglicans oppose euthanasia move

“Labor and the Greens have shown a lack of integrity by moving on voluntary euthanasia straight after the election rather than before it, Melbourne Anglican Bishop Philip Huggins said yesterday.

Bishop Huggins has asked the national parliament of the Australian Anglican Church, now meeting in Melbourne, to affirm the sanctity of life as God’s gift. … ‘This was not a matter of pre-election debate. Would people have voted the same way if they knew a Labor government with the Greens would, as a near-first action, promote a conscience vote on euthanasia?’…”

Report from The Age.

Bishop John Harrower on euthanasia

Bishop John HarrowerIs Euthanasia A Morally Acceptable Way To Ease Suffering Of The Elderly?

You probably expect an Anglican bishop to oppose a euthanasia ‘reform’. I do, but maybe not for the expected reasons.

First, some theology: life is a gift from God, a sacred trust, not to be taken by human hand. Read more

Life as God’s gift

“An ongoing push in Australian parliaments for euthanasia or ‘assisted dying’ has been unanimously rejected by Sydney’s Synod on its first sitting day.

As the NSW Parliament prepares to consider a new Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill, Synod also called on state MPs to reject the legislation and prioritise the improvement of palliative care, encouraging Anglicans across the Diocese to contact their local member as well as engaging in any public debate on the issue. …”

– Judy Adamson reports at (Photo: Anglican Media Sydney.)

Related: Earlier posts on euthanasia.

Legalising assisted dying would be a failure of collective human memory and imagination

“Dying and death is not a new phenomenon: we have always become ill, suffered, were going to die and someone else could have killed us.

So why now, at the beginning of the 21st century, after prohibiting euthanasia for thousands of years and when we can do so much more to relieve suffering than in the past, do we suddenly think that legalising it is a good idea? I propose a major cause is a catastrophic failure of collective human memory and collective human imagination.

Let‘s look at the approaches taken on each side of the debate. …“

– An important article by Margaret Somerville, Professor of Bioethics in the School of Medicine at the University of Notre Dame Australia, in The Guardian.

Photo courtesy University of Notre Dame Australia. (h/t SydneyAnglicans.)

Assisted suicide opposed

“Anglicans in New South Wales and Victoria have been urged to contact their MPs to oppose euthanasia and assisted suicide legislation.

The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia, which met in Queensland, passed a motion opposing the legalisation of ‘assisted dying’. …”

– Report from


Dr Megan Best’s Synod speech on the Euthanasia motion – from Sydney Synod 2010.

Albert Mohler’s The Briefing, 08 September 2017, from 9’40”.

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