Read the latest from Australian Care Alliance

US study confirms cancer suicide risk

A US study published online on 7 Jan 2019 in the journal Cancer has confirmed British research published last November on the elevated risk of suicide following a diagnosis of cancer.

Divorced, white and male patients were more likely to commit suicide than married or single, non-white and female patients. The highest risk of suicide was within the first two months after diagnosis.

Peter Mac recruits suicide facilitator

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre is currently advertising for "VAD Care Navigators" calling for "Clinical Nurse Consultants Grade 6 or Grade 4 Allied Health Professionals or Grade 4 Psychologists" to fill a new State-wide role in facilitating the assisted suicide or euthanasia of people across Victoria by matching those seeking to end their lives with willing doctors.

The job description notes that "At Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, our normal days are extraordinary."

For the new assisted suicide facilitator this catchphrase will take on a whole new meaning as the extraordinary and unethical act of intentionally ending the life of a patient is made normal - just another day in the office.

Six Australians Suicide in Switzerland

At least six Australians were assisted to suicide in Switzerland in 2018.

The latest statistics released by Dignitas reveal that it has assisted a total of 32 Australians to suicide in Switzerland since 2003, with 5 cases in 2018 alone.

Additionally, David Goodall, was assisted to suicide at the Basel clinic of Eternal Spirit (lifecircle) in May 2018. Goodall was not terminally ill and had no major disease, so assisted suicide is apparently being offered also for those “tired of life”.

Uber-poison service from The Alfred

On 5 January 2019 the Minister for Health, Martin Foley, announced that The Alfred Hospital pharmacy would be "the sole service for dispensing" the lethal cocktails of poisons to be used for assisted suicide and euthanasia across Victoria.

"For people too sick to travel, the pharmacy service will deliver them their medication and provide information on administration".

Woman seeks Euthanasia for Pelvic Mesh Pain

A Canadian study that tracked more than 57,000 women has found patients with complications after pelvic mesh implants are at increased risk of depression, self-harm – even suicide.

The study published in the journal JAMA tracked more than 57,000 women in Ontario who had complications like pain and infections after receiving the polypropylene implants used to treat incontinence. The study found that:

  • Of those referred for mesh removal surgery, 11 per cent were treated for depression
  • Meanwhile, 2.7 per cent suffered from self-harm/suicidal behavior, almost double the rate in the control group

Investigation and prosecution in Belgium

Since euthanasia was legalised in Belgium in 2002 and it has increasingly become normalised as the go-to response to an ever widening range of circumstances including children with disabilities, uncompleted suicides and victims of child abuse.

It is therefore surprising to learn of two recent case of criminal investigation, one of which is now being prosecuted.

Dr Marc van Hoey, who estimates he has personally euthanased about 140 people, is being investigated  for his actions in 2015 when he performed euthanasia on an elderly woman who was threatening to commit suicide after the sudden death of her daughter.

Dr Lieve Thienpont, a psychiatrist, and two other doctors are being prosecuted for the poisoning in April 2010 – under the guise of euthanasia - of a 38 year old woman, Tine Nys.

Lotte, Tine and Sophie Nys

Lotte, Tyne and Sophie Nys

Australian Care Alliance