The French National Consultative Committee on Ethics (CCNE) has recommended that there be no change to the absolute prohibition in French law against doctors deliberately causing the death of a person either through euthanasia or assisted suicide.
During last year’s debate on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill both the Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy and the Special Minister for State, Gavin Jennings were at great pains to deny that the Bill would allow State approved suicide and euthanasia.
Instead it would allow “assisted dying”.
With the gazettal on Tuesday (25 September 2018) of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Regulations 2018 Dr Death's mask has slipped and all is made bare.
D-Day (Death day) for Victorians is looming on 19 June 2019, when assisted suicide by experimental lethal cocktail prescribed under a government suicide permit becomes legal.
Victorians may find themselves being pushed towards assisted suicide rather than offered appropriate help to live their lives to the full.
Canadian man Roger Foley's story is a timely warning for what may lie ahead.
World Suicide Prevention Day which was observed on 10 September ought to be a time to focus on suicide prevention for all people.
Monica Burke has written an insightful article on the way the promotion of assisted suicide for some people undermines this focus. "This practice promotes the idea that some lives are more valuable than others, an idea that rips apart the social fabric of our nation. No one should receive suicide assistance over suicide prevention."
Over one hundred people attended the launch of the Australian Care Alliance in the Melbourne suburb of Balwyn on Tuesday the 28th pf August, to view the film Fatal Flaws and hear from doctors and MPs about the Alliance’s aim of stopping assisted suicide laws throughout Australia.
The Western Australian End of Life Choices committee has recommended an assisted suicide framework that is much more radical even than the Victorian scheme. Rather than limiting access only to people with terminal illness it is proposed to include chronic and neurodegenerative conditions “where death is reasonably foreseeable as a result of the condition”. In Canada similar phrasing has already been interpreted by the Ontario Supreme Court as applying to a 77 year old woman with osteoarthritis – a non-fatal condition.
Additionally doctors who object to assisted suicide will be forced to refer to a doctor willing to assist suicide.