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.

This development reflects the ruthless determination of the Andrews Labor Government to normalise assisted suicide and euthanasia by embedding processes to facilitate these intentional life ending acts within the health system.

In September 2017 in a letter sent to all Victorian MPs from 101 oncologists - including 28 from Peter MacCallum - the oncologists said:

We do not believe that it is possible to draft assisted dying laws that have adequate safeguards to protect vulnerable populations, especially those with incurable cancer, progressive neurological illness, the aged and disabled. These groups of people experience high rates of depression and isolation.  The risks that such legislation poses for the majority of these outweigh any benefits for the few.

Physician assisted dying places people at risk of coercion that is both active and passive. As a consequence of assisted dying laws, society re-assesses the value of life; and the individual is taught to devalue their own life. Those with serious illness may perceive that they are a burden on society or their carers and come to feel that assisted dying is appropriate for them. 

Physician assisted death is not, by definition, medical treatment. It is not palliative care.  We as doctors and medical specialists do not want to intentionally end the lives of our patients, or provide them with the direct means to do so. Assisted suicide is in conflict with the basic ethical principles and integrity of medical practice and undermines trust in the medical profession. We strive to eliminate suffering but not the sufferers themselves.

Where cure of cancer is not possible, we seek optimal palliative care services to support and care for patients and their families at the end of life.

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  • Eugene Ahern
    commented 2019-01-17 21:00:43 +1100
    This report of what is happening at Peter Mac is horrendous!
    As a person who worked at Peter Mac as a pastoral carer, I am so sad that Peter Mac has embraced doctor prescribed assisted suicide.
    I worked there until eleven years ago. Up until then, 2008, there was a total rejection of euthanasia at Peter Mac.
    This would have been unimaginable only eleven years ago!
    I had no idea of this development at Peter Mac.
    John, I am most grateful for alerted us to this frightful and frightening development.
    I avoid the use of the phrase, “the slippery slope”. Unfortunately the death peddlers have made it seem an alarmist description of what is actually happening.
    I will simply say that euthanasia will be totally out of control here in Victoria within a very short time.
    What is happening in Belgium and The Netherlands will be nothing compared to the euthanasia tsunami which will engulf us here in Victoria.
    Paul Keating nailed the issue with a prophetic sense in his October, 2017 essay “Voluntary euthanasia is a threshold moment for Australia and one we should not cross.”
    We have crossed the threshold and the tsunami of killings is about to begin in less than five months.
    Worse horrors will engulf our society.
    Eugene Ahern
    [email protected]
Australian Care Alliance