Human Exceptionalism

At Midpoint of Australian Trip–So Far, So Good

I am very pleased that my speaking tour of Australia seems to be going quite well.  Australia is a terrific country.  The wonderful impression Debra and I carried away from our 2001 trip have been fully validated in 2010.  I have been very pleased that SHSers have come to see me speak and introduced themselves.  We have had good media in Brisbane and Hobart, as well as a quasi debate with the Tasmanian Attorney General promoter of euthanasia (one after the other, not together) on the ABC’s popular national morning television talk show. Mostly good turnouts for speeches, and very positive interactions with Ozzie politicians, some of whom are on the fence–the very people we want to reach.  In short, so far, so good.

I am now in Adelaide, having just returned from a speech at the Old Parliament Building.  I have reviewed a new euthanasia bill that has been recently tabled here in South Australia, House of Assembly Bill 23, and it reminds me that euthanasia corrupts everything it touches.

1. The bill turns doctors into active killers by legalizing euthanasia.  By definition, this would require training in killing techniques at medical schools and in continuing medical education classes.  Hippocrates is spining in his grave.

2. The bill would turn doctors into liars–like Washington’s assisted suicide law–by requiring the cause of death of euthanized patients to be listed as the underlying condition, rather than lethal injection or assisted suicide. 

3. The bill establishes a killing bureaucracy to oversee the entire lethal system.  Death bureaucrats.  Good grief.

4. The bill is, as these proposals usually are, utterly disingenuous–pretending to be tightly controlled but actually being loosey/goosey

5. The bill would also interfere with proper mental health care by permitting a non mental health trained doctor to decide not to refer a depressed patient seeking euthanasia to a psychiatrist based on his/her belief that the patient wouldn’t change their mind even if treated for depression.  If a doctor refused to refer other suicidal persons based on a non expert belief that the patient could not be treated successfully, it would be gross negligence 

In short, the bill is radical and dangerous–just like all euthanasia/assisted suicide legalization schemes.

The good news is that there seems a great desire here to fight the threat.  So, onward.

Tomorrow, Perth.

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