With the London Olympics coming to a close and the questions about Australia’s overall lack of performance against high expectations, two South Australian MPs look certain to make sure that at least one Australian state holds a world record. If The Hon Bob Such Mp and Steph Key MP are true to their words on the ABC 7:30 Report (SA) recently, then they will both be introducing new euthanasia bills into the parliament when sitting resumes in September. These will be the sixth and seventh bills introduced since this parliament began in March 2010.
For some time now, Philip Nitschke has been claiming that he had ‘discovered’ a ‘loophole’ in the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s procedures and protocols that would allow him to import the drug Nembutal into Australia.
But before we look at the legislation itself, just think for a minute: if the bill isn’t about euthanasia, why is Phillip Nitschke in Adelaide so often? Why is he saying that he’ll set up a death clinic?
Last week’s headline in the South Australian Advertiser: “Bill to allow euthenasia (sic) in limited circumstances” looks likely to fail in Parliament was a welcome, if not entirely true, statement. The bill in question, Steph Key’s Criminal Law Consolidation (Medical Defences—End Of Life Arrangements) Amendment Bill, has indeed taken some heavy blows of late. I’ve reported before of the doctor’s group publicly opposing the bill and the Law Society expressing their reservations. Into the mix Dr. Nitschke’s interventions seem to have played against the bill and the rushed second reading vote (later rescinded) must surely have added to MPs’ reservations.
A number of senior doctors from around Australia severely criticised South Australia’s proposed euthanasia legislation today, describing it as a dangerous bill which will place vulnerable patients at risk. In a letter to SA’s parliamentarians, Doctors Opposed to Euthanasia argue that elderly people would be pressured into dying and that the bill would inevitably lead to involuntary euthanasia.
I never thought I’d be giving a bouquet to ‘doctor death’. After all, there’s nothing that he has said or done in the public eye that I find the least bit agreeable (except, perhaps, the recent picture of his visit with his mother).
This short feature from Australia's ABC is a good broad-brush sketch of the issues and personalities in the local euthanasia debate.
The South Australian parliament is once again preparing to vote on euthanasia. But this time – the third in two years – there have been allegations of sly manoeuvring to push the bill through.
The prospect of opening a suicide clinic in his home town of Adelaide has brought out the hidden human side of euthanasia activist Dr Philip Nitschke. Today’s Australian featured a tender picture of Dr Nitschke holding the hands of his 90-year-old mother Gweneth Nitschke. She is a fan of his project to open up a clinic where people can access information and equipment about how to kill themselves.
On the 10th of March, backbencher Steph Key MP introduced a new style of euthanasia and assisted suicide bill not seen before in South Australia. It is much like the draft bill circulated by the Health Minister at the time of the debate on the Parnell bill late last year.
Although the passage of euthanasia laws in the Australian states of South Australia and Tasmanis is far from certain, activist Dr Philip Nitschke is already making plans. He wants to set up a euthanasia clinic in Adelaide or Hobart as soon as it is legalised.
A bill to legalise voluntary euthanasia in South Australia was rejected by the Upper House on Wednesday evening (Nov 24). After a long debate, the private member’s bill was defeated on the voices.
Melbourne bioethicist Nicholas Tonti-Filippini is dying and in pain. He has written a letter to the Premier of South Australia, Mike Rann, urging him not to support Voluntary Euthanasia Bill 2010. This is one of the most eloquent and cogent expressions of the argument against euthanasia that I have ever read. Here are a few paragraphs.