Euthanasia Report (2): Pros and Cons

The Tasmanian Parliamentary Committee’s ‘Report on the Dying with Dignity Bill 2009′ sets out in Part 3 ‘Analysis of the Bill’, comments and observations on major sections of the proposed euthanasia/patient assisted suicide legislation. I found this to be a useful guide to the arguments both pro euthanasia and against. e.g.:

It is concerning that this title of the Bill lays claims to Euthanasia as being a dignified death, promoting the premise that any other avenue of death is undignified and euthanasia (or medical assisted suicide) as the only method of a dignified death. The excellent levels of palliative care provided in Tasmanian hospitals and aged care facilities do allow a person to die with dignity. – Archbishop Adrian Doyle (Submission No. 121, page 1)
As a legislator, it is my duty to put forward law reform proposals when the law diverges too greatly from reality. A landmark study conducted in 1997 found that, “Australian law has not prevented doctors from practicing euthanasia or making medical end-of-life decisions explicitly intended to hasten the patient’s death without the patient’s request.” Clearly existing criminal law against assisted suicide has failed to prevent euthanasia. – Mr Nick McKim (Submission No. 494 p.2)
 …the title “Dying with Dignity” this is sheer sophistry. No-one could argue that the taking of a human life conveys dignity…the word “dignity”… should not be in the title at all. The title of a Bill should always accurately convey the content. So I would suggest, ‘A Bill to Permit a Person to be killed with a Lethal Substance on Request’ would be a more appropriate title. – Mr Rene Hidding (Transcript 10/8/09 p.6)
The value of the Netherlands experience is not in the establishment of the right to die a dignified and humane death. The value is in providing an example of the perils of active voluntary euthanasia as a whole. And for each vulnerable person within that society a right to die, once accepted too easily becomes a duty to die or an excuse to kill. – Reverend Richard Humphrey (Transcript 24/8/09 p.15)
We believe, and have evidence in our document and in these other documents, that this legislative option is responsible, democratic and safe. – Dr Margaret Sing (Transcript 24/8/09 p.76)
An individual with decision-making capacity should…be able to determine how and when he or she dies as long as this does not interfere with the rights of others…self-determination does not entail a right to demand and receive active voluntary euthanasia… The Bill … contains a number of provisions to ensure the voluntariness of the doctor’s decision to provide assistance under the legislation. – Prof. Margaret Otlowski (Submission No. 487 p.8)

  Report here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *