Just returned from an excellent seminar exposing the dangers of pro-euthanasia legislation such as that proposed by Tasmania’s Attorney General, Lara Gidding.
Wesley J Smith gave a gracious and learned presentation at the Reception Hall, Parliament House, Hobart. I will write up some of my notes in a later blog article.
ABC NEWS today Euthanasia ‘bad medicine, worse policy’.
He says that in Belgium and the Netherlands legislation has been gradually eased to allow sick babies, people with mental illness and healthy spouses of terminally ill people to be euthanised.
Mr Smith says there can be no legislative roadblocks to restrict who would be eligible for assisted suicide.
“Once you accept the precepts of assisted suicide, that suffering is a just cause for helping someone to end their life, it’s not going to remain restricted,” he said.
“That’s the argument I think we should have as a society.”
He has marshalled much helpful info at International Task Force and see also his blog Secondhand Smoke
Tasmania’s current debacle on assisted suicide / euthanasia see Euthanasia priorities questioned
ABC radio broadcast Tasmanian debate June, Euthanasia debate: Church questions priorities
The Mercury newspaper Euthanasia: birth, death & life Editorial
The book I am currently reading – “Dying Well” by Ira Byock – is excellent. It’s not clear what his religious persuasion is, if any. He is Jewish by birth, and in one small place (so far) speaks of what Jewish, Christian and Buddhist traditions have to offer the terminally ill and their families at the time of dying. However, he is writing, not from a faith perspective, but as a specialist in Palliative care for many years. As such, speaks forcefully and yet compassionately on the growth and healing/deepening of family relationships that are able to happen when people are helped to die well. Much of the book is by way of relating the stories (with names changed) of particular people and families he has worked with, and what they ALL have learned. There is an excellent chapter on what it really means to ‘die with dignity’, and how many people’s perception of what constitutes a loss of dignity is really misplaced. As a medical practitioner, he also stresses a number of times how physical pain and suffering is ALWAYS able to be relieved, if not eliminated altogether. I have not finished the book, yet, but would highly recommend it, especially to some of the Euthanasia proponents!
I am very interested in ‘the spirituality of dying’.
Dying is also living, and as such is to be lived in compassion and community not terminated by killing.
Suffering is not cared for by killing the sufferer but by loving and caring for the sufferer.
Palliative care allows dying with dignity and love in the living of our dying.