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VIDEO: Euthanasia & the ‘Duty to Die’

I thought I needed to lighten up a bit, so here is a new video – culled from the same conference as the ‘harms of homosexual marriage’ video – on euthanasia. In particular, the way that legalised mercy-killing would corrupt the State’s relationship with its most vulnerable citizens, and doctors’ relationship with their most vulnerable patients. Featuring former Governor General Bill Hayden’s famous urging of “unproductive burdens” to “disencumber” themselves and do the right thing by society‚Ķ

Interesting article from yesterday’s Age, by an intensive care doctor – arguing that euthanasia is mostly a cry of helplessness and bewilderment – readily reassured by proper medical care and drawing the patient and family into the circle of care. Worth a look HERE.

Excerpt:

Much of my time is spent listening to patients with a life-threatening illness and their families. I have since found that much of what I was taught about Death was wrong. Even more of my time is then spent dispelling the myths disseminated by his marketing department.

His latest advertising gimmick is that euthanasia is popular. This strikes me as odd. According to popular opinion there is overwhelming community support for euthanasia. And yet when I listen to dying patients and families I discover this is simply not true. What they fear is loneliness, pain and indifference. What they prefer is quality to quantity, symptom-relief to suffering, time spent close to loved ones not machines, shared decision-making, and above all a doctor who will listen. This is not euthanasia. This is simply good medicine.
I admit I have been asked to hasten death. But in my experience this is surprisingly rare.

So I decided to quiz at least 20 other specialists who care for the dying in a dozen major hospitals and palliative care services. I discovered I was not unique. The topic of, let alone a request for, euthanasia rarely surfaces during end-of-life discussions.

So why do we cling to the myth? I suspect Death employs a very shrewd public relations manager.

His favourite ruse is that dying is painful. I freely admit too many suffer in their dying. One is too many. Yet we live in an unparalleled age of extraordinary means to relieve suffering and control unpleasant symptoms.

Sometimes suffering is prolonged. I confess this is not because I try all possible treatments and they fail. More often it is because treatment is found difficult and is left untried.

Contrary to popular opinion, doctors do not purposely prolong life when death is unavoidable. If there is opportunity to restore health or independence, treatment is offered. If it will no longer help, we do not and should not offer it, even if you demand it.

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STEM CELLS & EMBRYOS: ABC LATELINE AUGUST 2002 SURROGACY: KERRI-ANNE SHOW JANUARY 2011 SBS INSIGHT ON GAY MARRIAGE 2013 (see post Aug 15 2013) EUTHANASIA & THE 'DUTY TO DIE', 2014 THE HARMS OF HOMOSEXUAL 'MARRIAGE', 2014 ABORTION - 'the silent innocence of the unborn', 2014 SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: SYDNEY UNI 2012 (start 2min20) SURROGACY BILL QLD JANUARY 2010
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