Euthanasia Lookout!

Forget Gay Marriage – the Greens, according the ABC TV news tonight – are going for the jugular: Bob Brown has announced that the first thing on their agenda is to get the law changed so that the Territories have the freedom to enact Euthanasia laws. In essence, he is hoping to overturn the decision of the Federal Government 13 years ago that outlawed a piece of Northern Territory legislation allowing Euthanasia. A small window of “opportunity” that allowed Dr Death (aka Philip Nitschke) to bump off four of his patients (something he is very proud of…)

Forget Islam! Forget the Boats! Forget the Feminists even! These guys are the guys that are really – I mean REALLY – out to change the very fabric of our Society. So what are we going to do about it?

Well, begin by raising awareness of the very real dangers that the Green’s agenda is posing.

OPPOSING EUTHANASIA AND ASSISTED SUICIDE

October 13 Wed 7:30 PM
O’Hanlon Centre, Mitchell Street, Mentone VIC

$5.00 per person

ALex Schadenberg, Executive Director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition is speaking on ”Caring Not Killing”.
Democratic Labor Party Upper House MP, Peter Kavanagh is chairing the meeting
Bishop Peter Elliott will be in attendance.

Car parking is available in St. Patrick’s School grounds, enrtance via Childers St.
For more information, see the Euthanasia Prevention Coallition

There are moves afoot to legalise euthanasia in Victoria [and elsewhere!] so get informed!!!

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46 Comments

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46 responses to “Euthanasia Lookout!

  1. Forget Islam! Forget the Boats! Forget the Feminists even!

    This is dreadful stuff, David. Is this what passes for a sense of humour? Ethanasia is worse than ‘feminists’?!

    I don’t claim to be an expert, but I’ve witnessed the death of people close to me and I’ve worked as a volunteer in a hospice for over 10 years.

    My sense is that if you turn this into another ’cause célèbre’, like abortion, it’ll go the way of abortion, ie, you’ll ‘lose’.

    One of the key elements of that kind of campaign is unambiguous vilification of ‘the enemy’, ie, references to ‘Dr Death’, etc, and plenty of heightened emotion.

    For most the gritty reality of dying is sad, but not a moral challenge.

    For others — those most likely to be effected by any law — the reality is often grey, not black or white.

    I think I have a good working understanding of the Catholic position on dying, and I think it is good, but I know in some situations it still comes down to a really tough moral dilemma and a painful decision shared by families, often with all sorts of baggage.

    If you add the noise of a campaign that vilifies, that reduces complexity to simplicity, that frames compassion as ruthlessness on individuals who don’t have a Catholic view of suffering, again, you’ll lose and lose badly and the real danger is that it’ll result in bad law because it will be the law of the ‘winners’.

    • Gareth

      Tony comes running to the aid of Bob Brown – how does this surprise me?

      I disagree that the intentions of Davids post was in anyway was an unambiguous vilification of ‘the enemy’ and I disagree that in anyway that we have to be ‘nice’ to the Greens.

      For too long, Catholics have taken the softly, softly appeasment apporach to the Greens and where has it gotten us- IT DOESNT WORK.

      The Greens are opposed to everything to every principle of human rights, social justice and are opposed to the Gospel.

      Catholics and fair minded thinking people need to know that supporting them in anyway is completly incompatible.

      • Tony

        I rest my case, David.

        Gareth wants a ‘fight’ where the enemies and friends are clearly defined. Meanwhile the people facing these decisions at a time when they are themselves vulnerable and confused, will be even more so because of the noise of ‘righteous fighters’ like Gareth.

        If that’s what you want, go ahead, it will enjoy the same success as the abortion ‘debate’.

        Meanwhile, the conservation Catholic hero, Mr Abbott, says there are more important ‘bread and butter’ issues to worry about.

        • Gareth

          Tony,

          Your defence of Bob Brown and claim that we should act as if he was our friend would make more sense if you could name even one issue where Catholics have taken such an approach with a beneficial outcome?

          The issue is not so much that those opposed to euthanasia should take an appeasment approach and try to find middle ground, but rather the Greens extremist apporach and unwilligness to ever listen or consider the Christian persepctive makes such an approach pratically impossible.

          In Tasmania for years our Bishop has taken a nice approach to the Greens – setting a social justice group to take on board envioronmental views and having eco-friendly Church policies and where did it get us? The Greens are still as militantly pro-homosexuality, abortion and euthanasia.

          The real truth is that such an approach simply doesnt work. The Greens never listen to anything the Church has to say and are never willing to accomodate any of our views.

          In the Greens world – it is there way or no way. Why would any Catholic want to take a middle road approach with such extremists?

          Christians and the Greens together are incomptable – it is as simple as that.

          I would rather Bishops spell out precisely the Greens anti-Christian message rather than taking an appeasment approach.

          P.S – Tony, nice one condeming myself and David for vilifying the enemy when you use the term ‘conservative Catholic hero'(which is simply not true – some things I agree with Abott on and some things I dont).

          You seem equally as vilifying to those that dont conform with your warped lefty views.

          • Tony

            Your defence of Bob Brown and claim that we should act as if he was our friend would make more sense if you could name even one issue where Catholics have taken such an approach with a beneficial outcome?

            Once again, Gareth, you’re making it up as you go along. I have not ‘defended’ BB or suggested anything about an ‘approach’ of ‘friendship’.

            Makes the rest of you post not worth bothering with really …

            🙂

            • Gareth

              Tony – dont take the high moral ground.

              You accused David of ‘dreadful stuff’ and implicitly implied he was vilifying the enemy and that we should look upon the option of intentional killing of a human being as a ‘tough moral dilemna and a painful decision shared by families’ and then you label Tony Abbott as a ‘conservative Catholic hero’.

              Who is the one we shouldn’t be bothered with?

              • Tony

                Sometimes I read your stuff, Gareth, and wonder if you’re ‘taking the p***’ (excuse the askerisks).

                In a funny way, it helps.

                😉

                • Gareth

                  There is not much to be taken seriously when responding to such a acatholic zealot (sorry, your a Catholic that just doesnt find the infinite wisdom of God or the Church’s arguements convincing) as yourself…

        • Tony, Gareth has a point here. It isn’t only “conservative” Catholics who are against abortion and euthanasia. By and large, practicing Catholics of every stripe know that you have to draw the line at actively killing people.

          • Tony

            Of course, David!

            What’s more it’s not necessarily people of any religious stripe who hold strong views.

            A colleague of mine, who was a very unashamed atheist, had a child with Down’s Syndrome. He fought all his working life to improve the lot of people with disabilities and expressed grave concerns about the prospect of ethanasia being directed at those, like his son, who society doesn’t regard as ‘worthy’.

            In other words, I make no claim that it is just the concern of conservatives, David. Don’t fall for Gareth’s desire to make enemies out of friends … err … ‘old boy’!

          • PM

            And it’s very important that we don’t give the impression of being in hock to the political hard right, which id where the pro-life movement too often ends up. This is another area in which the Pope is givng us wise leadership – see, for example, his remarks on global poverty in his Westminster Hall address.

      • Tony

        Grrr … I wish we could edit our posts! That should read:

        Meanwhile, the conservative Catholic hero, Mr Abbott, says there are more important ‘bread and butter’ issues to worry about.

    • Me: Forget Islam! Forget the Boats! Forget the Feminists even!

      Tony: This is dreadful stuff, David. Is this what passes for a sense of humour? Ethanasia is worse than ‘feminists’?!

      Well, what I meant is that people go on and on about their favourite bogeymen, when THIS really is something to get very very hot under the collar about.

      Yes, Tony, Euthanasia. You are right, it is like abortion, and like abortion, the Church is dead against it for one simple reason: Thou shalt not kill.

      It ain’t rocket science, old boy.

      • Tony

        It’s only simple in theory, David. There’s the rub.

        • Really? Aside from the question of double effect, I don’t know of any complicating issue here. It is currently against the law for any person to kill any other (unborn) person except in soldiers and police in “the line of duty”. Doctors, nurses, carers etc. are legally prohibited from doing anything that would actively and intentionally cause the death of or assist the suicide of their patients. Permitting Euthanasia would over turn that in a “simple” stroke.

          • Gareth

            May I add, I am never a fan of those that sit on the sidelines and say ‘well the pro-life movement would have done better if it took this approach or that approach’.

            Those that take an active approach when issues such as abortion or euthanasia enter the public domain do the best they can.

            Unless one has also personally helped out the cause, I dont see any reason why people should sit by and criticise.

            I am sure God will bless their efforts even if politicians, the general public or that evil and wicked man, Bob Brown dont listen

          • Tony

            I’m glad it’s so simple for you David; so simple that it’s covered by the words in a law.

            Even in families where the is a unified agreement with a Catholic position, there are difficulties of deciding when measures taken to preserve life are unreasonable or ‘are we asking the doctor to do this because we want what’s best for our loved-one or because we can no longer face his/her suffering’? Often the answer is anything but a simple ‘yes or no’.

            But most familes are way more complicated than that and a decision has to be arrived at at a time when they are at the worst possible capacity to make a decision.

            You can’t tell them, ‘Hey guys, it’s simple!’. They face losing their loved one or watching them suffer.

            • I didn’t say that it was “simple” watching a loved one die. I said it was “simple” knowing that one should never act in such a way as to intentionally cause or hasten a person’s death. That’s pretty simple.

              • Gareth

                Tony: But most familes are way more complicated than that and a decision has to be arrived at at a time when they are at the worst possible capacity to make a decision.

                Gareth: What decision?

                Are you implying that (as stated above) to hasten one’s death is a logical decision to begin with?

            • Pax

              Yes Tony losing a loved one and watching them suffer is a huge challenge but the Truth as taught by Mother Church is that we cannot run away from this challenge like the frightened disciples who left Mary , John and some women disciples to stand with Christ as he suffered and died throughout the Passion.
              You are obviously a caring person but I speak from the personal experience of having accompanied a dying sibling through a slow drawn out dying process.
              There is a mystery in suffering and we can only walk in faith knowing that despite what the world thinks suffering is redemptive but following Christ’s example in Gethsemene we are all entitled to pray for it to be taken away but if not we know none of it is wasted.
              We do all we can in palliative care to minimise pain and suffering .We do not have to use extraordinary measures to prolong life. We can allow people to go out with maximum pain killing drugs and surrounded by those who love them
              It is the the very breath of God that has allowed any one of us to exist it is His decision as to when our journey ends.

              • Tony

                Thanks Pax, but I’m trying to work out how on earth you could be thinking I’m trying to run away from the ‘challenge’. Nothing could be further from the truth, both in my life and in what I post.

                We do all we can in palliative care to minimise pain and suffering .

                I know, Pax, I’ve been a volunteer at a hospice for over 10 years. I also know, that as good as PC can be, it’s not perfect. Some conditions defy the best we can offer and they are the ones who end up in a hospice.

                We do not have to use extraordinary measures to prolong life. We can allow people to go out with maximum pain killing drugs and surrounded by those who love them …

                Again, I know. Sometimes the line between extraordinary measures and non-extraordinary measures is grey and families have to make difficult calls when there often least able to do it and discussions about the ‘breath of God’ just don’t cut it.

  2. Matthias

    I agree with Tony that there could be a “bad law”. My fear is that those who cannot speak for themselves -the disabled,the elderly the new born ill-will more likely be the losers,by family members ,applying pressure.
    In this day and age, it is still appalling that palliatvie and end of life care for people with cancer have better pain management protocols and procedures than other terminal conditions eg Progressive neurological degenertaive diosders and cardiac disease.
    i speak as one who has nursed the dying and cared for their relatives.
    I think the Greens are coming from the compassionate end of euthanasia,but for all of that euphemism ,we still have human beings trusting in man and not in God’s providence

    • Matthias

      But do not get me wrong for all of their compassionate talk,the Greens are pagans in their thinking and Gareth ,it is not just Catholicsthat should be taking this up to them -it needs to be all true Christians. I will be ointerested to see how my own Church -a Baptist one- takes this ,because if they wimp out like they did on the Abortion law “reform ‘ here in Victoria, i will be walking .

  3. Whoever thought that ageing hippies would bring down Western civilisation? ;0)

    But seriously, as Luther noted, historically it has always been the decadence within that destroys a civilisation, rather than the threat without. I do agree, the Greens are dangerous, and Christians should have no illusions about their agenda.

    One could also mention their intention to reduce funding to independent (read Christian) schools to – I think – 2004 levels. This will be attempted when these funding arrangements come up for renegotiation in the new parliament.

    Oh, yes, you have a typo, David – that should be _jugular_.

  4. Yes David we can all agree that this is an important and immediate issue that needs to be faced up to front on.

    The ‘Greens’ are certainly showing themselves for what they are.

    And as you suggest there are really no nuances in the morality on this.

    How we pitch the public debate however I think is a matter for debate.

    Personally, I think the main pitch actually needs to be at older people who may (rightly) fear their families taking precipitate action on their behalf…

    Oh, and on your opening line – there is that old aphorism about not letting the urgent crowd out the important.

  5. Louise

    The pro-life position really is simple enough: we cannot kill innocent people to solve our problems.

    I agree, David, that this is the most serious issue we currently face (apart from the ongoing killing with abortion).

    But I think those other things you mention are in many respects a part of the whole problem (or a result of it). Including feminism.

    • Boat People and Muslims, Louise? How are they are part of this “problem”? I rather think that we would have allies among them on this issue and on many other life issues. Even Feminism – if it is true to itself – need not be an enemy in this fight. It is individualism and materialism (and a certain kind of “spiritualism” for that matter) that are the enemies in this fight.

  6. Matthias

    Tongue in cheek i say ” Can Bob Brown volunteer to be the first euthanasia candidate. better yet,let’s ask the whole lot of the Greens to put their brachial arteries where their mouths are ,and inject each other ” .
    Seriously I think that we as a nation will fall under the Judgement of God if this goes ahead. Yes sounds old fashioned and perhaps some will disagree with me but that is the feeling in my bones. REMEMBER Jefferspn’s words:
    “I tremble for my country when i remember that God is just”.
    I like Tony,know of atheists and agnostics who fight tooth and nail for the rights of the disabled and for them to lead normal lives,and I hope that it is these also who will join the anti Euthanasia coalition.

  7. Tom

    Unfortunately, despite being correct, this debate will be very precarious to engage with. Already someone at the SMH (Paul Daley I think?) has written a piece talking about how we have to be considerate, and have sympathy, which, prima facie, is of course true. What we must be very careful of is allowing sentimentality, and the ‘sacredness’ of other people’s suffering to cloud our thinking.

    From my understanding, the debate will be waged in this fashion:

    Argument 1

    p1/ people know for themselves what is best
    p2/ when people suffer and they want ‘out’ they are the only ones who can possibly understand their own experience
    c1/ therefore, if people want to be killed (and I use the term deliberately) to say otherwise is to commit a kind of moral violence (i.e.: claiming to know better than they do what is good for them “how dare you tell me what is good for me…”)

    Argument 2 (same as Arg. 1 only expanded to the family)
    p1/ euthanasia is a matter for families, not society.
    p2/ only families who are currently under the stress of caring for a sick/dying relative can understand the experience
    c1/ therefore, to tell a family not to kill their family member is cruel.

    Argument 3
    p1/ the meaning of life and existence is “subjective”
    p2/ if someone defines their life as ‘meaningless’ then their life is, indeed, meaningless
    c1/ a meaningless life is unbearable, and therefore ought to be allowed to be ended

    I think that the arguments will be played out among one of these various 3 arguments. The question of the response is (unfortunately) likely to be rather ineffective. As Budziszewski says, “A lie takes 5 seconds to tell, and 150 seconds to explode.”

    The difficulty with the response to such arguments is that they rely implicitly on the foundation of modern society (i.e.: every individual knows what is best for them, as a matter of subjective authority). Nonsense as the position is, it is none-the-less part of the set of accepted idea’s, and the difficult consequence is that euthanasia is the logical consequence of such thinking.

    Anyway, that’s my bet.

    • 3 arguments Tom? Not sure that you’ve nailed them, but at least you given in to the idea that it’s all so ‘simple’.

      • Tom

        I don’t imagine the debate to be simple at all; I have just tried to characterise the way I have seen the debate play out so far. I don’t think that is a comprehensive list of all possible arguments, but by and large when you read the various pieces put out on the subject, (I’m thinking of op ed’s in the paper, and also some literature that I picked up in the ‘humanist bookshop’ near my university), the pro-euthanasia arguments tend to follow one of these patterns. If you think I have missed a crucial argument, please point it out, or add, or critique what I have written.

        The pro-euthanasia argument may change the language around, but, it seems, at the heart of the push is the desire to assert either a) the right of the individual to choose to die, b) the right of the family to no longer have to suffer, or c) some combination (e.g.: I don’t want to be a burden on my family).

        The point I was trying to make is that the debate absolutely will NOT be simple. Such a debate, as emotionally charged as it is, will be a perilous debate to enter in to. We’re dealing here with people’s grief and suffering – the temptation will be to give in to such arguments because it is somehow ‘crass’ or perhaps ‘cruel’ to make any comment after the fact when people are suffering or grieving a loss. Without wanting to minimise such grief, and with compassion for those who are suffering, I want to point out that we should not be swayed by such emotional arguments, but that our thinking should remain clear on the matter. Having empathy for someone who has either made a terrible decision, or is living with the consequences of some severe illness is not the same as saying ‘they are automatically correct in this regard.’ Ultimately, we do others a huge disservice if we fail to announce the truth of the value and sanctity of human life.

        • I wasn’t having a go at you, Tom.

          The point I was trying to make is that the debate absolutely will NOT be simple. Such a debate, as emotionally charged as it is, will be a perilous debate to enter in to.

          That’s what I’m talking about!

          Here’s an example of an argument against euthanasia that is very ‘secular’: The problem with euthanasia is living can be harder. No ‘true-Christians’ language, no ‘God will punish us’ language, no assuming that those who have a different view are ‘the enemy’ — just an argument.

          • Gareth

            Since when do pro-lifers use the arguement that God will punish us.

            I have never heard this argument used (at least in the public domain)

            I think you are making things up as you go along now and characterising those opposed to euthanasia as something that they are not.

            • Tony

              Where does this come from, Gareth:

              Seriously I think that we as a nation will fall under the Judgement of God if this goes ahead. Yes sounds old fashioned and perhaps some will disagree with me but that is the feeling in my bones. REMEMBER Jefferspn’s words:
              “I tremble for my country when i remember that God is just”.

              ??

              Hint.

              • Gareth

                That was used in the context of a discussion board amogst practising Christians, not in the public domain.

                Nothing annoys me more than people that given lectures from on high to people that are active in opposing euthanasia/abortion etc and yet these same people sit on the sidelines and do nothing.

                People should either join in the cause and do something positive or shut-up and remain a passive supporter of Bob Brown.

                • Tony

                  That was used in the context of a discussion board amogst practising Christians, not in the public domain.

                  This discussion board — which, by the way, is in the public domain — was my context too!

                  Nothing annoys me more than people that given lectures from on high to people that are active in opposing euthanasia/abortion etc and yet these same people sit on the sidelines and do nothing.

                  Do nothing? Who are you refering to?

                  People should either join in the cause and do something positive or shut-up and remain a passive supporter of Bob Brown.

                  So, from now on, whenever you offer an opinion about a subject, I guess you’ll let us know what you are doing about it first, so we’ll know if you’re entitled to express that opinion or ‘shut up’.

                  It’s a deal, Gareth.

          • Tom

            The difficulty with the argument that this journalist delivers (which was quite eloquent and moving in its description and his expression of his love for his grandmother) is that the argument is merely prudential.

            The binding force of such an argument is lacking – now I agree with the sentiments expressed in that article. However, the absence of a proper binding force, an authority beyond which there is no appeal is vital. I appreciate what you’re saying – that there are ways of making the argument without invoking such things as religion. You are right; however, such arguments can never rise above the prudential – they can only take on a binding force if we derive them from the Natural Law, that comes from the Law Giver, whose law is perfect, just and eternal.

            I’m also with you in that we have to treat such an argument carefully, and we do ourselves no favours by alienating people who are potential allies. At the same time, the fight will not be won by such allies, they will merely assist a cause. The cause itself will be won, if the argument can be successfully made that reminds people of the law that binds their conscience. Without this, without a conscience bound (and it is law that binds) to the truth, then I think that the various arguments will simply devolve into one of the various forms I listed above, which are not much more than specious rationalisations.

            How should we execute such a debate? I don’t know – I’m actually a terrible apologist, I’m far too dogmatic (which my supervisor laments continually). I do know that such a debate will not be possible if we do not ground ourselves in the Natural Law, otherwise we are simply trying to battle the whims of our society, which I think is probably quite futile. In short, I think the only way we can succeed in such an argument is to remind people, again and again that the taking of human life, especially the lives of the weak and vulnerable, is evil and is something we absolutely must avoid.

            • While the ‘argument’ cited might be ‘prudential, Tom, your are, in a sense, the opposite. They’re up their with the academic chin-strokers and theologians and, by that, I don’t mean I disagree with them!

              It’s as if you’re saying the priority is to convert people to your, self-assessed, dogmatic view of the world then the argument about euthanasia follows.

              But, failing that, the thing to do is ‘remind people, again and again that the taking of human life … is evil …’.

              The bottom line is that a person can go to war and kill the ‘enemy’ and hold to that view and, I’d suggest, so do many on the pro-euthanasia side.

              • Tom

                A dogmatist I may be branded, and a dogmatist I am in argument, but here my position is no more dogmatic than it is to say ‘murder is wrong.’ If this simple claim really is dogmatism, then I hope I am nothing BUT a dogmatist!

                Now it is almost certainly true that I am imprudent 5 days a week, and absolutely a lie to say I am anything more than prudent on a casual basis (no sick pay unfortunately), however I am not attempting anything remotely reckless in this regard.

                I merely want to point out that the difficulty in this debate will be shifting it to grounds that favour our arguments. As it currently stands, the arguments I listed previously are the natural product of the zeitgeist. If we wish to counter this, we need to face this problem at its most basic level – society is not about the individual freedom that we can accrue to do ‘what-so-ever we may please as long as we do no harm to the other.’ In short, the other side has the home-field advantage.

                I simply suggested that the best way to counter this is to return to the true foundation of society, and all law, which is the natural law. What this means on the practical level of debate, well, I stand by what I said before – I am a poor apologist at best. People seem to think I’m irritating 🙂

                • I seem to have the capacity to irritate people too, Tom, especially on DBs!

                  But I was thinking about this notion of it all being ‘simple’ and I constructed this scenario based on my experience in the hospice and with my own family and friends. It’s a sort of composite history:

                  Lydia is in her late 50s and is the oldest of 5 — 3 older sisters and 2 younger brothers. She is close to her sisters and the youngest brother, but has always had ‘problems’ with the other brother. She finds him ruthless and uncaring.

                  Lydia’s ‘position’ in the family is as ‘the responsible one’ who is often a support for her siblings in times of trouble. Their mother died 10 years ago and Lydia has built a closer and closer bond with her father since — she is the executor of his will and has power of attorney in the official sense and in the sense that the father has made it clear that she ‘trusts’ her to make decisions for him if ever ‘the time comes’.

                  Lydia lost her own husband to cancer a year ago and her father-in-law a year before that.

                  Part of her growing bond with her father was a share growth in faith. When her father was diagnosed with cancer, they worked together to try to understand the church’s guidelines on death and dying and resolved to follow them.

                  The father was a fiercly independent, physically active, sharp witted character who loved a good yarn and a gathering of friends and family.

                  But now he was in the last weeks of his life. The disease was taking its toll and he was losing his physical and mental ‘spark’ and he hated it. The more he deteriorated the more he suffered physically and emotionally. The more medical intervention he had, the more his waking hours were a mixture of pain and suffering or being in a zombie-like state.

                  The children’s reactions varied from the youngest who became quite distressed, and could barely bring himself to visit, and his older brother who was the first to say, ‘Can’t we make this stop?’. Lydia suspected that his motivations were more about inconvenience to him than concern for his father and she made it clear that her father wanted to die according to his faith and would accept any ‘reasonable steps’ to keep him alive. ‘What the hell does that mean?’ the brother snapped.

                  This went on for a few weeks with the siblings spending many hours in the hospice and becoming more and more exhausted. All the hidden disputes of their past came to the surface and they found it harder and harder to maintain agreement about ‘what was best’ for their father.

                  Eventually the doctor — who understood the father’s intentions — told Lydia that it was getting to a ‘tipping point’ where further medical intervention would not only alleviate suffering (he’d probably be in a semi-conscious state from now on) it would hasten his death.

                  Lydia had to make the decision about if and when to go to the next step. She had to examine her own motivations, in the context of being exhausted and seeing her father suffer, and take into account the wishes of her siblings.

                  She decided to ask the doctor to increase the medication and her father died within 24 hours. Her youngest brother told her to her face that she ‘killed the old man’. The other brother told her that she, ‘did a good job’ and left the hospice first to begin making arrangements for the ‘best’ funeral money could by.

                  Months later, Lydia wasn’t sure she made the right decision for the right reasons and it compounded her grief.

                  No amount of philosophising or familiarity with church teaching makes these decisions ‘simple’ and with the advances in medicine, more and more families are facing these decisions and, even for good Catholics, its unfamiliar distressing territory.

                  As I’ve stated before, I agree with the church’s position in this area, but even the church can’t prescribe — nor should it — what are ‘unreasonable steps’ in every situation.

                  I also think the church should represent it’s opinion in the ‘town square’, but not on society’s terms. It should state it’s position strongly but not get involved in the adversarial ‘noise’ because that doesn’t help the ‘Lydias’ of this world.

                  The church’s most important contribution is how it helps families in their time of need. Whatever the law is, this will be where the difference will be made.

                  • Gareth

                    But the situation you have described is not what the Greens are proposing.

                    The Greens are not advocating for Doctors to increase morphine to have the implicit consequence of hastening someone’s death by a few hours – the Greens in introducing such a Bill desire fully assisted suicide.

                    There is a massive difference and implications for our society.

                    • Tony

                      But the situation you have described is not what the Greens are proposing.

                      So? Despite your best endeavors to convince yourself of the opposite, I’m not advocating for The Greens.

  8. Paul G

    David, the meeting on Oct 13th that you mention, and the comments here argue the more noble and important issue of the morality of euthanasia.

    On the other hand, the grubby politics of it is an example of the legislative paralysis that our wonderful new parliament offers. Two weeks into the new government and we have heard nothing about implementing their programme, only a debate about territory rights that probably won’t legalise euthansia even if it succeeds, some biffo about the new speaker, and Julia Gillard’s promise to break her promises.

    As for a simple debate about euthanasia, maybe the best debating strategy is to look at examples of the law in Holland.