The Euthanasia Law or the Assisted Dying Bill has recently passed Victoria’s Lower House (Australia). It was only a 26 hour debate, but the pro euthanasia proponents have been lobbying for it for decades and many of the politicians have been worn down by the constant pressure.
Whenever the issue comes up there are emotional appeals from relatives of those who would have chosen assisted dying if it had been legalized. One such person is someone who had the power to initiate it and did was Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews. Legalised restrictions will be in place by the time it takes effect in 2019. Victorians suffering with an advanced and incurable illness, disease or medical condition [will] be able to seek a medically assisted death.’ But name me an issue, any issue, that stayed set in stone once it became law. Once you set the parameters, someone is bound to come along and stretch and mutate them.
We are too civilised, that’s what it is. A woman sitting next to me at a bus stop pointed to an elderly man who was shuffling across the zebra crossing to the next bus bay. How marvellous, I thought, that he refused to let his disabilities get in the way of what he wanted to do. The woman sitting next to me, said ‘if he was a dog we would put him down.’ I’m afraid that that is where we are heading. We are too civilised to take the life of mass murderers or terrorists; we have rejected capital punishment, calling it state sanctioned murder but it seems to me that we are okay with state sanctioned euthanasia.
I’m resurrecting this piece. I’ve been seeing the writing on the wall for a while now, but three years ago when I wrote it, the inevitable was obvious.
When the media choses an issue to champion one never hears from the other side. It’s not the media’s way these days to produce the facts and allow people to decide for themselves.
Assisted dying is now a fact in this state. I’m dedicating this page to those who have had similar experiences to mine or those who just want to have a say. I’d be interested in your comments and pleased to post them.
My father loved life and because he didn’t believe in the afterlife he treasured life. He spent his last handful of days in palliative care, and clung to every precious minute. The pain of cancer leaking through the medication was preferable to that long good night he knew was waiting for him. On the 8th day of his stay his medication was withdrawn and he slipped into a coma. He died on the 11th day.
That he outlasted the average 3 ½ days stay in palliative care was because I fought for it. His doctor stopped his blood transfusions; the implication was that it was an obvious waste of a precious resource. And once my dad was in a coma, the nurses who had previously talked about dying with dignity did not enter his room even once. Had he been able to say so, my dad would have said that living with dignity was preferable to dying with dignity and euthanasia was stealing something from him that was a lot more precious than gold or jewels.
When euthanasia did not have the sanction of the law, it was here nevertheless in different guises for those people who genuinely couldn’t cope and wanted it. A combination of compassion for those who want to go and limited resources and cost is what drives the pro euthanasia lobby. They want it out in the open and legal and they want it available to us all.
The thought of what will be let loose once assisted dying is legalized is horrifying to me, but obviously the lobbyists haven’t given it a thought.
Once euthanasia is legalized it will be like anything else that is based on emotion rather than facts. It will be a matter of time before the bean counters and the medics get together, for the sake of the financial bottom line, to justify culling the elderly and the infirm. After that it would be people with mental and physical disabilities. We don’t like state sanctioned murder, but I think this is far worse. What if you’re okay but tired of life as one woman I heard about a couple of years ago was? It’s her body and her right to do what she wants with it was the general consensus.
I’m not sure what happened to population zero. That was the popular catch cry some time in the late sixties. We are overpopulating and that generally means more of a fight for finite resources and, I predict, less respect for life.
The trouble with lobbying is that it’s only people with a personal agenda that push for it. The rest of us who are against it, are smug in our belief that things will stay the way they are without our interference and terribly surprised when it’s too late and we find we have been wrong.