How can you make a difference?

Euthanasia is a choice which should be given to those in need to seek for it, although it may be placed under ethical and religious euthanasia should be considered and allow patients suffering from endless pain a choice to decide how they want to end their life. Of course, life is precious and we cannot deny the fact we all value our life and are afraid of death. But to be placed in a situation where you no longer want to continue living off a machine which is the only thing keeping you alive, causing you nothing but endless pain and no dignity to live life how you want to. Then euthanasia should be an option.

Australian laws are made up through religious influences and we are at a time in the age where humans’ perspective should be added to the notion. Not to disgrace the religious factors of our laws, but there should be a human voice that can be noticed and make a change. It is hard for anyone to set themselves for death or think of suicide so we should their choices and give them an option to how they want their death to be.

How can we support euthanasia? We can cast our vote and support the Voluntary Euthanasia Party, currently South Australia is discussing whether to pass the euthanasia bill, so if we can vote when the time comes it would help raise awareness for the cause. Not only can you vote, but you can donate or become a member of the euthanasia hubs such as Dying with Dignity.

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Euthanasia Hubs

In the previous post, we looked at political hubs trying to make a change within the legislation to pass the Euthanasia Bill. This post will be focused on euthanasia hubs in general. Euthanasia hubs tend to be supportive of cause as well as the legal side. These hubs tend to be advocates of the cause and creating awareness of euthanasia, trying to change the perspectives of euthanasia. The choice to die is a campaign that works in a similar way.

Some of the most popular hubs include Dying with Dignity and Philip Nitschke. Dying with Dignity is an international community that pursuing the change of law and giving those who seek euthanasia an option to have their choice respected. They are one of the largest organisations within the pro-euthanasia community. Philip Nitschke is Founder of Exit International, he was one of the first doctors in the world to administer a lethal voluntary injection under Rights of the Terminally Ill Act 1995(NT). The law was overturned in 1997 and Nitschke help four patients to end their suffering under the law.  The same year, Nitschke retired from medical practice to the Voluntary Euthanasia Research Foundation. Nitschke is one of the significant figures within the euthanasia community, he had worked on advertisements for the public but this was banned by the government.

Read more:

http://www.dwdnsw.org.au/

https://exitinternational.net/about-exit/dr-philip-nitschke/

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Euthanasia Political Hubs: Voluntary Euthanasia Party

Since euthanasia is illegal in Australia, many hubs have been created to try and gain support from the public to passing the Euthanasia Bill. We know that majority public supports the idea that euthanasia should be legalised although there are some who oppose the idea due to ethical or religious beliefs. There are many euthanasia hubs working to make a change upon society and legalise euthanasia.

Australia’s Voluntary Euthanasia Party (VEP) engages within Australian politics in hope of making a change and gaining support for the public to vote for euthanasia to be legalised. The Voluntary Euthanasia Party believes that through the success of other countries adapting and making a change to legalising euthanasia that it would also work in Australia. Since the public support euthanasia evident through many polls, it is time to make it happen.

“We agree with the historic decision of the Supreme Court of Canada that has allowed voluntary assisted dying for a competent adult with a grievous and irremediable medical condition (including an illness, disease or disability) that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition” (Voluntary Euthanasia Party, 2015).

As part of the euthanasia supporters, we can help the Voluntary Euthanasia Party with their campaign by casting our vote to legalise euthanasia, donating to the cause and lend a helping hand.

 

Read more:

http://www.vep.org.au/

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Why the public support but not the government?

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In Australia, euthanasia is illegal except for the Northern Territory. Currently, South Australia is working on trying to pass the Euthanasia Bill and there are still many debates over why it should or should not be passed. Through many surveys, results show that majority of the Australian public vote for their support of euthanasia, although the public support euthanasia, why is the government not passing the proposal of the Bill?

Some factors that may contribute to the reason why the government has not passed the Bill to legalise euthanasia is the religious factor and ethical beliefs, and the Hippocratic Oath. Religious factors are a major factor within some of our laws, especially when it came to the LGBT laws. Laws made in the past were made in accordance with religious beliefs and to abide by them. To cause harm and end a life given from God is a religious sin so euthanasia is not supported due to this. Another view is that having patients placed under treatment when they want to choose the euthanasia option is also a ‘harm’ on a life. The other factor is the Hippocratic Oath that anyone in the medical field has to make if euthanasia laws were to be legalised then it will go against the oath to protect and help patients without using harmful drugs. Although there are arguments claim that ‘harm’ within the Oath may not be an ‘against’ argument towards euthanasia, as ‘harm’ itself is also the pain of the patients who are left to suffer.

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Media on Euthanasia

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Since euthanasia is a link to suicide, information on this topic is limited. Unless you are following specific hubs that provide more information on euthanasia. In the previous post, why the younger generation has no appeal to the topic of euthanasia. One of the problems is the limited amount of information provided by media. Media plays a huge role in everyone’s daily rituals, especially the younger generation, we spend the majority of our lives being connected to the media and using media. Personally, before starting this campaign, I pretty much came across an article in relations to euthanasia, as a part of the target market, I had no idea that euthanasia was such a huge problem for some people. Further research into the topic made me understand more about what was happening with this issue and what hubs are doing to legalise it in Australia.

From research, most people within the target age group only knows ‘a bit’ of information on the topic euthanasia. One of the factors is that Australian government is banning voluntary euthanasia ads because it is believed to be “a violation of free speech” (Alexander, 2010). Since euthanasia is essentially illegal within Australia so promotion of pro-euthanasia would most likely be banned or limited. The younger generation is mostly on social media, so this is one of the advantages of using social media, if you have a voice you can freely express it on social media and for those who support what you believe will follow on.

 

Read more:

http://www.theage.com.au/national/proeuthanasia-tv-ad-ban-a-violation-of-free-speech-20100912-1570f.html

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If Euthanasia was legalised in Australia?

Euthanasia is currently illegal in Australia, euthanasia is seen as a crime. A court case held in the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 2011, a 78-year-oldwomen was suffering from severe pain from a spinal condition. Her death was facilitated by her 66-year-old partner, overdosing her as well as suffocating her. The deceased has expressed her desire to die in a suicide note that was written prior to her death. The court convicted the partner with manslaughter and was given a two-year suspension sentence, court accounted with impairment as well as voluntarily revealing his involvement in the offence.

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If Australian laws legalise active euthanasia, how would Australians citizen feel? How would this change the way we think about death?

For the most parts, legalising euthanasia would create an uproar for the anti-euthanasians. It is an understanding perspective why they would be against euthanasia. Euthanasia ultimately, and to be put in a negative light is suicide. There are many people that see euthanasia on the same live as abortions, yes you are killing a life but it is not the same, in my opinion. The campaign is ‘choice to die’ so I believe that choice should be the major deciding factor for someone who is asking for euthanasia. I agree to the euthanasia laws in Japan, there are requirements that must be meet in order for the act to be carried out.

According to multiple surveys, a majority of Australians support euthanasia being legalised. If Australia were to be legalised, it is most likely to not be mentioned much. Death is sacred and is not spoken about casually. Only those at a point thinking about euthanasia may consider it. One pro-euthanasia argument claims that it would improve the quality of life. “By allowing people to choose the how and when of their death, we’re guaranteeing they’ll live what remaining life they have to the fullest, free from the pain of anxiety,” this statement is agreeable, but I feel that if euthanasia laws are to be legalised there will be those who would try to abuse it in order to end their life. Euthanasia laws, in my opinion, should be only used for those who are reaching the end of their life, suffering from unbearable pain and all options through treatment were made and there’s no cure.

There was a controversial case of a murderer and rapist in Belgium, in asking for euthanasia because he didn’t want to suffer in prison. Belgium is known for being the most lenient nation when it comes to euthanasia, but to use euthanasia on a man who is serving time for his sinful deeds is certainly unfair for victims. The victims strongly disagree, so his procedure was pulled out and he had to continue serving time through therapeutic care of long-term prisoners.

Read More:

http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/nsw/NSWSC/2011/339.html?stem=0&synonyms=0&query=NSWSC%20339

http://listverse.com/2013/09/12/10-arguments-for-legalising-euthanasia/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/belgium/11327541/Belgian-serial-rapist-will-not-be-euthanised-as-planned.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/murderer-granted-right-to-euthanasia-rather-than-rot-in-belgian-prison-9736508.html

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Why is Euthanasia not appealing to the younger generation?

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Source: http://www.carenotkilling.org.uk/public/images/poll2.jpg

For obvious reasons, the younger generation is thinking about how they would live and enjoy life, rather than thinking about how they are going to die. But for everyone, at least once, death would have crossed their mind. It is a terrifying thing to think about, and death is something everyone wants to avoid. This may be the reason why euthanasia does not appeal to the younger generation unless the topic is brought up. This may be the reason why technology is advancing and scientists are trying to figure out a way to create immortality. It may be possible that euthanasia within the future may not even be considered due to bioengineering and scientists correcting the human genes to remove all the flaws of humans. In comparison the older generation, the elders would think or even know of euthanasia is due to the reason that they are soon reaching death.

Within today’s society, maybe now is not the right time for the younger generation to think about how they want to die, but being placed in the shoes of those patients enduring constant pain from their illness and treatment. Euthanasia might be considered an option.

Death is sacred to religion and possibly everyone. Although everyone knows of death, unless it is brought up then people would think about it. One major reason euthanasia is not appealing to the younger generation is the circulation of information, not everyone is talking about euthanasia unless you’re an activist. Euthanasia is also illegal within Australia so a lot of media coverage on euthanasia is limited unless you are to do personal research.

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Religions and Euthanasia

Death in most religions is seen as a sacred part of life. Life is seen as precious and sacred, so when it comes to a strong topic like euthanasia and wanting to end life in a peaceful manner is seen as taboo as this is suicide, which is strongly opposed by many religions.

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Most common reasons are (BBC, 2009):

God has forbidden it: all religions with a supreme God in their scriptures that say ‘you must not kill’ or ‘you must not kill innocent human beings’

Human life is sacred: human lives are special because God created them and we should not interfere with God’s plans by shortening human lives

The sanctity of life: human life is sacred. “God gives people life, so only God has the right to take it away.”

For Buddhism, for example, they follow the teachings of Buddha and how to live a virtuous life by paying respect to those who has given life to you, do not harm and always forgive, and the body is a valuable gift.

As I grew up with Buddhism teachings within my family, I was taught to believe that Buddha did not create humans, but your parents did. All the thoughts of suicide and self-harm, within ‘my family’ this is a disrespect to your parents. Your life is seen as a symbolism of your parents’ love and hardships to raise you, so instead of returning this to your parents by living a respectable and honourable life. Suicide is ultimately a rejection of your parents’ hardships with raising you up.

The concept of reincarnation, I know many teachings of Buddhism is different for everyone, but as I was brought up I was taught that what you do in the current life you will have to pay for in the next life.

My parents valued life and believed that you should not cause and ‘purpose’ harm on yourself. When I asked them about euthanasia and the concept of having the choice to die painlessly and with dignity. My parents both agreed that euthanasia should exist for those who “have an incurable disease and no treatment can save them” if a person choose to take their life when they still have a chance to live then that’s “a disrespectful deed to your parents who created you”.  My mother states that “Life is precious. But when the patient is reaching the end of their life, it is, not better, but much suitable to let them have the final say on how they want to die. Let them have that peace.”

 

Read more:

BBC, 2009, ‘Euthanasia and Assisted Dying’, BBC, <http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/euthanasia/religion/religion.shtml&gt;, date accessed 06/10/16

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Euthanasia: Why is it seen to be wrong?

Euthanasia encounters many arguments against it, especially moral and ethics. It is highly dependable on a person’s morals and their beliefs of ethics. Euthanasia deals with death and ‘suicide’, it is an extremely sensitive topic to some based on their culture and religious beliefs it is taboo. From the research and reading stories of those patients, many claim that their choices to choose the dying with dignity route is due to the limited time they have. They have been driven to a dead end where they know 100% that their illness will be the reason for their death.

Many people may say that these people who chose the route to ‘die with dignity’ are easily giving up on their life. They can stand the pain of treatment or the pain of the current state that life has put them. So they choose to end their life as a ‘shortcut’ to end the pain. There are always motivators telling those with suicidal thoughts that without setbacks an individual cannot continue to grow. Life is precious and should be valued as it is a gift from your parents and God.

It is clear that for some patients believe in not giving up on life so easily due to an illness, but there are those who are suffering from an incurable illness with constant treatment that is painful to endure. It is a choice. Christy O’Donnell a brain and lung cancer patient, know that her illness will be the reason for her death, making her lungs drown in her own liquid. It is a terrifying way to die and because she resides in a state where euthanasia laws are illegal. O’Donnell’s wish was to die in her bed with her family besides, instead of having her daughter come from school and discovering her mother has already passed.

Having an option to die with dignity may be seen as a comforting choice to some. It is probably everyone’s wish to die in peace instead of lying in their own pool of blood or having to suffer through pain before passing. Euthanasia is an option, it is a choice

Learn more about Christy O’Donnell’s case:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkDpZVKKZ80

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Legality of Euthanasia

Euthanasian laws is not an interest to the public unless they are passionate to read into it. The younger demographic may not see euthanasia as a social issue because this does not relate to them. But there are many patients seeking euthanasia to be legal so they can relieve their pain.

Euthanasia out of 196 countries, human euthanasia is legal in the Netherlands, Belgium, Colombia, and Luxembourg. Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Canada, and in the US states of Washington, Oregon, Vermont, Montana, and California. Some of the laws vary from country to country and majority of the world’s legality of euthanasian laws are unknown.

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Euthanasian laws within Australia is illegal, except the Northern Territory. We can see from the current news reports on the Belgium laws of euthanasia that their laws have extended to minors. People claim that Belgium’s laws are most lenient towards euthanasia, but there are many requirements to euthanizing a patient. In the case of a minor, a psychologist must conclude the patient’s maturity to make the decision. In many countries, within the law, two doctors are to decide whether a patient is enabled to be euthanized.

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The country that caught my eye was Japan, they are an advanced nation and the Japanese government has no official laws on euthanasia, but their laws were decided by two local courts in 1962 and 1995. Although their laws were not government official laws, they have conditions that must be met in order to continue with euthanasia.

In the case of passive euthanasia, three conditions must be met:

1.The patient must be suffering from an incurable disease and in the final stages, unlikely to make a recovery
2.The patient must give express consent to stopping treatment, and this consent must be obtained and preserved prior to death. Their consent may be determined from a pre-written document such as a living will or the testimony of the family
3.The patient may be passively euthanized by stopping medical treatment, chemotherapy, dialysis, artificial respiration, blood transfusion, IV drip, etc.

For active euthanasia, four conditions must be met:

1.The patient must be suffering from unbearable physical pain
2.Death must be inevitable and drawing near
3.The patient must give consent
4.The physician must have exhausted all other measures of pain relief.

The conditions that Japanese government has set as requirements, I found rational and agree with the conditions from a personal point of view. The Australian laws maybe not need to adopt the exact requirements as the other countries but should have some conditions set to give some patients the choice to die with dignity. Ending a life is a serious option, but implementing similar requirements as the Japanese may open a window for those who seek euthanasia or assisted suicide.

 

Read more

The Richest, 2014, ’10 Countries Where Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide are Legal’ http://www.therichest.com/rich-list/most-influential/10-countries-where-euthanasia-and-assisted-suicide-are-legal/

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