Euthanasia survey hints at support from doctors, nurses and division

SMH, 24 June 2017
Author: James Robertson
“Most NSW doctors and nurses support a controversial medical euthanasia bill headed for Parliament, according to research that could prompt new debate about the medical fraternity’s willingness to accept changes to assisted suicide laws.”
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Assisted Dying & Disability

Bioethics. 2017, doi:10.1111/bioe.12353
Author: Riddle, C. A.
“This article explores at least two dominant critiques of assisted dying from a disability rights perspective. In spite of these critiques, I conclude that assisted dying ought to be permissible. I arrive at the conclusion that if we respect and value people with disabilities, we ought to permit assisted dying.”
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Aid-in-Dying Laws and the Physician’s Duty to Inform

JME Blog, 22 March 2017
Author: Mara Buchbinder
“Why do so many people assume that any clinical communication about aid-in-dying (AID, also known as assisted suicide), where it is legal, ought to be patient-initiated? Physician participants in my ongoing study tend to assume that physicians should wait for patients to initiate discussions of AID. The clinical ethics literature on communication about AID has reinforced this expectation by focusing on how to respond to patient requests. Consequently, bioethics has largely remained silent on whether there is a professional duty to inform terminally ill patients about AID laws and their clinical and legal requirements.”
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In places where it’s legal, how many people are ending their lives using euthanasia?

The Conversation, 3 March 2017
Author: Andrew McGee
“The Victorian Parliament will consider a bill to legalise euthanasia in the second half of 2017. That follows the South Australian Parliament’s decision to knock back a voluntary euthanasia bill late last year, and the issue has also cropped up in the run-up to the March 11 Western Australian election. With the issue back in the headlines, federal Labor’s justice spokesperson, Clare O’Neil, told Q&A that in countries where the practice is legal, “very, very small” numbers of people use the laws.”
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Ruling on assisted dying drug Nembutal sets important precedent

The Conversation, 28 February 2017
Author: Simon Chapman
“Just before Christmas 2016, the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) handed down a historic judgement in a case brought by the veteran advocate for assisted dying, Dr Rodney Syme. This followed a decision, which was then referred to its immediate action committee by the Medical Board of Australia, to prevent Syme from “engaging in the provision of any form of medical care, or any professional conduct in his capacity as a medical practitioner that has the primary purpose of ending a person’s life”.”
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Palliative care and voluntary-assisted dying: the common ground

MJA Insight, 6 February 2017
Author: Ian Maddocks
“Advocates for palliative care and voluntary-assisted dying (VAD) have been formidable warriors, on opposite sides in the public debate about the legalisation of euthanasia. Now, when there is the prospect of the introduction of VAD legislation in Victoria in the foreseeable future, is it time to explore ways to affirm them both, and to ask whether they are, in some way, complementary?”
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Syme v Medical Board of Australia (Review and Regulation) [2016] VCAT 2150

Date of order: 20 December 2016
“The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Tribunal) reviewed the Medical Board of Australia’s (Board) decision to take immediate action against Dr Rodney Syme by imposing a condition that he not provide medical care or engage in professional conduct with the primary purpose of ending a person’s life. The Board considered that action by a practitioner which has the primary purpose of ending a person’s life constitutes a significant departure from accepted professional standards and presents a serious risk to the person, requiring immediate action to protect both the patient and the public.”
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Voluntary euthanasia laws to come before NSW Parliament this year

SMH, 16 January 2017
Authors: Sean Nicholls, Kate Aubusson
“NSW is set to debate whether to allow terminally ill adults to legally end their lives, with a voluntary assisted dying bill expected to come before Parliament this year. A cross-party working group is finalising draft legislation that it intends to release for public consultation as early as next month.”
Find article here.