November 16th 2019


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Extinction Rebellion: So, it's goodnight to us and a big welcome to mega-bucks

EDITORIAL A second chance to secure Australia's future

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Early UK election will be another Brexit vote

CANBERRA OBSERVED Struggle is on not to let censorship have the last word

GENDER POLITICS Children are being given drugs that are dangerous even for elite athletes

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Thoroughbreds are literally racing for their lives

POLITICAL COMMENTARY Tony Abbott continues faithful to the broad Liberal church

MILITARY HISTORY Timor-Leste a free nation 20 years after INTERFET

CLIMATE SCIENCE V XR Is a tipping point close or is the emergency contrived?

RENEWABLE ENERGY Whatever happened to the World Solar Challenge?

ASIAN AFFAIRS How long has China's Red Dynasty really got?

HUMOUR Vote 1 for the Troposphere

MUSIC Genre fatigue: Jazz rock arrived with a bang, left with a whisper

CINEMA Terminator: Dark Fate: The heart that makes us human

CINEMA Ride Like a Girl: Celebrating family, faith and fortitude

BOOK REVIEW Quirky look at grand-scale egoism

BOOK REVIEW Clear critique of flaws of globalism

POETRY

LETTERS

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Cardinal Pell's appeal to go to High Court

South Park Calls Out Transgender Takeover of Women's Sports

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LETTERS




News Weekly, November 16, 2019

On October 22, The West Australian carried an article under the grandiose headline, “Expert panel reach out to MPs to quash fake news on voluntary assisted dying laws”, in which in was reported that former West Australian governor Malcolm McCusker “reached out to all Upper House MPs” in a bid to quash “fake news” concerning proposed euthanasia and voluntary assisted suicide laws.

Mr McCuster, chairman of the ministerial expert panel on so-called voluntary assisted dying (VAD), and former Australian Medical Association of WA president Simon Towler, wrote: “We respectfully offer you some information about the background and reasoning which led to the recommendations in the panel’s report, in the hope that it may assist you in your deliberations, and clear away any misconceptions.”

The letter went on to explain why the proposed bill included listing the cause of death for someone who was approved for VAD to be listed as the person’s disease, not VAD.

“Just like turning off life support of someone close to death with a disease like cancer. Turning off a machine is not the cause of death, the cancer is,” the panel said.

They also rejected calling voluntary assisted dying “suicide”.

“The panel strongly advised that misrepresenting voluntary assisted dying as ‘suicide’ is counterproductive,” the letter said.

Dr John Fleming PhD, of Adelaide Bioethics Consultancy, took issue with Mr McCuster and Dr Towler’s logic in a letter to The West Australian, which failed to make it into print. We publish it with pleasure here.

Editor

 

Logic dismembered

“Just like turning off life support of someone close to death with a disease like cancer. Turning off a machine is not the cause of death, the cancer is,” the panel said.

This is a remarkably uninformed statement of medical ethics. Homicide involves an act or omission that is intended to bring about the death of a peron.

If a patient is dying and the treatment being offered (for example, a life-support system such as a respirator) is no longer beneficial to the patient, that treatment may ethically and legally be withdrawn.

The act of removal is not an act intended to bring about the death of a patient. It is an act that recognises when the treatments being applied are not only no longer beneficial to the patient but may also be burdensome to the patient. The cause of death is the disease, cancer, a disease that no longer responds positively to the life-preserving treatment, a treatment that also become burdensome to the patient.

The administration of a lethal injection to a patient is an act that is carried out with the main purpose or intention being to kill the patient. The patient dies because of the lethal injection.

The patient may be dying from an incurable disease, but before the patient can die naturally, the poisons are injected into the patient so that the patient is immediately killed.

It is beyond belief that this argument has been used by two men who really ought to know better: the chairman of the ministerial expert panel on voluntary assisted dying Malcolm McCusker, and former Australian Medical Association of WA president Simon Towler.

The members of the Legislative Council are lawmakers. It is the duty of lawmakers to make laws that conform to logic, built upon the long-standing jurisprudence of our common law system. To equate a benevolent act (withdrawal of medical treatment no longer fit for purpose) with an intentionally homicidal act (injecting a person with lethal drugs in order to kill that person) is risible.

The members of the Legislative Council should have no difficulty in seeing through this remarkably incompetent, illogical, and mischievous reasoning.

It should give West Australian MPs serious pause for thought before adopting legislation that endorses acts of intentional killing.

Dr John Fleming PhD,
Adelaide Bioethics Consultancy

 

Room for real refugees

Almost 100,000 people have arrived in Australia, usually by plane, saying they are here for a holiday or study. However, once in the country they quickly change their story and seek asylum.

As a result, there is an enormous backlog of asylum seekers. These people should be granted a visa specifying its duration. At its expiration, they should automatically be returned to their country of origin.

Because our society seems to be capable of comfortably fitting in all these illegal residents, it would seem we could take in more genuine refugees. To make way for these, we should ship back the pretenders at short notice.

While it is not possible for Australia to take in all the displaced and suffering millions of people in the Middle East, we could at least alleviate some of that tragedy. The groups that demand attention include the Kurds, the Yazidis, the Baha’i and the Christians.

John Maguire,
Grose Vale, NSW

 

It’s not the climate

If climate activists are serious about reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, why don’t they protest outside of the Chinese and Indian embassy? Why do they reserve their criticism for Western, capitalist nations, despite the fact that Western nations are not the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases?

It seems to me that climate activists care less about global warming than they do about slamming prosperous and stable nations whose freedoms and quality of life they themselves enjoy.

I suspect that many climate activists are actually watermelons – green on the outside, red on the inside – whether they realise it or not. Many of them may be duped and not aware of how glaring their double standards actually are, and how obvious it is that what they really oppose is democratic countries and conservative governments in particular. Too many climate activists sneak in snide little comments about how democracy supposedly isn’t suited to tackling climate change; revealing their admiration for authoritarianism.

I feel bad for the children, who don’t realise how much of it is really about socialist agendas, not about protecting the environment nor about protecting anyone’s futures.

Daniel Peckham,
Tamworth, NSW




























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April 4, 2018, 6:45 pm