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Euthanasia: we can live without it

The 'right-to-die' or the 'right-to-kill'? Hitchcock replies to Denton

The right to die or the right to kill?

The argument against euthanasia

BY KAREN HITCHCOCK

Dr Karen Hitchcock is a regular commentator in the Australian media on aging, death and dying. In March this year, she wrote the Quarterly Essay: Dear Life - On caring for the elderly. Last month she appeared on the ABC's Q & A program alongside Andrew Denton. 

In this edition of The Monthly, Dr Hitchcock provides a comprehensive response to Denton:

Celebrity is our religion. Celebrities are our gurus, teaching us what to wear, what to buy, how to look and, now, what to think. They front campaigns for human rights and animal rights; they advocate for babies in war-torn countries. Now we even have the celebrity endorsement of euthanasia. Apparently Andrew Denton is an expert after eight months of research – less time than it takes to get a sommelier diploma from TAFE. Eight months, he repeats, as if this is extraordinary, as if this country is not full of people on both sides of the debate who have spent decades seriously considering the complex issues around euthanasia.

It is time for us to discuss death, Denton says. “It’s time.” He looks straight into the camera, like a prime minister reducing complex issues to slogans. Apparently, legalising euthanasia will enable this discussion. In fact, the conversation has begun, though mostly in forums with less fanfare.

Euthanasia makes terrific TV. We hear compelling stories of torturous suffering that make us ache for a way to help people out of their misery. But is death the only solution? And isn’t there something strange about the argument that we should give all these apparently deaf – if not entirely blockheaded – doctors a licence to kill?

You can read the rest of The Monthly article by clicking HERE.

More on the issue:

Protocols, posturing and paradoxes
Who do we need to listen to?
Has Andrew Denton's engagement in the euthanasia debate distracted us from the "big picture"?
Surely you’re joking, Mr Denton
Responding to Mr Denton
The Money AND the Gun: Denton is wrong 

Comments   

+1 #1 No Harm 2015-11-30 19:58
Denton has decided and the rest must bow to his superior intellect (or so it seems). Surely taking someone's life is not the only solution he can come up with - what about increasingly better 'End of Life' care including better guidelines for doctors in the use of painkillers for the terminally ill. If Euthanasia becomes the preferred solution what will happen to research in those areas? Both my In-Laws died within the last two years in a hospital setting and the doctors were amazing in the way they used drugs to eliminate suffering. I understand not everyone has this experience but it shows what is possible with good medical care. If the experience was not so positive would I have had the gall to put the doctor in the position of demanding termination (if Euthanasia was legal) - what starts out voluntary eventually becomes expected, if not mandated, for both the patient and the doctor!
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