Author: Ian Wood (page 1 of 5)

Excellent news from Victoria with the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill passing the upper house, with amendments, by 22 votes to 18

Yes, it is excellent news from Victoria with the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill passing the upper house, with amendments, by 22 votes to 18.  It now goes back to the lower house to see if they will vote to accept the amendments and pass the Bill, so just one more hurdle to cross there!

 

Sincere thanks to Dying With Dignity Victoria and the team, Andrew Denton and the Go Gentle Australia/Stop Victorians Suffering team for your unstinting efforts and to every MP who voted for compassionate choice.

 

Shame that we failed by one vote in our NSW upper house a week earlier.

 

Ian Wood on behalf of all the members Australia-wide of Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia group.

Relief and jubilation as the Victorian Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 passes the lower house and proceeds to their upper house.

We have the encouraging news that the Victorian Parliament lower house has passed their Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 by 47 votes to 37. It now has to go the the upper house for a vote there, so it is certainly not a foregone conclusion.

It was with considerable emotion that I watched the final vote in the Victorian Parliament Lower House on Friday morning 20th October after a debate of marathon proportions.

   The successful vote is announced by the Speaker.

I trust that the Victorian Upper House will be equally supportive Continue reading

Archbishop Desmond Tutu gives his blessing to the Voluntary Assisted Dying campaign in Australia.

One of the world’s most highly regarded religious leaders, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu of South Africa has stated in a video message: “People who are terminally ill should have the option of dignified and compassionate assisted dying alongside the wonderful palliative care that already exists”.  “I pray that lawmakers, politicians and religious leaders have the courage to support choices terminally ill citizens make in departing Mother Earth with dignity and love.”

 

Ian Wood, spokesperson for the Australian group, Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia, said “I am delighted to learn that Archbishop Tutu is willing to give his blessing and support to our Christian campaign for legislation to allow the option of compassionate choice for a person who is terminally or incurably ill with intolerable suffering.”

 

“The Archbishop recognises the enormous value of palliative care, Continue reading

NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley is opposed to the compassionate choice of Voluntary Assisted Dying – Ian Wood response

Continue reading

Nurse Anne Maxwell – her passionate, emotional plea for voluntary assisted dying choice

Australia’s nurses are on the frontline every day, working with dying patients and their families, providing treatment, care and emotional support. They witness the suffering firsthand, so it is no surprise that the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association support the upcoming Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill.

Nurse Anne Maxwell shares her experience and explains why we need an assisted dying law in Australia. Please share.

Nurse Anne Maxwell

Australia's nurses are on the frontline every day, working with dying patients and their families, providing treatment, care and emotional support. They witness the suffering firsthand, so it is no surprise that the NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association support the upcoming Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill. Nurse Anne Maxwell shares her experience and explains why we need an assisted dying law in Australia. Please share.

Posted by Dying with Dignity NSW on Monday, September 11, 2017

Ian Wood response to Catholic Bishop Ingham. “Euthanasia: Bishop says there’s no need.”

In recent weeks nearby papers the Wollondilly Advertiser, the Camden Advertiser and the Macquarie Advertiser in NSW have run a series of articles on Voluntary Assisted Dying Choice. Most of them have been in support. The one exception, as we might expect, is from the Catholic Bishop Ingham of Wollongong. His opinion piece may be found here. http://www.wollondillyadvertiser.com.au/story/4842391/euthanasia-bishop-says-theres-no-need/

This is my response.

So Bishop Ingham believes advances in palliative care and pain management should negate the argument for the option for a dying patient, facing futile unnecessary suffering, to have a choice to end that suffering.

He does not say so, but we can assume he is adhering to the Catholic doctrine that suffering can be redemptive.

Nurse Barnes disputes the Bishop’s claim!

My name is Jen Barnes and I am a nurse of 40 years. I’ve seen a lot of deaths and some of them have been far from ideal. Now I have a terminal illness. It’s an aggressive form of brain cancer and I know that it can lead to a very undignified death.

I don’t want to die. No-one wants to die.

Palliative care is very good but I know that it doesn’t work for everybody. If it comes to it, I will want another option. [Voluntary Assisted Dying]

It’s very important to me to have control of my destiny.

(Abridged) Source: http://www.stopvictorianssuffering.org.au/petition_jen_barnes

Equally important, the Bishop’s claim about palliative care is not supported by Palliative Care’s own data; Inpatients during the terminal phase of their terminal illness: 4.2% report severe distress from breathing problems, 4.6% severe distress from fatigue, and 2.6% report severe distress from pain.

Experience in Oregon, USA, with assisted dying choice for 20 years, shows repeatedly that paradoxically many patients live longer when given the ‘green light’ for assistance. It is palliative in its own right. It is voluntary – the patient has to rationally and repeatedly ask for this assistance.

The issue is all about choice. Not a choice between life and death, but a choice between two ways of dying. Bishop Ingham is entitled to not request assistance for himself, but should not be entitled to use his position to deny other Australians their right to choose.

Governor Jerry Brown of California sums up the option very succinctly. Gov. Brown is a committed Catholic, who had formerly trained as a Jesuit, and as Governor he actually had the right to veto a California Bill allowing voluntary assisted dying.

Instead, in a very rational and compassionate letter, he concluded –

“In the end, I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death.  I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I wouldn’t deny that right to others.”

Readers may note that Gov. Brown received support for signing this Bill from Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, one of the world’s most esteemed religious leaders.

Ian Wood   11.8.2017

Rose and Ed – two very different ways of dying!

I have previously posted the story of Ed Ness, in his final hours………..

View the video and see for yourself the peaceful and happy emotional state of Ed Ness, pictured here

and in this video link http://www.cheknews.ca/exclusive-ed-ness-dies-peacefully-in-doctor-assisted-death-324498/  

Ed Ness died from terminal lung cancer after requesting and qualifying for assisted death in Canada, where it is legal.  Ed said goodbye to his closest friends and family. He was given medication that made him fall asleep and his last words to everyone were, “this is perfect.  He passed away peacefully within a few minutes.

Rose is pictured dying from an incurable progressive neuro-degenerative disease. ”Absolute torture!”  Rose was pleading for MPs in South Australia  to pass an assisted dying law.   24 MPs voted against the Bill, 23 MPs for the Bill, so Rose was forced to take the other option within current law, and she stopped eating. She took many days to die. Husband Bernie is still traumatised.  I trust her death is etched on the ‘conscience of those 24 MPs who took away the dignity of Rose. View the emotional distress endured by Rose here.  https://www.todaytonightadelaide.com.au/stories/roses-story

We are striving for a change in the law to give compassionate choice to people like Rose.

We fully support palliative care but sometimes PC is not enough, and this extra choice is needed.

A plea to clergy of any faith who support Voluntary Assisted Dying Choice – Please endorse our Statement of Support now

Statement of Christian clergy support for Anne Gabrielides and the NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017.

Rev. Dr Craig de Vos, B.V.Sc., Dip.P.S., B.Th.(Hons.), Ph.D, highly respected as a theologian in social aspects of the New Testament, is a practising Minister who holds a passion for social justice issues.

Rev. Dr De Vos says, “Our politicians, often guided by dogmatic religious beliefs, continue to deny the majority who want the choice of a death with dignity.”

“Some oppose voluntary euthanasia and voluntary assisted dying choice arguing that it’s wrong because it’s playing God.  Yet so is artificially prolonging life, and so is allowing people to suffer an horrific death when there are more compassionate alternatives.”

Rev. Dr de Vos endorsed the statement by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who has said. “I believe in the sanctity of life. I know that we will all die and that death is a part of life. Terminally ill people have control over their lives, so why should they be refused control over their deaths? Why are so many instead forced to endure terrible pain and suffering against their wishes?”

Rev. Dr de Vos is Patron and member of the Executive of our group, Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia.

He concluded, “I have the utmost sympathy for Anne Gabrielides, who is facing an horrific death from rapidly progressing Motor Neurone Disease, and support her plea to NSW members of parliament to give people in her situation choice and control at the end stages of their illness. I hope these MPs will demonstrate true compassion and empathy for Anne when considering the NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017.”

Signed

Rev. Dr Craig de Vos, B.V.Sc., Dip.P.S., B.Th.(Hons.), Ph.D,

PLEASE  message Ian Wood using the “contact” on our website if you are clergy of any faith who would be prepared to endorse this Statement

Endorsed by

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Etc…….

 

Authorised by Ian Wood

National co-ordinator and spokesperson for Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia

Villa 1, Hampton Mews, 4 Wills Place, Mittagong NSW  2575  AUSTRALIA

Website: www.Christiansforve.org.au

TO VIEW ANNIE’S VIDEO AND PLEA TO THE NSW MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT.

Anne (Annie) has rapidly progressing Motor Neurone Disease and her interview together with her family is truly heartrending.  Here> https://www.change.org/p/don-t-leave-me-trapped-in-a-dying-body-allow-me-to-die-peacefully

Why is the conscience of Liberal Tasmanian MPs so out of step with the conscience of the Tasmanian electors?

Why is the conscience of Liberal Tasmanian MPs so out of step with the conscience of the Tasmanian electors?

In the ‘conscience’ vote on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 24.5.2017, there were 13 Liberal votes against the Bill proceeding, and only one vote in support. That is 7% support compared with 80% support by the voters!!  It is a travesty of the democratic system, where an MP is surely elected to represent the views of people who vote to elect that MP.

It is not as if the MPs are better informed than the public. I have not checked Hansard yet, but I did listen to much of the contributions MPs made to the debate. Most of the Liberal speakers simply indulged in scaremongering and hand wringing. Three or four seemed to say: “I agree with the concept but I cannot vote for it”. Farcical!

I do not recall that I heard one statement by those opposing that could be supported by evidence!

Judging by what was said, I seriously doubt if some had even read the Bill.

Why is true empathy and compassion for the terminally ill enduring futile unbearable suffering so lacking with these Liberals?

I suppose the one positive point from this debacle is that one young Liberal had the conscience and courage to break away from her colleagues. In the previous conscience vote on a similar Bill in 2013, all 10 Liberals voted against – surely a statistical impossibility for an issue supported by 4 out of 5 people generally.

What a mockery of the so called tenets of the Liberal Party!!! To quote from their website – We Believe: In the inalienable rights and freedoms of all peoples; and we work towards a lean government that minimises interference in our daily lives;………..

It is fascinating to compare this “Liberal conscience” with that of the Quebec Parliament in Canada.  Quebec is or was the most Catholic province in Canada, yet In 2014, their Parliament voted 94 votes to 22 to give their adult residents assisted dying choice.

Ian Wood

Please support Annie’s right to choose. A heart wrenching plea to our politicians.

Annie has extreme suffering as her Motor Neurone Disease is progressing rapidly.

Please view her video clip here.

Then sign her petition and share the link with your friends and ask them to sign too. As at June 3, Annie’s petition had 73,000 signatures.  Since making this video clip I understand Annie can no longer speak.

To really make a difference email the photo and link to your Member of Parliament and ask them to support compassionate legislation to give choice in dying for people such as Annie.

I could not help but contrast the traumatic emotional state of Annie compared with the peaceful and happy emotional state of Ed Ness, pictured here . 

and in this video link http://www.cheknews.ca/exclusive-ed-ness-dies-peacefully-in-doctor-assisted-death-324498/

Yet Annie is dying from terminal MND and Ed dying from terminal lung cancer. 

The crucial difference is that in Canada Ed now has the assisted dying choice. 

Both are short powerful videos that demonstrate visually to me what we are all fighting for.

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