Monday, 14 January 2013

Bob Such flags yet another euthanasia bill for South Australia

Not a year goes by without The Hon Bob Such MP introducing another euthanasia bill into the South Australian Parliament.

After the defeat of his bill last year, Such said that he would 're-jig' his work and try again.

Let's bell the cat: it's not really about making his latest bill safer - it's simply about trying to find some formula that will gain the requisite 50% plus one votes in the Lower House.

In this latest bill, reported on by Lauren Novak in the Adelaide Advertiser, Such wants to create a euthanasia panel to oversee the law. This is toothless and simply window dressing. It's not a safeguard at all. Such doesn't seem to realize that once the patient is dead, there's no real sense in checking if his system works.

Such is further confused (as is Steph Key) when the article reports his scheme as "Either patient or doctor could carry out euthanasia." This is the same mistake that Key made (see article) where she says "that the Oregon laws allow a patient to carry out euthanasia themselves."  I can't see how we can have any confidence in either MP getting it right when they don't know the difference between euthanasia and assisted suicide. For the record, a patient can't euthanase themselves.

Such also claims that his bill would have the cause of death not listed as 'suicide or homicide' on the death certificate. This might preclude the need for a coronial inquiry - which could potentially hide abuse. It's also a lie. Is Such asking doctor's to lie? Can we expect doctors who lie on the public record to observe his safeguards, so-called?

As Wesley Smith once observed, safeguards are only there to make us all feel a little less uneasy about voting for state-sanctioned killing. Such and Key seem bent on continuing to look for that magic formula - that secret combination of phrases - that might just get their bill over the line.

One hopes that other MPs see these attempts for what they really are.

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