Lifted High Q&A – Defining Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

Q&A Session: Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

Lifted High Youth, a joint youth community of Rockingham, Kwinana, Baldivis and Port Kennedy, had their fourth Q&A Session of the year last 28th August at Last Drop Tavern, Beeliar. The Q&A Session focused on the contemporary issue of euthanasia and assisted suicide.

It was a timely event, just a few days after The End of Life Committee tabled its report to the State Parliament on 23rd August 2018. Since then, people started to have private conversations on this highly emotive issue.

Felicity Roux, the guest speaker from Care for Life, informed the young people about the potential implications to society if euthanasia or assisted suicide are legislated.

Under laws currently in force, all West Australians are able to:

  1. Refuse futile/burdensome treatment even if it means death. This is not euthanasia.
  2. Administer pain relief or sedation even if this may hasten death. This is not euthanasia.
  3. At any time, even if not terminally ill, can access palliative care.

There are no punitive measures against anyone or their family if they commit suicide or attempt to commit suicide (ie suicide is legal). However, there are many organisations that receive public funds to prevent this tragedy. Western Australia has the third highest suicide rate in Australia.

Defining Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

“Euthanasia” is when a doctor deliberately and intentionally ends a patient’s life at the patient’s voluntary and competent request. It is often confused with “physician-assisted suicide”. This occurs when a doctor intentionally helps a patient commit suicide by providing drugs for a patient to self-administer at the patient’s voluntary and competent request.

Assisted Suicide – Is it 100% Effective?

Oregon’s Public Health Authority reports show “problems with completion” in assisted deaths, with some patients:

  • regurgitating their lethal and extremely bitter prescriptions,
  • enduring lengthy unconsciousness,
  • or regaining consciousness and dying naturally weeks later of their underlying illness.

The strongest objection to euthanasia / assisted suicide is based on the evidence of WRONGFUL deaths that have occurred in every jurisdiction that has legislated it. The End of Life Committee’s Minority Report provides this evidence. Here is the link https://drive.google.com/file/d/1FpFnjltdBO1kAbUsjDhZkaDj4RCJIjjA/view?usp=sharing

Assistance in Dying or Palliative Care

Palliative care provides comfort and care for people on their personal journey, however long or short that might be. It offers medical, psychological, relational, spiritual and social support that is tailored to the needs of the individual.

The night ended on a hopeful note and with many positive feedbacks.

If you would like to get involved on the issue of euthanasia, Care for Life suggests the following:

Lifted High Youth’s next event is on Wednesday night 12th Sep where they will hold a plenary council consultation at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Hall in Rockingham.  For more details, follow Lifted High Youth on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/liftedhighyouth/

The next Q&A Session is on the topic of ‘Just War’ to be held in late September or early October, so stay tuned for details! In the meantime, you may want to join their “The Amazing Race” on 22nd September. Bring your friends, form a team and join the event!  https://www.facebook.com/events/209369956416622/