MEDIA WATCH February 14 – 20.

Thanks this week to Tanya Battell, Mike Gaffney, Judy Dent, Angie Miller.

 There have been multiple stories this about the Catholic Church ranting against assisted dying legislation in a number of places, including Ireland and Austria, but I do not want to give them more airtime than they already have.  I will of course report on the actions of the religious lobby in Australia. Please let me know if you want to know more about what the religious lobby in other countries is doing and I will include coverage of it next time. 

 Tasmania

 February 16

Two letters on opposing sides in The Advocate and a report on the candlelight vigil to be held to support the Tasmanian bill.  (See attachment – Mike Gaffney). 

 February 19

The Examiner carries a story that the Tasmanian Premier is expecting that the Tasmanian University review of the VAD bill passed by the parliament last year will be delivered “in the next few days”. It was due on February 17. Government expecting voluntary assisted dying review in coming days

 February 20

The Australian reports that Catholic Health Australia has engaged a QC to draw up amendments to the “dangerously flawed” bill which is due to be debated in Tasmania’s lower house in March. Ominously, the amendments sought will include allowing whole institutions to “conscientiously object” to participating in VAD. Late bid to ‘fix dangerous’ Tasmanian euthanasia law  (It is behind a paywall – see Attachment Catholic Health.)

 Queensland

 February 19

The Courier Mail runs a story about the terrible death of Vicky Crichton’s mother and mentions that Mackay MP, Julianne Gilbert, has spoken out in favour of passing VAD laws in Queensland. Sarina mum’s last days were ‘soul destroying’  (This is behind a paywall – see Attachment Vicky Crichton.)

 South Australia

 February 17

The Murray Pioneer, based in Renmark, SA, carries a story about an information session organised by DWDSA in Berri on Saturday 13th February. (See Attachment – Murray Pioneer.)

 NSW

 February 19

A reasonably detailed report in the Sydney Criminal Lawyers online journal outlining Alex Greenwich’s proposed legislation.  New South Wales to again consider voluntary assisted-dying legislation

 Northern Territory

 February 19

The NT News reports that the Council for Aging (COTA) Northern Territory are launching a petition to overturn the federal ban on territories being able to debate and pass assisted dying laws. (See Attachment – NT News COTA.)

 ACT

 DWD ACT have launched a petition to ask the parliament to hold a referendum whose purpose would be to confer the status of states on the Commonwealth’s two territories, ACT and the Northern Territory.  You can find the petition on the website here.

 February 20

The Canberra Times runs a good article by the Australia Institute’s Executive Director, Ben Oquist, on the recent history of Federal-Territory relations, relevant obviously to the VAD issue. Canberra’s euthanasia insult weakens democracy for all

 Overseas

 South Africa

 February 10

South African news outlet, The Citizen, reports that two people with terminal illnesses have applied to the High Court in Johannesburg to be allowed access to VAD.  They argue that “colonial era Christian values” have been unfairly imposed upon them. “Christian values are imposed on people who do not necessarily share those values,” they say

 Canada

 February 13

Conservative Toronto newspaper, The National Post, carries an opinion piece by regular columnist, Barbara Kay, who argues that the removal of the “death reasonably foreseeable” clause in the current Canadian legislation will be “a catastrophe” for the disabled. This is an insidious argument, of which will see much more. Wider access to assisted dying in Canada will be catastrophic for the disabled

 February 18

Reports in various outlets that the Canadian Senate has passed bill C-7, which amends Canada’s MAID laws in a number of significant ways, well described in this story.  Senate passes amended version of assisted-dying bill after days of debate  On the same day the Canadian House of Commons said they would wait until Tuesday (February 23) to debate the Senate’s amendments to C-7.  This leaves only three days until a court-imposed deadline for finalising the legislation expires. Commons to debate Senate changes to assisted dying bill days before deadline

 USA

 February 16

An article in The Telegraph gives more detail about the plans to amend the Hawaiian legislation to change waiting times and to allow nurse practitioners a role in the management of the VAD process in Hawaii. It is argued that this would help with the problems of access to doctors in the more remote parts of the islands.  Changes would make Hawaii’s aid-in-dying law more accessible

 February 18

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the Judiciary Committee of the New Mexico legislature has voted to send a MAID bill to the New Mexico senate.  The Governor has indicated that, if the bill is passed, she will sign it into law. Lawmakers consider end-of-life options bill

 February 18

The self-proclaimed “America’s most influential journal of religion and public life” fulminates against recent California court rulings which would compel conscientiously objecting doctors to perform procedures they are opposed to or to refer the patient on to other practitioners.  Signs of the pushback we can expect from the religious lobby in Australia as more VAD laws are passed. WARNING SIGNS IN THE GOLDEN STATE

 Portugal

 February 18

A hiccup in Portugal as the president, Marcello Rebelo de Sousa, sends the recently passed VAD bill to the Constitutional Court, saying it is excessively imprecise.  It had been hoped he would just sign it into law. Portuguese president orders constitutional review of euthanasia law

 Also of Interest

 February 18

Another in the genre of scary stories about Belgium and the Netherlands, Christian Today, reports on the alleged exponential rise in voluntary euthanasia deaths in those two countries. Thousands killed by euthanasia and assisted suicide across Belgium and Netherlands

 An up to date list which reminds us where VAD is currently legal and the size of the world’s population covered. See here.

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