Vaginal mesh implant – national apology from Australian government.

Mesh implants: Government issues national apology over ‘agony and pain’ caused by device

Health Minister Greg Hunt has issued a national apology to the many women whose lives have been ruined by the debilitating effects of pelvic mesh implants.

Key points:

  • Health Minister issues national apology to mesh patients
  • Action follows patient horror stories
  • New register to be set up to track mesh devices

Speaking as he released details of the Government’s response to a Senate inquiry into vaginal mesh, Mr Hunt said he wanted to acknowledge the pain and suffering of those at the centre of the medical scandal.

“On behalf of the Australian Government, I say sorry to all of those women with the historic agony and pain that has come from mesh implantation which have led to horrific outcomes,” he said.

“My message to them is your voice has been heard, and not just heard but acted upon.”

The ABC has obtained details of the Government’s response to the inquiry, which is expected to be tabled today.

Mr Hunt said the Government would work with states and territories on setting up a voluntary national register of women who have had mesh devices and anything that went wrong.

“I would like to see it (the register) set up by the end of 2019, if not the middle of the year,” he said.

Patient groups had wanted it to be made compulsory for all health practitioners to report side-effects of any implantable device.

Mr Hunt said while his Government supported such a move, it was outside federal powers to do so.

“We will encourage the states and territories to adopt mandatory standards,” he said.

Do you know more about this story? Email Specialist.Team@abc.net.au

There’s been a mixed response from women and consumer health groups who continue to lobby for all mesh products to banned.

At the moment many items have been pulled from shelves and only select products can be used by qualified surgeons.

Mother of two Joanne Villani said she had witnessed some reforms by regulators, but many problems she experienced more than a decade ago still persisted.

“Women are still not being believed by their doctors,” she said.

“Doctors are still implanting mesh and telling women it’s new mesh and it is the same mesh.

“I would like mesh to be banned until it’s been shown to be safe. If it’s not shown to be safe, then it should never be used again.”

Senator Derryn Hinch pushed for the Senate inquiry, calling mesh “one of the biggest medical scandals” in Australian history.

Among the other actions the Federal Government will take are:

  • Permanent Medicare payment items for the removal and treatment of pelvic mesh
  • Asking states and territories to conduct an audit of pelvic mesh

Mr Hunt said he would raise the issues with his counterparts at the next health COAG meeting.

“I would be surprised if any state or territory resisted the steps that we have taken,” he said.

“Too many women have suffered too much for too long.”

‘I’ve friends who probably won’t make it’: patient

For Ms Villani it was not that pelvic mesh stopped her being able to have intercourse with her husband, it was the broader impact it had on their relationship.

“We actually split up for quite some time. It’s nothing my husband did or thought,” she said.

“It was very hard when he felt guilty and I felt guilty. It caused strain.”

The mother-of-two left the family home for some time because of the problems mesh caused in her relationship.

She has now returned to her partner because they “just want to be together”, but said their partnership would never be the same.

It is just one way Ms Villani said mesh has “totally altered my life” after her doctor suggested it to treat prolapse and incontinence following the birth of her son.

She recalled her surgeon seemed quite excited about the product at the time and believed he was on the “cutting edge” of new techniques.

“It didn’t quite work the way they expected,” she said.

“I went back to the surgeon on a number of occasions to discuss problems I was having and I was basically told it was in my head.”

Eleven years on, she said her situation had improved little.

“I have pain all the time,” she said.

“I’ll have to give up my job eventually. My financial future is also affected. I’ve been extremely depressed and anxious.”

Ms Villani said the worst part was that she was “not the only one”.

“Some women are expecting to die from their complications,” she said.

“I’ve friends who probably won’t make it.”

Patient advocates call for regulation of devices

And while Ms Villani welcomed the Government’s reforms to regulation and reporting, she said it did very little to help women who were continuing to struggle with debilitating side-effects from the product.

“I have friends who are talking about suicide. So we all need help,” she said.

“I would like to believe the Federal Government is serious about reform but what I see is a lot of this comes down to money.

“Money isn’t the issue, we are the issue.”

Patient advocates had been hoping for much tighter regulations of implantable devices, so that a scandal like pelvic mesh could not happen to other patients in the future.

Health Issues Centre chief Danny Vadasz said the Minister’s apology would provide much-needed validation to women who had long been told their problems were in their heads.

He welcomed the push for mandatory reporting, but said it relied on doctors listening to their patients.

“What we found in a lot of cases [was] women believed they had an adverse outcome but their practitioners didn’t,” Mr Vadasz said.

“You can only effectively mandate something if there’s an agreement on what constitutes an adverse result.”

He said the states and territories, to date, had not made an audit of past mesh cases a priority, but “hopefully with the Minister’s encouragement they will put this on the front burner”.

Mr Hunt said discussions were also underway to include implantable devices on the My Health record, if a patient chose.

But he said it would not be mandatory and the Government wanted to make sure that the My Health record system “was an entirely voluntary system”.

Mr Vadasz did not think the My Health record was an adequate avenue for a registry of devices because it had “sufficient problems of its own”.

“Complicating one problem by introducing the problems of another isn’t a way of coming up with an overall solution,” he said.

The Health Issues Centre was also hoping to see stricter credentialing around which surgeons were allowed to implant mesh.

“I haven’t heard anything yet that suggests there’s going to be tighter control of clinical trials that would enable a high degree of confidence in products that find their way to market,” Mr Vadasz said.

“I think people still need an explanation about why the various regulatory systems that are supposed to protect the public failed.”

(Source: ABC News Australia)

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Qantas to train thousands of pilots in Australia. 18,000 have already applied.

A new multi-million-dollar pilot training centre will be built in Toowoomba on Queensland’s Darling Downs, as part of a plan by airline giant Qantas to keep up with growing global demand and already 18,000 people have applied for positions.

The site at Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport will be one of two centres to be built across Australia — with the second location yet to be announced.

Earlier this year, Toowoomba and Mackay had been shortlisted among seven other regional locations, including Alice Springs, Bendigo, Busselton, Dubbo, Launceston, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga.

The $35 million academy and accommodation facility will have an initial intake of 100 pilots when it opens its doors next year, with a capacity of up to 250 pilots a year.

Picture Alan Joyce QF

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said enrolments will be open to domestic and international students.

“What we’re ultimately creating is a world-class pilot school for students from Australia and around the globe,” he said.

“Toowoomba will be an amazing place to learn to fly.

“It’s home to Australia’s newest airport and offers over 300 days of Queensland sunshine each year and an environment that is textbook for pilot training.”

Picture Boeing cockpit

More than 18,000 people have so far registered their interest for enrolments online.

Construction will begin next month at Wellcamp airport, and will be operational by mid-2019.

Qantas says an estimated 790,000 extra pilots will be needed globally over the next 20 years – about a third of those in the Asia Pacific – as population growth and burgeoning middle classes see more people take to the sky.

Airlines are already complaining about a shortage of pilots, with Qantas having to cut back some regional services this year because it was running short. The airline was recently granted permission to bring in up to 76 foreign pilots and flight instructors for its QantasLink arm, sparking anger from Qantas’ pilots unions.

How Have Intimate Relationships Changed Over the Years, and Where Does It Leave Us Now?

A good article worth reading.

Damon Ashworth Psychology

caleb-ekeroth-11806.jpg

I just finished reading the book ‘Modern Romance: An Investigation’ by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg and was pleasantly surprised to see such a well-researched book written predominantly by a Stand-up Comedian (with a helping hand from a Sociologist).

For those of you who don’t know Aziz, his stand-up shows typically consist of interesting observations about relationships, as does his new series ‘Master of None’:

Considering that I’d already seen and liked both his stand-up and his show, I was definitely intrigued to see his name next to a book about Modern Romance in my local bookstore. Here’s what his research found:

How Has Dating Changed?

love-1311039-1279x850

1. Distance

Back in 1932, a Sociologist named James Bossard examined 5000 consecutive marriage licences in the city of Philidelphia, USA, and looked into how close the partners had lived to each other before they married. Here’s what he found:

  • Same address – 12.64%
  • Same block…

View original post 2,813 more words

Breaking the silence: why priests should be made to report child abuse revealed in confession

Catholic priest picture

Last December, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse made public its final report, containing 409 recommendations. The inquiry revealed that there were numerous instances where senior officials in churches failed to report allegations of child sexual abuse while in their care.

Since then, there have been steps forward. For example, on July 1, the National Redress Scheme was established to support people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse.

What has been particularly controversial is recommendation 7.4, which states:

Laws concerning mandatory reporting to child protection authorities should not exempt persons in religious ministry from being required to report knowledge or suspicions formed, in whole or in part, on the basis of information disclosed in or in connection with a religious confession.

The conflict between the rules of the Catholic Church on the confidentiality of confessions and mandatory reporting laws is not a new issue. These laws require people from selected professions (known as “mandatory reporters”) to report suspected child abuse to government authorities. However, recommendation 7.4 has recently reignited the debate.

Australian state and territory governments are responsible for mandatory reporting laws. They have shown an intention to introduce laws that would give effect to the Royal Commission’s recommendation. If introduced, these laws would result in priests facing criminal charges if they fail to report child abuse disclosed in confession.

On 1 October, South Australia will become the first Australian jurisdiction to introduce a law compelling a “minister of religion” to report any confessions of child sexual abuse.

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has argued the “safety of children should always be put first”.

However, Catholic priests argue that such laws would not “make children any safer”. They maintain that the proposed laws are “contrary to their faith and would hamper religious liberty”. Some priests are apparently “willing to go to jail” rather than break the seal.

The seal of confession

The seal of confession, also known as the “sacrament of penance” or “sacrament of reconciliation”, is fundamental to the Catholic faith. Sinners can ask for forgiveness for their sins, allowing them to “reconcile with God and the Church”. It is usually done in the confessional box in a church. The seal applies only to communications made during sacramental confession to a priest.

Canon law forbids priests from disclosing a confession. It declares:

The sacramental seal is inviolable; therefore it is absolutely forbidden for a confessor to betray in any way a penitent in words or in any manner and for any reason.

A priest who violates the confessional faces ex-communication, which is the most severe form of punishment in the Catholic faith.

While maintaining the confessional seal is “inviolable” within the Catholic Church, there is no obligation on Australia’s secular society to recognise canon law.

Religious privilege

The most recent census shows that Australia is a secular and multi-faith society. Yet, some laws in Australia continue to provide an exception for religious organisations.

For example, section 127 of the Commonwealth Evidence Act 1995 confers a privilege for religious confessions. It entitles members of the clergy to “refuse to divulge” a religious confession, but only if the confession was not made for a criminal purpose. Evidence laws in most Australian jurisdictions also protect religious confession privilege.

The privilege conferred on religious organisations would be significantly limited if recommendation 7.4 is adopted.

The religious freedom argument

Central to the debate has been that protecting the seal of confession is part of religious freedom. Priests who oppose the proposed law have argued that denying the “confessional privilege would leave them in fear of surveillance and prosecution for their religion”.

Religious freedom is recognised under section 116 of the Constitution and by Australian courts.

Australia is also a party to a several international agreements that protect religious freedom, such as International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

However, rights are not absolute, especially where there are competing rights that seek to protect people from harm. Child sexual abuse is a horrific crime that violates children’s rights. No freedom of religion argument should prevail over the rights of children not to be abused.

What will ending the secrecy achieve?

Laws mandating priests to break the confessional seal by reporting child sexual abuse sound good in theory. However, we know what is good in theory does not always work in practice.

The practicality and effectiveness of laws removing the confessional seal are questionable. This is particularly so if religious leaders are refusing to abide such laws. Because the Catholic Church has accounted for the majority (61.8%) of sexual abuse allegations investigated by the Royal Commission, the proposed legislation seems futile without the support of their clergy.

It would be wishful thinking to believe child molesters would disclose their offending in confession if priests were legally obliged to break confidentiality.

Arguably, maintaining the seal might prevent molesters from committing further acts of sexual abuse. During the confession, a priest can encourage the abuser to seek psychiatric help or come forward to the police. Indeed, some priests claim they would deny absolution to those unwilling to seek treatment or counselling for their offending.

Yet, there is a significant risk that abusers will continue to offend if they are not reported to authorities.

According to Bishop Greg O’Kelly, child abuse confessions are uncommon. He reported that “no one had ever confessed it to him in his 46 years as a priest”. This is consistent with claims made by clergy to the Royal Commission.

However, this conflicts with Dr Marie Keenan’s small-scale study, which was also referred to during the Royal Commission’s inquiry.

In this study, eight of nine of the priest participants admitted the confession box provided them with a “safe” place to confess sexual abusing children, resolve never to offend again, and seek forgiveness. Keenan observed that the secrecy and safety of the confessional space might have encouraged the abuse to continue.

We need to think outside the confessional box

The effectiveness of laws requiring priests to report child abuse in preventing future offending is difficult, if not impossible, to measure. But that is not an excuse for inaction.

We should pause and consider the implications of laws limiting the confessional seal. What would subjecting priests to criminal censure if they fail to report confessions of child abuse to the authorities accomplish? What is the lesser of the two evils: having no confession at all or having a confession with the prospect of priests guiding abusers to seek help?

Most importantly, it must be ensured that whatever is decided the situation is not made worse for victims, survivors and children in the care of institutions.

(C)  The Conversation Australia.

 

Aged care failures show how little we value older people – and those who care for them

Aged Care photo

As the royal commission begins investigating the failures of the residential aged care sector, it is important such a review also considers the broader socio-political factors that have contributed to this crisis.

The commission needs to go beyond the institutional problems at individual aged care facilities, as these are a symptom of a much broader rejection of ageing in society and marginalisation of older people.

Negative stereotyping of older people is reinforced in the media, and this both informs and reflects societal attitudes. In Western society especially, we fear dependency, invisibility and dying. Aged care is a silo of these fears. And until it affects us personally, we ignore it.

How older people are marginalised in society

We have an expiry date in our society. This is not the date we die, but a time when our skills and knowledge are no longer considered to be valid or useful. Our value is largely determined by our economic contributions to society. But for many older people, this is difficult to demonstrate because they’re no longer in the workforce.

The economic impact of societal rejection of ageing is significant. Modelling by Price Waterhouse Cooper indicates that Australia’s gross domestic product would increase by almost 5% if people were supported to work longer. And data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal that many Australians would like to retire later if they could.

Yet, there is evidence that older people are routinely denied work. In 2016, Age Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan said there was an urgent need to “tackle the discrimination that forces people out of work years before they want to leave”.

While older people should be supported to work longer if they wish, over half of Australians between the ages of 65 and 80 report a moderate or severe disability, resulting in greater dependency. A 2017 study of late-life dependency published in The Lancet found that, on average, older people will require 24-hour care for 1.3 to 1.9 years of their lives.

However, it is important that older people are not considered redundant in their societal role when dependency increases.

Aged care workers are also undervalued

Residential aged care facilities fulfil an essential role in our society. Yet, our recent ethnographic study in two residential aged care facilities in Victoria shows how this role has been compromised by an under-skilled, under-valued and overworked aged care workforce.

Older people were exposed to a revolving door of anonymous workers, significantly reducing opportunities for teamwork and fostering relationships between staff and residents. In one of the not-for-profit facilities, a single registered nurse was responsible for the care of 73 residents. This contributed to the delegation of an increasing range of tasks to unregistered personal care assistants with minimal training and delays in recognising signs of health deterioration among residents.

A reliance on general practitioners also increased the likelihood of hospital transfer. And hospital transfers can sometimes prove harmful, with previous studies showing that the noisy, fast-paced environment, bright lights and anonymous faces can have a negative impact on residents, particularly those with dementia.

Within the healthcare sector, aged care has the lowest status of all specialty areas amongst nurses and doctors. Recruiting appropriately qualified and skilled people to work in aged care is thus a constant challenge. Australia is expected to increasingly rely on imported labour to staff its aged care sector in the near future.

Ways to fix the system

Encouraging more healthcare professionals to enter the aged care sector will require a multi-pronged approach, starting with finding ways to engender more professional respect for those working in the field.

Greater emphasis also needs to be placed on improving the gerontological expertise of aged care workers. This can be strengthened by prioritising aged care in medical school education and recognising “nursing home” care as a specialist medical area. It is also imperative that personal care assistants receive greater recognition of their roles and duties.

Registration of personal care assistants as third-tier health care professionals is well overdue to ensure better oversight of their training and scope of their practice.

We also need to recognise the importance of human connection in residential aged care facilities. This requires strategies to build better relationships between residents and staff, and developing a formula for more accurate staffing allocations that reflect the real time commitments involved in aged care.

Who bears the ultimate responsibility?

It’s not enough to be shocked by the aged care scandals uncovered by the media and the decision to appoint a royal commission to investigate. We must also make older people, their contributions and end-of-life needs more visible. Increased funding and oversight will only come when we collectively say it’s important.

It is incumbent on us to ensure that residential aged care facilities do not operate as holding bays for the silenced, or wastelands for the discarded, where the occupants are expected to demand nothing and be as little cost to society as possible.

We have an opportunity to reconstruct the delivery of residential aged care. Let’s begin with the end in mind: a society that not only values older people, but values the resources required to provide the care they need and deserve.

Article from:

The Conversation

 

 

Leave Australia Day alone.

 

Australian flag

I am a proud Australian. Even prouder because I left another country and took up citizenship in what I consider to be one of the most tolerant and beautiful nations on this earth.

Australia for all intents and purposes was born on 26th January 1788. January 26 marks the landing of the First Fleet, a convoy of 11 ships carrying convicts who landed at Port Jackson in 1788. This event represents the founding of the colony New South Wales; the most populated state in Australia.

Because it marks the day of colonisation, Aboriginal Australians have launched major campaigns and renamed it Invasion Day. That may be so but the reality is prosperity started coming to this nation when the first Europeans landed and to put it frankly a great many indigenous people have prospered from that. And so they should.

In recent years, efforts have been made to make the holiday include all Australians, and in 2013, the Australian flag and Aboriginal flag were raised on the Sydney Harbour Bridge for the first time on Australia Day. It hasn’t worked.

Now there are moves afoot to move the day and instead mark the celebration of Indigenous living in this nation. Now I don’t have a problem with that and nor should any decent thinking Australian. However I do object to removing European history from our nation.

Captain James Cook.

Face it. Captain James Cook was one of the greatest explorers and navigators in history. In three voyages, Cook sailed thousands of miles across largely uncharted areas of the globe. He mapped lands from Australia and New Zealand to Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean in greater detail and on a scale not previously achieved. As he progressed on his voyages of discovery, he surveyed and named features, and he recorded islands and coastlines on European maps for the first time. He displayed a combination of seamanship, superior surveying and cartographic skills, physical courage, and an ability to lead men in adverse conditions. Cook was attacked and killed in 1779 during his third exploratory voyage in the Pacific while attempting to kidnap Kalaniʻōpuʻu, a Hawaiian chief, in order to reclaim a cutter stolen from one of his ships. He left a legacy of scientific and geographical knowledge which influenced his successors well into the 20th century, and numerous memorials worldwide have been dedicated to him. He is held in such high regard in Hawaii that the British national flag sits in a corner of the state flag.

When he sailed down the east coast of Australia in 1770 and later came ashore he found a land that explorers had searched for for years. The Dutch actually landed on the west coast a century before but did not realise where they were and laid no claim. Upon his return to England the government was so keen to colonise the new found lands that they began to empty their jails and ship people off. Most were sentenced to seven years penal servitude and the voyage must have been hell. Nobody really knew what to expect and upon arrival they foolishly tended to ignore and attack the native people rather than try and learn how to live off the land from them.

But that does not mean all those who landed on those leaking ships were bad. For sure they had never encountered a land like this before and it must have been a daunting task working in conditions that were to say the least harsh. Many were thrashed for a minor infringement and yet the colonial leaders turned a blind eye to promiscuity. Slowly but surely the more adventurous took off and found riches unknown before. A land that was blindingly hot, dry, often without fresh water and full of animals and insects they had never encountered before gradually became one of the richest nations in the world. Australia is now rated as the 18th richest nation in the world.

But I digress. I’m no fan of our new Prime Minister Scott Morrison but when he said these words I had to agree: “We don’t have to pull Australia Day down to actually recognise the achievements of Indigenous Australia, the oldest living culture in the world; the two can coexist,.

“Australia Day is Australia Day … You can’t pretend your history isn’t your history.

“That’s the day the flag went up in Farm Cove. That’s the day the course of the nation changed.”

And so be it. You can argue about an invasion, you can argue about disease and killing and nobody with any sense will argue against you on those subjects. They are our shame and we should never forget them. But the Australia that has gradually changed in over 200 years has brought world standards in health, housing and opportunities (if you choose to take them) to make a success of your life.

To put it bluntly you don’t have to ignore your past but life is what you make it. I know one lady whose ancestors were convicts on that fleet. She is a Judge in Sydney now.

For the record it is thought the First Fleet carried the following:

The First Fleet consisted of 11 ships carrying approximately 1,487 people. As far as records show, this included:

  • 759 convicts,
  • 13 children of convicts,
  • 252 marines, wives and children
  • 20 officials
  • 210 Royal Navy seamen
  • 233 merchantmen

And the journey of the First Fleet took about 8 months to travel the 15,000 miles between England and Australia. Nowadays a Qantas plane can go from Australia to England in 19 hours. We’ve come a long way.

Parts of this essay are attributed to Wikipedia.

 

The right to die with dignity is mine and mine alone.

I have the right to die in the manner I choose. I’m not talking about suicide but rather if I have a terminal disease or if I suffer an illness that leaves me in a vegetative state.

Frankly I have seen far too many people suffering from a terminal illness and the look in their eyes says it all – get me out of here.

At the moment in Australia I have to travel overseas if I am terminally ill and wish to no longer be a part of this earth that I have inhabited for many long years. That frankly is ridiculous and boils down to several factors. Politicians who don’t have the guts to make that final decision, religious zealots who influence the politicians and threaten them with block votes at election time (voting is compulsory in Australia)  and people who feel that life and death is not in their hands but some other being in the ether, or sad world in which they live.

And frankly many doctors are too frightened to take on these lobby groups. On the other hand I have seen a medico quietly help a very sick and dying person go to another life and there has been no pain.

But we have to understand that although 99% of doctors are highly intelligent sometimes they are extremely stupid prolonging the life of a person who is in intense pain.

One doctor told me once that he would not increase the morphine dose for a dying, elderly woman because she might become addicted. She died two days later in  agony.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy living in this world and hope to live for many years longer and although my body is telling me it is getting old I’m still happy to enjoy the company of others, walk with my dog, enjoy a good meal, listen to good music, read books and carry on living. At the same time I live in fear of having an illness such as a severe stroke where I am unable to look after myself and will simply lay there wishing to die as soon as possible – is that too much to ask?

If you have ever seen a person who has had a severe stroke then you will understand what I am saying.

I have lost count of the amount of times the various legislators in this nation have considered euthanasia, or the more politically correct term assisted dying.

Currently euthanasia is illegal in Australia but Australian states can legislate on the issue. It was legal for a period in the Northern Territory and in November 2017 legislation to allow assisted suicide passed the Parliament of Victoria but will not come into effect until mid-2019. A patient can elect not to receive any treatment for a terminal illness and can also elect to have their life support turned off. And other states are now considering it – but I’m not hopeful.

The Australian Think Tank Australia 21 recently stated: The issue of how we, as a society, regulate VE and AS arises in a particular social, demographic and medical context. For example, Australia has an ageing population and the baby boomer generation is now (and will increasingly be) involved in medical decisions as they come to the end of their lives. This generation will not be passive recipients of paternalistic medical practices, and will insist on greater input in and control over their dying process. At the same time, VE and AS are issues that are of significant interest to the public and are issues about which there is majority public support for reform.

Further, this debate occurs in the context of ongoing advances in medicine. Lives can be sustained in circumstances that have never previously been contemplated, and decisions need to be made about whether to give life-sustaining medical treatment, or allow the individual to die. There have also been significant improvements in palliative care which have enabled pain in dying patients to be managed to the extent that has not been possible in the past.

An omission to provide life-sustaining medical treatment is lawful in Australia, unless the patient is deemed mentally incapable of consent.

According to Wikipedia: In 2011 the Supreme Court of New South Wales gave a two-year suspended sentence to a 66-year-old man who had facilitated the death of his long-term 78-year-old partner by helping her overdose on drugs and suffocating her. The deceased suffered from severe pain arising from a spinal condition. Furthermore, the deceased had expressed a wish to die in a suicide note written prior to her death. The court convicted the man of manslaughter. The court accounted for the accuser’s substantial impairment at the time the act was committed as well the fact that he voluntarily revealed his involvement in the commission of the offence.

Exit International made TV ads arguing for voluntary euthanasia, which were banned just before they were scheduled to broadcast in September 2010.

In 2018 Liberal Democrats legislator David Leyonhjelm introduced a bill into the Senate to remove the federal ban on the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory legislating for euthanasia. The bill was given priority in the Senate and was subject to a conscience vote for both the Coalition Government and opposition Labor Party, though it was defeated at the second reading stage by 36 votes to 34.

Just two votes or three if it were to pass was all it would have taken. Surely that tells our politicians something?

In the meantime I have to hope that I’ll die quietly in my sleep and be no burden to any person and that includes my family, my doctor, nursing staff and carers.

Just a small addendum.  If you have concerns about dying go and see a lawyer and make a Living Will. It will relieve your family of the burden of having to make a decision they don’t really want to make but know they probably should. And tell your doctor if you are having surgery that you have a written Do Not Resuscitate order in place should something go wrong and you end up on the vegetable table.

Written with references from: Wikipedia; Think Tank 21.