Stories & Articles

The terrifying side to voluntary euthanasia

Vanessa de Largie | RendezView | The Daily Telegraph | June 21, 2019

For all those rejoicing Victoria’s new voluntary euthanasia laws, have you stopped to think what this means for our already vulnerable elderly?: A background paper for the aged care royal commission released this week reveals old people are failing to plan their care. Advanced care planning enables an individual to convey their healthcare wishes for a time in the future when they are unable to make their own decisions. The paper reveals that only three per cent of people over 65 actually have a statutory advanced care directive in place which means many elderly people approaching the end of life will have those big decisions made for them.

The 2016 Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence recognised the multifarious issues our elderly face such as physical, mental and financial abuse plus increased dependency on carers and family members.

I am an Australian who is proudly anti-euthanasia.  I’m not religious and I’m not conservative.  Nor am I some weirdo-degenerate with a red velvet hat and a black cane — who enjoys the pain and suffering of others.  Nope, I’m just an everyday Aussie who sadly witnessed a family member prematurely euthanised — well before their time.  Bullied by doctors and care staff, my mother (who had possible months of life left) — had her final decisions made for her.

Through my lived experiences, I know more than most.  Euthanasia isn’t as black and white as the Victorian government and the mainstream media likes to make out.

Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews says “Victoria has taken a compassionate approach” by legalising voluntary euthanasia. I beg to differ — if only voluntary euthanasia was as aboveboard as Mr. Andrews would like us to believe.

On pages 67-69 of the Victorian Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 it discusses the offence of inducing another person to request voluntary euthanasia which by the way is punishable for up to five years maximum imprisonment.  

Five years in the slammer for persuading another person to request assisted dying? Are you kidding me? This short prison sentence is a disgrace, people get longer for theft.

And let’s be real, these types of laws have little to no effect. Detection will be minimal. Elderly victims are easily pressured behind closed doors and their requests for euthansia will appear voluntary.  Opportunities for foulplay are already abundant within the aged care community, with up to 14% of elderly people being abused in any given year.  I believe these new laws will only make things worse.

Voluntary euthanasia is being promoted and advertised under the ‘freedom flag’ but I’m not buying it.  Pro-euthanasia folk have told me they have the right to decide how they are going to die and that they will choose a dignified end.  Which is ironic because that’s what I want for ALL elderly Australians.

I don’t want them to be duped and their lives cut short because they are vulnerable and are unable to defend themselves against these monsters who call themselves human. I don’t want any elderly lady or gentleman to be prematurely euthanised like my beautiful mother was.

In 2017, former Prime Minister, Paul Keating urged all members of parliament to reject the voluntary assisted dying bill.  He accused Australian pollies of basically voting to remove the most basic human right.  He said:

“What it means is that the civic guidance provided by the state … is voided when it comes to the protection of our most valuable asset; the essential human rights of the citizenry, especially and particularly those in either a fragile state or state of mind or fragile period. To do or to cause to abrogate the core human instinct to survive and live for the spirit to hang on against physical deprivation, is to turn one’s back on the compulsion built into the hundreds of thousands of years of our ­evolution.”

Keating’s words speak to me.  They speak to many Australians who have seen the murkiness of illegal euthanasia behind the scenes.  

I have a nauseous feeling in my gut as I powerlessly watch and wait for these new laws to take effect. My fear is for those who don’t have the voice or means to speak up.