An Independent Queensland Regional & Rural
(Cairns... Far North Queensland)
MY RIGHT TO DIE... MY CHOICE!
Voluntary Euthanasia - Terminology
is important to define the terms related to Voluntary Euthanasia as follows...
means the intentional termination of the life of a person, by another person, in
order to relieve the first person’s suffering.
According to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, it is derived from
the Greek 'eu', meaning good, and 'thanatos' meaning death, and so means “a
quiet and easy death”.
means the intentional termination of the life of a patient by a physician, or
someone acting under the direction of a physician, at the patient’s request,
for compassionate reasons.
can be voluntary, non-voluntary or involuntary.
Euthanasia” means euthanasia performed in accordance with the wishes of a
competent individual, whether those wishes have been made known personally or by
a valid, written advance directive.
euthanasia” means euthanasia performed without knowledge of the wishes
expressed by a competent person or through a valid Advance Health Directive
euthanasia” means euthanasia performed against the wishes expressed by a
competent person or through a valid advance directive.
suicide” means the act of intentionally killing oneself with the assistance of
another person who provides the knowledge, means or both.
“Physician-assisted suicide” means the act of intentionally killing
oneself with the assistance of a medical practitioner, or person acting under
the direction of a medical practitioner, who provides the knowledge, means, or
dying” and “assisted death” are generic terms used to describe both
assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia.
“Physician-assisted death” and “physician-assisted dying” are
likewise generic terms that encompass physician-assisted suicide and voluntary
euthanasia that is performed by a medical practitioner or a person acting under
the direction of a medical practitioner.
Other medical practices that physicians employ at the end of a
patient’s life do not fall within the terms “assisted death” or
of potentially life-sustaining treatment” means ceasing treatment that has the
potential to sustain a person’s life.
“Withholding potentially life-sustaining treatment” means
intentionally refraining from commencing treatment that has the potential to
sustain a person’s life.
care” means care provided to people of all ages who have a life-limiting
illness, with little or no prospect of cure, and for whom the primary treatment
goal is quality of life. The treatment is aimed at alleviating suffering –
physical, emotional, psychological, or spiritual – rather than curing.
It aims neither to hasten nor to postpone death, but affirms life and
regards dying as a normal process.
It recognizes the special needs of patients and families at the end of
life, and offers a support system to help them cope.
sedation” means the intentional administration of sedative medication to
reduce a patient’s level of consciousness, with the intent to alleviate
suffering at the end of life.
It includes both intermittent and continuous sedation, as well as both
superficial and deep sedation.
It may be accompanied by the withdrawal of artificial hydration and
The phrase “terminal sedation” is occasionally used synonymously with
related to consent and capacity are also central to any discussion of assisted
In the health law context, “informed consent” means an intelligent
choice as to treatment options made after the patient has been provided with
sufficient information to evaluate the risks and benefits of the proposed
treatment and other available options.
“Competence” and “capacity” mean the ability to understand the subject-matter in respect of which a decision must be made, and the ability to appreciate the consequences of that decision. When a patient is competent, he or she is said to have “testamentary capacity”, which means the ability to make a subjective treatment decision based on an understanding of the medical facts provided by the doctor and on an assessment of one’s own personal circumstances.
Voluntary Euthanasia - The Answer
Research has shown that a majority of the people of Australia are in favour of Voluntary Euthanasia with due safeguards. The legislation enacted in the Northern Territory and the procedures devised by Dr Philip Nitschke gave terminally ill people the opportunity to choose between a slow, and in most cases an agonising death, as against a dignified end at a time of their choice.
There have been numerous surveys and public option polls conducted throughout Australia, which have resulted in an overwhelmingly 78% of Australian's being in favour of Voluntary Euthanasia.
The Federal Government as two choices, repeal the Andrews Bill or initiate a national referendum to coincide with a federal election, and have a majority decision made at the ballet box by the Australian People.
In the Federal Senate on Monday March 24th 1997, Queensland party politicians, elected to represent the Queensland people, voted on a private member's Bill to overturn the Northern Territory law by 38 to 34. The results of the Queensland Senate representatives is as follows:
Voted AGAINST and subsequently overturned the Northern Territory Voluntary Euthanasia Legislation:
INDEPENDENT (was LABOR PARTY)
Those who voted in FAVOUR of the Northern Territory Voluntary Euthanasia Legislation.
DEMOCRATS (then LABOR PARTY, now gone)
As a result of the Northern Territory Voluntary Euthanasia Legislation being overturned, the expressed WILL OF THE PEOPLE was not observed by these party politicians. Any elected representative of the Australian people who ignores the wishes of a majority of his/her constituents, regardless of his/her personal opinion, MUST be considered unacceptable for public office.
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Written and Authorised by Selwyn Johnston,
Cairns FNQ 4870