Australia's Euthanasia regime about to kick in


Dear .....

In this email:
  • an update on Israel Folau
  • Victoria’s euthanasia regime is about to kick in
  • AFC news – including potential employment

Israel Folau to sue for up to $10 million
Confirming the path many thought he would take, Israel Folau has recently launched legal action.
The sacked former rugby international has launched legal proceedings with the Fair Work Commission against Rugby Australia and the Waratahs for breach of contract.

Folau’s lawyers say that under the Fair Work Act it is unlawful to terminate employment on the basis of religion. Folau is seeking up to $10 million in damages in a move that could potentially bankrupt Rugby Australia.

The damages sought comprise lost earnings of around $5 million, plus lost opportunities and sponsorships.

“I will forever be grateful and proud to have played the sport I love for our nation,” Folau said in a statement.

“Ours is an amazing country built on important principles, including freedom of religion. A nation made up of so many different faiths and cultural backgrounds will never be truly rich unless this freedom applies to all of us,” he said.

“The messages of support we have received over these difficult few weeks have made me realise there are many Australians who feel their fundamental rights are being steadily eroded.

“No Australian of any faith should be fired for practising their religion.”

This is a view that clearly resonated with AFC supporters – 25,000 of whom emailed Folau’s employers prior to his termination.
We watch the case with interest.

Death comes to Victoria
The Victorian euthanasia & assisted suicide regime starts next week.

This is the first time an Australian state has sanctioned such a program. It’s also the first such system in Australia since the short-lived 1990s Northern Territory regime that saw several people die – before that law was overruled.

In Victoria, 89 doctors are being trained in the death process, 3 pharmacists are currently preparing the lethal cocktails to be used, and 2 “navigators” stand ready to assist those seeking to die.

Euphemisms abound (with life-ending poison referred to as “medication”) and a government-sponsored hotline is there to provide “advice”.

Shockingly, the death certificates of those who choose assisted suicide or euthanasia will state the cause of death as the condition they were suffering at the time – not the truth of how they actually died.

Referring to the Victorian system as “conservative” is utterly ridiculous. Overseas regimes once praised for their safeguards are now seeing children’s lives ended.
Permitting some suicides but not others also sends a terrible message to the thousands suffering with mental health issues, and undermines the good work being done to support those people.

Once Pandora’s Box is opened, who knows where things will end?

AFC survey
On a happier note, we recently launched our first-ever online supporter survey – and we’ve been encouraged by the number of people participating.
Please have your say (it only takes a few minutes) by visiting this link:

Freedom Declaration
Meanwhile, our Freedom Declaration is working its way towards 18,000 signatories. In the light of the Folau case and the looming federal debate on freedom of religion and belief, it’s crucial that we continue to build momentum.
If you haven’t already done so, please CLICK HERE to sign theFreedom Declaration – and please also help us by sharing the link with your likeminded family and friends:

Potential employment
Last week, we opened expressions of interest for potential employment with AFC.



Voluntary euthanasia to begin in Victoria as assisted
dying laws take effect this week

Video: How pharmacists will dispense drugs to eligible Victorians
under the state's assisted dying laws (ABC News)

Terri Eskdale never imagined becoming an advocate for voluntary euthanasia laws, but after watching her partner Mark Brennan's health deteriorate as he battled multiple sclerosis (MS), the issue was thrust upon her. Mark had battled MS for decades and as the disease took hold of his body he decided to end his own life. Without the option of voluntary assisted dying laws, his death was a lonely one and caused his family great pain. "You never really know if someone is going to follow through with something like that so yes, it was a shock," Terri said.
The experience led Terri to tell Mark's story to a 2015 parliamentary inquiry examining end of life choices.

Her submission urged politicians to make sure people did not have to die without support.

"People should be able to choose a time to die and have people, loved ones around them and die free of trauma because people are killing themselves already. People are ending their lives in unusually cruel ways anyway," she said.

Informed by the inquiry, the Victorian Parliament passed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act in November 2017. After an 18-month implementation phase, the laws will become active on Wednesday. (Emphasis added)

Premier Daniel Andrews said the Government had received about 100 inquiries from people seeking to use the new laws. "We anticipate in the first 12 months, based on overseas experience, around a dozen people that will access voluntary assisted dying," he said. He said that number was projected to stabilise at about 100 or 150 people per year.

How will it work?
  • After all approvals, a kit is delivered to a person's home
  • A representative will take the person through the process
  • Other people can be present during this instruction
  • The kit contains the patient's information and step-by-step instructions that may be translated
  • It also contains a locked box with the medication inside
  • A key to the box is provided to the patient
  • There are also some pre-medications to take prior to taking the substance
  • The patient will mix the medications themselves before taking the fatal dose

Applicants must be Victorian residents, aged over 18 and be assessed by two doctors to have a terminal illness with intolerable pain that will likely cause death within six months or 12 months if the illness is a neurodegenerative condition like motor neurone disease.

The laws also have safeguards to prevent terminally ill people being pressured into a decision. Anyone who is the beneficiary of the person's will cannot be among the two witnesses required to sign the application. Authorities will not reveal the exact make-up of the drug prescribed under the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act. But it is similar to the product Nembutal. It will be dispensed by pharmacists at the Alfred Hospital, which was asked by the State Government to provide the service.

Read on...



It is Official!

Wednesday June 19 marks the first day that a select number of qualifying Victorians may choose to end their life with the assistance of a doctor.

This landmark health and legal development is the result of years of research and consultation with a range of people in the community and various health and rights groups and organisations.

The new law allows people who are already at the end of their lives who have an advanced, progressive and incurable illness to ask a doctor for medication that will assist them to end their life at a time of their choosing.

The right of choice
Tricia Malowney, a disability rights advocate who is hitting her stride in her mid-60s, is a passionate voice for providing people with equitable access to those choices at the end of their lives.

Tricia was part of the Victorian Ministerial Advisory Panel on Voluntary Assisted Dying, and has since worked on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Implementation Taskforce to work through the practicalities of putting the laws into action.

She has been intimately involved with the development of the new legislation.

‘This legislation allows people to have a choice about their end-of-life care. It puts the decision-making process back into people’s own hands,’ Tricia says.
Few may qualify

Tricia is quick to emphasise that the new legislation will only affect a very small number of people.

She says that for most of us, Victoria’s excellent palliative care and end-of-life services will be more than enough to meet our needs in our final months and weeks.

The law states that people can only access voluntary assisted dying if they meet all of the following conditions:

1. They must have an advanced disease that will cause their death and that is:

  • likely to cause their death within six months (or within 12 months for neurodegenerative diseases like motor neurone disease) and
  • causing the person suffering that is unacceptable to them.
2. They must have the ability to make and communicate a decision about voluntary assisted dying throughout the formal request process.

3. They must also:

  • be an adult 18 years or over; and
  • have been living in Victoria for at least 12 months; and
  • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
Look out for the full story on Voluntary Assisted Dying in our upcoming Seniors Card Magazine due out in September.

In the meantime you can find out more at the Better Health Channel.