Palliative Care The Correct Antidote to Euthanasia

Slipped in amongst the distraction of the Same Sex Marriage survey were attempts to legislate for assisted suicide in both Victoria and New South Wales. While the NSW legislation failed to pass Parliament, in Victoria the legislation is tracking to be passed.
In this article from the Centre for Independent Studies, Jessica Borbasi argues that if the truth about palliative care is understood, there is no need for any form of euthanasia.

Cancel the one-way tickets to Victoria

Jessica Borbasi

21 NOVEMBER 2017 | THE SPECTATOR; FLAT WHITE

health care pallative heartIt is a sad reality that perfectly well older Australians are looking into their futures and finding solace in the potential of physician-assisted suicide.

Irrespective of what this says about our society and our care of the elderly, the death myths driving the desire for a one-way ticket to Victoria (in anticipation of the legislation being passed) deserve to be critiqued before it’s too late.

Myth 1: Palliative care doesn’t work

There is sound evidence that palliative care not only provides relief from suffering — physical, psychosocial and spiritual — at the end of life but that it also improves satisfaction with care and rates of depression. The benefits of palliative care extend to families and carers.

In Australia, as little as 1-5% of people who receive palliative care have a sustained request to hasten their death.

Myth 2: Palliative care hastens death anyway

Despite popular belief, there is no evidence that quality palliative care — by relieving suffering — hastens death.

In fact, the landmark trial for palliative care found that those patients with lung cancer who received palliative care despite not receiving any ‘active’ treatment actually lived longer than those receiving chemotherapy. This was thought to be due to the reduced rates of depression among palliative care recipients — as depression likely hastens death.

Myth 3: Death is inevitably horrible

The overwhelming majority of patients who receive palliative care are not in pain when they die, do not request to hasten death, and are not fearful.

However, the overwhelming majority of older Australians who die from chronic disease do not receive palliative care. Dying within a health system that is geared towards curing and treating instead of caring and comforting means death has become dreaded.

Death is not inevitably horrible. It is the lack of palliative care and the way the system manages death that arouses dread.

Myth 4: 70% of Australians want to die at home

A South Australian study in 2006 asked participants as young as 15 where would they like to die if they had a terminal illness; 70% said ‘at home’. More robust research has asked people with a terminal illness and their families where they would like to die and where they would like to be cared for.

Most people want to be cared for at home but there is an increasing trend for both patients and their families to request a more supportive clinical environment in which to die. Death in hospital is not the problem — death without palliative care is.

Myth 5: Palliative care is about dying well

Palliative care has more to offer than a ‘good death’. A wealth of Australian and international evidenceshows that palliative care improves quality of life for both patients and their families. It does this by managing symptoms well and supporting patients to be as active as possible prior to death.

The peak of the baby boomer generation will reach 65 years of age in 2021 most of them will have four chronic diseases and with increasing frailty will die at very old ages (most don’t want to go the way their parents did).

We have four years to create a health system that can offer better community based care for older Australians with chronic disease.

Four years to re-arrange the fragmented health system and do away with the myths shrouding death.

We have even less time to provide a view of the future that isn’t so bleak as to inspire a desire to check into hotel Nembutal.

Dr Jessica Borbasi is a medical doctor and a research associate at the Centre for Independent Studies. She is the author of Life Before Death: Improving palliative care for older Australians.

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Economic Stupidity

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One of the things I really loathe about the place our society has sunk to is that people -often so-called “experts”, politicians and commentators- say stupid things and nobody challenges them.

On Wednesday the stupidest comment that I heard, and there were many in the category, was that legalising gay “marriage” will boost the economy by $1 billion per year. They quoted unnamed “economists” but I would say most of them would be Year 11 students.

Even if you take the quote at face value, and there was no evidence that this number was anything other than plucked out of the air on the spur of the moment, a billion dollars is nothing in our economy. Last year the Australian GDP was about a trillion dollars, so even a billion dollars increase is next to nothing, a rounding error (0.1% of the total). Compare this to coal which last year we exported over $56 billion.

But here is the stupid part of the figure. Most, if not all of the $1 billion that will now be spent (and we have no information about how accurate that figure is), would have been spent anyway. It is not money that suddenly appeared from nowhere. Yes, people in the wedding industry will get a boost, but that will be at the expense of other sectors of the economy. We all know that if you have to spend money on one thing you can’t spend it on another thing.

The annoying thing is that nobody ever questions these figures, whether handed out by politicians or unnamed sources. Don’t believe anything you hear in the media, especially when somebody is boosting their pet cause.

The Same Sex Marriage Vote

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We had our say, and the nation overwhelmingly voted “Yes” to same sex marriage. I am disappointed but not surprised.

What should Christians make of this?

Firstly, it should be a wake up call for anyone who maintains that Australia is a “Christian country.” It is not, and 60% of the population showed that they are not in favour of a strictly Christian society. Interestingly, the electorates where there was a majority “No” vote were those with a larger than average immigrant population- both Middle East and Asian.

Secondly, it should be a sign to the church that we need to be more intentional in missions. That is, we must take the message of Christ to the streets, to the workplace, to our neighbourhoods. There will be a temptation to withdraw from the public square, to sit in our comfortably padded pews and hope that nobody notices. Instead we need to get out and win hearts, minds and souls to the kingdom.

Thirdly we need to prepare for persecution for our beliefs. By that I don’t mean that Christians will be thrown into prison for being Christians. No it will be much more subtle than that. Human Rights Tribunals and other quasi-judicial bodies will prosecute individuals and groups who oppose the dominant narrative. If you dare to state that marriage should be between a man and a woman in any context other than a place of worship you may soon be liable to a complaint. If you think that is unlikely, consider the Bishop of Tasmania who was forced to appear before that state’s tribunal for publishing a booklet explaining the church’s position on marriage and supporting the current legal definition of marriage.

Finally we need to pray as never before. We must pray for our friends and neighbours to receive the gospel. People have been rejecting God for a couple of generations now and that trend is not showing any signs of being reversed. We live in a society that is increasingly narcissistic, because it is made up of people who think they are gods. We must repent of our own self-centredness and give ourselves anew to serving God and God alone.

 

Bill Muehlenberg: Marriage and History

There have been many despicable lies told by activists about the nature of marriage lately. One of these is that marriage takes many different forms in different societies. As Bill Muehlenberg points out, these are exceptions. The overwhelming natural form of marriage, in every society around the owrld and throughout history, is one man and one woman.

 

Marriage and History

Oct 7, 2017

The current marriage wars are so very odd for so many reasons. Until just recently the ideological left was vigorously insisting that marriage is just a piece of paper; that marriage is an oppressive and outdated institution; and that marriage is artificial – a relatively recent social construct.

Today however the left in general and the homosexual activists in particular are demanding the right to marriage, claiming it is the most important thing there is. So which is it? Is it just a waste of time or is it a necessity? Of course we know the answer to this already.

Marriage has never really been wanted by most homosexuals, and it is only the symbolic effect – plus the power and control that goes with it – that they seek through the redefinition – and thus destruction – of marriage. But all that I have documented in great detail elsewhere.

But let me look more closely at just one of the charges thrown around by the marriage attackers – at least up until recently. The claim that marriage and family are relatively recent inventions – often claimed to have originated in the US in the1950s! – deserves a response.

The simply answer is this: heterosexual marriage – the union of one man and one woman – is a historic and universal institution. The evidence for this is overwhelming. So all that I can do here is cite a number of experts who have done very thorough studies of such matters.

With so much material to choose from here, I have to be rather selective. But all the full quotes and references for this – and much more – are found in my book Dangerous Relations. Let me begin with family law expert Lynne Marie Kohn who stated, “Marriage was not invented, codified, or planned by human government. Rather, human government gave the stamp of approval to a design already manifested, honoured, maintained, and flourishing.”

 

Read the full article here

When Green Policies Fail (Nearly Always)

The unrelenting push for so-called renewable energy to replace coal in order to save the planet has its collateral damage. If you push up the price of electricity to make renewables competitive and decrease overall usage then people are going to find that alternatives become economically feasible- like ditching grid power for diesel generators. That’s got to be a win for the environment.

Jo Nova writes:

Some South Australian farmers going fully diesel for electricity

Diesel generator.  Coupole d'Helfaut in 1944,

Maybe they’ll get one like this one? ;-) Circa 1934.*

Green management of the South Australian grid scores another big success for the environment:

The Manns’ electricity costs have more than doubled in five years, from about $200,000 per annum to $500,000.

Due to the high prices, the family will this summer switch to diesel power to run their 116-stand rotary dairy and 14 irrigation centre pivots at Wye in the lower south east of South Australia.

The Manns are among Australia’s top 10 dairy producers, in terms of volume, milking up to 2300 cows and producing 19-21 million litres annually.

If only South Australia had more “cheap” solar and wind power, their electricity might be as low cost as the coal-fired Victorians:

Their move comes as South Australia’s dairy lobby has calculated the state’s dairy farmers paid about 40 per cent more for power than their Victorian neighbours last season.

The Mann’s are definitely going diesel this summer, but may set up a mixed solar-diesel-battery plan in the long run:

“Its embryonic, but information we have is saying we could get a payback within five years of (setting up a system on-farm) not connected to the grid, a combination of solar, diesel and batteries.

Imagine how expensive your electricity has to be for a small diesel generator to be cheaper than mass produced coal power? This could be the first time in 130 years that people connected to coal turbines switch off to use their own small fossil fueled generators because it’s cheaper.

Another world first for South Australia. And possibly a mark of the grid saturation point of intermittent renewables.

Gay Marriage Nothing To Do With Freedom of Speech

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Bill Muehlenberg: Affirm Traditional Marriage and You Can Lose Your Job for “Hate Speech”

Sep 19, 2017

Let me cut to the quick: if you dare to question the radical homosexual agenda, or if you dare to publicly defend what the institution of marriage has always been about, chances are very good that you can lose your job, be fined, or face other heavy-handed penalties for your views.

All over the West today free speech, religious freedom, and the democratic process itself are under direct attack. And overwhelmingly those stomping on our freedoms are the activists from the homosexual lobby and their many and various supporters.

The way things are going, I really need to write a book featuring all those who lost their jobs for daring to stand up for heterosexual marriage. Oh wait – I already did this. The first chapter of my 2014 book Dangerous Relations features not one, not two, but 165 cases of pink persecution.

They come from a 34-month period (January 2011 to October 2013) and feature just some of the cases of people losing their freedoms, being kicked out of a job, fined, or even jailed – all for the “crime” of insisting on the usual understanding of marriage, and refusing to bow down to the homosexual juggernaut.

And these were certainly not all of the cases that took place during this period. And of course not every case of this kind gets a wide public hearing, as the ones I reported on did. Thus I think it is safe to say that we now have many hundreds – if not thousands – of occurrences of this happening.

Not a day goes by when some poor soul who thought living in a free democratic society meant he could speak out on things that matter – including the historic understanding of marriage – has found himself on the receiving end of rainbow repression.

And in some places things are now this bad, but homosexual marriage has not even been legalised yet. Just imagine how much worse things will get if and when it is! Australia is one such nation, where the rainbow activists have been on a search and destroy mission, targeting anyone who dares to disagree with their radical agenda.

I have heaps of examples of this already documented on my site. Well, it is a new day, so we of course have plenty of new examples to include in this ever-expanding list of victims of the pink mafia. Let me offer just three more of them.

The first involves a small business owner in Canberra who has just fired one of her staff members. Was he caught stealing company goods? Did he seek to molest a customer? Did he trash the joint in a drunken rage? Nope, he did something far, far worse: he actually said he affirms heterosexual marriage.

Yes that is now such an horrific offence that you can lose your job over it. Try telling this guy nothing changes when we seek to redefine marriage. It has not even been legally changed here yet and we already have people losing their jobs! Wakey wakey folks!

The shop owner, Madlin Sims, wrote this on her FB page (I slightly edited one word):

Today I fired a staff member who made it public knowledge that they feel “it’s okay to vote no”.
Advertising your desire to vote no for SSM is, in my eyes, hate speech.
Voting no is homophobic. Advertising your homophobia is hate speech. As a business owner I can’t have somebody who publicly represents my business posting hate speech online.
1. Its bad for business
2. I don’t like sh*t morals
3. I don’t want homophobes working for me, especially in an environment with children.
It’s not okay to vote no. It’s not okay to be homophobic. This isn’t a matter of opinion or even religion. It’s a matter of the love & livelihood of real human beings. Freedom of speech is there for a reason and so are consequences.

Wow, did you get that? To support traditional marriage is “hate speech”! Affirming male-female marriage is “sh*t” morals! If you say marriage is about one man and one woman you are being “homophobic”! And the real howler is this: “It’s a matter of the love & livelihood of real human beings.”

Um yeah, try telling this real human being who just got fired what this love is all about, and how it impacts one’s livelihood! Usually the leftists are the first to scream about unfair dismissals and authoritarian bosses running roughshod over workers’ rights. Um, just where are all these lefties now? As Martyn Iles pointed out:

This woman has sacked a contractor for using an “it’s ok to vote no” frame on Facebook. She has a problem, though…
1) Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT) s13 — “It is unlawful for a principal to discriminate against a contract worker… (b) by not allowing the contract worker to work or continue to work”
2) Discrimination Act 1991 (ACT) s7(1)(o) — “political conviction” is a protected attribute.
It appears that what she has done is plain illegal.

My second case is not much better. One person actually rented a plane to sky write the words “Vote No”. For daring to do that all hell has broken out. They are now after his head, and he is now likely hiding in fear of his life! One news item puts it this way:

The electoral watchdog has received complaints about the “Vote No” skywriting over Sydney on the weekend not being properly authorised. A grassroots campaigner against same-sex marriage commissioned a pilot to write “Vote No””Vote No” in the sky four times on Sunday, a day after the anti same-sex marriage campaign launched nationally.
The skywriting, which was not organised by the key “no” case group Coalition for Marriage, attracted much discussion on social media, and the website from which it was crowdfunded was inundated with comments. The Australian Electoral Commission has received a number of complaints regarding the skywriting.

But get a load of all the love and tolerance he is now getting:

Social media users quickly began circulating the company’s contact information, abusing them for taking on the job. One message said the business owner is an “a***hole”. Another post said it was “probably the end of your business”.
One text message to the business owner read “you really are a sh** human. You’re definitely the biggest piece of sh** in Australia today. Probably tomorrow too. Hope you’re proud of yourself. Don’t be surprised by the hate coming for you. Titt for tatt, it’s only fair, right? You stupid, ignorant, remorseless, pathetic, old, LOSER”.

My final case involves a church that had the audacity to actually affirm two-thousand years of Christian social teaching on this issue:

A billboard outside a Brisbane church has sparked outrage ahead of the same-sex marriage vote. The Bellbowrie Community Church posted the sign: “God designed marriage between a man & a woman”. It was condemned on social media, and critics took to the church’s Facebook page to object.
“Hopefully there are churches in the area that cater to ALL Christians and not just the ones who fit in the narrow minded view of this “Church of God”. I’m sure Christ would be very disappointed in your view of Christianity,” one post said. Others started taking to the church’s review section and posting one-star reviews.
“A closed-minded group which overtly discriminates against members of our valued community and their (very reasonable) quest for marriage equality,” one woman wrote. Cartoons of same sex couples and sailors waving rainbow flags were posted in the comments under unrelated posts by the church.

So let me get this straight: now churches cannot even state publicly what the Christian view of marriage is without the haters and frenzied mobs coming out in force? I repeat: if things are this bad now, can you imagine how much worse things will get if faux marriage is legalised here?

And yet the other side keeps pushing the same old mantra that nothing changes when we change marriage. There will be no negative repercussions, they keep insisting. They are lying through their teeth and they know it. As just one of a kazillion examples, just yesterday lesbian activist and sister of Tony Abbott Christine Forster said the same thing.

She claimed on Sky News that homosexual marriage would have zero impact on free speech. She claimed that “there is nothing about changing same-sex marriage laws to allow same-sex couples to marry that will have any impact whatsoever on people’s ability to speak freely about their religion and their beliefs.”

Sure Christine, sure. Try telling that to the guy who just lost his job, or the skywriter facing the wrath of the militants, of the Queensland church subjected to so much hate and abuse. Try telling them their ability to express their beliefs – whether religious or not – will not be put at risk.

www.news.com.au/finance/work/at-work/its-not-okay-to-be-homophobic-canberra-contractor-sacked-for-vote-no-facebook-post/news-story/4ed027f47b5810e87036450054a8b6dd
au.news.yahoo.com/a/37132053/same-sex-marriage-no-case-skywriting-triggers-complaints/
www.couriermail.com.au/questnews/southwest/same-sex-marriage-supporters-critical-of-brisbane-church-billboard/news-story/240c1a37342c85ee0d50ecea0e6f2513?nk=6b87ac2934e63127b3027c05d2a15a8e-1505782321

Redefining Marriage Undermines All Freedom

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Marriage in the UK was redefined to allow marriage between any two people just 4 years ago. Conservative magazine The Spectator describes some of the repercussions of this decision in just a very short time period.

Four years ago, amid much uncertainty, 400 British members of parliament voted to redefine marriage in the United Kingdom.

Then prime minister David Cameron announced that, despite having made no mention of the issue in his party’s pre-election manifesto, it would be MP’s who decided the fate of marriage.

Now, it’s Australia’s turn to choose. There’s one key difference. Unlike in Britain, it will be the people who decide.

Everyone agrees, whether they admit it or not. This is a decision of enormous significance.

Therefore, it seems sensible to analyse the consequences of the potential change, within nations in which redefinition has previously been carried out.

In the United Kingdom, it has become abundantly clear that redefinition has affected many people, across many spheres. At first glance, these spheres appeared distinct from marriage redefinition. However, subsequent changes, have proved that they are entirely intertwined.

Gender: Current Conservative Prime Minister, Theresa May, has revealed proposals to abolish the need for any medical consultation before gender reassignment. Simply filling out an official form will be sufficient. A ‘Ministry of Equalities’ press release, explicitly announced, that the proposals were designed to: ‘build on the progress’ of same-sex marriage. Guardian journalist Roz Kaveney boasted that changing your gender is now: Almost as simple as changing your name by statutory declaration’.

Manifestations of the ‘British gender revolution’ are not difficult to find. Transport for London, have prohibited the use of the ‘heteronormative’ words, such as ladies and gentlemen. Meanwhile, universities across the nation are threatening to ‘mark down’ students, who continue to use the words ‘he’ and ‘she’. Instead, ‘gender neutral pronouns’ such as ‘ze’, must be uniformly applied.

Such gender-theory radicalism has delighted Stonewall, the UK’s largest LGBT lobby. Their Orwellian tagline: Acceptance without exception’, can be seen plastered on posters and adverts. Politicians, attempt to ‘out-radical’ one another, in the race to be an original champion, in the next emancipatory front of ‘Trans-rights’.

Freedom of religion: Much was made in the UK, about supposed exemptions, designed to ensure that believers would always be allowed to stay true to their convictions.

Four years later, the very same people who made ‘heartfelt promises’, now work tirelessly to undermine them.

Equalities minister Justine Greening, has insisted that churches must be made to: ‘Keep up with modern attitudes. Likewise, the Speaker of the House of Commons, a position supposedly defined by its political neutrality, had this to say: I feel we’ll only have proper equal marriage when you can bloody well get married in a church if you want to do so, without having to fight the church for the equality that should be your right’.

It became clear, during this year’s general election, just how militant the LGBT lobby have become, following marriage redefinition. The primary target was Tim Farron, leader of England’s third largest political party, the Liberal Democrats. High-profile journalists had heard that Farron was a practising Christian. In every single interview thereafter, they demanded to know. Did he personally believe homosexual sex to be a sin? He practically begged the commentariat, to allow him to keep his personal faith and legislative convictions separate. For decades, he pointed out, he had out vocally and legislatively supported the LGBT Lobby. Likewise, he had long backed same-sex marriage, voting for it enthusiastically. This simply was no longer enough.

Shortly after the election campaign, Farron resigned. He stated that it was now impossible, for a believing Christian to hold a prominent position in British politics.

In a heartbreaking development and in spite of Britain’s ‘foster crisis’, aspiring foster parents who identify as religious, face interrogation. Those who are deemed unlikely to ‘celebrate’ homosexuality, have had their dreams of parenthood scuppered. This month, Britain’s High Court, ruled that a Pentecostal couple were ineligible parents. While the court recognised their successful and loving record of adoption, they decreed that above all else: ‘The equality provisions concerning sexual orientation should take precedence. How has Great Britain become so twisted? Practicing Jews, Muslims, Christians and Sikhs, who want to stay true to their religious teachings, can no longer adopt children.

Read the rest of the article here– you may have to sign up for a free account, but it’s worth the hassle.

As an aside I note that WordPress have inserted a rainbow banner on their sites, at least for Australian users. All hail our Gay Overlords.