Australia Revisits Euthanasia Debate ; the Friends and Family Who Watched a Queensland Woman Commit Suicide Last Week May Face Prosecution

By Donnan, Shawn | The Christian Science Monitor, May 31, 2002 | Go to article overview

Australia Revisits Euthanasia Debate ; the Friends and Family Who Watched a Queensland Woman Commit Suicide Last Week May Face Prosecution


Donnan, Shawn, The Christian Science Monitor


Six times in just four days this week, Rodney Syme answered the phone and encountered a desperate, terminally ill person on the end of the line. All wanted him to help them die, he says.

"There's just been a bit of an avalanche," Dr. Syme says. "We had two in the same day."

Syme, president of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society in the Australian state of Victoria, knows why there's a sudden onslaught of calls, though. It's due to a chronically ill grandmother named Nancy Crick who last week committed suicide in front of 21 friends and family by taking a fatal dose of barbiturates.

Five years after Australia's federal government overturned the world's first state law legalizing voluntary euthanasia, the debate over physician-assisted suicide is grabbing headlines once again here.

Because of the highly publicized death of Mrs. Crick, and the decision of her friends and family to challenge laws that make attending the suicides of loved ones illegal, Australia is again confronting when and how society allows the terminally ill to die.

The main issue revolves around laws that make people attending a suicide to provide moral support, or just to say goodbye, party to the death. In the state of Queensland, where Crick died, the maximum sentence, if convicted, is life in prison.

But underlying the case of Crick and her friends is a bigger shift in strategy by Australia's proeuthanasia lobby.

While in the rest of the world euthanasia advocates are now trying to replicate the legalization of voluntary euthanasia in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Oregon, in Australia advocates have all but given up on changing the law legislatively. Now, they want to find a way around it.

"After getting nowhere in those five years since the Northern Territory's laws were overturned, there is a degree of frustration, which means that people have been looking at other options," says Philip Nitschke, the physician involved in all four assisted suicides carried out under the Northern Territory law before it was repealed.

Chief among those options, Dr. Nitschke says, is trying to steer the issue toward the courts where, he and his allies hope, a precedent might be established that would lead to doctor-assisted suicides being treated much as abortion is in Australia.

Technically illegal in all but one state, abortion is nonetheless available on demand as a result of a legal compromise that has seen abortion providers left largely alone by police and prosecutors since the 1970s. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Australia Revisits Euthanasia Debate ; the Friends and Family Who Watched a Queensland Woman Commit Suicide Last Week May Face Prosecution
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.