SBS TV News segment from last night on euthanasia, including an interview with Lyle Shelton:

(Lyle Shelton also debated Philip Nitscke at 11 am yesterday on ABC News 24)


Anglicans oppose euthanasia move

Barney Zwartz - The Age
Labor and the Greens have shown a lack of integrity by moving on voluntary euthanasia straight after the election rather than before it, Melbourne Anglican Bishop Philip Huggins said yesterday.  Bishop Huggins has asked the national parliament of the Australian Anglican Church, now meeting in Melbourne, to affirm the sanctity of life as God's gift. The motion says: ''Our task is to protect, nurture and sustain life to the best of our ability.''  He told The Age he was shocked at the report yesterday that Prime Minister Julia Gillard was backing a conscience vote to restore the power of the territories to allow euthanasia. The Howard government overturned a Northern Territory decision to allow it in 1997.   Bishop Huggins said: ''This was not a matter of pre-election debate. Would people have voted the same way if they knew a Labor government with the Greens would, as a near-first action, promote a conscience vote on euthanasia?

WA parliament to debate euthanasia bill

Josh Jerga - ninemsn
If West Australian politicians followed the view of the public, a bill to legalise euthanasia in the state would pass parliament in a landslide, Greens MP Robin Chapple says.  Parliamentary debate on the Voluntary Euthanasia Bill will begin on Tuesday, with both the WA Premier Colin Barnett and Opposition Leader Eric Ripper allowing a conscience vote on the issue.   If parliament passes the bill, WA will be the first state in Australia to legalise euthanasia.   The private members bill, introduced by Mr Chapple, would allow any terminally ill West Australian over the age of 21 and of "sound mind" to elect to be euthanised.

Euthanasia backers should come clean on where to draw the line

Euthanasia has suddenly become a hot topic thanks to our new federal parliament. The Australian Christian Lobby makes a strong point in response to the Green's push to bring on an early debate.   Those pushing for Parliament to hold a euthanasia debate should tell politicians where the line should be drawn on whether or not to euthanise a patient, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) said today.   ACL Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton said proponents of euthanasia such as Dr Philip Nitschke have suggested that troubled teens should also be able to access the so-called ‘peaceful pill’.   Mr Shelton said Australians who voted Green on August 21 thinking they were signing up to an environmental agenda must be perplexed that Greens’ Leader Bob Brown has nominated euthanasia as his top priority and that one of his Senators, Sarah Hanson-Young, says gay marriage is the Greens’ top priority.

Euthanasia Bill appears doomed

Daniel Emerson - The West Australian
The third euthanasia Bill to come before the WA Parliament in 13 years looks doomed after most Upper House MPs declared their opposition before today's debate.  Despite polls consistently showing at least 80 per cent support for introducing the practice in WA, a survey of MLCs by _The West Australian _found 19 of 36 intended to vote against the Voluntary Euthanasia 2010 Bill introduced by Mining and Pastoral Region Greens MP Robin Chapple.    Only Sally Talbot, Sue Ellery and Linda Savage from Labor and Phil Gardiner of the Nationals said they would join the four Greens in supporting the Bill while three remained undecided, three declined to reveal their voting intentions and three could not be contacted.  Mr Chapple was last night clinging to hope, saying members could still change their minds during the debate.

Don't encourage the Grim Reaper

Mirko Bagaric - The Australian
Legal euthanasia in the territories could lead to dire consequences for our society, says Mirko Bagaric.   Killing terminally ill people is an appealing concept until you look at the empirical data on where it takes society. That's why the community should be alarmed by Julia Gillard's support for a conscience vote on a Greens bill enabling the territories to pass laws permitting active euthanasia, a move that would inevitably lead to death tourism to the territories.   We rightly are moved by the requests of some terminally ill people to hasten their death. The minimisation of pain and suffering ought to be one of the main priorities of a civilised society.   Moreover, we strongly value the notion of personal liberty and, from the perspective of the parties directly involved in euthanasia (the patient and health worker), the practice is not inherently objectionable. In the case of clear-minded, rational people it will advance their autonomy and sometimes relieve them of considerable pain.   These reasons underpin the euthanasia catchcry of the "right to die". On the surface this sentiment is powerful. This stems largely from the fact we are drawn to rights claims. They are individualising notions and promise to provide us with a sphere of protection from the unwarranted demands of others. Rights appeal to those of us who have a "me, me, me" approach to moral issues. But buried only slightly beneath such an approach is the inescapable reality that people live in communities; communities are the sum of a number of individuals and the actions of one person (exercising their rights) can have an (often negative) effect on the interests of others.

Rob Oakeshott passes up Speaker's chair

Sid Maher - The Australian
Independent Rob Oakeshott has walked away from his bid to become Speaker of the House of Representatives and backed a Liberal to fill the role.  This is a bid to avoid a Mexican stand-off in parliament and the threat of a fresh election.   As the Gillard government awaited legal advice on the parliamentary reform deal that would allow the Speaker to be "paired" for votes, Mr Oakeshott emerged from a meeting with Tony Abbott yesterday and said he was now "reluctant" to accept a nomination for the role.    The NSW independent had put himself forward for the job, arguing the deal he had forced with Labor and the Coalition would allow him to be "paired", ensuring the Speaker's vote was cancelled out by a member with the opposition position. The opposition and legal experts had expressed concern that the move would breach the Constitution and would invite a legal challenge.

Pedophile priest Peter Chalk admits 'addiction'

Rory Callinan  - The Australian
Allegged pedophile Catholic priest Peter Chalk has confirmed his "evil behaviour" as well as the cover-up of his abuse.   He made the admissions in letters he wrote while being sheltered by the church in Japan, and also confessed he had an "addiction" to young people.   Mr Chalk discreetly left the priesthood, changed his name and became a teacher in Japan in 1995 after his alleged victims went to police following six years of inaction by his order, the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC).

Nothing sexy about Amsterdam's Red Light district

Cameron Atfield finds that, despite efforts to clean it up, Amsterdam's infamous Red Light district is still seedy and sad.   As I watch the couple having sex in front of me, I can't help but feel a little self-conscious about my new surrounds - and my fellow spectators.

Moral search engines squeeze out sin on internet

Virginie Montet - SMH
Seek and ye shall find. A number of new internet search engines created by Christian, Jewish or Muslim entities aim to filter out queries from web users in a way that is more relevant to those users and keeps them from temptation, alcohol and pornography.   "We think that the other search engines are way too 'main street' oriented. We wanted to provide a solution to explore the web in a safe environment, where you won't bump into explicit content or immoral websites, like pornography," said Reza Sardeha, the Amsterdam-based founder of the Muslim-oriented search engine I'mHalal.   If one types the world alcohol into, the search engine produces results that explain the Muslim viewpoint on drinking. Type in "pornography", and the search engine produces... nothing.  The 21-year-old Kuwaiti says the site attracts users from places like Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates as well as the United States.

Unheeded immigration pleas led to suicide jump

Yuko Narushima - The Age
A suicidal Fijian man had pleaded with the Immigration Department to reconsider his deportation before jumping to his death in front of other detainees at Villawood detention centre yesterday.   Josefa Rauluni, 36, had arrived in Australia two years ago to pick fruit in the regional New South Wales town of Griffith and had been proud to be earning money to send home to his wife and children.  But he outstayed his visa and spent the last month of his life locked up.  About 9.45am yesterday, Mr Rauluni leapt off a two-storey building at Villawood's maximum security zone, known as Stage 2, in front of about 40 detainees, including his teenage nephew. By last night, 10 Tamil men were on the roof in a copycat suicide threat.