Australia: Another story, another push for euthanasia

This article was originally published on the HOPE Australia website.

By Paul Russell, the Director of HOPE Australia

Paul Russell

Paul Russell

Yesterday the Melbourne Age and Sydney Morning Herald newspapers ramped up its editorial support for euthanasia laws by publishing yet another story about a person with a difficult diagnosis who wants the ‘option’ of killing himself. Predictably they also editorialised on the same issue at a time when every other newspaper is covering such pressing matters as the national budget, dealing with the threat of terrorism, social disadvantage etc.

This new story feature’s Victoria’s own ‘doctor death’, Dr Rodney Syme, vice president of the Victorian pro-euthanasia lobby, and records in words, images and video Syme handing the person a bottle identified as containing Nembutal. Syme has admitted providing Nembutal to others. In 2014, he admitted, in the same newspaper, that he gave Steve Guest Nembutal in the weeks before Guest killed himself in 2005. Syme was effectively goading the Victorian Police into action; the article reporting his thoughts as follows:

“Dr Syme, 78, said after watching state Parliaments reject 16 euthanasia bills over the past 20 years he was ready to "out" himself and be charged over Mr Guest's death because a court case could set a useful legal precedent for doctors who are too scared to help terminally ill people end their own lives.”

According to reports, the police did investigate; but the issue went quiet and no charges have apparently been brought in that regard. This is hardly surprising at one level. Nine years after the event what proof would there be to confirm what, after all, was essentially media grandstanding by Syme.

Link to the full article