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BREAKING - Australia Supreme Court just ordered removal of life support against family pleas
Australian news ^ | 12/19/07 | paularish1

Posted on 12/19/2007 5:00:27 AM PST by paulsy

"Paulo Melo, 29, has been in a coma at the Royal Darwin Hospital for two weeks, after severing his spinal cord in a car crash." - read more below: doctor requested, family objected, court granted

(Excerpt) Read more at news.com.au ...


TOPICS: Australia/New Zealand; Breaking News; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 4life; 6feetdownunder; 6feetunder; australia; barbaric; braindamage; braininjury; carcrash; coma; court; courts; crash; darwin; death; donotcollect100; donotpassgo; downunder; eugenics; euthanasia; forcedexit; georgesoros; hillarycare; hypocraticoath; imissyouterri; insurancescam; involuntary; life; lifeordeath; lifesupport; malpractice; medicine; melo; moralabsolutes; morphine; morphineoverdose; moveon; murder; overdose; paulo; paulomelo; right2life; righttolife; rtl; schiavo; schiavoed; socialism; socialized; sorosfoundation; spinalcord; statemurder; supportlife; supremecourt; suspiciousdeaths; sydney; sydneyaustralia; uselesseater; uselessvanity; whiterose; whiteroseresistance; withterriinheaven; wrr
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Hello freepers - I have not posted on Free Republic in a while, so please forgive if I am not posting properly and don't pull the thread, k?

I first joined Freerepublic in 1999 or 2000, live in Sydney, Australia now.

A few hours ago, the Australia Supreme Court just ordered that life-support be withdrawn from a young man against the family's vehement objections and attempts to keep him alive. I did not know this could happen here and was really concerned after hearing it on the news an hour or two ago.

"Paulo Melo, 29, has been in a coma at the Royal Darwin Hospital for two weeks, after severing his spinal cord in a car crash."

http://au.news.yahoo.com/071218/21/15bax.html

I don't know if Paulo will survive the night (it's early Thursday morning here) but maybe we can do our part to pressure someone at the hospital, via email, phones, media or political pressure, to turn the machines back on? At least until the family can have independent (non-government?) doctors examine Paulo. This is just wrong IMHO.

"The hospital's medical superintendent, Len Notaras, said the family was told yesterday Mr Melo's life support should be removed after more than 20 specialists agreed he would not recover."

http://au.news.yahoo.com/071218/21/15bax.html

"...Justice Dean Mildren today rejected their application for another extension so a Sydney neurosurgeon could assess Mr Melo in person and give a second opinion... 'On the medical evidence before me the case is futile,' he told the court. Justice Mildren said the family had not provided any medical evidence that Mr Melo would recover, adding that if it were his son he would have taken similar steps, leaving 'no stone unturned'"

...

"Says the hospital (and supported by court), ""They are very concerned as to the family's welfare and indeed we always put our patients first, irrespective of what perception may arise."

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,22949433-29277,00.html

Should it be anyone's decision over the family's? Government steps in and make a life-or-death decision against family wishes, out of "compassion" with oh, so much care and compassion on their behalf, and orders government doctors to remove life support from their son? And the doctors actually ask the court to order it, because the family doesn't want them to kill their son? And the court grants this request before the family can have independent study? The court grants this request at ALL?

Please if you have time, send email through the feedback form links, or call concerned parties (information below).

BUT don't keep the ones doing this from doing their jobs! It is a hospital and a court and we do need them to function.

It's also a family. Please do not contact the family, as I am sure they will be inundated.

Also, if any Freepers know anyone of influence in American media, medicine or politics who can contact peers over here who might be able to change decision maker minds here, please urge them to email or call to express their opinion.

The name of the Supreme Court Justice who made the decision is Dean Mildren. Here is his contact information (email or web feedback form - prefer feedback form. Phone: As explained above, dial internationally 011, then Australia country code 61 before the 08 number):

*** Justice Dean Mildren:
(08)899 96365
(08)899 96372 (FAX)
dean.mildren@nt.gov.au

Additional feedback link: http://www.nt.gov.au/ntsc/feedback.html OR DoJWebManager.DOJ@nt.gov.au

Other judges (I don't know if they can move on their own though, so consider not ):

Justice Sally Thomas: (08)899 96472
(08)899 96457 (FAX)
sally.thomas@nt.gov.au

Justice Stephen Southwood: (08)899 96533, (08)899 97293
stephen.southwood@nt.gov.au

Justice Trevor Riley: (08)899 96632
(08)899 96677
trevor.riley@nt.gov.au

Justice Lancelot Priestley: (08)899 96459

Some Australian media:

smh.com.au

yahoo7: http://au.news.yahoo.com/

Here is a potential Australian ally in this, they who may have press relations or contact info: http://agedcareact.wordpress.com http://agedcareact.wordpress.com/2007/07/03/life-support-decision-slammed/

I wish I could send more info than this at the moment, but I have to leave in a bit and won't be able to do anything on this for the next day or so.

Please help if you can!

Thanks, Cheers,

paularish1 (aka "paulsy")

1 posted on 12/19/2007 5:00:33 AM PST by paulsy
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To: paulsy

Joined Jan 11, 2001


2 posted on 12/19/2007 5:03:39 AM PST by Sgt_Schultze
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To: paulsy

Sorry but your feedback page doesn’t work. I’ll gladly do all I can.


3 posted on 12/19/2007 5:05:45 AM PST by trustandobey
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To: paulsy; trussell; cgk; WKB; WileyPink; wagglebee

prayers up.


4 posted on 12/19/2007 5:08:02 AM PST by The Spirit Of Allegiance (Public Employees: Honor Your Oaths! Defend the Constitution from Enemies--Foreign and Domestic!)
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To: MountainFlower

ping


5 posted on 12/19/2007 5:08:30 AM PST by The Spirit Of Allegiance (Public Employees: Honor Your Oaths! Defend the Constitution from Enemies--Foreign and Domestic!)
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To: paulsy

Coming to a court near you....


6 posted on 12/19/2007 5:09:07 AM PST by Brilliant
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To: The Spirit Of Allegiance

i think its wrong for the government to step in, but i also think that the family should let go.

thats why my will will have something about making sure i dont stay on life support. i dont want to be a vegetable.

most families only think of themselves and not whats best for the person on life support. but thats understandable, its a hard thing to do.


7 posted on 12/19/2007 5:11:02 AM PST by abstracTT
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To: 8mmMauser; BykrBayb; floriduh voter; bjs1779

Ping.

The Aussies are now deciding who deserves to live or die.


8 posted on 12/19/2007 5:11:50 AM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: paulsy; 230FMJ; 49th; 50mm; 69ConvertibleFirebird; Aleighanne; Alexander Rubin; ...
Moral Absolutes Ping!

Freepmail wagglebee or little jeremiah to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.

FreeRepublic moral absolutes keyword search
[ Add keyword moral absolutes to flag FR articles to this ping list ]


9 posted on 12/19/2007 5:12:42 AM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: paulsy; Salvation; narses; P-Marlowe

This is the family’s decision and no one else’s. It is not family member versus family member, but instead, it sounds like family versus government.

The other odd thing is that this seems so hasty. Two weeks is hardly enough time to assess. It also sounds like the family is asking for a SECOND opinion and not another in a previously endless line of opinions.

I wouldn’t agree with the government going this route if it were the 99th opinion, but one would think they could at least get another opinion outside of the circle of people who have been associated with this case to date.

Terry Schiavo brought judgment on this nation, and on Pres. Bush, in my opinion. Our selection of our next president will tell if that judgment is still ongoing.

If this policy of judge’s deciding euthanasia after just 2 weeks is standard policy in Australia, then I can expect judgment to fall there, too.


10 posted on 12/19/2007 5:13:18 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain! True Supporters of Our Troops Support the Necessity of their Sacrifice!)
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To: paulsy

A sad story that makes me angry just reading about it.

Silence is not an option to this destruction of innocent life.


11 posted on 12/19/2007 5:14:39 AM PST by Nextrush (Uncommitted for GOP President, but not Ron Paul or John McCain.)
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To: abstracTT; The Spirit Of Allegiance; 8mmMauser; BykrBayb; floriduh voter; bjs1779
i think its wrong for the government to step in, but i also think that the family should let go.

thats why my will will have something about making sure i dont stay on life support. i dont want to be a vegetable.

Where does it say that this man is a "vegetable"? In my experience, this terms seems to be a favorite of those who support killing off anyone who doesn't quite meet their standards of what living should "look like."

12 posted on 12/19/2007 5:17:00 AM PST by wagglebee ("A political party cannot be all things to all people." -- Ronald Reagan, 3/1/75)
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To: paulsy
Asked if he could have waited until after Christmas, Dr Notaras said there was no right time for something like this to happen.

There is no right time, period. The family should decide, not some stranger.

13 posted on 12/19/2007 5:37:13 AM PST by mtbopfuyn (I think the border is kind of an artificial barrier - San Antonio councilwoman Patti Radle)
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To: paulsy

It is the same as our Terri Schiavo case, here. Only in Terri’s case, her “husband” wanted her dead for obvious reasons. Her family wanted to keep her alive, at their own expense, but the courts sided with the murder.., er, husband.......


14 posted on 12/19/2007 5:39:39 AM PST by Red Badger ( We don't have science, but we do have consensus.......)
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To: abstracTT
thats why my will will have something about making sure i dont stay on life support. i dont want to be a vegetable.

You better make sure you address each and every situation or they'll be removing your feeding tube causing a long and horrible death.

15 posted on 12/19/2007 5:39:40 AM PST by mtbopfuyn (I think the border is kind of an artificial barrier - San Antonio councilwoman Patti Radle)
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To: paulsy

Thanks for posting.

life


16 posted on 12/19/2007 5:48:28 AM PST by PGalt
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To: paulsy; wagglebee
Pinged from Terri Dailies

8mm


17 posted on 12/19/2007 5:56:03 AM PST by 8mmMauser (Jezu ufam tobie...Jesus I trust in Thee)
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To: paulsy

The courts are not and should not be the last word.


18 posted on 12/19/2007 6:31:25 AM PST by freekitty ((May the eagles long fly our beautiful and free American sky.))
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To: abstracTT

I’m just the opposite. I want to live at all costs. I don’t want anyone needing my heart so that they’ll rule me “brain dead” and then take me off life support so that they can give my organs to someone else.

I only have 1 life and I want to have it last as long as possible. I respect your choice and it’s smart to have that in a living will. But the issue we are starting to face (especially with gov’t health care) is that the courts/gov’t will decide if you get to live and will default to you dying (and in this case it appears it doesn’t matter what your wishes are). We should always error on the side of life.


19 posted on 12/19/2007 6:45:27 AM PST by for-q-clinton (If at first you don't succeed keep on sucking until you do succeed)
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To: mtbopfuyn

Families decide every day to kill their brain injured relatives. No one, not even family, should be deciding to kill an innocent person.


20 posted on 12/19/2007 6:49:24 AM PST by LilAngel (FReeping on a cell phone is like making Christmas dinner in an Easy Bake Oven)
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To: abstracTT; wagglebee; bjs1779; BykrBayb

I believe you mean well, and it appears you are young and fairly new at this topic. You may want to consider a few points before your words cause people to jump down your throat. As in Texas with the Futile Care law, and in Florida and many other places, the government is a cluster of little gods deciding who should live and who shall die, and whether their quality of life stands up to arbitrary standards. They use terms to ease the thought process of casual readers, and to lull them into a state of comfort.

In this case, they have already convinced you they have the right to remove life support. Sounds warm and fuzzy, but in Terri Schiavo’s case, these gods judged that food and water is life support, just like your noontime sandwich. Then they can say you are a vegetable PVS and most will believe it, as in Terri who was far from that state. And if you are laying there on the table, and have some useful or valuable parts and giblets, well, you may find they have a new term for you, brain dead, and let the harvest begin. No sedatives or aspirins, don’t you know, as that might upset the purity of the heart you are about to donate.

Pro life encompasses that, just like confronting abortion and other inroads of malicious leaders to control the life of individuals. It is a conservative position central to philosophy of FreeRepublic. Read up a bit.

Just sayin...


21 posted on 12/19/2007 7:01:30 AM PST by 8mmMauser (Jezu ufam tobie...Jesus I trust in Thee)
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To: paulsy

There is a lot to ponder.
The stunning 2 week shortness of this evaluation and it already being decided in a court.
Is he brain dead? Or in a vegetative state? Can he breathe on his own like Terri Schiavo?
If he’s brain dead are the family being unreasonable?
How can a court order doctors to break a hypocratic oath except under a socialist (fascist) medical system.


22 posted on 12/19/2007 7:25:34 AM PST by omega4179 (Bring me the broomstick of the wicked witch of the west.)
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To: abstracTT
i think its wrong for the government to step in, but i also think that the family should let go.

I have left very specific instructions for my family about when they should remove life support, and when they shouldn't. This situation, as the facts have been reported, doesn't even come close to approaching my own standards for removing my own life support - especially from a verification standpoint. I have seen too many doctors make the easy assumptions; my family knows enough to pay for a second opinion from far outside the sphere of influence of the care facility where I may be.
23 posted on 12/19/2007 7:43:48 AM PST by beezdotcom
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To: paulsy
I think Australia has nationalized health care, and in such cases, he who pays the piper calls the tune.

Which is a major reason not to have nationalized health care.

24 posted on 12/19/2007 7:54:40 AM PST by slowhandluke (It's hard work to be cynical enough in this age)
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To: paulsy

Another perfect example of a government run health care system. They pay the bill so they decide who gets or does not get care and the family’s wishes be damned.


25 posted on 12/19/2007 8:29:03 AM PST by The Great RJ ("Mir we bleiwen wat mir sin" or "We want to remain what we are." ..Luxembourg motto)
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To: abstracTT
i also think that the family should let go,

After two weeks???? It would be a different story if he were declared brain dead, but just "the doctors don't think he will recover" is not nearly enough (not that I think anything short of that could be) for the court to order removal from life support.

At the end of September my cousin suffered a massive stroke during surgery and the doctors didn't expect her to survive. After about two weeks they told my aunt & uncle that she would go into cardiac arrest from the brain swelling and they wanted them to sign a DNR. They refused.

It is now almost 3 months later. In that time she has been weaned from a respirator, has partial movent in her limbs and just last week she spoke for the first time since the stroke.

Doctors are not God and two weeks is a ridiculously short period of time to decide to give up hope.

marinamuffy

26 posted on 12/19/2007 8:41:32 AM PST by marinamuffy ("..pacifism ensures that cruelty will prevail on earth." - Dennis Prager/ www.gohunter08.com)
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To: xzins
This is the family’s decision and no one else’s.

Morally speaking, the decision belongs to whomever pays the bills. And that's not the family in this case--unless they have the means and the will to fund the necessary care.

27 posted on 12/19/2007 8:46:17 AM PST by sourcery (If Hillary is the next President, she may also be the last.)
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To: LilAngel
Families decide every day to kill their brain injured relatives. No one, not even family, should be deciding to kill an innocent person.

I respectfully disagree. Sometimes, it is entirely appropriate that a family makes the hard choice.

Personally, I don't think it's fair for someone to ask their family to make that choice, so I have a living will with very clear instructions for such a possibility. That way the decision isn't theirs, but mine, and I hope if it comes to pass that makes a difference to them, relieving them of any feelings of guilt.

But if I hadn't a living will, I'd trust my wife to make the right choice for me.

28 posted on 12/19/2007 8:47:19 AM PST by highball ("I never should have switched from scotch to martinis." -- the last words of Humphrey Bogart)
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To: sourcery; P-Marlowe

Wrong. It is the life of a human being. The right to life was given by God and cannot be taken by the governments instituted among men except for a capital offense. Failure to pay bills is not a capital offense.


29 posted on 12/19/2007 8:55:13 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain! True Supporters of Our Troops Support the Necessity of their Sacrifice!)
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To: omega4179

He’s neither brain dead nor in a vegetative state. He’s in a coma. He’s been in a coma for two weeks. As such, it’s likely that he’s on a respirator and feeding tube.

If they remove the respirator, he might start breathing on his own. But if he can’t breathe well enough, he could die a horribly painful death, as his cells beg for oxygen throughout his body. It’s like every inch of your body having a charlie horse at the same time. The intensity grows and grows. You can’t cry out, so it looks peaceful. This is a death chosen for the witnesses, not the victim.

If he survives the suffocation, then comes starvation/dehydration. This is a death chosen for witnesses who enjoy torture. I can’t bear to describe it. If you have the stomach for it, there are web sites with descriptions of it. There are even photos, but they’re too graphic for FR. Some of the old-timers here could probably help you find it.

Young, healthy people who have never known a moment of adversity, often think they would prefer death over a difficult challenge. But when it comes down to the wire, everybody fights for that last breath, no matter how difficult, or even painful.


30 posted on 12/19/2007 9:09:44 AM PST by LilAngel (FReeping on a cell phone is like making Christmas dinner in an Easy Bake Oven)
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To: paulsy

Sorry, that’s the fruits of decades-long liberalism, Australian-style. It’s all about the MONEY, not the life.


31 posted on 12/19/2007 9:13:49 AM PST by Theodore R. ( Cowardice is still forever!)
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To: LilAngel

You are absolutely right. People though say they prefer death in such circumstances for “others”.


32 posted on 12/19/2007 9:14:58 AM PST by Theodore R. ( Cowardice is still forever!)
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To: xzins
Wrong. It is the life of a human being. The right to life was given by God and cannot be taken by the governments instituted among men except for a capital offense. Failure to pay bills is not a capital offense.

Refusal to pay for someone else's medical care is not murder. Forcing someone to do so is theft. That's why we conservatives oppose nationalized health care.

Your right to life requires that others don't kill you. It does not require they pay for your cancer treatment, nor that they pay your rent or grocery bills.

33 posted on 12/19/2007 9:15:24 AM PST by sourcery (If Hillary is the next President, she may also be the last.)
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To: highball

Life is a gift from God.


34 posted on 12/19/2007 9:17:06 AM PST by LilAngel (FReeping on a cell phone is like making Christmas dinner in an Easy Bake Oven)
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To: mtbopfuyn

“We’re going to have to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.” - HRC


35 posted on 12/19/2007 9:18:57 AM PST by WOBBLY BOB (I think I'll buy everyone a carbon credit for Christmas.)
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To: sourcery

even if it is theft, it is not a capital offense.


36 posted on 12/19/2007 9:19:59 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain! True Supporters of Our Troops Support the Necessity of their Sacrifice!)
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To: abstracTT

“but i also think that the family should let go.”

maybe, but it’s now our choice - certainly shouldn’t be the Australian government’s choice, in collusion with the attending (government) doctors.

also, i listened to the family on the radio, after the court hearing, and they made a pretty good case, not presented in the written articles, of doctors they’d talked to during the afternoon who said there was a chance of recovery - NEUROLOGISTS rather than an anesthesiologist as cited by the “prosecuting” doctors and relied upon as “evidence of futility” by the court here.

Regardless, it shouldn’t even be considered by a government.


37 posted on 12/19/2007 9:20:42 AM PST by paulsy
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To: paulsy

Sadly, a look at the web site front page of the Sydney Morning Herald shows me that this new Labor government in Australia cares far more for whales than human beings. Can’t say I’m surprised.


38 posted on 12/19/2007 9:23:02 AM PST by Heatseeker
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To: WOBBLY BOB

“but i also think that the family should let go.”

yep. as my brother succinctly wrote to me, “when left wingers run things, life gets cheap.”

anyhow, just woke up, running out door to catch a plane so i don’t know latest news on this, but i hope people are listening. it’s quite lame and the forces underlying it are frightening - almost as frightening as the lack of coverage the media is giving it here.


39 posted on 12/19/2007 9:23:56 AM PST by paulsy
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To: LilAngel
Life is a gift from God.

And like all gifts, it is ours to use.

If I am incapacitated, if I have substantial brain-damage, then I want my family to let me go. I cannot believe that God wants them to use all medical means to keep my body, this shell, alive.

40 posted on 12/19/2007 9:24:59 AM PST by highball ("I never should have switched from scotch to martinis." -- the last words of Humphrey Bogart)
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To: sourcery

So, you don’t mind paying for services you won’t receive? It’s okay to force you to pay for an insurance policy, with the understanding that it will pay for your medical care, and when it comes time for you to collect, you get killed instead. That’s okay with you?


41 posted on 12/19/2007 9:25:04 AM PST by LilAngel (FReeping on a cell phone is like making Christmas dinner in an Easy Bake Oven)
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To: highball
A respirator and feeding tube are hardly all medical means. Food, water and air are pretty basic.
42 posted on 12/19/2007 9:32:52 AM PST by LilAngel (FReeping on a cell phone is like making Christmas dinner in an Easy Bake Oven)
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To: LilAngel

But they are artificial means.

I still cannot believe that God would want my body kept alive by machines, when it would die on its own.

You may disagree. I would not impose my beliefs on you - that is between you and your God.


43 posted on 12/19/2007 9:35:19 AM PST by highball ("I never should have switched from scotch to martinis." -- the last words of Humphrey Bogart)
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To: Red Badger

Exactly.

i have to say, that over the past few years I had become rather dissappointed with my native US given how some things have shaped up there for me personally after a divorce, and politically.

But seeing this happen here in Queensland, and the lack of local media coverage, makes me really appreciate home (US). This same thing would NOT happen back home in Austin.

“Where does it say that this man is a “vegetable”?” - yep. And again, why is it even an issue here? Why should a family have to file a lawsuit in a hostile court, in order to keep a murdering doctor from showing such lethal compassion? It’s really sick. I hope the US doesn’t follow suit with similar governments in the future. Mostly though, I hope this person the court has ordered doctors here to kill changes its mind; and I hope the public here (and elsewhere) slows down for long enough to do something about it.


44 posted on 12/19/2007 9:37:10 AM PST by paulsy
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To: paulsy
So what.

It's their country not ours. I think we ought to butt out of their affairs and stop acting like the worlds homeowners association.

45 posted on 12/19/2007 9:38:20 AM PST by dragnet2
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To: LilAngel
So, you don’t mind paying for services you won’t receive? It’s okay to force you to pay for an insurance policy, with the understanding that it will pay for your medical care, and when it comes time for you to collect, you get killed instead. That’s okay with you?

The "policy" in this case explicitly says that I won't be covered whenever, in the estimation of the "insurance company," there's no reasonable chance that any further treatment will produce any beneficial result.

Do I strongly suspect that the "insurance company" opinion might be more motivated by financial concerns than any sincere desire to be helpful? You bet. But that's the deal the citizens of Australia have given themselves. If they don't like it, they should change it.

46 posted on 12/19/2007 9:39:10 AM PST by sourcery (If Hillary is the next President, she may also be the last.)
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To: slowhandluke
Worth repeating:

I think Australia has nationalized health care, and in such cases, he who pays the piper calls the tune.

Which is a major reason not to have nationalized health care.

47 posted on 12/19/2007 9:44:49 AM PST by null and void (Nully, you think of the oddest things. - sweetliberty)
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To: highball

When I lost my right to life in deference to your desire for a right to die, your beliefs were forced on me. There was a time, not very long ago, when the right to life was recognized, and the desire for life was understood. You could forfeit your rights by putting it in writing, but they couldn’t be taken from you on the assumption that you didn’t value your life as most people do.


48 posted on 12/19/2007 9:46:42 AM PST by LilAngel (FReeping on a cell phone is like making Christmas dinner in an Easy Bake Oven)
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To: paulsy; The Spirit Of Allegiance
His family was told earlier this week that life support should be removed after more than 20 specialists agreed he would not recover.

Well that settles it! It's a consensus, it must be right if more than 20 specialist agree. /s

Thanks for the post and the ping

49 posted on 12/19/2007 9:47:34 AM PST by WileyPink ("...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6b)
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To: paulsy

It only took the Australian government 2 weeks to work all the way up the system and decide to kill him?

Small wonder they banned guns...


50 posted on 12/19/2007 9:48:37 AM PST by null and void (Nully, you think of the oddest things. - sweetliberty)
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