keywords: Margaret Somerville

  • AUSTRALIA

    Why has the anti-euthanasia case been so unsuccessful?

    • Margaret Somerville
    • 03 June 2021
    43 Comments

    The case against euthanasia is much more difficult to promote, not because it is weak — it is not — but because it is much more complex.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Questioning the wisdom of legalising euthanasia

    • Margaret Somerville
    • 03 June 2021
    4 Comments

    No one on either side of the debate wants to see people suffer and the euthanasia debate is not about if we will die — we all will at some point. The debate is about how we will die and whether some ways of dying, namely euthanasia, are unethical and dangerous, especially to vulnerable and fragile people, and destructive of important shared values on which we base our societies.

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  • RELIGION

    Euthanasia bill could put vulnerable Victorians at risk

    • Hoa Dinh
    • 22 September 2017
    22 Comments

    Euthanasia legislation would lead to further coercion against vulnerable persons in society: the elderly and people with disability. Once voluntary suicide is legalised, to continue living becomes a choice that people will have to justify to themselves, their family, and society. It is especially the case for persons who have to depend on the assistance of others: the elderly, and people with disability.

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  • RELIGION

    Religious thought in sacred secular Australia

    • Frank Brennan
    • 22 March 2016
    6 Comments

    I offer no public judgment of Pell, and unlike many other commentators I'll await the findings of the royal commission. I have however been outspoken about his right to a fair hearing and natural justice, not because I am a priest but because I am a human rights lawyer who cares about the universal application of the rule of law. It is when a representative of institutional religion like Pell taps into the generic religious sensibility or moral consciousness that the real work of Australian religious thought is done.

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  • RELIGION

    How do we navigate medico-legal questions without a bill of rights?

    • Frank Brennan
    • 03 December 2015

    The consideration of medico-legal problems in the public square of a pluralistic democratic society keeping pace with profound technological change is often marked by simplistic assertions, precluding considerations of comprehensive world views, whether religious or philosophical. It is now commonplace for doctors to be told to leave their consciences at the door, as their patients are consumers and they are suppliers and of course the market decides. Debates about law and policy are often resolved with simplistic assertions about individual rights and autonomy, with little consideration for the public interest, the common good, and the doctor-patient relationship. Even conscience is said to be a matter for contracting out. This evening I ask whether there are more compelling ways to resolve medico-legal dilemmas, while conceding a limited role for law in determining the range of acceptable answers.

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  • RELIGION

    Discerning the place for the churches in the great moral questions of the age

    • Frank Brennan
    • 27 November 2015
    2 Comments

    'The crisis of child sexual abuse in our societies has required that our institutional procedures be more transparent and that we learn from the ways of the world in exercising power openly and justly. This means we have to restructure some of our church arrangements so that power is exercised accountably and transparently. All of us who have positions of influence and power in institutional churches need to be attentive to the voices of those who have suffered within our institutions.' 'Discerning the place for the prophetic voice and pragmatic cooperation of the churches in the great moral questions of the age', address to the Association of Practical Theology in Oceania conference, 26 November 2015.

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