On Thursday March 14th about 40 members and friends of the CMAV gathered to enjoy a great evening which began with Mass in the beautiful ACU chapel celebrated by our new chaplain Fr Paschal Corby OFM Conv and was followed by a wine and supper which was sponsored by long time friend and supporter of the CMAV, Stephen Price of Integer Financial Group.
It was great opportunity to catch up with colleagues in the convivial surrounds of the Australian Catholic University. During the evening our guest speaker, Dr John Daffy, an Infectious Disease physician at St Vincent's hospital, gave a special presentation regarding his recent experiences informing legislators and colleagues of the dangers of legalising euthanasia and physician assisted suicide.
His advocacy work with Dr Stephen Parnis and with the help of many others including the team at Australian Care Alliance, has helped inform many politicians around Australia about the real nature and ramifications of euthanasia legislation. He said that he has encountered many who were willing to engage in respectful dialogue and listen to his clinical experience and his concerns regarding the impossibility of safeguarding patients from wrongful deaths and other dangers that euthanasia legislation inevitably brings. As a clinician he and others are in a special and privileged position to provide invaluable insights into the complex situations of clinical care and the uniquely vulnerable circumstances the severely ill may face.
Dr Daffy said he firmly believed that the danger and inevitability of wrongful deaths outweighed the possibility of any particular patient who may arguably benefit from legislation that went against over 2000 years of consistent medical wisdom. He also spoke of the inevitable expansion of the scope of the legislation once the 'Rubicon has been crossed', when 'killing comes to be thought of as just another medical treatment in a doctor's repertoire'.
Dr Daffy said he would continue to fight against the powerful and well-funded forces that are pushing for euthanasia in Australia as well as around the world. He believed it was part of his responsibility, as someone who loved being a doctor, to stand against the inevitable decline and degradation of the noble profession of medicine and the coarsening of our society that would inevitably follow in the wake of legalising euthanasia.
He concluded by saying he considered himself greatly privileged being a doctor and being of service the sick and that he he didn't become a doctor to be a participant in intentionally ending the lives of his patients. He invited the audience to become more informed and engaged in this most important battle and recommended resources such as the websites of the Australian Care Alliance , Hope and the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition good places to start the journey.