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Better Off Dead

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#16 Abandon Hope

Listen to #16 Abandon Hope

Paul Russell — Photo: Supplied

My search for the truth about assisted dying began when I was invited to attend the HOPE International Symposium in Adelaide, featuring anti-euthanasia speakers from around the world.* There, I heard dire warnings about what was happening in Belgium, the Netherlands and Oregon – where laws to help people die already exist.

At their heart lay two key accusations: that the safeguards don’t work, and that the elderly and disabled were threatened. I took careful note.

Many months later – having taken off overseas to see if their warnings held true, and spoken to experts worldwide – I sat down with HOPE’s founder and director, Paul Russell, to talk through what I’d learned.

* HOPE director Paul Russell has pointed out that he did not invite Andrew Denton to attend a HOPE symposium in May 2015 but rather that he agreed for Andrew to attend. We are happy to correct the record.

'I think what concerns me most is the stuff that you almost can't prove, you know.'

Paul Russell, founder and director, HOPE: preventing euthanasia & assisted suicide


Please note: this podcast is not about suicide. If you are interested in increasing your understanding of suicide and how to support someone experiencing suicidal ideation, visit the Conversations Matter or beyondblue websites.

If you (or someone you know) require immediate assistance, contact one of the following 24/7 crisis support services: Lifeline (13 11 14), Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467), MensLine (1300 78 99 78), beyondblue (1300 22 4636), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) or eheadspace (1800 650 890).



Know more

In this episode

  • Paul Russell

Our theme music was composed by Zig Zag Lane for Zapruder's Other Films, and edited by Jon Tjhia. Music used in this episode is 'Forty-Eight Angels' (Paul Kelly).

Your stories

If you're suffering, or someone you love has died badly – in a hospital, in palliative care, in a nursing home, or at home – add your voice and tell your story here.

Further information

Better Off Dead is produced by Thought Fox and the Wheeler Centre.

Executive producers Andrew Denton and Michael Williams. Producer and researcher Bronwen Reid. For Better Off Dead, the Wheeler Centre team includes Director Michael Williams, Head of Programming Emily Sexton, Head of Marketing and Communications Emily Harms, Projects Producer Amita Kirpalani and Digital Manager Jon Tjhia. Editing, sound design and mix on this episode is by Martin Peralta. Additional editing by Camilla Hannan.

Thank you

Thanks to Paul Kelly and Sony ATV for the use of his song ‘Forty Eight Angels’.

The series

Subscribe in iTunes, or your favourite podcast app. #betteroffdeadpod


Better Off Dead is produced by Thought Fox in partnership with the Wheeler Centre. It is written and created by Andrew Denton for Thought Fox.

Discussion

All messages as part of this discussion and any opinions, advice, statements, or other information contained in any messages or transmitted by any third party are the responsibility of the author of that message and not the Wheeler Centre.

Better Off Dead

Andrew Denton investigates the stories, moral arguments and individuals woven into discussions about why good people are dying bad deaths in Australia – because there is no law to help them.