Ethics & morals
Better Off Dead
Season 2 Trailer
Andrew Denton investigates the stories behind Victoria’s landmark Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) law: Who seeks to use it, and why? Who are the doctors stepping forward to help them? And how does the church continue to resist a law it describes as ‘evil’?
Co-produced by Go Gentle Australia and the Wheeler Centre, season two of Better Off Dead looks at what happened in Victoria after the legislation came into effect in June 2019.
"It’s not an easy process. But neither should it be. This is the ending of a life. And it ought to be treated in a serious manner – because it's a serious thing to do." – Former Supreme Court Justice, Betty King, now Chair of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Review Board.
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 Conversations Matter or BeyondBlue.
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).In this episode
In order of appearance: Andrew Denton, Katie Harley, Dr Kristin Cornell, Jean Caliste, Dr Greg Mewett, Dr Cameron McLaren, Professor Michael Dooley, Former Justice Betty King QC, Molly Carlile AM, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Dr Andrea Bendrups, Lisa Hogg.
Better Off Dead season two is produced by the Wheeler Centre and Go Gentle Australia
Writer, Co-Producer and Host: Andrew Denton (Go Gentle Australia)
Series Co-Producer and Script Editor: Bethany Atkinson-Quinton (The Wheeler Centre)
Associate Producers: Kiki Paul and Steve Offner (Go Gentle Australia)
Audio Editor and Engineer: Martin Peralta
Production Assistant: Alex Gow (The Wheeler Centre)
Marketing: Emily Harms (The Wheeler Centre), Steve Offner (Go Gentle Australia) and Frankie Bennett (Go Gentle Australia)
Publicity: Debbie McInnes (DMCPR Media)
Episode Pages: Mia McAuslan (The Wheeler Centre)
Commissioning Editors: Kiki Paul (Go Gentle Australia) and Caro Llewellyn (The Wheeler Centre)
Theme music: ‘Loydie’s Angel’, written and performed by Jordan Laser
Listen to Better Off Dead season one here, and subscribe in iTunes, or via your favourite podcast app.
The Wheeler Centre
Group Texts: Hit List: Australian Crime Writing
Left to right: Emma Viskic, Mark Brandi, Sulari Gentill, Laura Elizabeth Woollett, Rachael Brown and Garry Disher
It’s no mystery that Australian crime writers are on some kind of a rampage – some kind of a spree – filling bookshops, racing up bestseller lists and taking over big and small screens across the globe.
Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies has been a major TV hit. The series’ executive producer, Reese Witherspoon, is now working on a movie adaptation of Jane Harper's The Dry. Local audiences have been glued to the Jack Irish ABC TV series and to podcasts such as Trace and The Teacher’s Pet, and the last few years have seen a juggernaut of local book sales for established names and newcomers alike.
In our second Group Texts event, celebrating great Australian genre writers, we hear from some of the stars of Australian crime writing; writers of thrillers, true-crime investigations and classic whodunnits. Each writer shares a short reflection or provocation on the crime genre, followed by a panel discussion. They discuss sub-genres, ethics and aesthetics – and what crime writing can tell us about ourselves and the world we live in. Hosted by Emma Viskic, with Sulari Gentill, Mark Brandi, Rachael Brown, Laura Elizabeth Woollett and Gary Disher.
The Fifth Estate
Samantha Power on Influence and Idealism
How does a person navigate the change from activist outsider to influential insider? How do you balance idealism and pragmatism under pressure?
Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Samantha Power has had to navigate these questions first-hand. From a troubled childhood in Dublin to a career as a war correspondent then academic, she landed at the heart of American politics in 2005 – when her critiques of US foreign policy drew the attention of Barack Obama. She joined his team, eventually becoming a senior human rights adviser.
After an early misstep (she branded Hillary Clinton ‘a monster’, and lost her job over the incident), Power served in the White House’s National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights. In 2013, she was appointed to the coveted position of US Ambassador to the United Nations.
As she reveals in her newest book, The Education of an Idealist, the intensity of her work was matched by personal struggle – trying to start a family, then raising young children; dealing with anxiety attacks and her own painful childhood. Power has been celebrated for her skill and influence, and has proudly worn the title of activist. She has also drawn sharp criticism from some quarters, particularly in her advocacy for ‘humanitarian intervention’, and her arguments for US action or inaction in Libya, Syria and Yemen.
In conversation with Sally Warhaft, Samantha Power discusses the complexity of decision-making, the tensions between activism and power, and the reconciliation of past and future.
Sally Warhaft and Samantha Power
The Fifth Estate
Sally Warhaft and Tim Costello
For decades, Tim Costello has been among Australia’s most outspoken voices on issues of social justice and global inequality. Through his work as a minister, as a lawyer and as the mayor of St Kilda council, he’s tackled pressing social issues – from gambling and homelessness to gun control.
He’s perhaps best known to most Australians, though, for his 15-year tenure as CEO of World Vision – a job which took him to conflict and disaster zones across the world, including to Darfur and to several countries affected by the Boxing Day Tsunami.
In his new memoir, A Lot with a Little, Costello reflects on his life and varied career. He reflects, too, on how his experiences have shaped his views on questions of equality, liberty, faith and community. With Sally Warhaft, he discusses the book, his ongoing work and the confronting and complex work of tackling global inequality.
How to Teach and Learn Consent
There was 'no means no'. Then 'yes means yes'. Now, we have notions of 'enthusiastic consent' and 'continued consent'. Sexual consent might seem like a simple thing to understand, but the continued prevalence of harassment and sexual assault tells us it's anything but.
Is our culture sending mixed messages? Can the tricky terrain of consent ever be reduced to a…
The Wheeler Centre
PEN Lecture: Fragile Minds
Journalism is at its second crossroads in two decades: not one of means, but of privilege. The loss of major revenues has made the press fragile, both economically and also in terms of self-reflection. At this year’s PEN Lecture, Schwartz Media editor-in-chief Erik Jensen will make the case for a serious reckoning across the profession; a re-evaluation of standards of ethics and objectivity.
‘I am asking for us to consider the impact of what we report and how we report it. I am saying the ethical bar we are clearing is not set high enough. Our code of ethics needs to be rewritten, and not by people who look like me.’
In 2019's PEN Lecture, Jensen asks how the media can change itself to keep up with a society that has already changed. Then, he joins Arnold Zable in conversation.
Presented in partnership with PEN Melbourne and PEN Sydney.
Anything and everything in Ethics & morals from across our archives.
What’s the Big Deal?
In today’s New Matilda, Mark Fletcher asks, has News Limited done anything wrong? For those looking for a neat summary of why the Hackgate story is such a big deal, not just in the UK but for the media in general, look no further than a piece by the Columbia Journalism Review. We recommend reading the whole piece, but here are the key points:
What’s the ‘good’ in the good fight? Questions for ethical thinking in strange times
Explore these other subjects, across our site.