Al-Jazeera examines Australia’s tussle with euthanasia

Cross-posted from BioEdge with modification

It is illegal in Australia, taboo across Asia, and a political and moral minefield to boot, yet poll after poll shows 80 percent of Australians want voluntary euthanasia introduced. The nation shocked the world in the 1990s when the Northern Territory became the first place in the world to permit voluntary euthanasia. The controversial law was almost immediately repealed, but now euthanasia is back on the agenda as it grapples with an ageing population coupled with huge advances in technology that mean many people face a medicalised, prolonged and costly death.

This 25-minute documentary by Al-Jazeera presents a balanced view of the campaign for euthanasia in Australia. No presentation will satisfy everyone, but this one, “Licence to Kill”, presents articulate folk on both sides of the question. Philip Nitschke’s do-it-yourself suicide classes are spine-tingling.

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