Thought provoking, disturbing, sadly truthful: Prophets of Hope tour

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Home > Media > News > Thought provoking, disturbing, sadly truthful: Prophets of Hope tour
Thought provoking, disturbing, sadly truthful: Prophets of Hope tour

We need to offer people support, not death, when they are at the lowest point of their lives, says an international advocate against legalising euthanasia on a recent visit to Tasmania.

Canadian filmmaker Kevin Dunn spoke in Hobart and Launceston this week as part of an Australian speaking tour titled ‘Prophets of Hope’.

“I call it ‘Prophets of Hope’ because I believe that’s where the answer lies,” Mr Dunn said, in Hobart.

While advocates of euthanasia, or assisted suicide, often speak of compassion, Mr Dunn says it is a ‘culture of abandonment’.

He points out the meaning of the word ‘compassion’: it means, ‘to suffer with’.

“We have to have compassion. We have to have the right kind of compassion,” he said.

Mr Dunn’s latest documentary, Fatal Flaws: Legalising Assisted Death, explores whether assisted dying laws are leading society down a dangerous path.

“In Belgium, doctors will tell you most of the people diagnosed with serious cancer don’t want treatment, they want euthanasia.”

He points out that euthanasia or assisted suicide becomes available to people when they are at the lowest point in their lives.

“We need support at that point, we don’t need death.”
Legalised euthanasia also draws others into the process, despite the language being about personal autonomy.

“The problem with that is that implies now someone else has to be involved – a doctor, a nurse. I even had a call from somebody who was a music therapist that didn’t want to be involved because they are now asking for music therapy while people are being [euthanised] – this is in Canada,” he said.

“They say that it’s an autonomous decision, but how can it be autonomous when you’re involving a whole medical staff, community, the effect on the family – what happens after?”

He says that his message in Australia is: ‘Press the pause button’.

“Once we cross that moral principle when we allow in law for [doctors to kill their patients] … we’ll never be able to return. It will only grow.”

Mary Sexton, of Launceston, attended the northern event and says she agrees with Mr Dunn’s description of our culture as a ‘culture of abandonment’.

“His talk was so thought provoking, so very disturbing and sadly, so truthful.”

If you or anyone else you know needs help, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or MensLine Australia on 1300 78 99 78.