Global insights into the ethics of end of life

High rates of hospitalisations, lack of dignity, and high costs all contribute to a sense of widespread dissatisfaction with end of life care. There is significant disconnect between preferences and reality with many patients preferring to die in their own homes, but experiencing their final days in hospitals or other facilities.

UON’s Global Insights Series is bringing global thought leaders to Newcastle to discuss issues shaping our lives and our world.  This powerful series presents innovative thinkers from around the world who are challenging our understanding of the issues we face, offering meaningful opportunities for UON and the community to engage in forward thinking conversations.

The first event in this series will take place on Tuesday 8 December with Dr Ezekiel J. Emanuel, an award-winning American bioethicist, medical oncologist and author, exploring solutions to end of life care issues including increasing care at home, cost reductions, and euthanasia.

Dr Emanuel was a Special Advisor to the White House on health policy and architect of President Obama’s healthcare law and his extensive qualifications include a masters in biochemistry from Oxford University, a medical degree from Harvard Medical School and a PhD in political philosophy from Harvard University.

Dr Emanuel has held a number of academic and advisory positions and is a contributing writer to the New York Times as well as a regular guest on US television discussion shows and he is currently a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.


Global Insights Series: End of life – ethics, dilemmas & decisions

5:45pm – 7:45pm
Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Newcastle City Hall
290 King Street, Newcastle

This event is free to attend, but registration is essential.

Register via eventbrite.com now

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One Response

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  1. Sarah Taylor
    Dec 10, 2015 - 12:25 PM

    I was pleased to attend Dr Emanual’s talk as I will now cross him and the other doctors in the audience hanging off his every word off my list for an end of life consultation. It appears to me from the content of his talk that he is in Australia to help the case against legalising Voluntary Euthanasia, if so then I would hope in the name of balance advocates for the yes case will now be given a right of reply, Andrew Denton, Dr Rodney Syme or Dr Philip Nitschke. All he had on offer was an Advanced Care Directive which is as flawed as he maintains euthanasia is. The Australian Medical Association states that its members retain the right to override the wishes of their patient.He also failed to elaborate on the flaws in palliative care, it cannot relieve suffering in all cases. In an advanced society with an intelligent and educated population it is no longer good enough for doctors to retain the power and control when someone is dying.I am quite capable of making decisions about what is best for me. Voluntary Euthanasia must be one of the options offered to terminally ill patients and as his data showed in countries where it is legal very few people take it up. The option merely provides enormous comfort with the knowledge that it can be used if suffering becomes unbearable. I have been a member of the voluntary euthanasia movement for the past twenty years and I would agree with his findings that it is the loss of autonomy that drives most people in this direction but his leap to they are simply depressed is entirely incorrect. None of us want to die but will reach a time when we can no longer live dignified lives. Dr Emanual’s rudeness in response to the question about medical cannabis was very disappointing. As we all know euthanasia goes on every day in hospitals under the guise of relieving pain with morphine it is about time we came clean and really gave the dying options.


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