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Free Public Lecture On Assisted Dying and End of Life Decisions

Feb 28, 2020
1710 Views

Southlanders are invited to attend another free public lecture on one of the most challenging issues in medical ethics by a Southland Surgeon and Associate Professor who wants to involve people in important health debates.

The public lecture on Assisted Dying and End of Life Decisions will be held at the new Learning and Research Centre at Southland Hospital on Thursday 5 March at 6.30pm.
It is the seventh lecture in a series organised by Southland Surgeon and Associate Professor Konrad Richter, in conjunction with the University of Otago.

Previous lectures covered colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, vaccination and modern hip replacement.
The full topic of the lecture is: Assisted Dying and End of Life Decisions – What do we have? What do we want? And what does it all mean?

Southland Hospital and Otago University specialists and clinicians will discuss these complex issues around assisted dying and end of life decisions.

Speakers include:

  • Dr Jeanne Snelling PhD LLB(Hon) RNZcmN, Lecturer, University of Dunedin Law School
  • Dr Simon Walker BA MA PhD PGDipArts(Otago), Senior Lecturer, University of Otago Bioethics Centre
  • Dr Amanda Sommerfeldt MD, Medical Director and Palliative Specialist at Hospice Southland
  • Clinical Associate Professor Konrad Richter MD PhD CSSANZ FRACS, Colorectal Surgeon/Surgical Oncologist & Palliative Surgeon Southland

Professor Richter said, this year New Zealanders would vote on whether a law should be passed that would make it lawful for doctors to end the lives of their patients under certain conditions.

Each speaker will present his or her view from a judicial, surgical, palliative medicine and hospice point of view.

Then, in the panel discussion following, the speakers will discuss some of the critical questions and the heart of this issue:

  • How dos this differ from what happens currently in medical practice? Does ‘dignity’ in dying mean allowing for assisted dying?
  • Is assisted dying contrary to the Medical Oath? Should we be concerned about a ‘slippery slope’?

Professor Richter encouraged people to attend the lecture to learn about and discuss this sensitive topic, meet their medical staff and participate in a panel discussion with nurses, doctors, allied health professionals and managers.

It also would allow doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and managers to connect with the community, listen to their concerns and learn from them.

“Not only do we want to present balanced information to the public, but we want to listen to their thoughts, needs and concerns around assisted dying,” he said.

While the lecture is free, people are encouraged to RSVP to [email protected], as the popularity of the lectures often exceeds the venue’s seating capacity.

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