Vice regal endorsement of euthanasia fuels republican debate

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 01 July 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:12

The Arthur E Mills oration to the Royal Australasian College of Physicians is generally a sedate affair. This year, however, Governor General Bill Hayden roused the delegates with a speech advocating the legitimacy of gay relationships and the right of gays to adopt children; the rights of health care workers to insist on HIV testing of patients; and in vitro fertilisation programmes and altruistic surrogacy. He spoke out against commercial surrogacy and organ transplantation for elderly people but saved his most politically charged issue for last, giving explicit support to the recent Rights of the Terminally Ill Act passed in the Northern Territory on 26 May 1995. Hayden spoke of his personal apprehension about ending up vegetating in a nursing home and of the importance to him of personal control and autonomy. …

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