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Vale Nicholas Tonti-Filippini

#995 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 16 Nov 2014.

Australia’s first hospital ethicist, prolific author and Associate Dean of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family, Dr Nicholas Tonti-Filippini, died aged 58 in Melbourne last week after a long battle with terminal illness.

Despite his chronic pain and suffering, Dr Tonti-Filippini did not believe in euthanasia and when South Australia’s Voluntary Euthanasia Bill 2010 was to be debated in parliament, he voiced his opposition in a powerful submission to (then) Premier Mike Rann.

Writing as an ordinary citizen, Dr Tonti-Filippini explained that what happened in South Australia would affect all Australians.

“Seriously ill people do not need euthanasia,” he said.

We need better provision of palliative care services aimed at managing symptoms and maximising function, especially as we approach death. Rather than help to die, the cause of dignity would be greatly helped if more was done to help people live more fully with the dying process.

I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.

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