Aged care: inquiry should focus on ‘people’ not ‘consumers’

Civil Liberties Australia has taken issue with the language used in a parliamentary inquiry into the Quality of Care in Residential Aged Care Facilities in Australia. “We note that the Terms of Reference refer to ‘residents’ and ‘consumer protection’, rather than referring to ‘people’, ‘older Australians’ or ‘citizens’. In this language lies the danger of treating older Australians merely as “profit units” for an industry portrayed in the public perception as ‘caring’, because of its links to churches and the like, but which is in truth as hard-nosed and bottom line-driven as any other, “ CLA has told the inquiry. Click for CLA’s submission

Aged care homes: strident report from SA

“The evidence establishes that, in theory, there were sufficient mechanisms in place to ensure appropriate oversight in relation to complaints and reports and the investigation of incidents. In practice however these systems failed because they depended too much upon individual reporting and individual judgement. As a result nearly all of the information about the poor standard of care at the Oakden Facility was confined to those who worked there.”  – quote from the report.

Mother laments lack of help for son

For 37 years following a difficult birth, a caring mother helped keep her son alive. Ultimately, though, the less-care and indifferent nature of the State saw him die. 20 Oct 2016

My life, my death, my choice…

Bill Alcock faced death in war, then with his wife. At 91, he knows his body and his mind. He can’t comprehend how ‘authority’ tries to control his last decision. 3 Oct 2016

Smoke clouds fair, trade agreements

Australia still awaits final resolution over its right to mandate ‘plain’-packaged cigarettes, with one case still outstanding even though more than $100m has probably been spent on legal fees. 2 Sept 2016

Where there’s mirrors, there’s smoke

The smoking debate is vexed, and fanciful claims about second-hand smoke effect, particularly outdoors, do nothing to contribute to the tolerance needed for pro- and anti-groups to happily coexist. 12 April 2016

End of life Bill resurrected

The latest Bill to achieve the right to choose your own life’s end is about to be debated in an Australian parliament. Cassy O’Connor explains why she is a co-sponsor. 23 Mar 2016 

Be warned: medical negligence

If you know anyone thinking about a medical negligence claim, here’s a learned exposition on the changing law over the past 30 years, by High Court Judge Susan Kiefel. 16 June 2015

‘Unfair’ drug tests skyrocket 238%

The drug driving laws are immeasurably unfair: there’s no equivalent standard to gradate justice, compared with booze driving…and convictions have suddenly leapt upwards, Andrew Fraser reports. 20 April 2015

Journal warns health rights endangered

The Lancet medical journal warns the health rights of people and the lives of health workers are at risk as world tensions escalate, as reported by Human Rights Watch. 14 Feb 2015

Vaccination: more free speech, not less

Free speech means being able to comment publicly about many issues, including health. We support the national immunisation program, but acknowledge the right of opponents to speak out. 8 Jan 2015