The national newspaper, The Australian, ran an article this week calling
for a national hotline to be set up to deal with the problem of Elder
Abuse. Council of the Aging chief executive,
Ian Yates, made the call for a national phone line adding that the
problem of Elder Abuse was, “likely to continue with the aging
This comes at a time when Queensland
authorities have laid charges in five separate incidences of neglect of
elderly women by carers, the article reported.
“One of the problems is that when people
suspect elder abuse, they don’t know who to call,” said Mr Yates. “What
we need is a national 1-800 number.”
The report also called of mandatory
reporting of suspected elder abuse that would compel carers and health
professionals to report their suspicions.
No doubt such a move would highlight
the issue in the community similar to the creation of child abuse
hotlines and mandatory reporting for child abuse some years ago.
However, it may do little to remedy the problems that might occur where a
relative is caring for an elderly family member in a private home.
Elder Abuse, particularly in a home
environment or private setting may be very difficult to detect. The
abused may have little contact with people outside that setting and may
feel that the abuse meeted out is somehow their own fault. It is not
difficult to imagine a situation where, after serial abuse over an
extended period, that a frail aged person, for example, might easily be
coaxed into asking to be euthanased.
This is real – it’s not theory – it does
happen. Euthanasia advocates seem to hold a rather utopian view,
something akin to the ‘level playing field’ paradigm. This is simply
nonsense. There are clearly people who will (and do) take advantage of
the vulnerable; euthanasia would only increase the opportunity.
Paul Russell is Director and founder of the
HOPE: Preventing Euthanasia
Assisted Suicide. Paul has been involved in campaigning and
family and pro-life policy for many years in South Australia and
nationally. This article has been cross-posted from the Hope website.