Health & Welfare Services

Progressive Atheists are currently conducting a project to ascertain the options for people who might not be catered for adequately enough by government funded religious organisations with regards to any sort of health care or welfare service provisions.

Progressive Atheists are currently arranging meetings with those knowledgeable in different fields in order to gather qualitative research for this project.

If you have valuable experience in this area and are able to meet with us, attend future group meetings or would prefer to simply correspond further via email please let us know:

Areas of experience:

  • do you have work experience in the field of health care or welfare service provision
  • do you currently or have you in the past been a receiver of health care or welfare services

End of Life Choices

Submission to the Parliament of Victoria Inquiry into End of Life Choices – July 2015
In Support of Legalising Euthanasia in Victoria

We are the Progressive Atheists (Inc.) – a group of activist working for social justice. The aim of this brief submission is to express our support for legalising euthanasia. By expressing such support, we do not intend to belittle the moral gravity of the matter of euthanasia (or suicide or any voluntary or involuntary ending of life), but rather, we intend to support the right of informed and consenting individuals to end their lives, at a time of their own choosing.  

We acknowledge that this task in immense, in that on the one hand, we want people to choose their own time of death, but on the other hand, we do not want the criteria to be so broad as to institute State-subsidised suicide. But we believe that in cases where the people are elderly, and/or in severe irreversible pain, and/or facing potential indignity, clearly, the autonomy of the patient must prevail.

Now in saying so, we acknowledge that there is the ironic danger that people may be tempted or pressured into dying, by the institutions, persons and/or families that surround them, who may stand to benefit from their demise. By saying so, we are merely highlighting the possibility, against which we must guard ourselves.

We acknowledge that the free-choice to die has profound impacts, both physical and emotional, on the family, friends and colleagues. We also acknowledge that people (both the one wanting to die and the ones for whom that death is of concern) may have ambivalent feelings, which would need time to be processed. But we also realise that the wish to die, once implemented, is irreversible, and therefore, we do not believe that the process of obtaining euthanasia should be excessively short, and we request that psychological support services be made available to aid decision making. However, in the end, we believe that neither the family nor any other person or institution involved, ought to have the choice of overruling the free choice of the individual. Consequently, the mediatory process would need to be complex and nuanced. A detailed articulation of such a process is beyond our current capacity, and therefore, we will leave that to the relevant professionals to articulate further.

We acknowledge that the delivery of the medical procedure of euthanasia will involve persons other on that the one wishing to die. As we have agreed that the matter pertains to the taking of a life, we believe that no medical practitioner or any other person assisting in the process should be compelled to implement the euthanasia. But on balance, we believe that there will be an adequate number of persons willing to implement euthanasia.

In conclusion: We believe that in a secular society such as ours, public policy should not be made on the basis of religion alone, but on the basis of rationality, through publicly accountable processes. Therefore, we are delighted to see this Parliamentary Committee in action. We thank you, Honourable Members of Parliament, for attending to this matter diligently, and we wish you all the best. We are hoping that euthanasia will be legalised in Victoria soon.


Submission to the parliament of Victoria inquiry into end of life choices July 2015

Legislative Council Legal and Social Issues Committee:
Inquiry into end of life choices Final Report

Ageing Atheists Workshop

Progressive Atheists hosted a workshop on Monday, 29 September 2014 to investigate the services and experience available to people who seek a secular experience as they get older.

Discussion Items:

  • Hospital & Home Visiting
  • Retirement & Dependent Accommodation
  • End of Life Choice
  • Ensuring Wishes are Respected

A large percentage of the many government grants for the provision of services and
accommodation targeted for the ageing population, go to religiously based groups.
Many of the religiously based groups are tasked to set up ‘secular’ services or
accommodations, but on closer examination it would seem that religious providers
find it hard to withhold their prejudice and discrimination.

We are interested to hear your stories and concerns related to all of the items above.
Have you recently had a bad experience with a religiously based service or
accommodation provider including home visits or hospital stays? Perhaps an older
relative or friend has recently been through the system and can report on their
experience relating to retirement or dependent accommodation or end of life

We are in the early stages of this investigation and still at the point of assessing
what action needs to be taken in order to ensure a secular experience for ageing

If you are interested in participating in this project or are able to contribute with
questions, personal experiences or professional opinions based on industry
experience, please get in touch:

This workshop was a preliminary meeting to ascertain what needs to be done in order to ensure a secular experience in health care and welfare services, focusing initially on aged care services and facilities for those seeking freedom from any sort of prejudice and discrimination.

You can participate in ongoing discussion on the Facebook event page.

Facebook Event

The next steps include

  1. Encouraging community participation in the ongoing discussion and research
  2. Speaking with informed sources in order to gather qualitative data
  3. Development of a presentation / document
  4. Presenting our findings to date at a presentation in February 2015