"Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill it teaches the whole people by its example.
Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a law breaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself."
–Supreme Court Justice Brandeis

Monday, July 13, 2009

“Dads in Distress” Why are they reforming the coroners act? (so they can kill more)

   Why ARE mens groups  working on reforming coroners act. I have not read enough to make a comment, but I would be very concerned as to what they have suggested in cases surrounding domestic violence especially the part about giving families a greater say in the conduct of coronial investigations.

 Families in their terms means fathers.   Dads in Distress run a Crisis Line 1300 853437

News, Articles & Press Releases


Coroner Reform Welcomed By Rev Nile


Rev Fred Nile, leader of the Christian Democratic Party, has welcomed reform to the area of Coroner selection and procedural application.

Rev Fred Nile said

The Christian Democratic Party support the Coroners Bill 2009, which replaces the existing Coroners Act 1980 with a new Coroners Act 2009

The bill includes a number of reforms that have been developed in consultation with the Chief Magistrate, the State Coroner, older persons services and health and legal agencies. These reforms aim to amend the required qualifications of coroners so that only magistrates and Australian lawyers will be appointed as coroners; to update provisions that require certain deaths to be reported to the coroner to reflect advances and changes in medical technology and practice; and to respect the dignity of deceased persons and give families a greater say in the conduct of coronial investigations.

One of the main aspects of the legislation is to make a distinction between deaths from natural causes and suspicious deaths or where the circumstances surrounding a death are unclear.

Every year around 6,000 deaths are reported to the coroner based on information from the National Coronial Information System.

Typically, more than half these deaths are due to natural causes.

This legislation will make it clear that only cases that involve suspicious or unusual circumstances should be referred to the coroner. Where the death has occurred from natural causes no referral to the coroner is required.

This will allow coroners and medical investigators to focus their attention on cases where a person dies of unknown causes or in suspicious or violent circumstances. That is a positive move forward, but there should always be checks and balances to make certain that all the evidence supports the claim that a death occurred from natural causes.

The Christian Democratic Party supports the bill

Last week on Wednesday the Dads4Kids Fatherhood Foundation's sponsored Men and Fathers Health Summit took place in Parliament House, Canberra. The event brought together a lot of the leaders in the fatherhood movement together with the politicians of this country. Many spoke with wisdom and compassion from the front lines, the grassroots organisations if you like.

Warwick Marsh, Dads4Kids Fatherhood Foundation said

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I have spoken of the fact that we had been coming down to Canberra for 10 years now, and for ten years we have been telling our politicians that the suicide rate, especially that of males is too high.

It is in fact higher then the road toll. So I asked, What are we doing about that? For many years leaders in the men and father's movement have been talking to parliamentarians about a wholistic approach to men and father's health that will bring positive change to the lives of the men and fathers of Australia.

The good news is that the Rudd Government has promised a Men's Health Policy. The bad news is that only one (1) government member took the time to attend the summit to hear the policy suggestions from the men and father's movement of Australia.

Thankfully ten (10) non-government members took the time out of their busy schedules to hear from the Summit delegates.

The suicide rate for males stands at 5 a day. That is 35 a week! As Eric Trezise said in his speech

Eric Trezise, Suicide Safety Network, in his speech said

Thank you, I am Eric Trezise, Pastor Eric Trezise, Suicide Safety Network, and I want to raise this point.

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In more recent years, the Attorney General's Department has changed the way we define the law in respect to suicide.  We do not hold regular and necessary inquests into all suicides.  A suicide means that someone is dead.  In any other area of law, a person was dead, there would be an inquest to determine how that death occurred.  An inquest is not required any more for suicides.  A violent death, and nothing is done about it to bring it to the point of law where a decision, a final decision can be made on what happened to that person. 

It's made on the basis of probabilities.  The balance of probabilities.  Whose probabilities, and on what evidence?  We don't have that. 

Do you realise that the figures in suicide are under-recorded annually to a shocking degree.  The Australian Bureau of Statistics have said that they believe the suicide is under-recorded in metropolitan and rural, regional areas by up to 10% - 15%.  They have said in the remote districts of Australia it is under recorded as high as 35%.  We've known that on the Central Coast for over 13, 14 years, where we have held an inquest into every death that occurred.  But now, today, the figures on suicide are going down, the figures on unrecorded suicides are still high and it's not being dealt with.

There has to be a change made by the Attorney General's Department to look very seriously at how we determine those deaths more efficiently, more correctly, and look at what is occurring.  There is no funding.  The funding is dropping off all the time because the suicide rate is going down.  The suicide rate is not down, the suicide rate is high, and we have to step in now and say why is that so?  Why is the government not looking at that and changing law so we get more honest recording?

Tony Miller, Dads in Distress said

The morning I left for Canberra I found out about a suicide that happened just up the road. On returning I discovered more. You see a young man had walked out in front of a semi-trailer travelling down the highway. He had just broken up with his girlfriend. Now he leaves family and friends grieving and wondering why. He was just 16 years old. Why did he feel that the only answer for a lost love was to die? Sad isn't it, but it happens at a rate of 5 a day and a big proportion of that 5 are dads in some form of distress, or men or boys going through relationship trauma. It wasn't reported as such as the media is normally instructed against, for copycat or other reasons.

Please understand, I am no expert, but I am one who comes face to face with the tragedy of suicide every day. I was there myself once, so were some of my children. That's why I started Dads in Distress. Let's face it, whatever is in place now, whatever the intervention plans or the media blackout, it is just not working. And we need it to work.

What is the answer? Listen to people like the Rev Eric Trezise for one. I am just a voice who is trying to raise the public and politicians awareness to the issues, as are others. We want to engage with the experts in the field and maybe, just maybe, we can add to their research so that ultimately we can come up with a solution that works. We need the Government to commit as much resources as they do to the national road toll; we are talking the same numbers ladies and gentlemen.

Clearly not talking about suicide openly is not working, the media blackout is not working, and fencing bridges is not working.

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On the cover of the Summit delegates pack is a picture of a family: mum, dad and two children. I held it up at the Men & Fathers Health Summit and asked that they look at the photo and understand that really the individuals should have been whited out. Mum is vanishing, the children are vanishing and to be honest, so is dad. We need to take action. We need to do it sooner rather then later.

35 male suicides are week!!!!!! and we know it is higher then that.

For our children's sake, talk to us, engage with us, commit some resources as you would if 35 soldiers were dying overseas a week or if 35 whales a week beached themselves on Bondi Beach.

And maybe next time I come home from Canberra there won't be a blood stain on the highway from some young boy who didn't understand that help was out there and that its ok to get it.

Dads in Distress run a Crisis Line 1300 853437


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