Media Release

Those pushing for Parliament to hold a euthanasia debate should tell politicians where the line should be drawn on whether or not to euthanise a patient, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) said today.

ACL Chief of Staff Lyle Shelton said proponents of euthanasia such as Dr Philip Nitschke have suggested that troubled teens should also be able to access the so-called ‘peaceful pill’.

Mr Shelton said Australians who voted Green on August 21 thinking they were signing up to an environmental agenda must be perplexed that Greens’ Leader Bob Brown has nominated euthanasia as his top priority and that one of his Senators, Sarah Hanson-Young, says gay marriage is the Greens’ top priority.

“I wonder how many of these people realised that the Greens’ true priorities lie in a radical social agenda?”

Mr Shelton said Dr Nitschke told a Parliamentary Inquiry in Tasmania last year that he favours the Swiss approach where people who are not terminally ill are allowed to be euthanised.

“It is one thing to talk about so-called voluntary euthanasia for the terminally ill, but this is not the experience in the small number of jurisdictions around the world who have gone down this path.

“In Holland where euthanasia is legal more than 1000 people a year are euthanised without their consent and a protocol, the Groningen Protocol, has been developed for euthanising babies.

“Dr Nitschke and Dr Brown need to be clear with the Australian people about where they see the euthanasia debate heading.

“Doubts remain over whether some of the patients Dr Nitschke has euthanised were terminally ill and he is on the record saying that euthanasia should be available to troubled teens.”

Mr Shelton said several State Parliaments had recently considered Greens’ euthanasia bills and rejected them.

“It is not a reflection on the competency of the people in the Territory Assemblies to say that an issue as grave as euthanasia should be considered in the larger State and Federal Parliaments where a larger number of peoples’ experience can be brought to bear and where there are checks and balances such as a house of review.”

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan 0408 875 979