Article by ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace posted today on Online Opinion

Prime Minister Julia Gillard is right to be conflicted about changing the law so that killing a patient becomes an alternative to palliative care.

"Intellectually, you would say, people should be able to make their own decisions," she said this week.

"But I find it very hard to conceptualise the sort of safeguards that we would need if we did say that euthanasia was legal. So I am conflicted on it in that sense."

The last time there was a public discussion about what "safeguards" might be embedded in a euthanasia bill was last August when Australia's leading euthanasia activist, Dr Phillip Nitschke, fronted a parliamentary inquiry in Tasmania where, you guessed it, the Greens were pushing euthanasia.

Nitschke's testimony ( pages 100-115) should be required reading for every politician considering their vote in the upcoming Federal Parliamentary debate on Greens Leader Bob Brown's euthanasia bill.

Quizzed on long-standing concerns over whether he broke the law in the mid 1990s by euthanising patients who were not terminally ill, fudging a required psychiatric assessment and failing to have a specialist with the required qualifications assess a patient, Nitschke was breathtakingly brazen.

To read the full article on the Online Opinion site please click here.