The Victorian Government has progressed their radical Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill, expanding eligibility and abandoning support for those considering ending their life, says the Australian Christian Lobby.

Australian Christian Lobby’s Victorian director, Dan Flynn said, “Already the government is radically extending the plan for assisted suicide to enable doctor administered euthanasia and government suicide permits. Neither of these elements are available in Oregon, the US State which provided the model for Victoria’s legislation”.

“The Government proposes to abandon terminally ill patients once it has signed their suicide permit and the patient has obtained lethal drugs from the the local pharmacy", stated Mr Flynn.

In another departure from the Parliament’s End of Life Choices Inquiry, “The Government will provide no support for patients as they return home with the drugs, despite the inquiry recommending that persons who have gained access to the lethal medication be provided with a trained case worker”, Mr Flynn said.

“If a patient coughs up the pills at home, or in some way can’t effectively kill themselves with the drugs, they are on their own, sick and discarded by the Government.

“The Minister for Health told Victorians today that the suffering threshold, for terminally ill patients to access assisted suicide, will not be subject to any limitations at all.

“Disturbingly, further recommendations of the End of Life Choices Inquiry continue to be ignored. Recommendations such as terminally ill patients must be in “enduring and unbearable suffering” to qualify for assisted suicide, remain abandoned by the Victorian Government.

“Victorian doctors are deeply divided over assisted suicide and the Australian Medical Association has publicly stated that doctors should not be involved in any interventions that end their patients’ lives.

“Nearly half of those that obtained the suicide drugs in Oregon USA, state as a reason for assisted suicide that they did not want to be a burden on their family and friends.

“This proposed legislation will send a not so subtle message to terminally ill people that they are a burden to others and it is their duty to relieve that burden on their family.  The Bill also sends the message to youth and the wider community, that suicide is an acceptable solution to suffering”, Mr Flynn said.