The Victorian Government should drop its plans to introduce state-sanctioned assisted suicide following fresh concerns raised by St Vincent’s that it could not take part in the killing of patients. 

“Victorians should not be surprised by the resolution of palliative care provider St Vincent’s Health Australia not to kill patients if the Victorian government presses ahead with legalising state-sanctioned suicide,” ACL Victorian director Dan Flynn said.

“Like the Australian Medical Association, St Vincent’s would find the notion of deliberately ending someone’s life completely at odds with the desire of the medical profession to provide care to their patients.

“As St Vincent's chief executive Toby Hall has said, hospitals are essentially about supporting people to stay alive and if they were to turn to euthanising their patients it would severely damage the trust-relationship between doctor and patient.  

“Like the AMA and St Vincent’s, the ACL believes it would be more beneficial to save lives by increasing investment in palliative care.

“The elderly, especially those experiencing elder abuse at the hands of family members or medical staff, and those with disabilities or from a non-English speaking background would be particularly vulnerable if state-sanctioned assisted suicide was legalised,” Mr Flynn said.

“The ACL calls on the Victorian Government to heed medical advice by scrapping its euthanasia plans before it takes the lives of vulnerable Victorians.”

ENDS