The report from Queensland Parliament’s Health Committee on the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021 was released last Friday – and confirms serious flaws in the proposed legislation.
Still, the numbers for and against the bill were very close. With two dissenting reports and one statement of reservation, it would appear that the committee chair had to break a deadlock with his right to a casting vote.
This is not the way to pass such controversial legislation that will make it lawful to take another person’s life.
Two dissenting reports from LNP MP Mark Robinson, and One Nation MP Steve Andrews, were based on a broad range of findings from medical, legal, ethical, secular and religious perspectives.
They identified major flaws in the bill including the drastic lack of palliative care in Queensland, particularly in rural and regional areas; the inability to detect or rule out coercion or elder abuse; the fact that health workers will be allowed to initiate the discussion of assisted suicide with vulnerable patients; and the failure to protect true conscientious objection for health care providers and medical practitioners.
At a time of great vulnerability globally, and when Queenslanders are being denied access to expert palliative care, the Australian Christian Lobby joins with the AMA and many other organisations in calling on parliamentarians of conscience to use their vote to defeat this bill.