The debate over life itself is raging in the Queensland parliament right now. Last Friday in our Parliament House, I gave testimony to the Committee overseeing the inquiry, which will either recommend or not the introduction of euthanasia laws in Queensland.
While I waited for my turn to speak I heard from sons who wanted to have their mothers euthanased; I heard others who wanted children to have access to euthanasia, and still others who wanted euthanasia to be available for those with non life-threatening conditions or mental illness. I wept inside and I cried out to God on behalf of our state.
Euthanasia as a concept fundamentally corrupts one of the most important and precious truths that we hold to be self-evident – the invaluable worth of a human life, created in the image of God. The question that must be answered by all of us, and especially our parliamentarians at this time is “how do we best love and care for those in our community who are dying?” In Queensland today we are experiencing a critical lack of palliative care services. Those living in outback communities and rural towns deserve the same access to expert palliative care as those in the South-East corner. Currently, we are failing our society’s most vulnerable by drastically under-funding palliative care, especially in rural and remote areas.
The thought of affirming the idea that some lives are not worth living at a time when Queensland has the second highest suicide rate in Australia is incredibly irresponsible, not to mention our current crisis in elder abuse and the rise of inheritance impatience.
On Thursday last week ACL became aware that a motion would be brought forward at the ALP Qld State Conference held last weekend to force the government to bring forward a bill to legalise euthanasia before the next election in October 2020.
Thank you to so many of our supporters who live in ALP electorates who responded to our call for emails to be sent asking their MP to vote against this motion. And thank you to those who prayed !
The ALP Qld State Conference declined the suggested motion and instead voted for the Government to act ‘as soon as it can on the reform’ should it be recommended by the end of life inquiry. This increases the possibility that euthanasia will not be debated before the next election.
We must remain vigilant though. Now is the time to press forward in calling on every State Member to vote for life and not death. In Deuteronomy 30:19 God says, “Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him”.
May God give us the grace to continue to speak truth in love.