WHY WE NEED TO STOP EUTHANASIA IN ITS TRACKS:
The fatally flawed Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2019 passed the lower house on 24th September. It is now in the Legislative Council (Upper House) where the debate continues in earnest.
Neither those opposed nor those in support have the numbers. The fate of this Bill will be decided by a small number of undecided Members of the Legislative Council.
Your voice is needed to help those undecided MLCs understand that euthanasia shatters the foundation of medicine. It turns healers into takers of life. There are no effective safeguards against abuse. It inevitably leads to wrongful deaths. The so called ‘right to die’ invariably gets extended over time and can become the ‘duty to die’.
Make no mistake, the euthanasia supporters have increased the intensity of their lobbying and letter writing campaign. They don’t present facts. They tell harrowing stories of loved ones dying in severe pain. We know that those tragic stories are the result of totally inadequate palliative care.
If you have a story of a loved one dying peacefully with the help of quality palliative care, share that personal story with your 6 MLCs and add a few points that show that the risk of wrongful deaths is simply too great. If you have a story of a dying loved one sharing special moments with you in their last days, share that too.
As the Bill went through the lower house, MPs felt the pressure of your letters, emails, phone calls and rallies. We can’t stop now. We need to continue to raise our voices and show these undecided MLCs that this Bill should not even be considered while we have such inadequate Palliative Care. Remind them that the Bill will inevitably result in wrongful deaths.
Use the form below to tell your story and send an email to your six Legislative Councillors asking them to vote against this Bill.
The following points can assist you in writing your email:
- In Oregon 73% of people who ask for physician assisted suicide do so because they feel they are being a burden on their family. The availability of physician assisted suicide creates an inevitable subtle pressure to use it to stop being a burden on family. The ‘choice’ of VAD quickly becomes the ‘responsibility’ to alleviate being a ‘burden’.
- With quality palliative care no one needs to die in agony, as pain can be controlled in all but the rarest cases, in which case palliative sedation can be used. With only 1 in 3 West Australians having access to a palliative care specialist, it is cruel to offer physician assisted suicide instead of quality palliative care.
- There is simply no means to ensure that a person has not been coerced into asking for physician assisted suicide.
- Physician assisted suicide can only be supported if we believe some lives are not worth living.
- Actively ending someone’s life crosses a line which our civilisation has always rejected.
You may like to point out some of the weaknesses in the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2019, keeping in mind that some of the undecided MLCs support the concept of ‘choice’ but have said that if they are not convinced that the Bill is ‘safe’, they will vote against it.
- Section 15c (iii) allows people who are “suffering” to access VAD – the patient does not need to be experiencing physical pain. Thus, its scope is much larger – and will allow people to access VAD for other reasons as has happened in Belgium and The Netherlands.
- Does nothing to prevent “doctor shopping” to find the 2 doctors needed to support a request for VAD.
- Does not require the treating doctor to be informed that other doctors are processing a VAD request (Sec 26(j)).
- Makes no provision for a mental health assessment to be required, to ensure the patient is not depressed.
- Supposedly has 102 safeguards, but these are not safeguards, just processes that have to be followed.
- Allows a doctor to present VAD as a ‘treatment’ option – this is forbidden for good reason in the Victorian legislation. In Canada there are cases where doctors have pressured people to ask for physician assisted suicide, when they did not want it, as documented in the documentary ‘Fatal Flaws’.
- Will force doctors who have a conscientious objection to be accessories to the suicide of their patient as they are required to provide their patient with a pamphlet explaining how they can get access physician assisted suicide (Section 19(5)(b). All major religious traditions forbid being an accessory to another person’s suicide.
Thank you for your partnership in calling our leaders to uphold the unique dignity of human life.