The Australian Christian Lobby thanks Tasmania’s parliamentarians for voting today 16 to 8 against a dangerous euthanasia bill that would have given access to assisted suicide to those suffering from non-terminal illnesses, such as chronic arthritis or disabilities. 

ACL Tasmanian director Mark Brown said that it was pleasing that parliamentarians were able to see through the legislation and recognise that no laws that allow for state-sanctioned suicide can be good for society.

“The Parliament has today recognised that it is impossible to safely legislate to grant autonomy for the few, without creating danger to many other vulnerable individuals in society,” Mr Brown said.

“Hidden in the bill were clauses that would have allowed those suffering from non-terminal illnesses, such as chronic arthritis or diabetes to be assisted to suicide.

“Extraordinarily, under the proposed bill, death certificates would have been falsified to claim the cause of death was the non-terminal disease.

“Any notion of compassion is misguided if we accept killing the person instead of killing the pain.

“Compassion means to identify with and walk together through suffering. 

 “This decision upholds the ‘do no harm’ that has stood for thousands of years. This bill would have put an incredible onus on doctors to interpret the definitions of the bill correctly.

“As a society we are heading in the wrong direction when we consider laws that have as their primary focus the death of a patient, instead of the care of a patient.

“Tasmanian parliament's clear rejection of medical killing legislation should be taken to heart by legislators in Victoria, NSW and WA as they consider their own respective debates on this issue."