Media Release: Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Australian Greens should take note of the recent resounding defeat of Victoria’s euthanasia bill and stop continually trying to resurrect the issue, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) said today.

ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said the Australian Greens were pursuing an extreme agenda which would put at risk the lives of vulnerable sick and elderly people.

“Bob Brown’s latest bill is not really about restoring the rights of the territories, that’s just a smokescreen. What he’s really trying to do is to have euthanasia legalised and to keep pushing this issue regardless of the consequences,” Mr Wallace said.

“The Greens were knocked back on this issue by 25 votes to 13 in the Victorian Upper House and are now apparently planning to introduce another euthanasia bill in South Australia, despite a bill on this issue previously being defeated there. Just how much parliamentary time are they planning to waste on this issue before they get the message?”

Mr Wallace said that if euthanasia was legalised in line with the Greens’ aims it would profoundly affect the value of life in our society and corrupt the practice of medicine, affecting the role of doctors who are meant to care for the sick not to harm them.

“As a society we should be seeking to ease people’s pain through better palliative care, not promoting killing as an alternative to actually helping people,” he said.

Mr Wallace added that supposed safeguards for euthanasia legislation don’t work. “For example, in Holland where euthanasia has been legal for some years, research indicates that around 1,000 people are killed each year without their consent.

“We should also be considering the message euthanasia laws send to the disabled and elderly. No society has the right to create an expectation that you should terminate your life if you would otherwise be an inconvenience to society.

“This would be a dreadful situation. We should be affirming the unique and intrinsic worth of all human beings, no matter what their physical, mental or emotional state might be.”

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan