The Australian Christian Lobby has called on Labor MPs to resist calls for an inquiry into legislating for state-sanctioned assisted suicide when the Labor caucus meets next week.

“As we are reminded today through World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Labor Party and WA community would be better served inquiring into the startling increase in elder abuse,” ACL WA director Dahlia Messiha said.

“The WA Government has a real opportunity to help the elderly by holding a parliamentary inquiry into the reason for the increase in elder abuse, as has been espoused by Nick Goiran MLC

“Holding a euthanasia inquiry while ignoring elder abuse would be irresponsible,” Ms Messiha said.

“Furthermore, a euthanasia inquiry is unjustified given the thousands of submissions that had been tabled at previous inquiries both in WA and in other states.

“No matter how those pushing for state-sanctioned suicide sell it, when considering all the evidence parliamentarians have consistently rejected the notion that euthanasia can be delivered safely,” Ms Messiha said.

Most recently, the Tasmanian Parliament soundly rejected a push for euthanasia and assisted suicide voting 16 to 8 against a dangerous euthanasia bill.

South Australia rejected a bill last year while WA has repeatedly voted against euthanasia most recently in 2010.  

“Euthanasia will only compound the very real issue we currently experience with elder abuse,” Ms Messiha said.

“Euthanasia laws around the world have a track record of being misguided, failing to protect vulnerable people being pressured to die,” Ms Messiha said.

“As a community, we need to send a clear signal to those requiring assistance that they are not better off dead but are valued human beings.

“There are many examples around the world which show that providing the ability to suicide puts undue pressure on vulnerable people such as those with disabilities, the very young or older citizens,” Ms Messiha said.