EuthanasiaToday is the last day to make a submission into a senate inquiry investigating a Greens’ euthanasia bill.

At the end of June Greens’ Senator Richard Di Natale tabled the draft bill in parliament which would make it legal for doctors to prescribe and administer an end of life substance to a terminally ill person.

The person’s condition would have to be verified by two medical practitioners and the person would have undergone an assessment by a psychiatrist to ensure they are of sound mind.

Despite the safeguards in place, experience in jurisdictions demonstrates that euthanasia laws are never safe from abuse.

Please consider making a submission to this inquiry by following the instructions on the inquiry home page. You can write a submission and send it to [email protected], or by post to the Committee. Alternatively, you can complete a short pro forma submission here.

The Exposure Draft of the bill is available here.

Some points to consider making in your submission:

  • Legalising euthanasia puts at risk the lives of society’s most vulnerable people – the elderly, the lonely, the sick, and the depressed. Euthanasia transmits the message that some lives are no longer worth living or worth caring for.

  • Euthanasia undermines the fundamental relationship of trust between doctor and patient. Patients trust doctors to act in their best interest.

  • Euthanasia puts pressure on patients who are concerned about being a burden to their families or friends.

  • Despite safeguards, in countries where euthanasia has been legalised, a large number of euthanasia deaths occur without the explicit request or consent of the patient.

  • After euthanasia is introduced, the strict boundaries are often relaxed to include, for example, mental illness but no terminal physical illness. Euthanasia for children as young as 12 is permitted in the Netherlands, and for children of any age in Belgium.

  • In most cases, physical pain can be treated with palliative care.

For more information, see the ACL fact sheet Valuing Life. You can also read ACL's 2013 submission to the Tasmanian parliament on a euthanasia bill.