15 October 2015

Senator David Leyonhjelm’s new bill to allow territories to legislate on euthanasia must be opposed by senators as it cannot be made safe for vulnerable Australians, including treatable depression sufferers, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.

This follows revelations that 52 non-terminally ill sufferers of mental illness had procured and committed suicide using the banned euthanasia drug, Nembutal, which is recommended by pro-euthanasia advocates like Dr Philip Nitschke.

ACL Managing Director Lyle Shelton said that the murky experience in Belgium and the Netherlands is reason enough that euthanasia must remain a commonwealth issue.

“These tragic events along with overseas experience confirm that euthanasia can never be made safe.”

The dangers of euthanasia were laid bare through the recent SBS Lateline program, “Allow Me to Die” in which journalist Brett Mason investigated the effects of the law in Belgium.

Mason interviewed Dutchman Tom Mortier, whose mother was euthanised without his knowledge because she suffered depression. He also documented the final days of Simona de Moore, a healthy 85-year old who sought and received euthanasia to treat her grief following the death of her daughter. He second daughter was not informed until after her death.

“This bill flies in the face of these deaths and sends a message that as a society we do not have any time to treat the mentally ill, they are disposable and you do not a need terminal illness to choose to die.”