Western Australians have rejected the passing of the euthanasia bill by the lower house yesterday, with around 1,200 people attending the ‘Care, Not Killing’ rally held on the steps of parliament house today.
Australian Christian Lobby WA director Peter Abetz, who chaired the rally, said it was more than double the number who turned out the previous evening for the highly advertised pro-euthanasia rally.
“People of all ages and backgrounds came today because they want their MPs to know there is significant opposition to the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2019,” Mr Abetz said.
The rally featured a range of speakers, including Lou Angus, a nurse practitioner with 30 years’ experience working in palliative care; Dr Anil Tandon, a Perth palliative care specialist; Samantha Connor who spoke from her wheelchair, saying that disabled people are often told by others they have ‘no quality of life’, and they are concerned that others will make decisions for them.
John Gilmour QC was the final speaker, highlighting the profound impact physician assisted suicide laws have on all of society.
The keynote speaker was Canadian Kevin Dunn, producer of the films ‘Fatal Flaws’ and ‘The Euthanasia Deception’. He urged the Government to ’press the pause button’.
“While only one in three people who need a palliative care specialist can access one, what choice are we giving people? Substandard care or assisted suicide? That is not a fair choice!” Mr Dunn said.
“Advocates for physician assisted suicide say it is about autonomy. But the fact is, it is two doctors who will decide whether you qualify or not. It is giving doctors power to kill people – something that the house of medicine has never entertained even in ancient times.’ Mr Dunn said.
Mr Dunn’s documentaries reveal real life stories of doctors in Canada putting pressure on people to access ‘medically aided dying’ as it is termed there.
“I have seen the documentaries, and they tell the lived experience of people where these laws are in place. These laws inevitably lead to wrongful deaths,” Mr Abetz said.
The Rally was organised by the Coalition for the Defence of Human Life with the support of the Australian Christian Lobby.