Media Release

Premier’s intervention shows fundamental flaws in assisted suicide bill

End of life issues are complex and need thorough consideration as they concern the most vulnerable people in the community. The Mike Gaffney Bill which encourages assisted suicide is rushed, ill-considered and fundamentally flawed. It must be rejected by the Tasmanian Parliament.

The Australian Christian Lobby said today that the Premier’s letter to the Hon Mike Gaffney and accompanying analysis of his assisted suicide Bill highlights fundamental flaws.

Mr Christopher Brohier, ACL’s Tasmanian Director said, “We have consistently pointed out that this Bill encourages assisted suicide rather than merely facilitating it. The observations included in the Government’s preliminary analysis – sent by the Premier to Mr Gaffney today – confirm this.”

“The Government’s analysis points out that errors in diagnosis may occur as the Bill does not require a doctor to be skilled in the particular condition suffered by the patient. The Premier’s letter also highlighted the risks to the disabled in relation to capacity to make decisions, and that the Bill requires the appointment of a Commissioner and staff, but this is unfunded.”

Mr Brohier said that everything in Mr Gaffney’s Bill is geared to moving people as quickly as possible to the poison-taking stage.

ACL calls on the Tasmanian Parliament to reject this poorly drafted Bill and to refer the issue of end-of-life issues to a comprehensive parliamentary inquiry.

ENDS

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