For release: Tuesday, November 27, 2012

South Australian Labor MLAs should be granted a conscience vote on a bill that proposes to introduce euthanasia by stealth, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.

ACL spokesman Dan Flynn said it had always been Labor’s policy to grant a conscience vote on life issues.

“This bill certainly brings about euthanasia by stealth, despite the SA parliament’s recent rejection of a euthanasia bill,” Mr Flynn said.

This month, the Advanced Care Directive Bill 2012 passed the House of Assembly as Labor-sponsored legislation introduced by Health Minister John Hill.

The bill makes binding any statement in an Advanced Care Directive for the withdrawal or withholding of health care, including nutrition and hydration.

“Given that this bill introduces euthanasia by omission, it should be the subject of a conscience vote before the South Australian Upper House, in accordance with Labor’s express policy on euthanasia votes,” Mr Flynn said.

Paul Russell of HOPE: Preventing Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide has described the proposed legislation as a “euthanasia Trojan horse.”

“Actions or omissions with the intent to kill or the intent that the patient dies are either acts of euthanasia or assisted suicide,” Mr Russell said.

ACL calls for the referral of the legislation to a Committee for public submissions before it is rushed through Parliament.