For release: Monday, November 19, 2012

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has called on Parliamentarians to reject the Greens’ latest attempt to legislate for euthanasia.

ACL’s Managing Director Jim Wallace said the Greens strategy is legislation by fatigue, ignoring that State and Federal Governments have refused at least four attempts to legalise euthanasia in recent years, in each case after detailed examination of the issue.

“Parliamentary inquiry after Parliamentary inquiry has found that euthanasia cannot be made safe for vulnerable people who might be pressured into prematurely ending their lives. Nothing has changed to refute this evidence yet the Greens keep coming back.

Mr Wallace said that legalised euthanasia is an unjust and callous way of putting the onus on vulnerable people to end their lives.

“Feelings of social isolation and depression and of feeling a burden to others are common in those suffering with terminal illness, and euthanasia puts unacceptable pressure on them when they’re in this vulnerable state.

“No amount of checks and balances by lawmakers could ensure people are not pressured because of their state of mind, or even because they are elderly and feel a burden to society,” Mr Wallace said.

Managing pain relief which might also hasten death is not euthanasia, as proponents suggest, and this is used to cause confusion in the minds of the public, Mr Wallace said.

“The active intervention of a doctor with a lethal substance in euthanasia is vastly different from prescribing the type of pain relief that may incidentally hasten a person’s death.

“Instead of revisiting a flawed and dangerous experiment with euthanasia, we encourage governments to continue investing in modern palliative care services,” Mr Wallace said.