A push for euthanasia laws to be enacted in Queensland is being privately funded and is getting strong support from protagonists in the media.
My emails that call for action are not normally of a personal nature, but I feel drawn to share with you from my heart on this issue. I am not a stranger to the process of dying. I walked through the valley of death with two of my beautiful sisters who died over a protracted time from different types of cancer – one suffered with pancreatic cancer and the other, with a brain tumour. Contrary to what we hear from pro-euthanasia advocates, Australians already have options on how they will die when suffering from a terminal illness. My sisters chose where they wanted to die, and how they wanted to be treated for pain. They died well, surrounded by family, and with great care and dignity, under expert palliative care. In fact, specialists in this area agree that, with best practice palliative care, experiencing pain that is unable to be relieved is extremely rare.
The legalisation of euthanasia is a false promise that will undoubtedly undermine the provision of excellence in end of life palliative care.
The priority for all Queenslanders should not be legalising euthanasia, but rather be providing access to world-class palliative care to control pain and alleviate suffering. Medical staff should not be expected to reverse their vows and become the purveyors of death; neither should they be expected to bear the responsibility of determining whether someone’s life is worthy or not.
If laws are changed to allow euthanasia, indirect pressure on our most vulnerable in society is inevitable as legalised euthanasia gives the support of law to the proposition that some lives are not worth living. No government can legislate safeguards against this.
Across Brisbane’s breakfast radio this morning, promoters of euthanasia called upon Queenslanders to write to their State MPs, calling on them to support a change in our laws to allow assisted suicide. It is urgent that our State MPs hear from people who value life and believe that there is great dignity in providing excellent palliative care for our loved ones, not putting them down when their lives are no longer deemed worth living.
Please contact your State MP today and ask them to support the value of every human being from birth to death. You can get their contact details here: https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/members/current
Every Queenslander deserves
- The opportunity to discuss death and the way in which they would prefer to die;
- Information about the capability of palliative care to ease their concerns and suffering;
- Equal access to expertly delivered, high quality palliative care;
- The opportunity to die in the place of their choosing.