The Victorian Greens should take note of the resounding defeat of Victoria’s euthanasia bill in 2008 and stop continually trying to push for laws which would put at risk the lives of vulnerable sick and elderly people, the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) said today.

ACL Victorian Director Rob Ward said that in August 2008 the Physician Assisted Dying Bill 2008 was comprehensively rejected in the Victorian Upper House by 25 votes to 13.

“The Greens need to get past their anti-life agenda and recognise that the Victorian Parliament has already firmly decided against euthanasia and it is a waste of parliamentary time to keep revisiting the issue,” Mr Ward said.

“Greens MLC Colleen Hartland’s motion seeking a review of the Medical Treatment Act relating to end-of-life medical treatment and palliative care options is very obviously just a back-door attempt to push the euthanasia barrow.

“Her move to get the issue referred to the Victorian Law Reform Commission is a particular source of concern given the Commission’s very poor track record in dealing with contentious social issues such as abortion and same-sex surrogacy.

“This is not a matter for a parliamentary committee or the Commission. The Victorian Parliament has already spoken on this issue - voting in favour of valuing life and affirming the role of doctors in caring for the sick, not harming them.”

Mr Ward said that, as a society, we should be seeking to ease people’s pain through better palliative care, not promoting killing as an alternative to helping them.

“We should also continue to stand firm in rejecting legislation that would send dreadful messages to the sick and elderly about the worth of their lives and which would put people’s lives at risk.

“For example, in Holland where euthanasia has been legal for some years, research indicates that around 1,000 people are killed each year without their consent.”

Mr Ward said that in every Australian state where a parliamentary committee has closely examined euthanasia – normally at the bidding of the Greens - the committee has rejected it on account of the way in which the laws to protect life are made inconsistent and dangerously subjective.

“As a society we should be affirming the unique and intrinsic worth of all human beings, no matter what their physical, mental or emotional state might be.”

Media Contact: Rob Ward on 0408 348 352 or Glynis Quinlan on 0408 875 979.