While the Government may be pleased that their assisted suicide program is one step closer for Victorians today, the inherent dangers of state-sanctioned killing remain and campaigning to protect the vulnerable, especially the elderly and those with disabilities, will intensify in the coming days and weeks, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.
“By no means is the opportunity to warn our parliamentarians over. Many thousands of Victorians do not want to open the Pandora’s box of assisted suicide and euthanasia which we know from overseas experience increases the pressure to die on those most vulnerable,” ACL Victorian director Dan Flynn said.
Speaking after the narrow second reading passing of Labor’s euthanasia bill in the upper house this afternoon (22 For, 18 Against) Mr Flynn urged all Victorians that now is the time to get involved.
“Over the past months we have seen increasing concerns among parliamentarians which has been reflected in today’s close vote,” Mr Flynn said.
“The dangers of this Bill have been clearly articulated by the Australian Medical Association, the World Medical Association, and Former Prime Ministers John Howard and Paul Keating.
The Australian Christian Lobby believes that in the coming weeks more parliamentarians will arrive at the same truths that have remained constant during the previous 20 attempts at introducing euthanasia legislation. The state deciding to help kill people is too dangerous and any number of safeguards never make it safe.
Proposed amendments will now be debated one by one starting on November 14.
“This stage could take some weeks and once all amendments have been considered there will be a final vote in the Council. It should then be evident to Members that no amendment can fix the flawed concept of assisted suicide.
“We must remember, the government still don’t have a suitable drug to use for the killing but they want this legislation progressed despite this fact.
“The risks to the vulnerable and elderly from coercion, mistake and abuse can never be eliminated by amendment to the Bill.
“The ACL urges all members of the Legislative Council to reject this Bill. If one Victorian dies by mistake or coercion because of this Bill that will be too high a price to pay.
“Instead of offering suicide pills to those who a doctor thinks may have less than 12 months to live, the Victorian Government should be investing in palliative care. Palliative Care Victoria estimates that 10,000 Victorians a year die without adequate palliative care.”
“This is an incredible social policy that has wide ranging implications right across Victoria. We urge every Victorian to contact their Legislative Council Members as soon as possible and ask then to vote against this Bill.”