“The Queensland Parliament Health Committee’s recommendation that assisted suicide legislation be enacted is reckless and dangerous, perhaps even more so now that we are in the midst of a pandemic,” Cherish Life president Dr Donna Purcell said.
“The Queensland Government needs to be fully focused on saving lives, not taking them,
“The Queensland Health Committee’s End-of-Life Inquiry scandalously failed to address adequately the real end-of-life issue facing Queenslanders, which is the gross under-resourcing of palliative care services.
“Queensland needs at least an extra $150 million per year in palliative care funding, as we only have 0.7 palliative care specialists per 100,000 population, while the need is for almost triple that number.
“Some Queenslanders, particularly those in regional and remote communities, are suffering needlessly because of extremely poor resource allocation by this government, and it seems this is to continue.
“No Queenslanders should be forced to choose euthanasia because they cannot get access to palliative care which would ease their pain.
“Instead of additional funding for palliative care, the four Labor/Greens members of the Health Committee recommended assisted suicide as the end-of-life care ‘cure’, rejecting the expert opinion of the vast majority of doctors, including the Australian Medical Association and World Medical Association, who are opposed to euthanasia because it is killing, not health care.
“It is obvious that the committee’s recommendation to legalise euthanasia was a pre-determined outcome, with the majority of the committee taking a short cut and ignoring proper process by recommending a draft Bill put up by euthanasia advocates rather than requesting the Queensland Law Reform Commission to design the legislation.
“In this euthanasia Bill recommended by the Health Committee, there is no requirement that patients requesting euthanasia be seen by a specialist in their disease, or by a palliative care specialist to ensure they are receiving adequate pain relief, or by a psychiatrist to ensure they are not suffering depression.
“There are no safeguards against wrongful deaths, caused by wrong diagnosis, wrong prognosis, patients being unaware of available treatment or having no access to palliative care, or coercion and elder abuse.
“The misnomer “assisted dying” hides what euthanasia really is - intentional killing by lethal injection administered by doctors, or doctors providing poison for the patient to take.
“Doctors should kill the pain, not the patient.”