“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.”
The Australian pro-life lobby is appalled that Philip Nitschke, sometimes referred to as "Dr Death", is allowed to travel around Australia spruiking his latest killing machine, the Sarco. We call on the state and federal governments to restrict his activities so he can't sell suicide.
"Philip Nitschke sells suicide. His latest killing device the Sarco, which can be replicated with a 3D printer, is extremely dangerous. Just today Nitschke was on the Gold Coast freely showing off the Sarco. How and why is this even allowed, particularly in a state where assisted suicide is illegal and it is an offence to encourage anyone to suicide?" Ms Teeshan Johnson, executive director of Cherish Life Queensland said.
"The pro-life movement of Australia urgently calls on the Queensland Government and the Federal Government to restrict Nitschke's activities while he is in Australia so he can not sell or promote suicide in any way.
"Australia has a devastating suicide problem, and promoting suicide as Nitschke does, is extremely dangerous and counter-productive to suicide prevention programs.
"Nitschke has no medical registration in Australia (he burned his registration some years ago in protest to restrictions the AMA put on him so he couldn't promote suicide) and his livelihood is built on selling suicide. The trail of suicide and heartbreak behind him is well documented. What he promotes is contrary to the law and good medical practice. Nitschke's suicide promoting activities must be shut down urgently.