The decision by the Queensland Labor Government to include euthanasia in an end-of-life inquiry has been condemned by Cherish Life Queensland as a tactic with the end goal being expanding “state-sanctioned killing” from the unborn to the elderly, sick and/ or disabled.
Cherish Life president Dr Donna Purcell said an inquiry to improve aged care and increase funding for palliative care services was needed, but these crucial areas were being used as a smokescreen and would not be given the attention they deserved given euthanasia was part of the terms of reference.
“Holding a parliamentary inquiry with a committee controlled by pro-euthanasia MPs is just following the tactic which enabled the Victorian Government to legalise assisted suicide last year, while ignoring the need to boost funding for palliative care.
“Legalisation of euthanasia would expose the vulnerable elderly and terminally ill to pressure – real or imagined – to do the ‘right thing’ and request death so they are not a ‘burden on their family’.
“Sending the message that some lives are not worth living is also utterly counter-productive to combating Australia’s suicide epidemic.
“No safeguards are effective when it comes to euthanasia. It is open to serious manipulation and can be the worst and ultimate form of abuse of those who are ill, elderly, or disabled.
“This is one of the reasons why this state-sanctioned killing is opposed by both the AMA and the World Medical Association.
“Euthanasia advocates give the false impression that terminally ill patients have to suffer excruciating pain and dreadful agony.
“This is simply not the case, as the advanced palliative care available today means that every Australian can have the hope of a tolerable dying process.
“Palliative care focuses on relieving pain and keeping patients comfortable in order to allow a natural and dignified death at their appointed time. Good medical practice is all about facilitating natural death with dignity and peace.
“Doctors should kill the pain, not the patient.”
The pro-life lobby has accused the State Labor Government of extreme hypocrisy in presenting a Human Rights Bill, which includes a “right to life”, to Parliament today.
“Just a fortnight ago the Attorney-General and 49 of her MP peers wildly celebrated the passing of the Termination of Pregnancy Bill, which legalised abortion until birth. They showed gross contempt for human life that day.” Ms Teeshan Johnson, executive director of Cherish Life Queensland said.
“Two weeks later they present a Human Rights Bill to Parliament which includes a ‘right to life’. Do they really think they can convince the Queensland public they actually value human life?
“The Human Rights Bill also contains a right to ‘protection from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment’, yet the abortion Bill they passed allows abortion up to birth with no requirement for pain relief for the unborn human being.
“There is a body of medical and scientific evidence to suggest that the unborn face enormous pain during an abortion from as early as 16 weeks gestation. Yet this Government didn’t see fit to have a requirement to anaesthetize the unborn before an abortion, so in effect it has legislated for torture, cruel and degrading treatment of unborn human beings at any stage of pregnancy.
“Their actions show they support torture and inhumane treatment of human beings, as long as they aren’t born.
“The Human Rights Bill supposedly protects freedom of conscience, but not in the case of a doctor with a conscientious objection to abortion, who now is forced to refer for abortion under the brutal new abortion law.
“For the Attorney- General and her peers to pretend they care about life is hypocrisy at its most vile.”