End-of-life inquiry 'just a tactic to legalise euthanasia'

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.”