The campaign to legalise euthanasia in Queensland is based on deception and fear, according to Cherish Life Queensland.
“There is nothing dignified about killing a vulnerable human being, who is in need of good medical care, support and protection,” Cherish Life Queensland executive director Teeshan Johnson said.
“This push to create a culture of death is utterly counter-productive to combating Australia’s suicide epidemic.
“The campaign to legalise euthanasia in Queensland is based on deception and fear.
“Euthanasia advocates give the false impression that terminally ill patients have to suffer excruciating pain and dreadful agony.
“This is simply not the case with the advanced health care available today in Australia.
“It is entirely ethical, completely legal and best medical practice for a doctor to do whatever it takes to relieve a patient’s pain, even if it has the unintended but possible effect of hastening death.
“In the very rare cases when physical pain cannot be managed adequately, palliative care specialists can use a form of light sedation to keep the dying patient comfortable, whether to allow a brief ‘time out’ at peaks of pain, or to manage terminal symptoms.
“If euthanasia was legalised, any terminally ill patients, who need love and care, would feel pressure - whether real or imagined - to do ‘the right thing’ and request euthanasia so they are not ‘a burden on their family’.
“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 many reasons why the Australian Medical Association is opposed to the legalisation of euthanasia and instead supports palliative care, which is the true form of assisted dying.
“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.
“As part of this care, patients have autonomy and choice, as they have the right to refuse medical treatment that they consider to be futile or burdensome, or delaying the dying process.
“Doctors should kill the pain, not the patient.
“There is no need for euthanasia to be legalised and to do so would be extremely bad public policy.
“The Queensland Parliament inquiry into end-of-life issues must encompass the need for adequate resourcing of palliative care and public education on the dying process, and examine the abuses that occur in the Netherlands, one of the few countries where euthanasia is legal.”