Euthanasia hurts suicide prevention, Cherish Life warns

The suicide of 104-year-old Australian scientist David Goodall, who took his life in Switzerland tonight, will have the effect of encouraging vulnerable people to follow his example, Cherish Life Queensland has warned.

“This sends entirely the wrong message to those who are battling feelings of worthlessness and suicide ideation and undermines society’s attempts to reduce the suicide rate,” Cherish Life Queensland president Julie Borger said.

“It is sad that this elderly gentleman felt that his failing eyesight and impaired mobility made life no longer worth living.

“One of the many real problems with euthanasia or assisted killing is that it always burdens someone else with the responsibility for the death.

“A natural process assisted by palliative care to ease any pain or suffering is the only way to death with true peace and dignity.

“It was unfortunate that Exit International, which was founded by deregistered Australian doctor Philip Nitschke, who has been dubbed ‘Dr Death’, encouraged Goodall to kill himself.

“This dangerous organisation has been involved in numerous suicides in Australia and overseas over the last two decades.

“Goodall’s death is one of many which Dr Death’s organisation has facilitated, where the patient was not terminally ill, but was simply tired of life.

“This is evidence of the slippery slope, which euthanasia advocates deny exists.

“The justification for euthanasia - which the public has been assured is only for competent adults who are terminally ill and in severe pain - has been expanded to cover anyone who wishes to be included, and even those who cannot give informed consent, in practically every jurisdiction which has gone down this path.”