FamilyVoice Australia understands that Labor is due to release a Bill that would legalise ‘physician assisted suicide’ permitting Victorian doctors to kill their patients. The Christian advocacy organisation said Australia has previously rejected euthanasia, the deliberate taking of patients’ lives, many times – because no safeguards exists or will ever exist that can make legalised killing, safe.

“The interim report by a Ministerial Advisory Panel wildly and illogically assumes that the legislation will pass by only listening to those in support of euthanasia,” said FamilyVoice National Director Ashley Saunders.

“Medical killing is illegal, and is not supported by the AMA, because it would introduce a dangerous shift in our society, making it okay to kill those deemed unfit to live.

“It would impose a terrible pressure on our sick, elderly and vulnerable (such as those with mental illnesses) to end their lives. Doctors and even psychiatrists admit that it can be hard to diagnose depression — who are we kidding here?

“Quality health care manages the causes of patients’ distress rather seeking death solutions, which would be fatal to our existing doctor-patient trust.”

According to 33 of Australia and New Zealand’s top palliative care practitionersrequests for assisted suicide rarely spring from uncontrolled pain, but rather from despair, a sense of loss of control, or fear of being a burden to others. Evidence shows that a person’s desire for hastened death changes over time and reduces when care is good.  

“Palliative care has come a long way in the last decade,” Mr Saunders added. “We should be offering the world’s best practice compassionate palliative care and pain management - not death solutions. Disability advocates have rightly asked our parliamentarians, how can we have ‘death with dignity’, before we have ‘dignity in life’?

“I call on Victorian MPs to reject attempts to give doctors a licence to kill.

“Killing people is not a medical procedure. It is murder. Let us not get confused about a desire for less suffering, and pretend a method of suicide by lethal injection gives the dying the dignity and care they rightly deserve.”