Pro-life groups FamilyVoice Australia and the Coalition for the Defence of Human Life have endorsed a call by the Shadow Minister for Child Protection, Nick Goiran, for an inquiry into the death of 27 unborn babies who survived abortion in recent years.

He presented a parliamentary petition to the Upper House of State Parliament on 1 November, signed by more than 7,000 people and sponsored jointly by the pro-life groups.

“A Parliamentary inquiry is urgently needed,” said FamilyVoice WA Director and Coalition spokesman Darryl Budge.

“The Department of Health totally failed to report those deaths to the Coroner, and the Ombudsman apparently has no jurisdiction in the matter,” he said. “No one contacted the Department of Child Protection.”

“Parliament must enact urgently needed reforms and a tightening of government policy to protect unborn babies that survive abortion.”

The inquiry should also investigate disability discrimination, Mr Budge said.

“Many babies are aborted simply because they are diagnosed with Down Syndrome and Spina Bifida.”

Christian advocacy group FamilyVoice Australia has told the WA parliamentary inquiry into end of life choices that doctors must continue to serve only as protectors of life.

In a written submission to the End of Life Choices inquiry, FamilyVoice Australia said medical practitioners historically took the Hippocratic Oath, which forbids euthanasia.

“That promise has shaped medical ethics since ancient times,” said FamilyVoice National Director Ashley Saunders.

“Then after the horrendous abuse by Nazi medical personnel, the Declaration of Geneva enabled doctors to pledge utmost respect for human life from birth to natural death,” he said.

“It was followed by the International Code of Medical Ethics which required doctors to preserve human life.”

In 2015, the World Medical Association reaffirmed the 1992 Statement of Marbella that labelled euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide as unethical, the FamilyVoice submission explained.

“Then after a comprehensive policy review, the Australian Medical Association last year resolved to maintain its opposition to euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, because doctors should not seek to end human life,” Mr Saunders noted.

“We urge state MPs to heed the wise counsel of Australian, international and historic experts in medical ethics and give no approval of euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide.”

The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill NSW 2017 is expected to pass in the Legislative Council this month, before being handed down to the Legislative Assembly in November.

This bill would make both assisted suicide and euthanasia legal in cases where a doctor believes someone has 12 months or less left to live. This will only apply to NSW residents who are 25 years old or older.

“Legislation in which the State authorises and supports some people committing suicide and medical practitioners deliberately acting to terminate human life sends very puzzling messages to the community: namely that some suicides are not only acceptable, but doctors should assist them to occur,” says Professor Michael Quinlan, Dean of the School of Law at Notre Dame university, All in all this is a very bad bill”.

This bill has been drafted by an unofficial working group of politicians including MLCs Trevor Khan, Mehreen Faruqi, Lynda Voltz, and MPs Alex Greenwich and Lee Evans.

“Parliamentarians would be well advised to listen to geriatricians and palliative care physicians, the doctors who actually care for frail and dying patients.  We are not asking for assisted suicide. We do not need euthanasia to care for our patients. We are asking for better funded palliative medicine and geriatric medicine services” says Dr John Obeid, geriatrician

Assisted suicide and euthanasia are currently illegal throughout Australia in all six states and both territories. The Australian Medical Association (AMA), the professional association for Australian doctors and medical students, has declared its opposition to changing the law to legalise physician-assisted suicide.

FamilyVoice, working in coalition with the Support Not Suicide campaign, will continue to advocate for better palliative care and support for all NSW residents, as opposed to allowing our medical professionals to assist in the suicide of their patients.

FamilyVoice Australia has released videos to counter the “shallow and superficial” Yes campaign on same-sex marriage.

“Advocates for same-sex marriage are bombarding voters with expensive advertising that makes no contribution to public policy,” he said.

“Australians will not be bullied or herded into approving anything,” he said.

“If the proponents of same-sex marriage have good public policy to justify redefining marriage, they should express their views without relying on flimsy and glossy marketing.

“Shallow and superficial campaigning discredits and denigrates the Australian voter,” he said.

FamilyVoice videos released today feature former homosexual activist James Parker, who provides public policy arguments in favour of heterosexual marriage.

Click here to view the videos.

Authorised by A Saunders, FamilyVoice Australia, Adelaide

Legalising physician-assisted suicide in Victoria would fundamentally change the nature of medicine and put vulnerable people at risk argues FamilyVoice Australia.

‘Allowing doctors to deliberately kill certain patients radically alters their role,’ said FamilyVoice’s National Director, Ashley Saunders. ‘Euthanasia creates a tectonic shift in health ethics and risks bringing out the worst in human nature.’

He expressed concern that the pressure for a cost-efficient health system may warp into a preference for cheap death over expensive care. Euthanasia laws implicitly tell terminally ill people that they are a burden to their loved ones and to the economy and should remove themselves. As Dying with Dignity admits, fear of being a burden is cited in 40-59% of assisted suicide requests in Oregon and Washington.[1]

Mr Saunders rejected the argument that euthanasia laws are needed to allow people to die with dignity saying, ‘People have intrinsic dignity and a deep worth that can never be diminished. It is not dependent on a certain state of health or manner of death. Respecting people’s dignity does not mean killing them off when they are most vulnerable but rather supporting them through high quality palliative care until their natural death,’ he said.

‘Euthanasia laws remain rare because we are rightly concerned about protecting vulnerable people and upholding high standards of medical ethics,’ concluded Mr Saunders. ‘I urge politicians to listen to the grave concerns of three former presidents of the AMA Victoria, and reject this dangerous bill.’

[1] Dying with Dignity NSW, Assisted dying: Setting the record straight, page 6