Death was chosen over life today in the NSW Parliament
Today the Legislative Council passed Alex Greenwich’s death bill.
Soon doctors will be able to kill their patients in NSW at the taxpayers’ expense.
Soon the most vulnerable citizens in NSW will be exposed to a new threat of elder abuse. For some approaching the end of their lives the Parliament has effectively stated that your lives are not worth living.
This is a shameful piece of legislation that devalues human life. The state should never take a life but instead should be supporting people to approach their last days with the full support of the health system and those close to them.
What has emerged from the parliamentary debate is that while most legislators decry the absence of palliative care in regional NSW a majority of them are not prepared to legislate to guarantee access to palliative care or even detailed reporting of palliative care service delivery outcomes. Amendments that would have required these measures were defeated and replaced with a watered-down version, shameful again.
This bill is not about choice. It is a false choice to say choose the poison pill or palliative care when palliative is not offered in a satisfactory way in regional NSW. Across the State the number of full-time palliative care specialists is 50% of the international benchmark. In the regions it is 20% of the international benchmark and too low to be measured in remote regions.
Many strong speeches against the bill were made attesting to the problems with the legislation and the defence of the right to life. We commend these worthy politicians for their professional and principled position, especially for those upper house members who moved or voted for strong amendments on palliative care.
Right to Life NSW calls on our elected representatives to legislate a right to free and accessible palliative care across the State.
Dr Brendan Long
Chief Executive Officer
Right to Life NSW