“The passage of the Western Australian assisted suicide bill (24:11) through the Legislative Council today is a dark day for sick and vulnerable Western Australians” said Mary Collier, Chief Executive Officer, Right to Life Australia. She said “This legislation is an attack on humanity – a dangerous attack on those who don’t even have access to proper health care.” She said “It will put the lives of many vulnerable WA Australians unnecessarily at risk especially those living in outback and remote regions.”
She continued “This state funded regime allows doctors to kill the terminally ill either by lethal injection or by giving the poison to the person to self-administer. A person may injest the poison alone, giving rise to hideous complications as seen overseas. “
“Those in our society who care for patients strongly expressed their opposition to the bill. Over 150 WA medical practitioners, including senior oncologists, geriatricians, psychiatrists and palliative medicine specialists wrote to MPs about their concerns” she said. “The doctors said “Assisting our patients to commit suicide or intentionally killing them by euthanasia is never acceptable. It is not and can never be regarded as medical treatment or medical care”.
Ms Collier continued “Furthermore, both WA Labor Senator Pat Dodson and Hon. Ken Wyatt AM MP (ALP) are rightly very concerned about the impact on Aboriginal people many of whom lack access to proper modern-day health care. With legislation such as this it could easily become cheaper and quicker to kill rather than to care.”
Ms Collier stated: “As the debate progressed the paucity of palliative care in remote areas of WA was exposed. As Hon Peter Collier MLC said this afternoon in relation to the lack of healthcare “In Kalgoolie you are not even able to have your tonsils removed!”. “Yet” she continued “when faced with the facts about palliative care, the government announced it will send up to 8 people to remote areas to ensure patients receive access to assisted suicide!”
Experience from those countries in the world of the dangers of physician assisted suicide should have sounded a warning against it. Statistics from Holland, Belgium & Switzerland prove it is out of control. Official figures from Holland in 2015 show 431 people had their lives ended without their consent. These facts influenced the British Parliament in 2015 when they voted overwhelmingly against legalised euthanasia. The Scottish and Welsh Parliament since voted likewise.
This is a bill of despair and lack of hope. It sends a message that some lives are not worthy to be lived. Its passage is a great tragedy for Australia.