For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 12 May 2013
In the light of debate this week over a private member’s bill to allow doctors to kill their patients, it’s worth pointing out that NSW residents already have access to advance care agreements, and that recent developments in palliative care make assisted death unnecessary.
Instead of wasting taxpayers’ money on reviews of every death by euthanasia, the NSW Government should improve resources for palliative care so that terminally ill patients in our community receive the care and comfort they deserve at the end of life to minimize suffering.
The Greens bill seeks to enshrine the right to kill and be killed in NSW law. If enacted, the law will endanger disabled people who cannot speak for themselves, and who may be seen as an unnecessary burden by their family or the state. We cannot be sure the proposed law will never be extended to include incapacitated patients.
It’s bad law, bad ethics, and bad medicine.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.