For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 6 Apr 2014.
On Thursday, the Fairfax press published an opinion piece by euthanasia campaigner and Western Australia senate candidate Dr Philip Nitschke in which he commented on the latest suicide statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Referring to suicides which he claimed were carried out rationally, “with forethought and planning, and, quite often, with the full support of the person’s family and loved ones,” Dr Nitschke said these were events “that our society should be proud of.”
He said the medical profession had for too long “conveniently sought to ground suicide in a range of psychiatric indicators.”
What Dr Nitschke fails to acknowledge is the terrible social cost of what he champions, and the real danger that his arguments in favour of suicide on demand will result in tragic, premature and preventable deaths, including the deaths of young people.
To claim that we should be “proud” of an increase in suicide is abhorrent to ordinary Australians.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.