#948 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 24 Aug 2014.
A Greens bill currently before the Senate seeks to legalise euthanasia. The NSW Council of Churches opposes the bill on four grounds.
First, legalising the taking an innocent human life dishonors God who gave it and irreparably harms the common good.
Second, legalising euthanasia may undermine trust between doctor and patient, as well as the moral integrity of the medical profession.
Third, legislation cannot guarantee protection of vulnerable persons from abuse and coercion. For example, a patient may feel obliged to consent to euthanasia out of convenience to others such as healthy relatives, or taxpayers who fund the public health system.
Fourth, past attempts to legalise euthanasia in Australia have failed for good reasons. They may have been well-intentioned but it is bad law.
And it’s poor form to call the draft legislation the “Medical Services (Dying with Dignity) Bill” when what it seeks is freedom from prosecution for medical doctors who intentionally kill their patients.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.