#951 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 31 Aug 2014.
The NSW Council of Churches has recommended to a Senate inquiry that senators reject a Greens bill to allow doctors to kill terminally ill patients.
The intentional killing of a human person can never be a compassionate response to suffering, and the state has an obligation to protect its citizens from abuse.
Council recognises that best medical practice may require the withdrawal or withholding of certain treatments because they are considered futile or unduly burdensome to the patient. On the other hand, legalising euthanasia would place an unacceptable burden on health-care professionals.
The preferred compassionate response to suffering is to provide the best possible palliative care and medical services, and governments should seek ways to increase research and treatment funding for palliative care.
Council President, the Rev Dr Ross Clifford, said “This is not just a matter of individual rights but about the shape of society and community well-being.”
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.