‘Just as the risk of wrongful death is why we no longer have capital punishment in Australia, the same risk also applies to the Euthanasia legislation; there’s no turning back!’, stated Hon. Nick Goiran MLC BCom LLB during his address at a highly successful dinner in Bunbury on Friday, May 3rd.
Sponsored by the Knights of the Southern Cross at the Cathedral Parish Hall, the event attracted 58 attendees including Rev Fr Tony Chiera, Vicar General, representing His Lordship, Bishop Gerard Holohan, with local clergy and religious as well as Suzanne Lawrence, Project Officer, Care for Life, and parishioners from Bunbury, Dardanup and Leschenault parishes.
Addressing the topic, ‘Licence to care, not to kill’, Nick guided his attentive audience through the issues and challenges surrounding the forthcoming Euthanasia legislation to be introduced to the WA State Parliament during 2019. Similar legislation has already been voted into law in Victoria commencing on 19th June 2019.
In addition to wrongful death risk, Nick pointed out that experience in overseas countries where Euthanasia is allowed has shown there are very real risks of elder abuse. Moreover, euthanising the terminally ill is just the tip of the iceberg as very soon political pressure widens the scope of the legislation, as in the Netherlands, to include dementia, psychiatric and age-related disorders.
While the relief of suffering is commonly used to justify euthanasia, overseas reports suggest the suffering is more on the part of the relatives and friends of the terminally ill. Nick highlighted that palliative care medical science provides comprehensive treatment and care for those near the end of life including being very effective in minimising pain. Because palliative care deals with both physical and mental health issues it should be the preferred option for the terminally ill and that tax-payer funding would be better allocated to palliative care facilities than to hastening people’s death. That the Australian medical profession, represented by the AMA, is against the legislation supports a strong resistance to passing the legislation.
Following Nick’s address, Suzanne Lawrence briefly outlined the support available from Care for Life to help people wishing to oppose the legislation including contacting local politicians, especially upper house representatives, by personal meetings and letter writing. Care for Life is running tutorial sessions at various centres in letter writing, including at Bunbury the following day.