South Australia Parliament Rejects Measure to Allow Euthanasia, Pro-Lifers Happy

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 18, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

South Australia Parliament Rejects Measure to Allow Euthanasia, Pro-Lifers Happy

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
November 18
, 2009

Adelaide, Australia (LifeNews.com) — The South Australia parliament has rejected a measure to legalize euthanasia and the move is drawing praise from pro-life advocates. The upper house of the South Australian parliament voted to oppose legislation put forward by Greens MP Mark Parnell.

The British pro-life group Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has been following the debate and working with its Australian colleagues.

Anthony Ozimic, SPUC Pro-Life’s communications manager and an expatriate Australian, told LifeNews.com he is delighted by the results of the vote.

"Those seeking to develop civilized values which respect the sanctity of human life should be encouraged by this vote," he said. "In spite of all the money, media support and propaganda of the euthanasia lobby, many politicians recognize the dangers to public safety in introducing such legislation."

"This victory for civilized values joins the recent defeat of a similar bill in Tasmania, as well as the repeated votes by the British House of Lords against assisted suicide," he said.

Before the vote, a pro-life Christian group had to counter claims that Christian voters in the Australian state supported euthanasia.

The Australian Christian Lobby said the fake group Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia was misleading members of the state parliament.

“ACL has battled strongly against euthanasia being legalized for years at both State and Federal levels and before numerous parliamentary inquiries. In consulting with churches and Christian leaders we have been left in no doubt that the vast majority of Christians are opposed to euthanasia,” ACL director Jim Wallace said.

“It has become a tactic by some groups to assume a representation that they don’t have. We saw this in the charter of rights debate and we are again seeing this in the current debate over euthanasia in South Australia. These tactics are clearly designed to confuse people about the true stance of the overwhelming majority of Christians on these matters," he added.

“I understand that under the provisions of this dangerous bill people don’t even have to be terminally ill to be euthanised and could conceivably end up being killed for a wide range of minor conditions,” Mr Wallace said. “Some of the provisions, such as falsifying death certificates, are akin to the terrible Victorian euthanasia bill which was resoundingly defeated in that State in August last year.

“Disturbingly, if passed, the bill would allow the killing of any person who has ‘an illness, injury or other medical condition that irreversibly impairs the person’s quality of life so that life has become intolerable to that person’. This test is very subjective, and could conceivably include arthritis, or depression following the loss of a loved one. The bill also leaves it up to the treating doctor whether or not to refer the patient to a psychiatrist for an evaluation," he added.

Wallace said that, if the bill succeeds, the ‘right to die’ would quickly become the ‘duty to die’ under the new culture legalized euthanasia inevitably creates.

He concluded: “As a society, we should be seeking to ease people’s pain through better palliative care, not promoting killing as an alternative to helping them. We should also be considering the message euthanasia laws send to the disabled and elderly. No society has the right to create an expectation that you should terminate your life if you would otherwise be an inconvenience to society."

Related web sites:
Society for the Protection of Unborn Children – https://www.spuc.org.uk

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