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New Euthanasia Legislation Reignites Community Debate

March 19, 2013

Portrait of Worried Senior Couple

The euthanasia debate has reignited with Tasmania’s State Parliament due to debate new legislation in favour of euthanasia later this year.

If passed, the new laws will make Tasmania the first state in Australia to give advanced terminally ill patients the opportunity to take their own lives.

However the move has divided the community with Greens advocates denouncing those attempting to block the voluntary euthanasia laws while Tasmanian President of the Australian Medical Association calls the push “support for capital punishment.”

The NSW Greens say people whose religious views are blocking voluntary euthanasia laws are making the lives of vulnerable people even more wretched and should butt out.

“It’s time they recognised they are in the minority and got out of the way,” Greens MP Cate Faehrmann said.

The latest Greens campaign features a video of Loredana Alessio-Mulhall, who is in the advanced stages of multiple sclerosis and wants law reform so she can die at a time of her choosing.

“She represents a growing movement of people who are experiencing first-hand how cruel our laws can be,” Ms Faehrmann said in a statement.

“Loredana is given every assistance to live an increasingly undignified life, yet society is turning its back on her when all she is asking for is the right to die with dignity.”

Ms Faehrmann said Ms Alessio-Mulhall could not take her own life because she had lost the use of her limbs.

And if a loved one assists her to die they could be tried for manslaughter or murder.

“There could not be a more stark example of how unjust and senseless the law is in this area,” she said.

“It’s time those people with strong religious views who are blocking the passage of voluntary euthanasia laws recognise their views are making some very vulnerable people’s lives even more wretched.”

However, the Australian Medical Association’s John Davis says doctors are vehemently against the plan.

“I’m not sure that the majority of doctors, if in fact any doctors, would want to euthanase people, and that’s not being taken into account,” he said.

“The Premier and the leader of the Greens have been so contemptuous, they’ve not even consulted the profession.”

“Being really blunt, this is legislation for state-sanctioned murder and the last one of those in Australia was in 1964.”

State and federal parliaments have refused at least four attempts to legalise euthanasia in recent years.


What do you think, are you in favour of euthanasia or against…?



One Comment leave one →
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