More than 700 people and organisations have weighed into the euthanasia debate by making a written submission to a Western Australian parliamentary inquiry. Source: The West Australian.
Supporters and opponents have taken to the divisive debate, which is expected to heat up this year when the inquiry holds dozens of public hearings over the coming months.
A Roy Morgan poll in November found 89 per cent of West Australians believed a doctor should be able to give a lethal dose to a “hopelessly” ill patient.
But the parliamentary inquiry has been swamped with hundreds of submissions from opponents of euthanasia, with more than 58 per cent highlighting concerns over legalising euthanasia, including weak safeguards enabling abuse of the system.
They have called the issue a keystone for society’s morality. Several submissions refer to euthanasia as “state-sanctioned killing”.
With the many religious organisations and medical groups, individuals such as Daniel Regnard also used the inquiry to make the case against euthanasia.
“The old are made to feel unwanted, and in families where they are not loved and valued they are pushed into a sense of despair that leads them not to value their own existence,” Mr Regnard said. “Such a society is nothing less than inhuman, devoid of love.”
Former WA state Labor minister John Kobelke warned that there could be unintended consequences from a legislative change.
“Any law that legalises assisted suicide runs completely counter to trying to stop people from taking their own life,” he said.
“How can you convince a person so depressed as to wish to end it all that they should not, but at the same time encourage another person to do so?
“To place a euthanasia law on the statutes is to encourage people to use it. It would encourage people to suicide.”
A final report will be tabled in August after the public hearings.
More than 700 people weigh-in on euthanasia parliamentary inquiry (The West Australian)