Eliminate suffering, not those suffering: Calvary

Euthanasia will not be performed at Calvary Public Hospital, Canberra (Calvary Health)

One of the largest health care providers in Canberra has already ruled out offering voluntary assisted dying, even if the practice is legalised in the ACT. Source: Canberra Times.

In a submission to an ACT parliamentary inquiry on the end-of-life choices available to people in Canberra, the company behind Clare Holland House and Calvary Hospital said it was against its code of ethics to allow its staff to help someone end their life.

The Little Company of Mary Health Care is a Catholic not-for-profit group that operates 15 hospitals, 17 aged care homes and a network of community care centres across the ACT, NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

But while Calvary provides a significant proportion of the ACT’s healthcare, the company told the government in no uncertain terms it would not be able to purchase any services associated with any form of person-assisted suicide, voluntary assisted dying or euthanasia from Calvary.

“Calvary operates in accordance with the Code of Ethical Standards for Catholic Health and Aged Care Services in Australia which calls us to the highest standards of accompaniment of persons who experience suffering,” its submission says.

“While Calvary accepts that there are a plurality of views on the subject of voluntary assisted dying, Calvary will not offer such a service.

“Calvary cannot support the notion that assisting a person to suicide, or to end their life directly and intentionally, is an expression of care. We strive to eliminate suffering, but not the people who are experiencing the pain or physical incapability that may inform their suffering.”

Surveys suggest between 70 and 85 per cent of people support physician-assisted suicide in principle, the company wrote in its submission.

However, Calvary said Australia’s support for voluntary assisted dying schemes was driven by an unfamiliarity with death and dying; the de-humanisation and objectification of the sick, elderly and frail; and the value placed on self-determination and personal autonomy in care, and the fear of its compromise.


Calvary won’t offer voluntary euthanasia, even if it’s made legal (Canberra Times

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