The ACT’s voluntary euthanasia bill will be examined in public hearings this week with four days of hearings set to take place. Source: Canberra Times.
Proponents and opponents of the voluntary assisted dying bill will give evidence as the select committee inquiring into the bill received more than 80 submissions as part of its inquiry.
Of the submissions, 58 per cent were in favour of voluntary assisted dying, 32 per cent were against and 10 per cent did not provide a position either in favour or against.
The ACT Government is hopeful the bill will pass in the first half of this year, with the committee’s report into the bill due by the end of next month.
The first day of hearings today will include various Christian leaders who will appear as part of a panel. This will include representatives from the local Catholic archdiocese, the Anglican Church and the Australian Christian Lobby.
A group of religious leaders have also signed a joint statement opposing the legislation ahead of the public hearings. The statement is signed by Canberra-Goulburn Archbishop Christopher Prowse, Anglican Bishop Mark Short, Canberra Islamic Centre past vice president Mansoor Syed and Canberra Interfaith Forum present Dean Sahu Khan.
“Life is a precious and sacred gift from God. Our duty towards this gift is one of preservation and care,” the statement said.
“Sanctioning the assisted killing of terminally ill patients sends dangerous messages to those who are suffering and distorts the focus of healthcare. It does moral injury to all involved, especially when rights of conscientious objection are not seriously protected.”
Polling of ACT residents by progressive think tank The Australia Institute, conducted in 2021, showed more than 78 per of respondents supported voluntary assisted dying in the territory.
Public hearings for ACT’s voluntary assisted dying bill to begin (By Lucy Bladen, Canberra Times)