The Victorian Government is considering setting up exclusion zones around medical centres that offer euthanasia, similar to the ones in place around abortion clinics. Source: The Australian.
It comes after a group of protestors, led by former Melbourne priest Eugene Ahern, were handing out flyers to staff and patients outside the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in inner Melbourne for the past week.
The flyers say “assisted suicide and patient killing by doctors legal”, “Peter Mac recruits suicide facilitator” and “assisted suicide is not medical treatment”.
Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said the Government would consider whether exclusion zones around euthanasia clinics should be implemented.
“Victorians who are making a choice about whether or not to access voluntary assisted dying should not be subject to harassment or intimidation — and we would urge others to respect them during their most difficult of times.” she said.
“We introduced landmark safe access zones to stop women from being blocked, abused or intimidated when they accessed abortion clinics,” she said. “We will carefully consider whether there is a need to protect others from such appalling behaviour.”
Premier Daniel Andrews lashed the euthanasia opponents. “This is appalling behaviour and those people who have been harassing cancer patients should be ashamed of themselves.” he said.
Euthanasia legislation passed Victorian parliament in 2017 and will come into effect in June this year.
Mr Ahern brought along eight other people to stand in “silent witness”. He told The Australian his actions were inspired by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi.
“I’ve long been opposed to any form of killing and have been a follower of the writings of Mahatma Gandhi,” he said. “And that inspired me to enact a vision in defence of all the unborn brothers and sisters (abortion) and now more recently opposing euthanasia which I see as killing a person.”
Euthanasia protest prompts exclusion zone discussion (The Australian)