Hundreds of West Australians rallied on the steps of Parliament House in Perth yesterday to urge the McGowan Government to drop its controversial euthanasia legislation. Source: WA Today.
As line-by-line scrutiny of the legislation resumed in WA’s Lower House after a sitting that dragged on into the early hours of yesterday morning, protesters demanded an increase to specialist palliative care.
Canadian filmmaker Kevin Dunn, whose documentary Fatal Flaws, which examines euthanasia in Canada, was screened in Perth yesterday, urged the Government to press the pause button on the legislation.
“Fix what we have, fix the medical system,” he said ahead of the rally.
“We have the capability of providing the proper palliative specialty and pain management, that’s not to say there’s not going to be any suffering or there are going to be times when we’ve got to get pain under control, that there aren’t going to be ups and downs.
“But why are we offering the majority of people who don’t have access to quality palliative care, and here I’m talking palliative care specialists, why are we offering them the worst?
“The answer shouldn’t be death, the answer should be a better system, compassion. The answer should be care and never killing.”
Former Federal Court judge John Gilmour QC said the euthanasia legislation would change our culture as well as the law if it was passed.
“It changes the way we think about suffering and our approach to suffering,” he said.
“This proposed legislation should it be passed, will render as normal and acceptable what for millennia has never been accepted as normal and acceptable.
“This is not the mark of a civilised society."
Rally spokesman and vice-president of the Coalition for the Defence of Human Life Darryl Budge said the under-resourcing of palliative care was the true end-of-life problem that the government was failing to resolve.
“In a state that already grapples with elder abuse, mental health and youth suicide, the WA government must fix palliative care, especially as regional and rural WA are being denied equal access to specialists,” he said.