Tasmanian bill 'encourages suicide'

Michael Ferguson (Michael Ferguson website)

Tasmanian Government MP Michael Ferguson says proposed euthanasia legislation, to be debated in the state's upper house today, encourages suicide. Source: The Examiner.

Speaking on the bill yesterday, Mr Ferguson said he was concerned about the legislation, however, was pleased it would be genuinely considered in the Legislative Council.

Mr Ferguson, a former health minister, said the issue could be easily debated regardless of religious perspectives.

Mr Ferguson said he was very concerned about any legislation that “will encourage suicide, that is what this legislation does".

Independent MP Mike Gaffney tabled the bill in the upper house last month.

Meanwhile, the chair of a Catholic aged care provider in Tasmania has described the legislation as “fatally flawed”, the Catholic Standard reports.

Southern Cross Care chair Stephen Shirley said that the proposed legislation is incompatible with the ethos of Southern Cross Care.

Established by Catholic organisation Knights of the Southern Cross, Southern Cross Care is one of the largest aged care providers in the state.

“I said to the Legislative Council ... that I believe that the legislation is fatally flawed because it contemplates allowing people to end their lives prematurely. And that sends a message about the lack of dignity and respect of every individual life. So we have a strong view that the legislation is fatally flawed.”

He said that if the bill passes, Southern Cross Care would – at a minimum – seek to conscientiously object to being involved in voluntary assisted dying as an organisation.


Former Tasmanian health minister believes euthanasia bill will encourage suicide (By Matt Maloney, The Examiner)

Catholic aged care provider wants nothing to do with assisted suicide (Hobart Archdiocese) 

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