Catholic Health Australia is calling on South Australian officials to properly investigate the cost of a world-class palliative care system in the state before proceeding any further in legislating euthanasia.
On Wednesday, South Australian upper house politicians will vote on the 17th bill to legalise euthanasia in the past 25 years. If successful, it will be the first bill to pass a chamber of state parliament, The Advertiser reports.
CHA believes the answer to treating South Australians suffering from serious and terminal illness is compassionate care that relieves pain but also supports patients and their families from the moment of diagnosis through to death.
Currently between 6,000 and 10,000 South Australians require palliative care treatment but there is a large funding gap to treat the growing number of people who want to be treated in their own home.
CHA chief executive Pat Garcia said: “South Australians deserve choice. Not a choice between pain or death – but a further option to access palliative care – a life supporting choice that manages pain using the latest technologies and analgesics and that research shows improves and extends quality of life.
“We are calling on the Marshall Government to thoroughly examine what level of funding would be required to provide South Australians with consistent and equitable access to palliative care before any final vote on assisted suicide legislation.”
“Parliamentarians must first understand what other models of care can manage pain for terminally ill patients.”
Catholic Health Australia calls on government to examine funding pathway for palliative care before euthanasia (Catholic Health Australia)