Catholic Health Australia rejects the proposed euthanasia legislation and says its members remain more committed than ever to delivering compassionate end-of-life care to Tasmanians.
As the debate on the euthanasia bill in Tasmania’s Upper House continues, CHA says the legislation is not only flawed but undermines a central tenet of the Catholic faith – to value human life above all else.
For that reason CHA members will neither offer the prescription of a lethal substance to a person to help them end their own life, nor administer a lethal substance to a person by a doctor to end their life.
Rather than allow such a law to come into place, CHA is calling for greater government investment in and higher public awareness of palliative care. Half of all private palliative care services in Australia are provided in Catholic hospitals.
CHA chief executive Pat Garcia said: “CHA does not believe assisted euthanasia is consistent with good medicine or the Catholic ethic of compassionate care which has marked the practice of medicine for millennia. We reject there is a need for this type of legislation.”
“The Catholic health sector is committed to excellent end-of-life care and have been serving the Australian community in end-of-life care for nearly 130 years. We are not about to stop now.”
Mr Garcia said Tasmanians should have access to palliative care, which is compassionate and humane compared to legalised euthanasia which is what the Tasmanian Parliament is considering.