Catholic Health Australia says a bill to restore territory rights is nothing more than a cover for assisted suicide and euthanasia laws that have no place in the Commonwealth.
CHA is warning that the bill now before the Senate has a single purpose – to allow the territories to pass assisted suicide and euthanasia laws, not to provide equal powers with the states.
CHA said it echoes the very real concerns held by Indigenous leaders about the lack of consultation and the impact such legislation will have on First Nations people.
CHA director of strategy and mission Brigid Meney urged senators to think carefully before voting for such a bill.
“The Restoring Territory Rights Bill is nothing more than a Trojan Horse for assisted suicide. It is beholden on Parliamentarians to be upfront about the true motives of this legislation,” Ms Meney said.
“It is disappointing that politicians are so quick to lend their support to a bill that sanctions the ending of a life but have been largely silent at the very real lack of funding by the Commonwealth for palliative care services in the last budget.
“We urge senators to reconsider their support for such a bill which will send a bleak message to the vulnerable in the community that their lives are no longer valued by the Commonwealth Government.”
Ms Meney said at the very least, the bill should be referred to a Senate committee to investigate the access and affordability of palliative care services in the territories.
“This would show whether a ‘choice’ in end-of-life care is truly something that can even be delivered on,” Ms Meney said.