The South Australian parliament is once again preparing to vote on euthanasia. But this time – the third in two years – there have been allegations of sly manoeuvring to push the bill through. Jim Wallace, of the Australian Christian Lobby, says that the bill’s supporters are describing it as advanced palliative care. But the presence of Australia’s best-known euthanasia activist complicates this view:
Mr Wallace also complained that the euthanasia bill, sponsored by MP Stephanie Key, passed its second reading on the voices without a division.
“South Australians must not be denied the right to see a Hansard record of how their MPs vote on this life and death issue. Again this demonstrates how euthanasia proponents are arrogantly pursuing their agenda without the transparency such a grave issue demands.”Alex Schadenber has analysed the bill. He claims that it is very badly drafted. But the most powerful argument may simply be exhaustion. Mr Wallace pointed out that South Australia has already rejected euthanasia twice in the past two years along with three other Australian Parliaments. “Euthanasia advocates are trying to bring about their agenda through legislative fatigue and deception,” Mr Wallace said. The debate in South Australia has been echoed overseas. Alex Schadenberg, of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition,
“The bill gives physicians near absolute power to directly and intentionally cause the death of their patients. The bill steers people with disabilities and others who live with chronic conditions to euthanasia. These are the people who the current law protects from those who believe that the lives of some people are not worth living.
‘The bill must be seen for what it is. It is a law that is designed to impose death on the most vulnerable in society. The bill is not concerned with the veneer of choice or autonomy because it is designed to give the power over life and death to physicians. This bill will turn healers into killers and it will redefine the nature of medical care in South Australia. The bill is a travesty of justice.”