Sydney Morning Herald 15 October 2014
On Wednesday, a Senate committee will hear evidence on a euthanasia bill that would allow some people to be given a lethal injection on compassionate grounds.
I understand why some people want this. It’s often because someone they’ve known and loved has had a “hard dying”. Or because they are exhausted from caring for someone who is dying very slowly. Or because they are afraid of their own decline.
I sympathise with these reasons. I know that those who support euthanasia are not all grizzly Dr Deaths. This challenges me to think about what “a good death” means and how our community responds to the elderly, frail, disabled and dying.
But, however well-meaning, I don’t think giving people a lethal dose is the answer.
Reason and experience show that euthanasia can’t be made safe, because no law can prevent abuse in this area. In places like Holland and Belgium the numbers being medically killed are escalating and the range of cases keeps expanding beyond the “last resorts” for which it was first sold to the public.
Now people who aren’t terminally ill, aren’t even physically ill, people who haven’t volunteered or can’t volunteer, can legally be killed in those places and some want to extend it further – for example, to long-term prisoners and children.