Media Release Saturday 6th April 2019
The second reading of the End of Life Choice bill in May will present Parliament with a clear choice to either defend the ethics of the medical profession or to change those ethics to allow doctors to kill their patients or assist in their suicide. Should Parliament unwisely and unjustly pass the EOLCB, it will ultimately classify certain persons as having lives not worthy of life. Those persons may then be killed with the permission of the state. This same state will fund the killing as “a health service” and allow for their lives to be terminated in Public Hospitals.
This bill will empower a doctor to deprive a patient of their life without the knowledge of the patient’s family. The bill obliges the doctor to falsely record the underlying condition as the cause of death on the patients death certificate. While the doctor is then obliged to report the death as a euthanasia or assisted suicide death, we know from overseas experience that euthanasia deaths are considerably being under-reported. The doctor’s action in killing the patient or assisting in the patient’s suicide relies solely on the doctor’s self- reporting.
For 2,000 years the medical profession has upheld the Hippocratic tradition to do no harm. The total prohibition against the taking of the life of an innocent human being is the bedrock of both the law and medicine and is enshrined in the Crimes Act 1966. We remove it at our peril.
The state has a solemn duty to protect the inalienable right to life of every human being from conception to natural death. The first duty of the state is to legislate for the protection of the lives of its citizens and not to preside over their destruction. Assisted suicide and homicide are serious crimes and carry sentences of up to 14 years imprisonment on conviction for Assisted Suicide and up to life for Homicide. If passed, the EOLC bill will require a watershed change to our laws for these crimes.
Right to Life believe that members of Parliament who unwisely choose to support this contentious bill should forfeit their right to sit in our Parliament and are likely to pay a high price at the next election in 2020.
Killing is diametrically opposed to the role of physicians as healers. Should the EOLC bill be passed doctors who are opposed to euthanasia will be required to refer a patient seeking euthanasia to a doctor who is prepared to facilitate the killing. This a violation of the right of physicians to follow their conscience to do no harm and to respect the right to life of their patients.
Right to Life believes that if the EOLC bill is passed it will result in doctors who respect the sanctity of every human life and who refuse to participate in the killing of patients, being driven out of the medical profession.
We also believe that in a short time it will be a requirement for candidates to enter medical school to agree to being willing to kill their patients or assist in their suicide.
Parliament should not be seduced by David Seymour’s suggested amendments to the EOLCB to include a national referendum and support for the Palliative Care bill of the Hon. Maggie Barry. These suggestions are nothing but a thin smokescreen which he hopes may help in getting his bill through Parliament.
Right to Life calls upon our legislators to vote down this unprecedented attack on life and to uphold the common good. Our medical profession must be proteced from this dangerous and contentious bill.
Right to Life