Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill passed in Victoria

 

29 November 2017 General Interest

The passage today of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill through the Victorian Parliament is deeply regrettable and most disappointing for it facilitates Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia.

Victoria becomes the only place in the world this year to have legislated for Euthanasia and Assisted
Suicide – almost fifty other places have, this year, rejected such legislation.

Sadly, Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia expose the most vulnerable in our society and undermine
centuries of care and clinical practice. Experience in other countries clearly demonstrates that Victoria
is now at the beginning of a dangerous pathway where more and more people’s lives will be placed in
jeopardy.

Catholic health and aged care providers will continue to accompany those who face death, always
striving to provide the best care to them and their loved ones. Assisted suicide and euthanasia are not
part of their practice and are incompatible with the provision of quality palliative care.

The Archdiocese will strongly advocate that the Victorian Government honours its promise of increased palliative care, particularly in regional areas. At the same time, I exhort the Government to substantially increase the funding for palliative care so that all Victorians requiring this care are aware of its availability and have access when the need arises. Only last week, Pope Francis said that palliative care is “proving most important in our culture as it opposes what makes death most terrifying and unwelcome: pain and loneliness.”

I remind all people, health professionals and patients alike, that no one should ever be compelled to
act against their conscience – we will continue to strongly assert that right.

I am grateful to our parishioners who joined the many voices including doctors, nurses, carers, lawyers
and politicians who actively campaigned and advocated with passion and conviction for the defeat of
this legislation.

May those dedicated to the care of the sick and dying, shine forth as instruments of the healing power
and love of God, who leads us through the shadows of suffering with the promise of love.

At this critical time in the history of the State of Victoria, I pray for a renewed commitment of all
Victorians to the sick, oppressed, marginalised and vulnerable of our society.

Most Rev Denis Hart
Archbishop of Melbourne

 

Catholic Diocese of
Broken Bay

Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Road
Pennant Hills NSW 2120

PO Box 340
Pennant Hills NSW 1715

Phone 02 9847 0000
Fax 02 9847 0001
news@dbb.org.au

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