Bishops: Legal euthanasia would endanger people

A RADICAL change to society’s most foundational law, overturning the prohibition of euthanasia, would be ethically unjustifiable; could not ensure the legal protection of the vulnerable and would fail to uphold the dignity of the dying, according to a submission from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC).

The ACBC submission to the Inquiry into End of Life Choices was published in October on the Victorian Parliament’s Legal and Social Issues Committee’s website.

“The clear conclusion of reason and experience is that euthanasia or assisted suicide cannot be made safe because no law allowing euthanasia can prevent vulnerable people from abuse,” Bishop Peter Comensoli, Bishops Delegate for Life Issues, said.

“Rather than buying into the dishonest euphemism of ‘dying with dignity’, we would do better – and be more human – by dignifying the lives of the dying. Palliative care is one key way we can dignify the dying.”

The Catholic Church has set out a clear approach to planning for end of life care with resources for patients, residents and health care professionals provided by Catholic Health Australia and the ACBC on the My Future Care website: www.