EUTHANASIA is being considered by the Tasmanian Parliament — for the fourth time in 11 years, proving that some things just won’t die.
So-called “Voluntary Assisted Dying”, first killed off by the State Parliament in 2009, was resurrected in 2013 only to bite the dust when it was put to the vote.
The legislation rose again in 2017 but was quickly snuffed out by two thirds of Tasmania’s MPs who declined to support it.
Anyone who thought then that the issue was well and truly buried was wrong.
Now, with almost as many reincarnations as Shirley MacLaine, euthanasia has come back to life in Tasmania – this time as a private member’s bill to be voted on before the end of the year.
Tasmanian ‘progressives’, who like to accuse their opponents of being “on the wrong side of history”, have themselves been on the wrong side of history more often than a tabloid astrologer.
And yet they persist.
In 2009 the Tasmanian Greens called euthanasia “Dying with Dignity” though they themselves refused to do so when their bill was defeated 15 votes to 7.
“I will put this bill up, or a similar bill, again and again and again,” Greens MP Nick McKim told the ABC at the time.
In a classic case of ‘if at first you don’t succeed – die, die again’, the “Dying with Dignity” Bill was twice reincarnated as the “Voluntary Assisted Dying” Bill and, in its latest incarnation, has been wheeled out as the “End of Life Choices” Bill.
The bill’s sponsor, independent MP Mike Gaffney told The Australian on Friday:
“In Tasmania, we’ve had bills in 2009, 2013, 2017 and now 2020. The bill should progress as quickly as it can and I’m sure the Premier will do that.”
In other words, we’ve been told ‘no’ so many times, we’re due for a ‘yes’.
Do that to a woman and you’ll find yourself in court. But I digress.
While general fatigue is not a valid reason for being euthanised under Gaffney’s proposed laws, it does seem to be reason enough for Gaffney to insist the laws are passed. While the Bill differs from earlier versions, the main argument for it seems to be, ‘Come on already’.
Gaffney rejected calls for a public inquiry into the Bill saying:
“There’s nothing left to analyse – it’s all there.”
The Australian Medical Association has analysed the bill and described what’s all there as poorly drafted, poorly conceived, riddled with ambiguity and rushed.
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation has also expressed concerns about the bill which, among other things…
- Does not require a person to be terminally ill – there is no time limit as to when the person’s condition may cause death.
- Does not require a person to be currently suffering – the mere anticipation of suffering at some time in the future is enough to qualify a person to be killed.
- Anticipates children will be able to access euthanasia in the near future – the legislation mandates that a review of the law in two years must consider extending the law to include minors.
- Obliges Christian hospitals and aged-care providers to allow people to be put to death at their facilities.
On this last point, Gaffney told The Australian he was “unashamed”, saying:
“They shouldn’t be able to (stop “Voluntary Assisted Dying” occurring at their institutions) in a secular society.”
Translated, this means Christian values will be subjugated to ‘progressive’ values because no one has the right to impose their values. Did you get that?
Gaffney seems bewildered that Christians would object to people being killed at facilities they created to care for the living.
“If this becomes law, it is … a legal choice, so why would any institution deny a person access to adequate or correct medical assistance? VAD is not suicide; it’s a legal, medical option.”
So death, which is has never been an acceptable treatment outcome and which offers no net gain in health, is to be redefined as “correct medical assistance”.
George Orwell would be proud.
Does it never occur to anyone that euthanasia enthusiasts, who repeatedly pester parliaments until they finally get the answer they want, are they exact same people who promise that no one will ever be pressured to push off?
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James Macpherson is a sought after international speaker with a background in journalism at the Courier Mail and Daily Telegraph. He previously pastored a significant church in Australia and South Africa. James' weekly Good Sauce podcast comes out every Tuesday. He also writes regularly for The Spectator.