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Paul Kelly, the Australia’s editor at large, is a wise sage and secular prophet.

Like most prophets, people would rather throw stones at him than listen.

His piece this week exposing the grease on the slope created by legalising euthanasia is a must read.

Most Australians support euthanasia, having been led astray by false visions of the good life promoted by libertarians.

Headlined “Warning to Australia: VAD and the threat of new liberalism” his article sounds the alarm on the political ideas of the radical left and libertarian right, which both promote a distorted view of personal autonomy.

VAD stands for Voluntary Assisted Dying and is a euphemism created by proponents of doctor assisted suicide, or euthanasia.

Canada, which is further along the slippery slope, is about to allow doctors to kill mentally ill patients.

Remember, Australian proponents of euthanasia have sold it as a free choice only for people with terminal illnesses suffering from intractable pain.

In the few places in the world which have adopted euthanasia, it has never taken long for these goal posts to shift.

Putting aside the fact that the Canadians have dropped the terminal illness and intractable pain criteria, how on earth does one know that a mentally ill patient is making a free and informed choice?

Because euthanasia is about transforming doctors from carers of their patients into potential killers of them, questions about the possibility of abuse and coercion swirl.

Kelly writes:

“Imagine the complexity of authorising euthanasia for a person suffering from mental illness. That involves psychiatric, depression, personality issues where individuals are capable of changing their mind. Mental disorder lacks the biological basis that underpins physical illness.”

And what about the objections of disabled people who are worried euthanasia embeds in culture the idea that there are some lives not worth living.

The Unlucky Country - Zimmermann & Moens

Kelly again:

“The protests of disability advocates are unlikely to prevail. They say legalising assisted suicide for disabled people not terminally ill suggests that significant disability can be worse than death.”

Canada, like the ACT here in Australia wants to extend euthanasia to children, lowering the age from 18 to 12. The ACT is proposing 14.

Proponents of euthanasia argue it is cruel to deny it to children. So why stop at 12? Kids know what’s best for them, surely?

If the guiding political philosophy is radical personal autonomy, why not? I’ve always thought the real agenda of euthanasia advocates was the achievement of suicide on demand.

We’re almost there.

One more observation from Kelly:

“The rapidity of Canada’s transformation reveals the collapse of any moral argument against the extension of euthanasia. In his brilliant June 2023 article in The Atlantic, Canadian-born American social commentator and journalist David Brooks invoked the president of the Quebec College of Physicians, saying assisted suicide ‘is not a political or moral or religious issue, it is a medical issue’.”

In Australia it is Labor, the Greens, Teals, the libertarian Liberal Democratic Party, Pauline Hanson and a large swathe of the Liberals that support euthanasia.

Family First does not because it is open to egregious abuse of the elderly, the infirm and now children and the mentally ill.

As Paul Kelly has often written over the years, euthanasia is not about compassion.

It is the fulfillment of a flawed and selfish political ideology.

Lyle Shelton is National Director of the Family First Party. He started his career as a rural journalist before being elected as a member of the Toowoomba City Council and serving the Australian Christian Lobby for 10 years, half of that decade as ACL's Managing Director. He was a Director and spokesman for the Coalition for Marriage during the 2017 postal survey campaign which resulted in the legal undefinition of marriage. He also blogs here.

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