Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has introduced voluntary assisted dying legislation into its Parliament after Queensland Catholic Archbishop Mark Coleridge said the legislation will force aged care providers to offer euthanasia.
Ms Palaszczuk’s action paves the way for a conscience vote on allowing assisted dying by the 93 members of Queensland Parliament in September. She said consultations had taken place over 12 months and stated no person could claim they had not had an opportunity to contribute to the debate.
However, Archbishop Coleridge said the Palaszczuk Government had not listened.
“The risk of elder abuse and the vulnerability of Queenslanders with disability will increase despite the promise of so-called ‘safeguards’,” said Archbishop Coleridge in a media statement.
“There will be exposure for aged-care and healthcare providers unless the legislation includes conscientious objector provisions for individuals and institutions. In some rural and remote parts of Queensland, faith-based organisations are the only providers of care for the elderly. They should not be forced into assisting in the deaths of their residents.”