Catholic sector welcomes Federal Government stance on euthanasia

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Catholic aged care providers and hospital operators have backed Federal Government’s declaration it has no intention of reversing a ban to allow the Territories to introduce assisted dying.

In her correspondence to the ACT and NT Attorney-Generals, Federal Attorney-General Michaelia Cash is reported to have said that quality palliative care is the preferred option for people with a terminal illness who are seeking relief from pain and suffering.

Catholic Health Australia’s Director of Strategy & Mission, Rebecca Burdick Davies (pictured right on ABC Breakfast), said the Commonwealth’s view on euthanasia aligns with that of Catholic health and aged care services sector.

“This is a welcome bout of common sense on how our society should manage end of life care,” she said.

“The Federal Government’s emphasis on quality palliative care is well placed and our response to suffering should be to improve quality of life, not end it.”

In Victoria, an assisted dying program has been in place since June 2019, with a similar scheme in WA from July last year. Tasmania passed voluntary assisted dying legislation in March and it is expected to go into effect in October 2022 and South Australia passed similar legislation in June. Queensland passed legislation in September with it to be active from January 2023.