The leaders of Queensland’s largest Christian churches have jointly expressed their shock and disappointment at Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s changed promise on euthanasia legislation. Source: Brisbane Archdiocese.
Despite previously committing to draft legislation being prepared by the Queensland Law Reform Commission (QLRC) and to provide its report to Parliament on March 1 next year, Ms Palaszczuk announced yesterday she will rush legislation into Parliament in February 2021 if Labor is re-elected.
Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge and Anglican Archbishop Phillip Aspinall said the announcement completely contradicted the Premier’s earlier commitment that she would await the advice of the State Law Reform Commission.
“This development is deeply disappointing,” Archbishop Coleridge said.
“As I have said in other statements, while the Catholic Church is opposed to voluntary assisted dying it strongly supports a ‘care first’ approach of high-quality palliative care for all Queenslanders, respect for patient autonomy, preservation of personal dignity and a peaceful end to life.
“Nobody is morally compelled to suffer unbearable pain, nobody should feel like a burden, and nobody should feel that their life is worthless.”
“But it’s every Queenslander’s human right to have equal access to good quality palliative care before Parliament considers a policy default to euthanasia. It is certainly not something to be rushed, least of all at a time like this when suicide is a national problem.”
Archbishop Aspinall said he was disappointed at the Palaszczuk Government’s continued underfunding for palliative care with just $28 million a year being promised when Palliative Care Queensland said $275 million was required each year to provide high quality care for all Queenslanders regardless of where they lived.
Labor's rushed voluntary assisted dying plans (Brisbane Archdiocese)
Palaszczuk: Labor to legalise euthanasia (The Australian)