Euthanasia law a “watershed in ethical decline” says Abbott

Euthanasia law a “watershed in ethical decline” says Abbott

The Parliament has succumbed to the culture of death. – Tony Abbott

It’s not a cliché, it’s just true.

Yesterday was a dark day for New South Wales with the passing of euthanasia laws, bringing the premier state into line with the others.

“The Parliament has succumbed to the culture of death,” former Prime Minister Tony Abbott said at a book launch on Christianity in Sydney last night.

His remarks are worth quoting at length:

Today’s law is not about letting people die in peace, it is about enlisting doctors to hasten people’s death.

It’s turned agents of healing into agents of killing and that’s why this is a further watershed in our society’s ethical decline.

I often wonder whose pain it is the euthanasia supporters are so keen to relieve – the pain of those who are terminally ill which can and should be treated or the psychic pain of their loved ones which medicine finds much harder to treat.

It is really only a better and a deeper understanding of the meaning of life and death – an appreciation that death is a transition rather than simply an extinction and that suffering is an almost inescapable part of life – almost a necessary part of life because we should grasp higher than we can actually reach.

It enables all of us – the dying, those who love them and those who treat them to come to terms with the death that awaits it all.

I’m not saying for a second that a doctor who turns up the pain killer should routinely have to account to the law whether it was to relieve pain or to hasten death.

I’d be happy to leave these practices to the good sense of patients, of families and of decent and compassionate doctors where it has always been.

But the law of the land should always be clear. Life is sacred and should never be ended prematurely and suicide should be discouraged, not normalised.

Earlier in the week during the debate in the NSW Upper House, Labor MP Greg Donnelly tried to take some of the grease off the slippery slope inherent in euthanasia laws.

He put up 33 amendments designed to safeguard the innocent from being wrongfully killed but each was voted down.

This included an amendment designed to ensure patients with mental impairments had given proper consent prior to their killing.

“In my view, it’s extraordinarily reckless, dangerous and unjustified, in relation to a person making an irreversible decision to have their life ended, to simply presume that they have the capacity to make that decision,” he told parliament.

With Canada now shamelessly debating euthanising people with mental illness, Donnelly’s failed amendment seemed all the more relevant.

The last five years have been terrible for the victims of so-called “progressive” politics with laws to redefine marriage, provide abortion on demand to birth and now euthanasia passing in parliaments around the nation.

Much of this has happened with the support of Liberal and National politicians and in some cases has been facilitated by Coalition governments.

This has left a vast number of social conservatives politically homeless.

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