Assisted dying is an “ill-considered and dehumanising” practice reflecting a society in which there is more loneliness, Canberra-Goulburn Archbishop Christopher Prowse has told an inquiry. Source: Canberra Times.
He spoke on Friday at an ACT Legislative Assembly committee’s second day of hearings into assisted dying in which doctors rubbished claims that palliative care could always manage end of life pain.
Archbishop Prowse told the committee it was a “lonely policy that only an atomised society would think about”, and said people approaching death experienced a “rollercoaster” that saw them take back comments they wanted to die earlier.
He said it would be a “fundamental mistake” to put vulnerable people at “grave risk” by allowing assisted dying.
When asked what was a good death, Archbishop Prowse recounted a time he sat with a woman as she died, and she squeezed his hand.
“I could tell she was on a journey but how grateful she was when she was with us,” he said.
“She was ready to go, ready to go and approach death.”
He admitted people he had spent time with as they were dying had said they wanted to die right away. However, they changed their mind later, he said.
“Then people say, ‘I’m feeling a lot better today’.”
Doctors for Assisted Dying Choice member David Leaf rejected claims that there were no situations in which palliative care could not manage pain, saying in that case it would be the first medical specialty “where they have the answers to all the complaints all the time.”