West Australian MPs will hear the voices of Indigenous Australians opposed to euthanasia in a series of video messages to be distributed by the Church. Source: The West Australian.
This comes as Josie Farrer, Indigenous Labor member for the Kimberley, also voiced her concerns, saying amendments to the legislation needed to be made to take into consideration the beliefs and practices of Aborigines.
Fr Joseph Parkinson, director of the LJ Goody Bioethics Centre, said the Church is working to ensure MPs hear the concerns of Indigenous Australians.
“That the Indigenous population opposes it (voluntary assisted dying) is no secret,” Fr Parkinson said. “We have strategies in place over the next couple of weeks to try and expose members of Parliament to Indigenous voices. We have been able to secure some short video messages from Indigenous people who oppose it.
“They haven’t been properly heard. We are working to deliver a series of short video messages and we are hoping members of Parliament will be exposed to that by members of the public taking these clips to them and saying ‘just watch this and listen to what Indigenous people are saying and think again’.
“I would be really disappointed if some of those Indigenous voices weren’t heard.”
Voluntary assisted dying legislation is now before the State Parliament and MPs will have a conscience vote on the issue, with debate due to start soon.
Ms Farrer said she respected the views of non-Indigenous Australians on voluntary assisted dying.
“I am not against the rest of Australia, which has different beliefs in different denominations,” she said. “If they want voluntary assisted dying set in place, it’s very different to the Australian Indigenous people.
“I will be declaring my Aboriginality and belief (when the legislation is debated) because we are a different race of people. Australia has not recognised our beliefs and culture.”