Tasmanian Labor’s backflip alarms faith-based providers

Faith-based providers run a third of Tasmania’s hospital beds and aged-care places (Supplied)

Tasmanian Labor is refusing to stand by its previous commitment to allow hospitals and aged care homes to opt out of the state’s proposed euthanasia system. Source: The Australian.

The ALP moved and voted as a bloc in the state’s upper house late last year for an amendment to the proposed End of Life Choices bill, allowing entire institutions to conscientiously object to the “voluntary assisted dying” process.

While the amendment was voted down by independents, the change — sought by Catholic health providers — would almost certainly have the numbers to pass the lower house, if backed by Labor.

However, Labor has repeatedly refused to say whether or not it will move or support a similar amendment in the lower house, which begins debate on the bill from tomorrow.

That has alarmed faith-based hospital and aged-care providers, who provide a third of the state’s hospital beds and about 30 per cent of its aged-care places.

Catholic Health Australia has written to Labor leader Rebecca White, urging her MPs to stick to their backing for an institutional exemption right in the private members bill, which is likely to become law.

John Watkins, CHA chair and a former Labor deputy premier of New South Wales, said all people involved in health and aged care deserved the right to refuse to take part in euthanasia.

FULL STORY

Tasmanian ALP goes cool on pledge of euthanasia opt-out (By Matthew Denholme, The Australian)

RELATED COVERAGE

Tasmanian voluntary assisted dying advocate calls for quick voting process after review (The Advocate

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