Catholic Health Australia has stepped up its opposition to proposed euthanasia legislation in New South Wales with a campaign calling for better access to palliative care.
The peak advisory body represents more than 80 Catholic not-for-profit hospitals, and 25,000 aged care beds nationally and looks after thousands of patients and older people in NSW every day.
CHA is deeply concerned that the proposed legislation places the most vulnerable in our society – those as young as 18, many older Australians, as well as people with a mental illness or disability – at risk.
CHA’s members yesterday kicked off its Another Option campaign calling on the community, including people of faith, to send a message to MPs calling on them to exercise both their conscience and judgement and vote down the bill.
Ads promoting the site will appear in Catholic newspapers and publications around the state.
“This bill is full of risks for the most vulnerable in our society and is not a compassionate direction for our state,” Nicole Clements, CHA director of mission and strategy, said.
She described access to palliative care in NSW as “a postcode lottery”.
“These laws will provide terminally ill people in areas where palliative care isn’t universally available with the impossible ‘choice’ of ending their life prematurely or living with pain,” Ms Clements said.
“Until every person who needs palliative care can access it, we run the risk of steering vulnerable people towards a hastened end. That’s not a compassionate direction for our state.
“That’s why we are opposing this bill and campaigning for better funding for palliative care and asking all NSW residents to tell the NSW Parliament there’s a better option than assisted dying.”
Details: Another Option