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Multi-Million Dollar Estate Drives Push for Euthanasia in Australia

23 January 2018

Clem Jones
Former Brisbane lord mayor Clem Jones left $5 million AUD to support euthanasia law reform in Australia

Clem Jones Trust say that after supporting the push for assisted dying laws in Victoria last year, the trust will now back a campaign in Mr Jones' home state.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had insisted that the issue of assisted dying would not be on the political agenda during the first year of her new government, however she suggested it will consider launching an inquiry into the issue "down the track", reports SBS News.

The government will also be looking closely at the implementation of the Victorian laws: "I want to see how that operates first before we take any other steps."

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said it was "nice to hear" the premier had no plans to change the law. "This is a very emotive issue and, personally, my position is that the laws don't need to change," Ms Frecklington said in Brisbane.

Blood money

The Australian reports that Former Brisbane Lord Mayor Clem Jones left $5m in his will to support euthanasia law reform in Australia. Clem Jones Trust chair and solicitor David Muir says some of that money will be used to press for change in Queensland. The Clem Jones Trust helped to fund Go Gentle Australia, which advocated for a change to the law in Victoria to allow for voluntary assisted dying. That state’s law will come into effect in 2019, after an 18-month implementation period.

Incremental expansion of categories of "killable people"

Following the decision in Victoria, the President of Right to Life Australia Margaret Tighe said that the passage through the Legislative Council of the Andrews Government Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 has ushered in a tragic age for the state of Victoria. "The Andrews Government to its shame, has endorsed a regime which will allow doctors to kill sick patients. In other words an era of killing not caring."

She said, “Given the steady and relentless increase in killable patients in those few places in the world where euthanasia is legal, talk of the famous 68 safeguards is laughable. We will be no better than those other places.”

With reference to the examples of Belgium's euthanasia law, which has been "abused to kill people without consent", SPUC has issued a similar warning in light of Noel Conway being granted permission for a full appeal hearing. Mr Conway and the pro-euthanasia lobby, in a bid to legalise assisted suicide are seeking to overturn England's Suicide Act 1961, which, as it currently stands, would prohibit a doctor from administering lethal doses of drugs. SPUC's Dr Anthony McCarthy responded:

"It is laughable to suggest that there is no slippery slope when it comes to assisted suicide. Once the idea of lives with no remaining value takes hold, we see the expansion of claims to be allowed to die simply because the patient wants this (for example an older person who is merely 'tired of life'). In legislatures where assisted suicide and/or euthanasia is permitted and data is available we have seen an ever-widening scope of people being allowed and encouraged to end their lives and indeed, appalling numbers of people killed non-voluntarily, both the elderly and children."

 

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