Tasmania introduces assisted suicide law

Tasmania’s Legislative Council has passed the End-of-Life Choices (Voluntary Assisted Dying) Bill 2020, which was introduced into parliament last year.

Archbishop Julian reaffirmed that Catholic health and aged care services in Tasmania would not provide or participate in the provision of assisted suicide or euthanasia. He said many in the community would take great comfort from the fact that Catholic services would be free of assisted suicide and euthanasia.

His Grace said the Catholic Church has a strong and ongoing tradition of caring for people who are dying and for their families, with Catholic providers delivering up to half of all palliative care services across Australia.

“The answer for those experiencing great difficulties as they try to manage a terminal illness is not assisted suicide or euthanasia,” Archbishop Julian said.

“Rather the answer is the provision of better palliative care for all Tasmanians which requires significant additional funding to improve and expand palliative care in Tasmania.”

His Grace said that the Archdiocese of Hobart, together with Catholic health and aged care agencies, will seek to work cooperatively with government to improve the quality and offering of palliative care in Tasmania.

“Christian faith itself is all about living and dying well. Euthanasia and assisted suicide do not address the problem of human suffering in all its dimensions; It simply aims to end life.

“This can never be the answer of a compassionate society.” 

Once signed into law, Tasmania will become the third Australian state to legalise assisted suicide.

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