‘Surprised and sad’. These summarise my reaction to the news of pro euthanasia legislation for Tasmania by the Attorney General.
Surprised because the State has only 1 year ago done all this and 11 years prior to that, 1998, we also investigated pro euthanasia and rejected it. I was at the Governor’s Address to the Official Openning of this Tasmanian Parliament and euthanasia was neither in his Address nor was it mentioned in the election campaign – but it is now promoted not as ‘Government’ but as a private member’s bill yet by the Attorney General and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and using all tax payer resources of her Government Department!?
Sad because nothing has changed in terms of medical and legal precedent. So, why waste our State’s scarce resources by redoing an issue we have done just last year? We have poor and needy people on our streets who need care.
Tasmania putting battlers at risk
Today’s delivery of a ‘cautious’ state budget was a missed opportunity to make adequate long term investment in public housing and mental health. It risked leaving low-income Tasmanians behind, according to Anglicare. See Anglicare’s response to Tasmanian budget.
The Attorney General will use all the resources in her Department to fund the drawing up and promotion the pro euthanasia legislation but then present it as a ‘private members’ bill!? This is a shoddy use of scarce Tasmanian resources when the recent state budget provides insufficient funding for mental health and we have Tasmanians living on the streets due to insufficient affordable housing.
Also, would the money the Attorney General is going to put into this legislation and its promotion not have been better spent on improving access to palliative care services throughout Tasmania? The Attorney General’s remarks seemed to address a world where palliative care does not exist?
Type the word ‘euthanasia’ into the Search space at the top right of this blog to read more about euthanasia. For example ‘Euthanasia booths’: a martini and a medal?. Is this the Tasmania we all dream of and work for?
I’m on a prayer pilgrimage around Tasmania and from my contact with the community I can assure the Attorney General that euthanasia legislation is not the priority for her gifts, time and energy, let alone the resources of her Department for an issue the Parliament and community has just considered.