Euthanasia – rushed policy is bad policy

I found this article which explores the danger and  of leaving the complexity of euthanasia with our politicians:

Populism and rushed policy decisions are increasingly being made with the hope of turning the polls around and winning votes. And this may well be the case in Tasmania where the state government is struggling and many predict a wipe-out at the next election.   In a bid to turn this around in the past few months not only has Premier Lara Giddings announced plans to legalise same sex marriage but has given her support to a bill legalising voluntary euthanasia. Despite the promised discussion paper not yet released, let alone a full inquiry held, Premier Giddings says she hopes to have euthanasia legislation before the Tasmanian Parliament before the end of the year.

Confident the bill will pass, Dr Philip Nitschke, director of Exit International has already announced plans to launch a Tasmanian home-visit clinic program and to have this up and running by this time next year. Modelled on a Dutch version of assisted suicide which has operated out of a van since March this year, Nitschke’s program would allow doctors to travel to patients’ homes and lawfully prescribe and administer the lethal drug Nembutal.

“The distinguishing characteristic of euthanasia as a public policy problem is its moral dimension which challenges the fundamental principles on which society is based,” Professor Prasser says and quotes from the 1994 House of Lords inquiry which found it impossible to set secure limits on voluntary euthanasia:

“to create an exception to the general prohibition of intentional killing would inevitably open the way to its further erosion whether by  design or inadvertence, or by the human tendency to test the limits of any regulation.”

Article, Euthanasia too complex to be left to politicians.

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