Opposition to ACT’s extreme euthanasia laws

“This is a government that has been in power too long and is riding roughshod over the community. Its euthanasia plans are just the latest campaign in implementing its radical agenda without any constraints”.

The Deputy Opposition Leader in Canberra Jeremy Hanson has called out the ACT government’s radical euthanasia plans for the territory and has declared he will be voting against them.

Proposed laws for the ACT look set to become the most extreme in Australia, with euthanasia to be allowed for 14-year-olds, and extended to dementia sufferers. In addition, they are proposing to do away with expected death timelines and residency requirements. This means these extreme laws will be available to anyone who can show a ‘connection’ to the ACT.

Mr Hanson has responded to statements from the government defending its position that children “should have the same end of life choices as adults”:

“This is particularly concerning given parental rights are constantly being eroded in the ACT. Will parents even have the legal right to stop their own children taking up euthanasia?”

In addition, Mr Hanson has slammed the government’s recent compulsory takeover of the Catholic hospital in Canberra:

“The ACT government’s dictatorial and undemocratic compulsory takeover of Calvary hospital and the consequential and inevitable transfer of Clare Holland House shows the lengths it will go to roll out its extreme euthanasia agenda.

“The fact that Calvary was opposed to euthanasia was clearly an impediment to the ACT government’s plans. People who believe that there wasn’t an anti-faith and pro-euthanasia agenda behind that takeover are naive”.

Mr Hanson points to concerns raised by the disability community about these proposed laws, with ACT disability advocate Craig Wallace recently saying:

“...there are widely held concerns among many people with disability and advocates about euthanasia becoming a default option for people whose lives are made unbearable by poverty, unsuitable housing, healthcare, pain management and isolation”.

Mr Hanson is to be commended for his leadership on this issue. 

It is hoped that more ACT politicians consider the real consequences for vulnerable people living in the ACT if these laws are passed and also choose to oppose them.