In an open letter to Parliament on August 28, WA faith community leaders, including the Anglican and Catholic archbishops of Perth, raised concerns about the Voluntary Dying Bill 2019.
Australian Christian Lobby WA director Peter Abetz, who also sits on the City of Gosnells council, said they could only support the legislation if they believed some lives were not worth living and that was a position the group rejected.
“It is right to seek to eliminate pain but never right to eliminate the person,” he said.
“Actively terminating a person’s life represents the abandonment of those who are in greatest need of our care and support.”
“Nearly one person a day opts for suicide as the ‘solution’ to their suffering.”
Undermining trust in doctors was pointed out in the letter as the group believes the fundamental principle of ‘do no harm’ and ‘never to kill’ should be removed from medical practice and the integrity of the health system compromised.
Mr Abetz said it would affect the confidence of seriously ill patients nearing the end of life with regards to treatment and quality of care.
Member for Thornlie Chris Tallentire said he supported the legislation even though it was not an ideal situation.
“It’s ultimately about someone having the choice to not endure the pain from an illness that is going to kill them,” he said.
“There are cases in which the best palliative care in the world acknowledging the advancement of the whole science of palliation does not work for some types of illness.
“Maybe it will in the future but there are some types of terminal illness for which palliation cannot nullify the pain.
“Elsewhere I mention my admiration for those who provide palliative care and my support for