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MEDIA RELEASE | End of Life Choice Bill report highlights multitude of “concerns and contradictions”

Released today, the Justice Select Committee’s report does not recommend passing the End of Life Choice Bill. Instead, it highlights a broad range of issues and questions that MPs will need to grapple with as they decide how to vote.

Maxim Institute CEO Alex Penk says, “The report leaves the Bill in a form that almost nobody supports—not even David Seymour himself. MPs will have to ask themselves if they believe the Bill could be salvaged at a later date by sorting through an array of amendments offered by MPs from all sides of the issue, with competing values and priorities, in a highly political, adversarial environment.”

“Even if MPs can agree on a coherent result, our research shows that even the narrowest version of this Bill cannot remove the risk of wrongful deaths by euthanasia,” says Mr Penk. “Overseas examples show that legislative “safeguards” provide the illusion of protection, but cannot contain the complexities of real life. For example, rising numbers of people in Oregon say one reason they opt for assisted suicide is that they fear being a burden to others.”

“It’s also unlikely the law would remain static, and there’s a real chance that the Bill would subsequently expand. For example, the Select Committee report notes that the Attorney-General recommended reducing the age of eligibility to 16 or removing the age limit entirely, so we could find ourselves in the company of Belgium, which extended euthanasia to children in 2014, and Canada, which is exploring this now,” says Alex Penk.

We encourage all MPs to take note of the multitude of concerns and contradictions laid out in the Select Committee report, and vote against the End of Life Choice Bill at Second Reading.

ENDS

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Alex Penk

By Alex Penk - 09/04/2019

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