“Dr Philip ‘Death’ Nitschke is watching the progress of Tasmania’s euthanasia bill like a vulture. Tasmanians who don’t want our state to become a place for death should voice their concerns,” FamilyVoice Tasmania state officer Jim Collins said today.
“Just look at what has happened in other regions which have legalised euthanasia.
“Belgium – now pondering child euthanasia – has experienced grave consequences after having legal voluntary euthanasia for more than a decade,” Mr Collins said. “Statistics show that annual deaths from euthanasia in Belgium increased by 609% in the ten years to 2012. One third of euthanasia cases in Flanders did not have the consent of the patient.*
“Last December, identical twin men were killed by lethal injection because they were going blind and were upset that they would no longer see each other. An anorexic Belgian woman was killed by lethal injection because of mental suffering following sexual abuse by her psychiatrist.
“In the Netherlands, a blind Dutch woman was killed by lethal injection earlier this month in one of the first cases of euthanasia for a disability.
“Legalising euthanasia clearly leads to a slippery slope and puts the elderly, disabled and the vulnerable at risk. In deaths occurring under the Oregon assisted suicide law, nearly twice as many are due to concern about being a burden on family, friends and caregivers, compared to fear about inadequate pain control.
“These are bleak and hopeless stories,” Jim Collins said. “Why is Dr Nitschke intent on facilitating death tourism in Tasmania? Is this the sad future we want for our beautiful Apple Isle?”
* Chambaere K et al., (2010) “Physician-assisted deaths under the euthanasia law in Belgium: a population based survey”, CMAJ, 182:895-900: http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/reprint/182/9/895
- Human life and dignity