“The Dignitas suicide clinic in Switzerland has killed someone who ended up not having a fatal diagnosis,” FamilyVoice SA state officer David d’Lima said today. “Bob Such’s Ending Life with Dignity Bill , which could come to a vote in the House of Assembly next week, could well cause a similar scenario in South Australia.”
Pietro D’Amico, a 62-year-old magistrate from Calabria in southern Italy, made the decision to take his life in April this year after he received a wrong diagnosis from Italian and Swiss doctors, his family’s lawyer Michele Roccisano told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera. An autopsy carried out by the University of Basel’s Institute of Forensic Medicine found that D’Amico was not suffering from a life-threatening illness at the time of his death.
“Mr D’Amico was a much-loved father. The tragic decision to die is now irreversible,” Mr d’Lima said.
Bob Such’s bill would allow doctors to facilitate the killing of any adult (aged 18+) who requests it, if the person has “an illness or condition that is likely to result in death”. Only one doctor is required to certify that the patient has a terminal illness, and there is no requirement that any doctor involved has any past involvement with the patient.
The Australian Medical Association (SA), Palliative Care Council SA, People With Disability Australia, SA Law Society and the insurance industry have all raised grave concerns about the bill.
“Have SA MPs thought carefully about the implications of this bill?” Mr d’Lima asked.
- Human life and dignity