Legalising assisted suicide would send a devastating message to depressed young people
But FamilyVoice Victoria director Peter Stevens says such a move could have a devastating impact on many teens who are going through a temporary period of depression.
“It would send the message that suicide is the answer to their problem – even if the new law does not apply to their case,” he said.
“The Victorian committee’s report was not unanimous. The two dissenters – Inga Peulich and Daniel Mulino – have written carefully argued minority reports that deserve wide reading.”
Peter Stevens endorsed the view of Liberal MP Inga Peulich, who said: “What impact does the promotion of a physician-assisted death regime have on our efforts to reduce suicide or assisted suicide? This is a most serious social impact that has not been adequately considered by this or any other inquiry of which I am aware.”
Labor MP Daniel Mulino provided documented evidence of the “slippery slope” that has occurred in countries where euthanasia and assisted suicide have been legalised. Legislative safeguards have not been enforced; there is systematic non-reporting and a growing number of cases involving vulnerable people.
Peter Stevens said media news items have sadly ignored the minority reports as well as the committee’s recommendations on palliative care. “If we really care, we need to kill the pain – not the patient!” he said.
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