The SA Voluntary Euthanasia Bill 2016 has loopholes big enough to drive a hearse through.
FamilyVoice SA director David d’Lima is shocked by the absence of effective safeguards against abuse in the new Voluntary Euthanasia Bill now before the SA House of Assembly.
“Any competent adult who is subject to unbearable and hopeless suffering may request euthanasia (section 10). Section 4 defines what constitutes ‘unbearable and hopeless suffering’, and the bar is set so low that almost anyone could qualify,” he said.
Mr d’Lima said that the person making the request must, under section 4:
- have a medical condition of some kind, whether terminal or not – possibly low blood pressure, for example.
- be suffering mentally and/or physically, at least in part due to the medical condition (but possibly also due to a relationship breakdown).
- declare his or her suffering to be unbearable – and the person’s subjective declaration cannot be challenged.
- declare that his or her suffering is hopeless: even if, objectively, there may be a reasonably available treatment that would reduce or relieve the person’s suffering, the person may still subjectively find it unacceptable and unbearable.
Section 9 would legalise Dr Nitschke’s suicide seminars and his sale of euthanasia equipment (apart from drugs).
Moreover, section 20(2) allows any person to assist a person who has made a euthanasia request to “self-administer” lethal drugs.
“This bill is dangerous. I hope it will be soundly defeated,” David d’Lima said.
- Government and society
- Human life and dignity