A bill to legalise euthanasia will be introduced into Victorian Parliament in the second half of 2017. Premier Daniel Andrews was previously against euthanasia but has since changed his mind. (It’s unfortunate how often this happens with our politicians these days.)
Government and opposition MPs will be allowed to vote on the bill according to their conscience, which means that you can help keep Victoria free from the ravages of euthanasia legislation.
How you can help
The Australian Christian Lobby has created a tool which will enable you to send an email to your elected representative. I am asking you to click through to the ACL's web page and to write a letter to your elected representative.
The vote in the Victorian Parliament is perilously close. Your voice can make a difference. Please stop euthanasia in Victoria.
How would the euthanasia proposal work in Victoria?
Patients who are terminally ill seeking euthanasia will have to go through these steps.
- The patient must first request to be euthanised without coercion.
- They are then required to put the request in writing twice before verbally asking to be prescribed with a lethal dose.
- Two doctors will then review the request and will prescribe the lethal medication if they approve it.
- Patients then have to administer the dose themselves.
Why Orthodoxy opposes Euthanasia
To understand the basis for Orthodox Christianity’s rejection of euthanasia, see What the Orthodox Church Teaches about Euthanasia.
Who else opposes Euthanasia?
Australian Medical Association
The Australian Medical Association opposes the move and wants an “opt-out” option for doctors if legislation is passed so practitioners who morally object aren’t forced to help patients die. For centuries all doctors have taken the Hippocratic Oath promising to practice medicine ethically and honestly, never doing harm to a patient. This proposed law will make it impossible for medical practitioners to keep that oath.
We also know that doctors sometimes make mistakes. We probably all know of cases where people, who were not given any hope by their physicians, were cured by God, often by miracle. And that teaches us not to give up hope till the very last moment, to obey the will of God and not to end life prematurely.
Palliative Care Doctors
Palliative care doctors are also warning the Victorian Government not to legalise euthanasia. The idea of palliative care can be traced back to the vision of Dr Cicely Saunders and her colleagues at St Christopher’s Hospice in London, which was opened in 1967. They pioneered scientific methods of pain management, addressed problems of the whole person and the family, and attended to aspects of grief and loss. To “palliate” is a word derived from the Latin, meaning “to cover with a cloak”. In English it means “to alleviate the symptoms of a disease” or “mitigate the suffering of it”. Dame Cicely Saunders based her practice on the phrase ‘watch with Me’ from the story of Jesus facing death in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:38) and sums up the deepest need of any person facing death or desolation. It did not mean ‘take away’, it could not have meant ‘understand or explain’ – its simple and costly demand was to ‘stay there’.” (Saunders C, The Management of Terminal Disease, Edward Arnold 1978, 8.).
Why is euthanasia being promoted today?
It’s important to realise that in the Western world euthanasia is now being used as a means of solving economic and social problems.
It’s easy to imagine a situation where pressure would be put on patients, who are not economically profitable, in order to persuade them to end their life. Such pressure is absolutely immoral. But there are voices actually calling for such pressure.
Sentencing our elderly to ‘cruel and unusual punishment’
In some parts of the Western world now, the sick who experience unbearable sufferings can ask a physician to help them die. If several physicians testify to the incurability of the illness, the sick person can receive a deadly injection. Opponents of such a kind of medical assistance point out that when such injections are used to execute the death sentence for criminals in American prisons they are frequently called "cruel and inhuman punishment." The Victorian Parliament model is recommending the use of pills at this stage, but we can be sure it will be only the first stage …
The Orthodox Church opposes the Victorian Parliament bill
There is a better way than euthanasia to have “a good death” and to “die with dignity” and for doctors and nurses to “help patients to die” as comfortably as possible.
This is achieved with the aid of pain control and palliative care. These we believe should be each person’s last rights.
I am asking you to contact your local Member of the Victorian Parliament to insist that as our representative they vote against it!
Click this link to: Stop Euthanasia in Victoria
For more information about euthanasia and the Orthodox Church's teaching, see