The Courier-Mail

VAD laws open up to dangerous road ahead


IFOUND Peter Applegarth’s assisted suicide “Review Update” tabled in parliament this week a rather alarming document, not so much for what it contained but what it left out.

His “legal framework for voluntary assisted dying” reads to me as though he regards proposed euthanasia laws as a fait accompli.

Perhaps that’s the way former Catholic schoolgirl Annastacia Palaszczuk and her Cabinet cronies planned it, with terms of reference that read to me like an ode in favour of mercy killing.

There has been no real discussion on the benefits of palliative care that would make euthanasia irrelevant.

Applegarth is one of the rising stars in the Supreme Court. As chair of the Queensland Law Reform Commission he set aside his judicial duties temporaril­y to conduct the assisted suicide review.

He is a University of Queensland honours graduate who went to finishing school at Oxford. Later, he was on the executive of the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties. Applegarth was always a worthy young lawyer when offering advice to The Courier-Mail and the Sunday Mail in days when we were both much younger. After reading his review I don’t think much has changed.

May I humbly submit, Your Honour, that lawful assisted suicide is doomed to fail because it is nigh impossible to legislate safeguards.

See how liberal laws in Europe and the US have been abused. People who are not incurably ill, and the disabled, are routinely being killed off. It’s monstrous.

And there is even a more disastrous consequenc­e that all the pretty laws will not prevent, Your Honour.

Once euthanasia is legalised, suicide is “normalised” in the community.

When mercy killing was legalised in Oregon in the US in 1997, something terrible happened. Oregon’s suicide rate leapt to 42 per cent higher than the national average in some years.

Queensland­ers, politician­s and law reformers will come to regret this extreme social engineerin­g.

I don’t think it is too much of an overstatem­ent to say some will be left with blood on their hands.

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