Greens support euthanasia issue
TWEED Greens candidate Andrea Vickers has put death by choice front and centre in her campaign for the state election.
Her party’s plan to legalise euthanasia faces an uphill battle, with the Christian Democrats strongly opposed and Labor and the Nationals expressing deep concerns about the proposal.
Tweed Christian Democrats candidate Corinne Pennay described euthanasia as “suicide”.
“It will open Pandora’s box,” she said.
“Our party supports life.
“We don’t want to see people suffer, but there are other alternatives, like changing medication.
“Voluntary euthanasia is suicide.”
Tweed Labor candidate Reece Byrnes said the legislative framework needed to be ironed out before he pledged any support.
“Euthanasia is a very emotive and complex issue for individuals, families, and our community,” he said.
“While I have great sympathy for people suffering from a terminal illness and respect for their wishes, I do have concerns about the safeguards that would need to be in place.
“I am yet to be convinced that there can be sufficient safeguards within a legislative framework to protect these most vulnerable people from any potential abuse of legalised euthanasia.”
The Greens’ support of euthanasia stems from a social justice perspective.
“We support social justice and the protection of the vulnerable. That’s one of our main goals,” Ms Vickers said.
“In contrast, Labor and the Coalition won’t touch voluntary euthanasia in New South Wales because they are afraid of being targeted by religious lobbyists.
“Ironically, this is the key factor that continues to stymie attempts to help people who are suffering a painful and drawn-out death, and makes the major parties a policy-free zone when it comes to voluntary euthanasia.”
Tweed Nationals MP Geoff Provest said religious groups had no impact on his party’s position on voluntary euthanasia.
“It’s a bi-partisan approach,” Mr Provest said.
“We are not influenced by religious groups, we are talking about people’s lives here.”
Mr Provest said he had to watch his father suffer before death, and all the doctors could do was turn up his morphine.
“It is a relevant subject in the Tweed with the main age group of the area. It’s just a matter of how to legislate it,” he said.
Banora Point resident Terri Bradley, who suffers from multiple illnesses, is calling for voluntary euthanasia to be legalised.
“Eventually my condition will get worse, the pain relief I am taking won’t have any real effect and I will be in agony. I don’t want to be like that,” Ms Bradley said.
“When the time comes I want to have the option to take my own life and I believe in quality over quantity.”