In his article ACT sidelined in the euthanasia debate (CW, 27/5), Gary Humphries seems conflicted. On the one hand he suggests there is a right kind of euthanasia by saying that there are serious dangers if the wrong kind of euthanasia is legislated. He then goes on to explain what some of those dangers are: extending the time at which euthanasia might be considered: e.g. in the Victorian legislation states candidates must have less than six months to live, while the Queensland legislation is looking at less than 12 months to live. This, he acknowledges, is a serious slippery slope. Then there is the not always benign influence of families on those who are considering euthanasia.
I would like to ask Gary what he considers a right kind of euthanasia? Experience in The Netherlands, Belgium, Canada and the US suggests there is no such thing. As far as euthanasia supporters are concerned, safeguards are just there to be got around. I suggest Gary and all your readers find and read Paul Kelly’s article State-sanctioned death exposes the West’s moral decay, published in The Weekend Australian of 29-30 May.
- C Rule, Gilmore ACT