Denver Newsroom, Aug 2, 2022 / 06:00 am
Lawmakers in the Australian Parliament have proposed a bill to allow two of Australia’s ten territories to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide, following the legalization of the practices in all six Australian states despite vocal Catholic opposition.
In May Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney had criticized a successful legalization effort in New South Wales using a phrase of Pope Francis: “We must redouble our efforts to care for those who are victims of the ‘throwaway culture’ and instead rebuild a culture of life and love…”
Fisher’s previous criticisms of legal assisted suicide noted the prevalence of elder abuse and the “alarming rates of suicide among the vulnerable.” He also noted his own “pain and humiliation” of his severe case of Guillain-Barré syndrome, which paralyzed him from the neck down and put him in terrible pain and total dependency on others for five months.
Australia has six states and ten territories, though the lawmaking abilities of the latter can be restricted by the federal parliament. If the proposed bill passes, the legislation would allow the legislatures of the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide, which its backers characterize as “assisted dying.” Fewer than 1 million of Australia’s 26 million people live in the two territories, the Associated Press reports.