POPE Leo XIII once declared that “Catholics are born for combat.” To the combat-shy Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, however, they’re born for capitulation. Unless the bishops Mannix up to this new assault, however, they won’t have a church left to conference about.Last week a Parliamentary Committee tabled its report on Labor’s Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill. Unsurprisingly, it endorses the government’s intention to authorise medical practitioners to kill people on request. Additionally, having accepted the agenda of the “independent” Queensland Law Reform Commission, the committee concurs that the bill justifiably forces conscientiously objecting medicos to refer patients to colleagues who are willing to take their lives. The left-wing Commission also wants hospitals and nursing homes opposed to VAD to be compelled to host the killings on their premises:
The QLRC considered that by allowing health practitioners to make a conscientious objection, but requiring practitioners who do so to provide information about a health practitioner, service provider or navigation service who is likely to be able to provide the requested assistance, the Bill attempts to ensure ‘the exercise of a right to refuse to participate should not hinder or deprive a person of their right to access a process that is lawful’. [Page 77]
Predictably, the Committee’s ‘reasoning’ relies on corrupted inversions of ethical mainstays:
While the provisions in the Bill that enable an individual’s conscientious objection to participating in voluntary assisted dying impose obligations which may the limit the right to freedom of conscience and belief, those obligations promote the rights of others to access health care, and to promote the values of dignity and autonomy and as such, the committee considers the limitation reasonable and justifiable. [Page 161].
The timing of this latest Mengele démarche is another reminder of the sociopathy that now defines Australian political leaders. Annastacia Palaszczuk thought that a pandemic especially dangerous to the elderly and the frail; during which governments have caused an unprecedented suicide and mental health catastrophe; during which the elderly have been banned from receiving family love and attention; during which scaremongers give the public to understand that hospitals are on the verge of being swamped; during which the children of the elderly have lost their savings; as I say, during this crisis, the Premier wants to force the old and the frail to consider “voluntary assisted” dying. There has probably never been a more exploitative and casually evil ideological enterprise than this in Australian history.
Chairman of the Mater Group, Francis Sullivan, is no novice in the arena of politics; he also has the backing of Brisbane Archbishop and current president of the Bishops’ Conference, Mark Coleridge. The assumption has to be that Sullivan is aware the government intends to terrorise private sector executives into a concession (referrals) in exchange for their hospitals being spared from criminal acts. (Homicide does not cease to be illegal because a legislature says it is – that is the ethical and juridical lesson of the Nuremberg Trials).
“While the Committee’s report is of no surprise we are still optimistic that our current discussions with the Government will ensure the integrity of our hospital service in both public and private sectors,” [Mr Sullivan said].
“We will not tolerate non credentialed doctors coming on site, nor will we assist in the provision of voluntary assisted dying in any of our facilities. There is a practical solution and it will work for all sides of this debate.”
Toby Hall, Group Chief Executive of St Vincent’s Health Australia – which runs private hospitals at Kangaroo Point and Chermside in Brisbane – said: “Allowing unaccredited doctors to enter hospital rooms, with no notice or permission needed, to assist in a medical procedure to help a patient die is a radical and dangerous undermining of patient safety and should be rejected.”
Even the usually left-of-centre Queensland branch of the AMA is opposed to these provisions. That makes you wonder how the QLRC could get away with marshalling this travesty all the way to the dispatch box of Parliament where the bill is expected to be introduced for debate within weeks. The reasonable man in the street would assume the top medical lobby would have a greater say than a Labor lawyers’ club. Another shocking example of what medicine by malicious lawyers looks like – reported at the weekend by the Sunday Mail – is that death purveyors will not be required to have “any expertise in patients’ terminal conditions, or in end-of-life care.” The Palaszczuk government obviously wants to ensure that being killed by a GP becomes as routine as a pap smear.
Returning to the Catholic Church, there are several reasons why it is under such hostile, arrogantly confident attack. First, a majority of voters – none encouraged to think about what the Nazification of medicine portends – do support VAD. Second, Palaszczuk has used the coronavirus ‘pandemic’ to resurrect the time-honoured Sunshine State autarky that Joh Bjelke-Petersen pioneered to keep ‘socialism’ south of the Tweed. She is riding high in the polls, a majority of voters (especially in the south-east corner) believing their lives are in peril without her fascist ministrations. It isn’t exactly a Wally Lewis Harbour pass to the tangential notion that Labor’s beloved VAD will also keep them ‘safe’ – even when the end is nigh. Third, the Liberal Party. Say no more. As bad as it is, however, be aware that its former state leader, Campbell Newman – recently born again hard as the William Wallace of libertarianism – hasn’t criticised these provisions and was, in fact, one of VAD’s most dedicated backers.
But the most telling reason the Church is being treated with a disdain whose violent blackmail the Dutch Bishops of 1942 would immediately recognise is that it has given up the ghost. Consider Mr Sullivan’s remark that there is “a practical solution and it will work for all sides of this debate.” Is that really the Christian response to the planned homicide of the sick and elderly? Out of sight, out of mind? Live and let die? Archbishop Coleridge said it was “disappointing” the government had decided to push ahead with its euthanasia plans. It’s disappointing when the Maroons lose at Lang Park. It’s a bit more serious when the state announces its intention to storm your hospitals and kill people under the gaze of the crucifix on the wall.