Doctors Opposed to Euthanasia
We are a group of medical professionals who wish to make known our strong opposition to the legalisation of euthanasia and assisted suicide in Australia and New Zealand.
Our profession is committed to promoting the health and healing of our patients with care and compassion. We endeavour to apply the highest medical standards and best clinical practice in the spirit and intent of the Hippocratic Oath as practised and understood for more than two millennia.
If euthanasia is legalised, the “choice” to die by euthanasia would never be the final prerogative of the patient. No matter how much it might be said that people want to “choose”, the ultimate gatekeeper and executor would be the doctor — not the patient. We reject the idea that our profession ought to be changed in such a fundamental manner.
While euthanasia bills often contain seemingly stringent safeguards to prevent “any form of duress or inducement”, these will ultimately depend on doctor' subjective judgement; it will be impossible to be certain that such conditions have been met.
Legalisation for euthanasia would create problems far more serious than those it intends to remedy. Killing a suffering patient, even for compassionate reasons, is not a form of medical care. What is urgently needed is improved access to high quality health care for terminally ill, elderly and debilitated patients.