The Second Reading Debate for the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill (2021) has commenced in the Legislative Council of NSW.
Catholic Health Australia as well as several our members have participated actively in the parliamentary process, emphasising our deep moral opposition to this Bill as well as its practical implications within healthcare facilities who nurture a culture of care and compassion.
However, like other states across Australia, 22 Members of the Legislative Council have now spoken principally in favour of the Bill, giving it the likely majority, though not a large one, that it will need to ultimately pass. This is deeply saddening for the staff and residents of Catholic Health facilities who choose these organisations often for their culture of protecting the vulnerable and their Christ-centred mission.
Ahead of the debate, Catholic Health Australia wrote to Members of Parliament expressing our concerns about the nature of the Bill including its lack of protections for the vulnerable, its weak conscientious objection elements, and the lack of government accountability evident in the Bill.
The Second Reading debate will continue in the second half of May. Catholic Health Australia will continue to advocate against this flawed and dangerous legislation to protect the rights of residents and staff in our aged care homes and hospitals, as well as the Catholic culture that values the lives of all people regardless of their ailments and serves the most vulnerable.