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Legalising Assisted Suicide Deters Patients from Seeking Palliative Care

Assisted Suicide
14 June 2022
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A leading doctor in Australia has backed up arguments put forward by CARE and others that legalising assisted suicide deters people from seeking palliative care.

While proponents of assisted suicide claim you can have both, Dr Maria Cigolini, Clinical Director of Palliative Medicine at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital has offered a powerful warning.

Speaking about an Australian context, she said as more hospice and elder care organisations offer assisted suicide, more people will avoid seeking the treatment they need because they fear they may be coerced into dying.

She went on to say that while legalising assisted suicide is often talked about as a ‘choice’, the result is it limits choice.

People also often change their mind about choosing an assisted suicide, especially when steps are taken to address their loneliness or depression.

CARE’s Response

It’s always been a major concern of ours that assisted suicide would diminish the provision of high-quality palliative care.

These remarks by a leading clinician in Australia are a potent reminder of what happens in places where assisted suicide is or is being legalised.

Lawmakers have a duty to look at the whole picture and pass legislation that will protect and uphold human flourishing.

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Assisted Suicide

Where assisted suicide is legal, it makes vulnerable people feel like a burden. CARE works to uphold laws that protect those people, and to assist them to live—not to commit suicide.

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