Members of the faithful in Western Sydney are being urged to reach out to their state MPs to oppose the introduction of voluntary euthanasia in NSW.
The NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021 will begin to be debated in NSW Parliament as early as 12 November 2021, and the vote in the Legislative Assembly is expected to be very tight.
Two MPs who have not declared how they will vote who are based in the Diocese of Parramatta – Geoff Lee, the Member for Parramatta and Stuart Ayers, the Member for Penrith.
Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney, who has been leading a campaign against the Bill, explained that “this is one of the most destructive pieces of legislation to be put before NSW Parliament in its history”.
“We know how much laws that authorise the killing of patients by their doctors, or sanction the assistance of patient suicides undermine the dignity of the human person and put the vulnerable at risk,” he said.
If the legislation is passed in parliament, it is understood that the Bill will not require that palliative care be first offered and made available to patients with terminal illnesses, doctors will be allowed to suggest euthanasia and assisted suicide to their patients, doctors will not need to meet or physically examine the patient and the time between a patient’s first and final request for death can be as short as five days.
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv, Bishop of Parramatta, said that the Diocese of Parramatta supports this campaign against the legislation, and urged members of clergy and parishioners to do everything they can to make their opposition known.
“Different MPs will be influenced by different voices, but we know that many of them take special notice of the views of doctors or lawyers,” Bishop Vincent explained. “If you have any doctors, nurses or other medical professionals or lawyers in your parish who would be willing to speak with their MPs, please invite them to do so.
“We also know that MPs listen to the views of their electorates and so it is vital the Catholic community in these electorates are encouraged to phone their local member and express their concerns about the Bill.”
To contact the relevant MPs, their details are listed below:
Mr Geoff Lee, Liberal Party, Member for Parramatta
Phone: (02) 9891 4722
Mr Stuart Ayres, Liberal Party, Member for Penrith
Phone: (02) 4722 8660
There is also a website with more information about contacting local MPs at bit.ly/noeuthanasia-signup.
Download the information flyer ‘Ten Things to know about the NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill’ here.