CHA statement on Victoria’s Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill

24 November 2017 by

M E D I A  R E L E A S E

Dangerous Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill passes Victorian Legislative Assembly

Catholic Health Australia (CHA) is disappointed the Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) Bill has been
passed today by the Victorian Legislative Assembly.

“It is disheartening to see that Victorian parliamentarians in the lower house neglected to heed the
safety and ethical concerns of many medical professionals and palliative care experts when voting
in favour of this flawed and dangerous bill”, said CHA Chief Executive Officer Suzanne Greenwood.
“I urge members of the Victorian Legislative Council to deeply consider the impacts this bill will
have on vulnerable people and the greater community when given opportunity to vote on this
important legislation”, continued Mrs Greenwood.

The legislation raises too many questions to be considered safe.

Australia’s Catholic not-for-profit hospitals deliver person-centred and compassionate care that is
founded on respect for human dignity and life, and will continue to support the community through
providing the highest quality care.

CHA maintains that improved resourcing of palliative health care in Victoria, especially in regional
and rural areas, is crucial to delivering compassionate care for those who need it.

Palliative care supports those who are most vulnerable and allows freedom of choice, comfort,
dignity and respect as a person nears the end of life, not just for the individual, but also for the
family and community that surrounds them.

“Should we not, as a society, be first dedicating a greater level of resources to improving the living
person’s ability to experience a meaningful period of life, leading to death, rather than accepting
that the wish to suicide be the product of clarity, unaffected perspective and a mind free of mental
illness?” asks Mrs Greenwood.

Palliative care improves the quality of life for patients by treating and relieving the suffering of the
whole person. It addressees the physical, psycho-social and spiritual. Those living with terminal
illness require some of the greatest levels of support.

CHA recommends the Victorian Government invests more in palliative care to ensure those who are
dying may live with the confidence they will be provided with comfort and dignity, and this will
result in greater awareness and resourcing of the vital work of palliative care services across


CONTACT: Richard Arranz, CHA National Manager Media & Communications M: 0402 333 747
20 October 2017


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