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Rome Reports

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Australian Catholic Church continues to fight against legalization of euthanasia

One of the most pressing moral issues of our time is once again on the docket in the Australian legislature. 

Over the last three years, all six Australian states have legalized euthanasia and assisted suicide. Legislators recently introduced a bill that would also give two territories the ability to legalize euthanasia. The Catholic Church is speaking out and taking action.

Public Affairs Director, Archdiocese of Sydney
One of the most wonderful things is to hear the euthanasia activists and advocates say ‘the biggest opposition to euthanasia in this country is the Catholic Church.' I love it when they say that because so we should be.

Led by Archbishop Anthony Fisher, the Church has remained active through lobbying and rallying, as well as improving Catholic hospitals and age care facilities. This work has become a necessity as assisted deaths have significantly increased. 

Public Affairs Director, Archdiocese of Sydney
Victoria was the first state to legalize euthanasia and they predicted they may get a dozen people the first year. They got ten times that amount, they had 120 deaths.

Although this bill succeeded the House of Representatives and is predicted to pass in the Senate, Monica Doumit, the Public Affairs Director for the Archdiocese of Sydney, says the Catholic answer is providing the best end-of-life care. 

Public Affairs Director, Archdiocese of Sydney
One of the wonderful things that we see happening in Catholic hospitals and Catholic age care facilities is if someone requests euthanasia or assisted suicide, then there’s a specially trained team going in to be able to speak with them and to address their underlying concerns, their pain, their fears; give them that holistic care. And they find that the request for euthanasia goes away.

Even if these laws are in place, Australia's Catholic Church hopes that with their end-of-life care, the option of euthanasia will not be used.