Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A Letter From Western Australia to Canadian MP Robert-Falcon Ouellette

I was pleased to see you questioning the impact of legalizing assisted suicide and euthanasia on
Canada's Indigenous people.

As Canada considers legislation to change the law on murder and assisted suicide to allow certain people to be killed with legal immunity it may be helpful to consider the fate of the world's first modern euthanasia law.

In 1996 the Australian Parliament overturned the Northern Territory's euthanasia law. This followed an extensive Senate committee inquiry in which one of the key issues canvassed was the deep opposition to the idea that a doctor could give a lethal injection from the indigenous community and its leaders. Chapter 5 of the committee's report detailed concerns that indigenous health, already seriously below par with that of other Australians, would be further set back as indigenous people were afraid and unwilling to go to a hospital where one of the "treatments" on offer was a lethal jab.

Attempts to revive the Northern Territory euthanasia legislation have been opposed for the same reason.

Richard Egan
Western Australia, Australia