Convenor of Lives Worth Living, a disability network in Australia opposed to euthanasia & assisted suicide, issued a press release today int he wake of the decision overnight of the Belgian parliament to pass a law allowing children to be killed by euthanasia.
The Press Release:
CHILD EUTHANASIA SHOCK IN BELGIUM
A warning say Australian disability rights advocates
An Australian disability advocacy group, Lives Worth Living (LWL), says that a decision to legalise euthanasia for children at any age in Belgium should be a warning for disability advocates in Australia and all over the world.
A Bill providing for child euthanasia has today passed through the Chamber of Representatives and will be sent to the King of Belgium for Royal assent.
According to LWL Convenor Craig Wallace, “This is a shocker – a wakeup call for anyone who imagined that the push for voluntary euthanasia was about providing open choices for people able to give consent.
“Issues of consent are complex and contested in the disability community and children with disability are at high risk in terms of informed consent. Euthanasia is dangerous in a toxic climate with parents under stress, broken supports, community barriers and a barrage of negative portrayals saying life ends with disability.
“This is a human rights issue and a disability rights issue. People with disabilities face a lack of supports, barriers to places, spaces and service, access to health care and incomes which can make life seem unbearable. Our focus should be on building lives worth living for people with disabilities by addressing those issues.
“Euthanasia is being actively considered in Australia with attempts to promote legislation in South Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales in the last year. I call on these legislators to consult with us. I call on Australian advocates for euthanasia to detail where they would draw the line on consent, including for children”, Mr Wallace said.
Lives Worth Living (LWL) is a network of senior disability rights advocates speaking up about euthanasia and eugenics. LWL is not a religious lobby group and works from Article 10 of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disability which requires that people with disability enjoy their inherent right to life on an equal basis with others.
Media contact: Craig Wallace on 0413 135 731