On the morning of Wednesday 19 June 2019 we will wake to a new, and deeply troubling chapter of health care in Victoria. On that day the Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) Act (2017) comes into effect, creating the legal possibility for a person to end their own life or a doctor ending it on request in particular circumstances. What is being referred to as ‘VAD’ is a combination of what in plain-speaking is more commonly known as assisted suicide and euthanasia.
Pope Francis has encouraged ordinary Catholics everywhere to resist euthanasia and to protect the old, the young and the vulnerable from being cast aside in a “throw-away culture”. Instead, Francis calls us to follow Christ by accompanying people with compassion, sharing hope not fear. In Victoria, we have entered a moment in which we are called to join this task.
Christians in Victoria, as in any other time of
history, are now challenged to show a different approach to death and the dying,
one which accompanies every person as they are dying and allows them to love
and to be loved to the very end. We cannot cooperate with the facilitation of
suicide, even when it seems motivated by empathy or kindness. Christians have asked their pastors and priests what they can do. We draw attention to our need to pray, to be informed, and to act. Find out more here.