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South Australian MP: State-sanctioned killing is always wrong

by Tom Kenyon, InDaily, 26 October 2016

Mr Kenyon, a South Australian Labor MP and former Minister, writes that “it is always wrong for the state to kill its citizens, even when they request it”.

The essential question of euthanasia is this: how far should the rights of individual citizens to determine their own fate extend and should it be to such an extent that the state becomes involved in the killing of its citizens? I say no. In fact, I say that it is a very dangerous thing for us, as members of parliament and as a community, to cross the line that protects us all.

The only remaining area in which South Australia sanctions the taking of a life of its own citizens is in the case of police when their own lives or the lives of other citizens are under threat. Even then, the situation is investigated as a matter of course and police are under the threat of prosecution where they are found to have acted outside the laws and procedures under which they operate.

As with execution, the state, in the case of euthanasia through its doctors and other health professionals, is involved in the decision-making process and gives final approval. The state provides the equipment and the lethal drugs, the environment in which it occurs and the health professional who eventually kills the person in question.

I do not agree that the state should be involved in the killing of its citizens – even at their own request.

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