When the State of Victoria, Australia, unveiled the provisions of the Assisted Suicide Act, passed in September 2017, the bishops and Catholic care institutions turned it down flat.
In a joint episcopal mandate issued on June 14, 2019, Archbishop Peter Comensoli of Melbourne, Bishop Paul Bird of Ballarat, Bishop Patrick O'Reagan of Sale, and Bishop Leslie Tomlinson of Sandhurst, made it known that they “cannot co-operate with the facilitation of suicide, even when it seems motivated by empathy or kindness.”
It is through prayer, through understanding and assistance of the most vulnerable people, as are all those who suffer—the sick, the infirm, and the elderly—that we can most effectively oppose this law.
Suzanne Greenwood, Director of Catholic Health Australia, said that terminally ill patients who are treated in Church-run care facilities, and who would like someone to put an end to their lives, will have to be transferred to other facilities.
To date, there are 2,800 hospital beds and 3,200 residential aged-care beds in Catholic-run health services across the state of Victoria in South East Australia.
In accordance with the provisions of the law, some 100 doctors in the state of Victoria have begun to receive training, now mandatory, to help terminally ill patients who wish to end their lives. Medicine, deviated from its end, continues to lose its soul.