Hanson comments on right to
die ill informed
Issued: 14 February 2001
Spokesperson for the Australian Federation of Right to
Life Associations, Alison Hope, today criticised Pauline Hanson for her reported comments
that the 'right to die' should be left to individuals to decide and should be settled by
Ms Hanson referred to those who 'end up being a vegetable only kept alive by a machine'
and to 'doctors using us as guinea pigs, that we have no right to say "take that
machine off us, give us the right to die in dignity"'.
"Withdrawing useless or burdensome treatment is not euthanasia", Ms Hope said.
"Ceasing useless treatment for a person who has no prospect of recovery is just part
of good medical treatment. Where treatment can no longer bring about recovery, the
direction of treatment simply changes to concentrate on making the patient comfortable in
his or her last days.
"Euthanasia is quite different.
"Euthanasia is about killing, whether by lethal injection or by withholding of basic
human needs such as food or water", Ms Hope said. "The intent to kill is
"Unfortunately, Ms Hanson appears not to understand this important distinction and is
misleading the public as a result."
Ms Hope suggested that Ms Hanson's preference for a referendum decision on euthanasia was
a cop-out. "This is what we elect politicians to do to responsibly
debate and decide these issues."
Media contact: Alison Hope, spokesperson for the
Australian Federation of Right to Life Associations, 02 6253 3100