Statement from the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Most Rev. Anthony Fisher

It is truly a dark day for New South Wales.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher

I am deeply saddened that the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021 has passed the NSW Parliament. 

The disturbing nature of this legislation is compounded by the way the debate over amendments was conducted. All amendments put forward by those who would seek to make this deadly regime even a little bit safer were rejected.

That no meaningful amendments were accepted speaks to a ‘winner takes all’ approach by the proponents of this bill and reveals an ugliness that has invaded our politics. This does not bode well for the protection of our most vulnerable citizens.

The 57th Parliament of NSW will be remembered as having the shameful record of passing two of the most anti-life pieces of legislation that exist in Australia, and indeed around the world.

If a civilisation is to be judged by how it treats its weakest members, the NSW parliament has failed miserably and has set a dark and dangerous path for all posterity, determining a new and disturbing definition of what it means to be human.

I thank those few members in both houses of parliament who spoke out against this bill, often in the face of disdain and disparagement from their parliamentary colleagues, from pro-euthanasia lobby groups and from the media.

I also thank members of the medical and legal professions, religious leaders of many faiths and pro-life groups who lobbied on behalf of the sick and elderly and their right to receive real choice at the end of life.

Despite our disappointment, our fight for life does not end with this vote. If anything, it begins anew. We must redouble our efforts to care for those who are victims of the ‘throwaway culture’ and instead rebuild a culture of life and love in this state.

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