Adelaide archbishop says there's no dignity in euthanasia
Any attempt to legalise euthanasia legislation in South Australia should be opposed as a threat to the respect for human life, according to Adelaide's Catholic Archbishop Leonard Faulkner.
In addition, Archbishop Faulkner challenged the use of the label "Dignity in Dying" to describe voluntary euthanasia legislation - set to be introduced as a Private Members Bill in both houses of state parliament this week.
"We need to recognise that euthanasia means killing," Archbishop Faulkner said. "It means there will be some kind of lethal injection to bring about that death. That is certainly not a death with dignity.
"No-one has a right to die. We have a right to live. It's contrary to the human spirit and to human goodness to kill anyone, no matter what label you attach to it."
Archbishop Faulkner said life was sacred from conception to natural death and must be respected and preserved, although he emphasised that the church did not believe that people were under an obligation to provide extraordinary means to prolong life.
"The Catholic Church proclaims a consistent ethic of life," he said. "We have been consistent in saying of life, from conception to natural death, that it is sacred and must be treated with reverence and respect."
Archbishop Faulkner said South Australia had provided national leadership with its provision of palliative care to provide pain relief, compassion and dignity for those suffering from a terminal illness.