The Catholic Weekly 4 July 2021

$2 No-one has the right to ‘step in’ and bring to an end a life that has begun under God’s providence and will come to its end under God’s providence.” Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB THE CATHOLIC Church in Western Australia has this week entered a new world or- der with the enacting of the state’s 2019 Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill . The legislation, passed by the McGowan government on 10 December 2019, allows Western Australians who are terminally ill to legally end their lives at a time of their choosing. This means that the leg- islation will apply to the WA Catholic heath care acute, aged and disability sectors, including St John of God Hospitals, MercyCare, Mer- cy Health, Catholic Homes, Southern Cross Care, Naza- reth Care, Little Sisters of the Poor and Mount La Verna aged care facilities, in addition to Identitywa as a disability care service, and the Universi- ty of Notre Dame Australia as a medical teaching facility. The enactment of WA’s leg- islation comes as NSW Inde- pendent MP Alex Greenwich is expected to officially launch his draft bill this month to en- able voluntary assisted dying and euthanasia in this state. Mr Greenwich has indicated his bill would be largely based on the Western Australian model. In WA, those who make the decision to end their life must be diagnosed with what is classified as a terminal 1 illness or medical condition that will, on the balance of probabilities, cause death within six months, or within 12 months for some condi- tions. They must have deci- sion-making capacity in re- lation to voluntary assisted dying. During the process the in- dividual must make three sep- arate requests for voluntary assisted dying: a first request, a written declaration and a final request. The written dec- laration must be witnessed by two people who meet specific requirements. In light of the legislation that was enacted on 1 July, Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB last week deliv- ered a Pastoral Letter, which highlighted that every human life, from its earliest begin- nings at conception to its final moments leading to death, is precious and sacrosanct. “No-one has the right to ‘step in’ and bring to an end a life that has begun under God’s providence and will come to its end under God’s providence,” Archbishop Costelloe said in the letter. “We also believe, precisely because life is precious and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ¾ Jamie O’Brien 4, July, 2021 AUSSIE WWII VETERAN: WE SAW THÉRÈSE! BOOST YOUR FAITH IN LOCKDOWN! P12 P19 ‘We won’t facilitate the ending of lives’ As euthanasia becomes law inWA, Catholic agencies declare they will not enable its practice in any of their institutions PHOTO: FREEPIK.COM