In Australia, it is illegal to incite suicide over a carriage service such as a phone or video call. Mercifully, this provision of the Commonwealth Criminal Code guided the Federal Court in ruling last year that voluntary assisted dying appointments could not be conducted via telehealth.

Australian Christians is strongly supportive of this ruling. We believe that the sick, disabled and elderly need compassion and care at the end of their lives — not help to end their lives.

Sadly, earlier this month, independent member for Curtin, Kate Chaney, sought to challenge the law as it stands in Australia.

According to ABC News:

Independent MP Kate Chaney is calling on federal parliament to back her push to overturn a ban on telehealth consultations for people wanting to access voluntary assisted dying services.

Ms Chaney introduced a private member’s bill to the House of Representatives on Monday, arguing some Australians were missing out on medical advice because of an inconsistency between state, territory and Commonwealth laws.

In her bill, she has rather bizarrely argued that euthanasia does not constitute suicide.

Ms Chaney has also appealed to the compassion of Australians, suggesting that it is not fair for terminally ill people who are in pain to travel long distances — especially in remote areas of her state of Western Australia — in order to access death.

Ms Chaney’s line of reasoning is all too familiar. Australian Christians is well aware of the argument that it is compassionate to make euthanasia more accessible, but we strongly disagree. Assisted suicide is not compassionate healthcare.

As we have written previously, “In jurisdictions that legalise euthanasia under a narrow set of circumstances, those circumstances broaden over time. Often, once-valued protections are later abolished without a second thought.”

In Western Australia, for instance, people become eligible for euthanasia when they are over 18 years old, terminally ill, in severe pain, and likely to die within a specified timeframe. But what is stopping the liberalisation of these laws to include people who are mentally ill but are not terminal or in pain at all?

If you think such a scenario is implausible, just look at Canada:

Assisted suicide was originally adopted in Canada as a solution for people facing “intolerable suffering” from “a grievous and irremediable medical condition” with a “reasonably foreseeable” death.

Soon after, euthanasia was made available for people whose deaths were not so “reasonably foreseeable.” And then, access was expanded to include Canadians with disabilities.

In March 2024, Canada’s euthanasia program is set to expand even further. Soon, any Canadian with a mental illness or a drug addiction will be able to choose early death via lethal injection — including people with no physical ailments whatsoever…

Ironically, Canada’s sad slide down the slippery slope began with adamant denials that legalising euthanasia would create a “slippery slope” at all.

In the original 2015 ruling in Carter v. Canada (still available on the Supreme Court of Canada’s website), the term slippery slope appears nine times in the document, with a whole subsection dedicated to the topic.

The slippery slope is real. But there is a better way.

Australia has long been guided by Christian values that see God as the giver of life and the only one with the right to take life away. The life of every Australian, regardless of their condition, has sacred and intrinsic value, and should be protected until its natural end.

Telehealth suicide advice for Australians would present a host of very serious concerns.

By its very nature, an over-the-phone conversation — likely with someone you have never met in person — would significantly reduce the gravity of a decision like ending your life.

Telehealth euthanasia calls may diminish the value in face-to-face support, prayer and pastoral care that many people would otherwise seek during such a difficult time.

Moreover, people who are considering euthanasia need more safeguards, not less. Coercion, short-sighted decision-making and a feeling of being a burden to loved ones are ever-present threats to the sick, elderly and disabled in any jurisdiction where euthanasia has been legalised. Adding telehealth into that mix only makes the situation worse.

At Australian Christians, we believe it is our moral duty as individuals and as a nation to preserve life and alleviate suffering, not to make death more accessible.

Please join with us today in standing against telehealth for euthanasia, and in support of the sanctity of life.

Mother and child


Take a stand against the inhumane treatment of babies and children. 

Thank you for becoming part of the solution.

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!