According to the Epoch Times, the registrations came ahead of VAD becoming legal in NSW starting Nov. 28. In May 2022, NSW became the last Australian state to legalize euthanasia after its parliament ratified a relevant bill after a long period of heated debate.
Kerry Chant, chief health officer for NSW, told the Sydney Morning Herald that around 250 doctors had signed up for the state's VAD program. She outlined that the process will involve mandatory training that every doctor has to go through. However, Chant also stressed that the program will come with strict eligibility requirements and that the NSW Ministry of Health (NSW Health) would only accredit senior clinicians.
The chief health officer also acknowledged that one of the challenges to the VAD program was ensuring that regional and rural patients would have access to assisted suicide, in the same manner as those living in cities. "VAD will be a lawful option, but we are also trying to make it clear that we are embedding it with end-of-life care," she told the Herald.
Under the new VAD law, adult patients can apply for assisted suicide provided that they have at least one advanced and progressive disease or illness, and are likely to die within six months while enduring intolerable suffering. However, patients availing of the assisted suicide option must have the mental capacity to make the decision and act voluntarily without pressure or duress when applying.
Ahead of the new law taking effect, NSW Health held a conference to provide information about VAD to around 700 healthcare workers and community members. The participants listened to the experience of VAD experts from other states in Australia and learned about the process of becoming an authorized VAD practitioner.
As the VAD law is about to take effect in November, authorities in NSW will require all healthcare providers in the state to provide assisted suicide. This prospect has triggered pushback from Christian-related health organizations in the state, as the euthanasia law contradicts their religious belief.
A report by Sydney Diocesan Services (SDS), a group supporting the Archdiocese of Sydney under the Anglican Church, touched on the issue. According to the report, the archbishop had set up a working group to consider whether Anglicare Sydney and other Anglican health service providers could follow the state government's mandate without violating its theological principles.
Following the findings of the working group, the board of Anglicare Sydney decided not to provide VAD at its residential aged care homes. It also updated its resident/service agreements and contracts to reflect this move. Anglicare Sydney also prohibited its staff members from initiating discussions, providing information or taking any active part in a resident's VAD process.
"Anglicare Sydney will over and support life-affirming choices for residents and provide chaplaincy support to residents and their family/friends, respecting their right to choose, supporting them with maintaining their dignity through respecting their choice if and when a VAD decision has been made," the report stated.
Catholic Health Australia (CHA) also decided to take a minimal compliance approach to NSW's assisted suicide laws. "VAD is not consistent with the care we provide," a CHA spokesman told the Herald. "As a result, our NSW members will not facilitate VAD at any of their facilities." (Related: Anti-life group lobbies for BC Canada Catholic hospitals to carry out ASSISTED SUICIDE.)
While the spokesman said CHA staff would respond in "a respectful and compassionate manner" to patients demanding VAD, he noted that the healthcare operator would not change the end-of-life care provided to those patients.
SDS ultimately warned in its report that church-run facilities might have to exit the healthcare industry in NSW due to concerns that VAD could become so morally corrupt.
"If Anglicare continues in residential aged care at this time, it should be recognized that the existence of VAD may well become an intolerable corruption to the service – thus precipitating the need for withdrawal from residential aged care provision in the future."
Head over to Euthanasia.news for more stories about assisted suicide in Australia and other countries.
Watch this video explaining why euthanasia, in the form of Australia's VAD and Canada's medical assistance in dying, is a mortal sin.
This video is from the Rick Langley channel on Brighteon.com.