Christian leaders are "optimistic" new religious discrimination laws will ensure church-run aged care homes do not have to support people when they access euthanasia services.
The Coalition is bracing for a messy debate on the religious discrimination bill, a draft of which is due to be released publicly "in the next few weeks". After cabinet considered the bill for the first time recently, Attorney-General Christian Porter said, "some fine-tuning" was needed but he was "close to finalising a draft bill". to short
Following the recent introduction of Victoria's assisted dying laws, Anglican Bishop Stead said the new religious discrimination act could also mean that church-run aged care homes would not have to support people when they undergo voluntary euthanasia.
"The government is certainly aware of our concerns," Bishop Stead said.
In Victoria, doctors can conscientiously object to providing care to people who want to use the state's voluntary assisted dying scheme. Terminally ill patients in Catholic-run hospitals and hospices in the state must move elsewhere to access the scheme, due to church opposition to the laws.
The government announced it would introduce a religious discrimination bill late last year, in response to the Ruddock review into religious freedom.