The Anglican Church is up in arms against a bill allowing voluntary euthanasia in Tasmania, which will be introduced to the state's Parliament on Tuesday.
The Bishop of Tasmania John Harrower said he is against the bill and even encouraged MPs in the island state to vote against it.
The Dying with Dignity Bill will be introduced by the Greens Leader, Nick McKim.
Mr McKim says the legislation will include stringent safeguards against misuse.
"It includes some very stringent safeguards, including the requirement that you have to be over 18, there are significant cooling-off periods built in, you have to be assessed by a number of medical experts including a psychiatrist to confirm that you are mentally competent to make the decision, and there are clear sanctions for anyone attempting to influence a doctor's decision," he was quoted saying.
Bishop Harrower argues that only God has the right to take life. He further added that "going down the pathway of euthanasia is literally a way to death, not to life for our society - and it will bring great harm to Tasmania."
Along with the Anglican, the Catholic Church also expressed dissatisfaction over the legislation.
The Archbishop of Hobart, Adrian Doyle, said euthanasia is immoral and the legislation surely must be condemned.
"We are totally opposed to anything that would provide for the direct intervention on the part of another person to terminate the life of a human being," he said.
Meanwhile, a recent survey of 1000 Tasmanians conducted by phone from May 4-7 revealed more than three-quarters of Tasmanians were in favour of the law to allow voluntary euthanasia for the terminally ill.
It found 78 per cent of Tasmanians were "in favour of changing the law to allow doctors to meet the patient's wish to end their life"
Mr McKim commented that the results were of no surprise to him, “as I know that Tasmanians are overwhelmingly compassionate people, with a real respect for human dignity and freedom of choice.”
Church opposed to euthanasia bill in Tasmania
By: Julian White
Tuesday, 26 May 2009, 5:28 (EST)