Rabbinical Council of NSW head fronts assisted dying inquiry

December 21, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The President of the NSW Rabbinical Council Rabbi Nochum Schapiro has fronted a public hearing in the NSW parliament on the proposed bill to legalise assisted dying.

Rabbi Schapira at the inquiry Screenshot

NSW is the only state in Australia where voluntary assisted dying is not legalised. The NSW Government recently opened a Parliamentary inquiry into the NSW Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill. The bill was passed 52-32 in the NSW Legislative Assembly (lower house) on Friday 26 November 2021. The bill is currently being considered by the NSW Legislative Council (upper house).

The bill seeks to: enable eligible persons with a terminal illness to access voluntary assisted dying, to establish a procedure for, and regulate access to, voluntary assisted dying and to establish the Voluntary Assisted Dying Board to oversee matters relating to voluntary assisted dying.

This is of great concern to local Rabbis who are doing what they can to explain the Jewish-Halachic point of view and the moral reasons behind its rationale.

In addition, Rabbis are using this as an opportunity to educate the community and themselves in these areas, to ensure everyone understands the severity and importance of the matter. The Rabbinical Council of NSW recently organised a community Zoom event with two world-renowned experts in this field, Rabbi Dr Akiva Tatz, Director of Jerusalem Medical Ethics Forum and Dr Sharon Galper Grossman, Radiation Oncologist, Health and Halacha teacher. The evening titled: End of Life Issues in Judaism was held last month and a replay is available at rcnsw.org.au/endoflife.

In the inquiry into the Provisions of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021, Rabbi Schapiro explained the importance of life in the Jewish perspective and why the Jewish viewpoint is vital and important even for the wider public.

Other religious leaders seconded supported his words later in the hearing. Watch a replay of the section of the hearing using this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqh1FgnpEE4&t=6064s.

Rabbi Nochum Schapiro is the spiritual head of Chabad North Shore.

Please be advised that this footage contains discussion of distressing end of life scenarios faced by individuals and their families.

Should this footage raise any issues for you, you are encouraged to contact Lifeline (13 11 14) or Beyond Blue (1300 224 636).)


One Response to “Rabbinical Council of NSW head fronts assisted dying inquiry”
  1. Lynne Newington says:

    David Sloane’s view came from a man who was well versed and experienced.

    As a volunteer with a hospice myself some time ago, I was awakened to the all embracing Spiritual power present during the process that taught me many things that will stay with me forever.

    Rabbi Schapiro’s was a given.

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