On top of this we have the issue of individual's human rights being affected. Article 6(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) provides: Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life. Netherlands, who is one of the only countries to have legalised abortion, believes that by doing so they have no breached Article 6(1) of the ICCPR. They believe that they have the legal power to interpret the vaguely worded provisions within their domestic legal system.
They also believe that they are satisfying the criteria of "respect for life" and that performing euthanasia in response to a voluntary request from a patient cannot constitute as intentional deprivation of life, merely as a more comfortable way to free the suffering. The ambiguity of article 6(1) on euthanasia raises a number of questions including the scope of the right to life, the interpretation of 'arbitrary' deprivation of life and the definition of life and in particular when life ends.
On the other hand, to allow someone to have to endure unbearable suffering could also be seen as a breach of Human rights. It's within this thinking that has given way for defenders of the 'right to life' and those who assert the 'right to choose' when and how to die. Many such arguments have been bought up by individuals, such as Dr. Nitschke who is passionately involved with helping sufferers end their lives; he has put himself in a very compromising position within the law to assist these people to terminate their suffering and lives.
Nitschke believes all people, regardless of age or health, should have the right to take their own life, and that it should be legal to provide people with the required knowledge to do so. This concept goes against some religions foundations such as Christianity, Islamic and Judaism where this act of "suicide" and assisting suicide constitutes as sinful behavior, to which goes against all of their religious ethics and morals. Another standpoint is that of Bishop Fisher who has contended;
"Humans, indeed all species, have a strong instinct against killing each other. There is a basic moral line, and I describe it as profound respect for human life. In a society that recognises no universal religious authority, values are carried by professional institutions. And to institute euthanasia is to have two major professions crossing that moral line. You'd have the law, which upholds the respect for life, changed to allow life to be taken.
And you'd have the people who are supposed to act with the most profound respect for life – the physicians – actually taking lives. As a society, we can't afford that. " To conclude, achieving justice in respect to issues of Morality such as Abortion and Euthanasia is merely impossible. In a society that is as diverse as Australia, being able to reflect the whole of society's morals and values would be impracticable and unachievable, this is what has led to such debate over criminal justice issues such as the ones expressed in this essay.
Tony Abbott steps on a moral minefield -The Age (Melbourne) – 19/3/2004
Fury, praise for Abbott's comments on abortion – Canberra Times – 18/3/2004
Costello plays safe in abortion debate – Mark Metherell, Alexandra Smith – Sydney Morning Herald – 18/3/2004
In praise of truly Christian Politician – Angela Shanahan – The Age (Melbourne) – 19/3/2004
No cuts to abortion funding – Sydney Morning Herald – 19/3/2004
Rate of abortion highlights our moral failings – Australian – 17/3/2003
Nitschke launches suicide machine – Sydney Morning Herald – 3/12/2002
The fight to end a life – Sydney Morning Herald – 27/9/1996
Confusion over law as second person takes life – Sydney Morning Herald – 7/1/1997