The Main Points:
- Health services need to be available to all in the community
- The human life and is strongly valued and therefore we cannot support euthanasia in any form, but will increase funding to palliative care for those terminally ill.
- Medicare as a universal health scheme needs to be efficiently managed and sufficiently well funded
- Hospitals need to be well funded giving regard to the excessive wait times in causality and for the excessive wait times for needed procedures by many needing health services
- Recognising that there is a shortage of medical practitioners in remote communities we support establishing training for medical practitioners in remote communities by a mixture of remote education facilities and distance education systems.
- Strong and effective palliative care must be available in homes, hospitals and in nursing homes to those facing terminal illnesses.
- The life of the unborn child is to be valued and well protected – no abortions
- As far as it is possible medical prescriptions will be subsidized as much as is reasonably possible.
- Cancer treatments and preventive health research needs additional funding as long term savings in human lives is an achievable and the desired outcome
Overview of Health Policy
Christianity holds that Humans, above every other creature, enjoy God-given rights that no other authority can legitimately remove. Hence the care for the sick, infirm and weak and the respect for all Humans from conception to natural death is one of the central attributes of Christianity.
Christian tradition also holds those who practice medicine with special regard and responsibility because of their close relationship with human life and death.
CDP affirms that all Australians, irrespective of their income or location, should have access to essential health services. However the ever increasing cost of health services to the public purse requires that individuals do what they reasonably can to care for and maintain their own health. The CDP supports the introduction of government /industry education campaigns to promote healthy diets and lifestyles.
CDP believes that the current illicit drug epidemic contributes significantly to increased health outlays and that until a zero tolerance approach is adopted with regard to drug abuse, no major improvement in our health budgets can be expected.
CDP supports mandatory illicit drug testing of professional sportspeople because these men and women are role models to our Australian youth. Similarly, CDP supports random drug illicit drug testing of all Federal and State parliamentarians.
The CDP applauds sports associations and sportsmen who have assumed a leadership role in promoting zero tolerance of illicit drugs
CDP supports initiatives between government and industry that incorporate socially responsible messages and the application of a nation-wide Alcohol Advertising Code.
CDP supports a full smoking ban in hotels, clubs, restaurants and bars and vehicles to protect patrons, employees and children.
CDP supports government assistance to community organizations who promote chaste lifestyles before marriage and fidelity in marriage as the best preventative for AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
In Australia almost all new diagnoses of HIV infection are largely attributable to homosexual intercourse. Other evidence shows that even after disregarding deaths from HIV/AIDS, men who engage in homosexual behaviour have a significantly reduced life expectancy. Consequently, all school programs that present homosexual behaviour as a valid lifestyle choice should be changed to reflect the dangers of this behaviour.
No Medicare rebate should be available for abortion. Medical staff, students and institutions that have a religious or conscientious objection to abortion must never be forced to participate in them or penalized for refusing to participate in abortion or training to perform abortions.
The abortion inducing drug RU 486 should not be imported or manufactured in Australia
Palliative care services should be more adequately resourced and euthanasia should continue to be illegal.
Disabled citizens should be encouraged to participate and contribute to society at their level of capacity.
Special recognition should be given to mental health services which have been under-resourced in all States for many years. In particular, drug abuse, as major cause of mental illness, should be denounced with greater emphasis placed on prevention, prohibition and rehabilitation.
CDP supports government assistance to cover essential dental expenses for means tested patients and a large scale public campaign to promote oral hygiene.
CDP believes that the under-resourcing of our hospitals must be urgently addressed through the following measures:
provision for additional student places at medical and nursing schools including full fee paying student places;
attractive scholarships available to medical and nursing students;
immigration policies that favour well qualified medical practitioners and nurses from other English-speaking countries;
the construction of new government metropolitan and regional hospitals
incentives and support to Christian denominations with a demonstrated capacity in the provision of health services to renovate and build new not-for-profit metropolitan and regional hospitals.
We affirm that human life begins at fertilisation, and therefore should be given legal protection throughout all stages of pregnancy. Abortion should be banned by any society that aspires to justice and compassion.
We oppose abortion, therefore at the Federal level we will seek to have Medicare funding of abortion withdrawn. At the State level, we will seek to amend/overturn the WA Acts Amendment (Abortion) Act 1998 that granted state sanction to abortion on demand. We oppose abortion in all circumstances.
We are opposed to “safe sex” education programs such as those run by FPA WA. Instead, we will support programs in schools that teach abstinence prior to marriage, and fidelity within marriage. We will support an advertising campaign to promote adoption as a positive alternative to abortion. We will support pregnancy crisis counselling services that offer practical help and positive pro-life alternatives to pregnant women.
In the face of proposals that children with severe disabilities be either directly killed or denied life saving medical treatment, CDP observes that it should always be unlawful to kill any child by an act of commission or omission.
Euthanasia (regardless of method) is a deliberate act to end a patient’s life. We oppose euthanasia, whether active (such as with an injection) or passive (such as by withdrawing food and water), whether voluntary (with the consent of the victim) or involuntary (without the consent of the victim).
Euthanasia should not be confused with refusing futile or burdensome medical treatment when death is inevitable. Neither should euthanasia be confused with the provision of good palliative care. In some instances, medications that manage pain may hasten death, but this is not euthanasia for the aim is not to kill but to alleviate suffering.
Rather than eliminating the frail, sick and elderly, we support quality palliative care.
We need to allow the natural process of life from conception to final death with our best medical ability directed to produce the best outcomes and good strong palliative care at the end of a person’s life.
In Vitro Fertilisation
CDP has reservations about IVF programs even for infertile married couples. Even with multiple cycles, the success rate is low and frequently results in acute disappointment. A human embryo stands less than a 5 per cent chance of being born through IVF, meaning 95 per cent perish.
In addition, a higher percentage of IVF children suffer disabilities such as rare urological defects, heart or central nervous system abnormalities, and dangerously lows birth weights.
Consequently, CDP opposes any Medicare rebate for IVF
We are opposed to IVF programs that deliberately create spare embryos or that screen embryos for genetic diseases, sex selection, tissue matching, or designer characteristics. We are opposed to IVF procedures that require “foetal reduction” of unwanted but successfully implanted embryos.
CDP is opposed to any use of reproductive technology by persons other than married couples because every child is entitled to have a father and mother who are publicly committed to each other for life.
CDP is sympathetic to the plight of infertile married couples, and urges them to seek help from organizations such as Fertility Care that offer treatment for infertility that is consistent with a pro-life ethic.
Human embryo research and cloning
CDP opposes any type of research on human embryos that results in their harm or destruction. Therefore, we support the rescinding of State and Federal legislation permitting such research
We oppose all human cloning and the creation of chimeras (human/animal hybrids). Rather, we support and encourage research using adult stem cells and umbilical cord stem cells, as this does not involve the destruction of human life. Most research and all successful therapies to date have been done using adult stem cells.
There are a number of organisations seeking to endorse or certify food and food products and we need to now know what is actually involved and what the certification or endorsement means. The food we eat is very important to us all and due to some health issues some will have there needs to be certainty that any products that need to be restricted or eliminated from a person’s diet can be identified by honesty and dependability in food labeling and food endorsement.