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SA Christians rally euthanasia prayers

AAP logoAAP 16/10/2016

Christians for and against voluntary euthanasia are asking people to pray that a conscience vote in South Australian parliament will go their way.

The Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia have thrown their support behind the latest bill, the 14th attempt to pass such laws in the state, following amendments meaning only terminally ill people could choose to die.

"Some oppose voluntary euthanasia arguing that it's wrong because it's playing God," SA spokesperson Craig de Vos said in a statement.

"So is artificially prolonging life, and so is allowing people to suffer a horrific death when there are more humane options.

"I pray that politicians, lawmakers and religious leaders have the courage to support the choices terminally ill citizens make in departing Mother Earth."

Labor MP Tom Kenyon has also been rallying prayers, but for a different result.

The Christian told FiveAA radio on Monday he had emailed a pastor asking his congregation to pray for the defeat of the bill as it was a "matter of life or death".

"We're talking about whether the state will become involved in the killing of its citizens or not. That's a really important thing," he said.

Disability advocacy group Lives Worth Living is calling for the parliament to reject the bill as it blurs the boundary between medical conditions and disability.

"The legislation claims to exclude disability but fails to say which conditions are excluded," spokeswoman Samantha Connor said.

"A range of conditions cause disability and shorten our lifespan but are manageable with the right supports."

Both SA Premier Jay Weatherill and Opposition Leader Steven Marshall have supported the need for a full debate on the issue when it comes before the parliament this week.

Mr Weatherill has indicated he will support the legislation.

But Mr Marshall said he couldn't support the bill in its current form and wants to see much greater safeguards included in the legislation.

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