Monday 20 November 2017
It was disappointing to see the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill get defeated in the Legislative Council by just one vote. The house is out of step with community values: the latest poll shows 85 per cent of Australians think that doctors should be able to help a patient with a terminal illness who is experiencing significant suffering at the end of their life to die.
Despite evidence of high suicide rates among the terminally ill to avoid a prolonged bad death and international evidence that terminally ill people find comfort in having an option to get help to die if suffering gets unbearable without ever using it, some members just would not give up arguing that assisted dying is state sanctioned suicide or murder. I’ve been working on the bill with my cross party colleagues for two years and we are committed to reintroducing the bill in the next parliament.
Thanks to the many people in the community who have worked for reform, in particular Dying With Dignity, Doctors for Voluntary Euthanasia Choice and Christians Supporting Choice for Voluntary Euthanasia.