Voluntary Assisted Dying Vote
The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill has passed the critical ‘second reading’ stage in the Legislative Council with 20 votes in favour and 17 votes against.
Four additional members who had indicated support for the bill during debate were unable to vote and I hope there will be a greater margin in the next stage of votes which will be on individual members’ amendments. Amendments have already been tabled to empower residential homes and hospitals to stop terminally ill patients from accessing voluntary assisted dying. This is unconscionable as it will prolong people’s suffering and goes against the principles of personal choice and autonomy over a person’s healthcare.
The bill as drafted is safe and in line with models in other states. Forty six amendments passed in the Legislative Assembly after which the bill received an overwhelming 52 votes in favour over 32 against. It is time to pass the bill and move forward to preparing for implementation and operation.