The South Australian Voluntary Euthanasia Bill 2016 will not be debated in South Australian parliament tomorrow, as had been expected. Instead a new Bill, to be known as the Death with Dignity Bill, will be introduced. The new Bill has features of the SA Voluntary Euthanasia Bill 2016 and it locks down a range of amendments which had been foreshadowed for the Bill. These amendments had been sought by parliamentarians to gain their support for the vote.
“We have continued to consult widely on the proposed voluntary euthanasia laws and this new Bill will encompass all the checks and safeguards sought by our colleagues in a further tightening of the eligibility and assessment processes,” said Labor MP and Bill co-sponsor Steph Key.
“This will eliminate confusion between the old Bill and the suggested amendments, ensuring that everyone is clear about exactly what they will be voting on.”
“This new Bill makes it very clear that voluntary euthanasia will only apply to people whose death is inevitable due to a terminal medical condition, who are experiencing intolerable pain and suffering, and for whom there is no medical treatment or palliative care option,” said Liberal MP and co-sponsor, Duncan McFetridge.
“The Bill specifically excludes disability, age and mental health as criteria to request voluntary euthanasia.”
The debate on the new Bill will be adjourned to November 3.
While the debate has been delayed, the campaign for compassionate law reform continues with this strengthened Bill.
We thank you for your support and will keep you updated on this new stage of our campaign.