This article was first published in The Sun Herald of 11 December 2016 as as "The time has come for NSW to legalise euthanasia".
Bravo, the Victorians. In a breakthrough this week, their Premier Daniel Andrews announced his government will introduce legislation next year that will likely legalise euthanasia, meaning that those of their citizens suffering debilitating illnesses that deliver them nothing but agony will soon be able to choose to die with dignity. South Australia nearly got there a month ago, but it is the Victorians who will be the first to go over the top.
Can we not, in NSW, quickly follow suit? Personally, I hope I have a good 40 years left in me – and I am more confident than ever, now being at my lightest weight since 1984. But, let's say I don't. Let's say I get a tumour or a debilitating condition that will force me to me wind down slowly and agonisingly. Let's say that at the age of 80 or so, I decide that my meaningful life is over, and all that awaits me is – I know, I know, too much detail – incontinent pain for the next five years. And let's say that I don't want that, and would rather pass away peacefully, and with dignity, in a medically supervised manner. My question to the opponents of euthanasia: if I choose to do that, what business is it of yours?
In a statement released on Twitter, Victorian Premiere Daniel Andrews discusses the upcoming debate on voluntary euthanasia.
You say it is because your God objects to it, as most opposition to euthanasia is religious based? Well, I do not recognise your God. You may choose to believe that, and it is none of my business. The point is under the auspices of the separation of Church and State, the NSW government should reject all religious reasons against euthanasia as well. This is a no-brainer.
Andrew Denton has worked tirelessly on the euthanasia issue for the past two years, as has his euthanasia advocacy organisation Go Gentle Australia. I'll leave the last words to him.
Andrew Denton and his euthanasia advocacy organisation Go Gentle Australia work for euthanasia. Photo: Edwina Pickles
"No one should be left to die in unbelievable pain," Denton notes. "Mike Baird was shocked by cruelty to greyhounds. I challenge him to read the testimonies of those who have watched their loved ones die in agony and then tell the people of NSW that there's nothing to be done about it."