More than 70% of Australians support voluntary euthanasia, and yet there is still no law.
On October 20 the Death With Dignity Bill 2016 was introduced into South Australian Parliament— a Bill for people suffering from a terminal condition, and including strong, clear safeguards to protect the vulnerable.
The bill will be debated in November.
Please join us in making sure South Australia's politicians listen to the public will, listen to the overwhelming public support for compassionate law reform, and support this Bill.
You can email your local member here. Simply enter your name, email address and postcode, and we'll take care of the rest.
Alternatively, if you would like to call, visit, fax, or independently email your MP, you can find their contact details by electorate below. Not sure which electorate you live in? Click here and enter your address to find your electorate.
The absence of voluntary euthanasia legislation in Australia is causing widespread suffering and trauma across our communities. The South Australian Death With Dignity Bill 2016 is due to be debated this month, but despite strong safeguards, penalties and oversights, many South Australian MPs still oppose this legislation.
If you live in South Australia and have been impacted by this issue, we would be grateful to hear your story. We will collect them and send them to your state MP so they cannot ignore the real suffering that is taking place every day in the absence of this law.
We welcome all different formats: written, spoken or even video, for example recorded with a smartphone.
To share your story, please click here and enter your information.
Please include at the beginning of your story which state electorate you live in, so we can easily identify which MP to contact. Not sure which state electorate you live in? Click here and enter your address to find your electorate.
“No one wants to see them suffering – least of all me.”
“I support voluntary euthanasia – but not this bill.”
“I revere the sanctity of life – but not at any cost.”
South Australian Liberal MP and proponent of the Death With Dignity Bill 2016, Duncan McFetridge, has published a rebuttal to the Bill's opponents in South Australian Parliament, also outlining the facts and strong inbuilt safeguards.
In the piece he states that:
As one of the proponents of the voluntary euthanasia (VE) legislation being currently debated by the South Australian Parliament, I have heard all the excuses and all the furphies, as well as some outright lies.
In particular, he targets Government whip Tom Kenyon for his religious comments made last month:
Government whip Tom Kenyon opposes voluntary euthanasia on the grounds that it amounts to “state-sanctioned killing”: nothing could be further from the truth. This voluntary euthanasia bill is about shortening an inevitable and painful death, not life.
Using Mr Kenyon’s own logic, if we do not provide a law enabling a gentle exit for those who have a terminal illness and are suffering at the end of life, it must surely amount to state-sanctioned torture.
The love and mutual respect he shared with his wife Rebecca was as powerful as it was beautiful. His decision to leave both her, and the children he adored, Darcy and Bertie, underscores the depth of incurable suffering that he was facing.
Lawrie was not someone who could have been helped by palliative care. That he was forced to leave his family in secret, without sharing his plans or saying farewell, is an indictment of our laws which gave him no choice.
These were Lawrie’s closing words in the podcast:
People are suffering. People can't wait for this. I can, but there's others who are in desperate circumstances who would love to avail themselves of this tomorrow if they could.
Lawrie Daniel was a good man fighting for the rights of other good men and women. We will redouble our efforts not to let him down.
You can download Lawrie's letter to the NSW Coroner here, or read it below.
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.”Read more
Adelaide radio station 5AA has revealed 'explosive' emails in which an influential South Australian government MP is asking for prayers to defeat the South Australian Voluntary Euthanasia Bill 2016 due to be debated this Thursday.
The MP, Tom Kenyon, holds the powerful position of government whip, meaning he is the chief organiser and enforcer of government voting.
There has been huge support for Be The Bill, with thousands of Australians already sending their personalised Bills to the 69 South Australian MPs, as a symbol of support for voluntary euthanasia legislation.
Among these Australians are people like Mia Freedman, Matty Johns, Guy Pearce, Hamish Blake, Jane Caro, Georgie Parker, Dick Smith, and Meshel Laurie, who have created videos of support.
We need everyone's voice to be heard, including yours. South Australian politicians will vote this week, October 20, to debate the Voluntary Euthanasia Bill, so we need your support now. Join these Australians and Be The Bill today. Visit www.BeTheBill.com
Let's write this law, and right this wrong.
Kylie Monaghan passed away yesterday, October 8, after a long and brave battle with cancer. We have been privileged to know and to work with Kylie as she dedicated the last days and weeks of her life to the goal of having her home state of South Australia introduce voluntary euthanasia laws.
Despite deteriorating health, Kylie has spoken passionately to the state’s politicians, through video and press interviews, and her last request to politicians was that others in her position be given a choice.
Kylie was proud that she was able to make an impact, and rejoiced in the overwhelming support she received from well-wishers and admirers who contacted her online. She inspired action from thousands of Australians.
We are deeply saddened by Kylie’s passing. Our thoughts are with her immediate family: her husband, Daryll, her mother, Shirley, her father, Greg, and her brothers, Brodie and John.
On behalf of Kylie’s family, we ask that the media respect the family’s privacy at this time of grief.
Soon the South Australian Voluntary Euthanasia Bill 2016 will be debated in parliament. We want to remind politicians this is about real people who want a choice in how their life ends. That’s why we have launched a campaign - it's called Be The Bill.
The campaign is jointly backed by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Association and Go Gentle Australia. Australia's nurses witness the suffering of patients and their families day in and day out. They are leading lobbying efforts for a law with strong checks and balances.
Heading the campaign is 35 year old Port Pirie woman Kylie Monaghan, who has advanced cancer which has spread to her liver and bones. She is launching a personal appeal to South Australia parliamentarians who will soon vote on the Voluntary Euthanasia Bill 2016. Kylie wants politicians to look beyond the impersonal nature of the bill and remind them that their vote affects real people in real suffering. Which is why Kylie is going to be the first to make a change to the Bill - she's putting her own name in it.Read more
More promising news today, with Queensland MP Peter Wellington calling for an inquiry into end of life choices.
Posting on his Facebook page, Mr Wellington said:
Taboo Subject Must Be Aired
It is time Queensland Parliament consulted with Queenslanders on the topic of end of life choices for adults including the case of people experiencing unbearable and hopeless suffering as a criteria for requesting help to die.
Once our Governor approves recent changes to the Parliament of Queensland Act so that our parliamentary committees can conduct enquiries on their own initiative, I will ask our Health Committee to hold an enquiry into this important topic.