Saturday's massive endorsement of the Andrews’ Government progressive social policies could not have been more significant for Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) reform in Australia.
It shattered, once and for all, the myth propagated by Right to Life and others, that VAD is electoral poison. The fact that some of the largest swings to Labor occurred in the four seats targeted by Dying With Dignity Victoria in their ‘no more debate’ campaign suggests the opposite.
The Victorian law will now operate - as intended - for four years. In so doing, it will show our opponents' fear campaign up for what it is: Misinformation deliberately designed to derail political support for a compassionate law supported by 80% of Australians.
The eventual effect on the rest of Australia will, I believe, be significant as long as there is a determination from principled politicians to pursue evidence-based policy-making.
I do believe (as the US has shown) that we will always have to remain vigilant against threat of repeal. That is why a win in Western Australia is so important. It spreads the risk and reinforces the need.
I hope the growing army of VAD supporters around Australia take great heart from Saturday’s result. I urge you all to renew your efforts within your community. In particular, by approaching your local MP and raising the subject within the medical profession whenever the opportunity arises.
Victoria’s law happened because enough people of principle stood up for those too ill to stand up for themselves.
Today we stand taller.
Please, invite someone to join you.