Skip navigation

What are we still fighting for?

With Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) available in every state, what is Go Gentle still fighting for? You'd be surprised, writes Andrew Denton.

Over the last seven years, with your support, Go Gentle has been at the centre of the fight to legalise voluntary assisted dying in every Australian state. Together we've changed the end of life for thousands of Australians.

We were there again in June as the ACT passed its legislation.

Tara Cheyne

So, we won, right? Game over.

If only.

The truth is, we’re busier now than ever.

That's why we've launched this fundraising campaign.

First, there’s unfinished business – making sure that the Northern Territory joins the rest of Australia in legalising VAD.

Then there’s the business of making the laws truly accessible to all eligible Australians.

You may not know this, but right now a Commonwealth law makes it illegal to use the internet, or even a phone, to discuss VAD. This means terminally ill people in rural and regional Australia have to travel hundreds, sometimes thousands, of kilometres for their assessments. Some die before they can finish the process. We’re working to fix that.

In some states, it is illegal for doctors to even raise VAD with their patients – the only medical prohibition of its kind in Australia. We’re working to fix that.

In all states, more doctors and nurses are needed to train in VAD so that people who are dying don’t have to spend precious weeks and months searching for someone to help them. We’re working to fix that too.

Sadly, across Australia, there are still institutions and individuals who seek to cruelly obstruct or discourage people from making their own choice about how they would like to die. We will never stop working to fix that.

Finally, it is a reality that those who opposed these laws for many decades continue to do so. In fact, they have declared their intention to see our VAD laws repealed, state by state.

We will always be there to counter their misinformation and medieval thinking.

Some of what we do is highly public, like our annual Australian and New Zealand VAD Conference, happening this year in Brisbane in October.

But a lot of what we do is behind the scenes: Hard-slog work, meeting with politicians, commissioning research, making submissions, pulling together coalitions to counter the voices of inertia and opposition. It’s not very sexy, but it is very necessary.

All of what we do is dedicated to defending, and improving, your right – and that of those you love – to every choice at the end of life.

So, we’re still fighting. And we could still use your help

I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved so far and I know we will achieve so much more together.

With my heartfelt thanks,

Andrew Denton

P.S Your contribution will help support advocacy that has an impact. Make your tax-deductible donation here

Continue Reading

Read More