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Euthanasia: we can live without it

Call to action - Tasmanians! Oppose new euthanasia bill NOW!

Call to action - Tasmanians! Oppose new euthanasia bill NOW!

The Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2016, introduced by Member for Franklin, Lara Giddings MP and Member for Denison, Cassy O'Connor is similar in structure to a bill with the same name introduced by Ms Giddings and Nick McKim in 2013.

It sets up a scheme for assisted suicide or euthanasia.

An eligible person is an adult resident of Tasmania who is competent and who makes a voluntary request and has an eligible medical condition. Like the previous bill, this eligibility criteria is really only included to counter the idea of 'death tourism' and, as also with the previous bill, it could be easily circumvented, rendering the clauses virtually useless.

This new bill also includes eligibility if the suffering is caused by the treatment for the condition. This phrase was also in the recently defeated ‘Death with Dignity’ Bill 2016 in South Australia. Surely if the treatment is causing the suffering then the treatment should be stopped or changed? This is a radical solution for what, in essence, may be a simple problem to be solved.

As with the 2013 bill, this bill does not use the phrase, ‘terminal illness’ but, rather ‘advanced stages of a serious incurable and irreversible medical condition’. This suggests that the person is close to death, but this may not be the case. It also would seem to include a ‘progressive medical condition’.

As with all legislation of this type, the level of suffering is entirely subjective and cannot be gainsaid and reasonable palliative care or other options can be refused by the person.

It cannot be claimed that ‘assisted dying’ under this bill is a last resort option.

Like other bills, there is a 'requirement' that a referral should be made to a psychiatrist or a psychologist if the doctor suspects depression or coercion. Without a mandatory referral to a psychiatrist in every case people will be put at risk. Psychiatric assessments in a similar scheme in Oregon are hardly ever made yet the literature is clear that terminally ill people have a much higher rate of depression than the general population.

PLEASE get involved NOW! Let your local MPs know that you oppose the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2016!

The Bill is listed for debate from late March 2017.

A copy of the Bill can be found HERE.

For more information and helpful hints on making your voice heard in opposition to this bill click HERE.

You can find contact details for your local MPs HERE.

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