Opponents willing to debate assisted dying 311



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The MP who came so close to getting euthanasia laws passed in Tasmania in 2013 will try once more, and her opponents welcome the opportunity to debate the concept again.

Labor MP and former premier Lara Giddings will table a fresh bill to introduce voluntary-assisted dying laws in the state as soon as she has secured a Liberal co-sponsor.

Two years ago, Ms Giddings’ bill was defeated by just one vote, after a passionate 10-hour debate. The bill would have allowed voluntary assisted suicide after consultation with three doctors.

That bill was opposed by churches and Christian groups, some disability support groups, and the Australian Medical Association.

In regards to the new bill, acting Premier Jeremy Rockliff and senior minister Rene Hidding say told the ABC they still oppose euthanasia in principle but are open to further discussion about it.

“It should be debated,” Mr Rockliff said. “It’s appropriate that the Parliament can express their view from time to time on such an important matter for many people within the Tasmanian community.”

Mr Rockliff added there was a consensus within the Tasmanian Parliament that MPs should vote on euthanasia according to their own conscience.

“My view is not based on any religious view at all, it’s more about the vulnerability potentially it puts individuals and doctors in,” he said.

Liberal backbenchers Roger Jaensch and Joan Rylah both say they are open to discussing Ms Giddings’ proposal.

Meanwhile, in a statement that demonstrates the complexity of the issue, Tasmania’s opposition leader Bryan Green said he had voted both for and against euthanasia proposals in the past.

“Many people want this debate to go forward in the House, and from my point of view I am encouraged by the responses Lara’s had,” said Mr Green.

“It’s great that we can have a talk about this.”

Where do you stand on the assisted-dying debate? How would you feel if Tasmania passed laws allowing it? 

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  1. Let’s deal with the elephant in the room assisted dying as opposed to euthanasia by stealth, ie cutting funding and threatening pensions. Be truthful pollies. If you can remember how.

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  2. This should be our choice to live or die with dignity not an old religious direction

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    • BS….Sorry Joy. Not EVERYONE believes in the word of god and to be honest YOUR beliefs or anyone else should NOT determine someone else’s future. People who do not believe do not cram their views down your throat, just asking for the right to make our own decisions within OUR own beliefs. Who determined that YOUR views were the right ones for everyone? Islamiasts do not believe in Your god. I have found all atrocities are based on religious intolerance and the more one section believes their believes are more valid than someone else is the main cause for wars and unhappiness.
      If we have an animal that suffers we put them out of their misery, but not for someone who has absolutely no quality of life. Then to ods will, FFS if that person does not believe in your god it is just prolonging life unneccessarily.
      It should also have NOTHING to do with a politicians personal religious view and making decisions for the public, THEY are not our diviners and have no right to make those decisions for anyone. They should enable the laws that allow for anyone who wishes to end their life with dignity to be able to.

    • I am against euthanasia laws as has been proven in Belgium it ends up allowing anyone to die assisted , even someone who is melancholic, once you open the door to these laws the manipulation of them starts, no one wants to see people suffering at the end of their life , I have a brother who has been terminal for 2 years, the pain relief that is available is amazing he manages well on them, medical technology has progressed and we need work with medicos rather than just needle Granny when it gets to much for the family

  3. We should be allowed to choose it’s our health and our lives. When you look at our health system, the costs of specialists and sometimes treatment and the devastating effects on the families and ourselves. We should be allowed to choose with assistance to die in peace with dignity and support of our choice.

    5 REPLY
    • Judith agree with you my Husband passed away in 2011 my Family and I were called to the hospital and the doctor told us he had 2 months to live my husband and I had said if either took sick there was to be no life support, I told the doctor this and he said now I know where I stand he passed away within a fortnight I said to the doctor why should you prolong it for us it’s only going to make it worse for the family.

    • You are so right Jan, my late Mum had emphysema and no quality of life, she had a brilliant physician who listened when she told him she had had enough, after 6 years of struggle she passed away in hospital, and I’m sure there was help given.

    • Jane to my knowledge my Husband was given the lowest dose of Morphine that was Saturday night passed away on the Monday, to me you should be able to have the choice.

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      • When I was told the end was near for my husband I told the doctor that he didn’t want his life prolonged. We had discussed this at different times. However my daughter and daughter -in-law thought he should be kept alive until family members could arrive. He was given a low dose of morphine but not all members got there in time BUT he died peacefully and not drawn out.

    • Jan and Jane, do you notice we are given these choices and assistance with our pets, we are told we are being humane and a good pet owner, to do the right thing and not prolong their pain and illness yet not allowed with our own lives and the lives of those nearest and dearest. Why not???

    • Judith yes I thought that but didn’t like to put it on here that is so true so don’t know why humans can’t die with dignity.

  4. I’m glad it is open for debate again. It is very complex,and the vulnerable should be protected from possible abuse from people who may not have their best interests at heart. Interesting change of terminology “assisted dying” not “euthanasia”.

  5. Governments, particularly the current bunch of arrogant, wealthy elitists would rather see us “drop off” and seem to be setting that up for us by reducing our ability to live by reducing monetary help and being able to obtain medical assistance in a timely manner!

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  6. Our life, our decision. Bring on the debate!!!

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    • I think working in aged care clarifies the decision for many nurses. The reality of aging and ill health, the loss of independance and dignity in spite of the very best of loving care, help to make me realise we should all have the choice.

    • mike here-the debate ain’t going to happen, abbott hates to lose at anything & that is one he knows he would lose

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